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Tubac; Where Art and History Meet
Story and photos by Kathleen Walls - American Roads Travel Magazine


Mountain view from Tubac Golf Resort

Tubac, even its name is shrouded in antiquity. No one is sure of the meaning but one possible translation is "Clouds in the Sky." This is so fitting because a visit to this town of less than one square mile is truly an adventure that is out of this world.

Tubac refers to itself as the place "Where Art and History Meet." Both are represented in abundance here. Five distinct cultures, Hohokam (300-1400 AD); O'odham (Pima and Papago) in the 1500s; Spanish (1752-1821); Mexican (1821-1853); and American, both United States and Confederate States, (1853-present), have left their mark on the tiny community nestled between the Santa Rita, Tumacacori and San Cayetano mountains in Santa Cruz River Valley.



The old mission church at Tumacacori National Historical Monument

The Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, Arizonaís first state park, and the Tumacacori National Historical Monument which preserves the ruins of three early Spanish colonial missions. For a real time machine experience, meet and mingle with Los Tubaquenos each Sunday from October through March and experience life as it was on the Spanish frontier in the eighteenth century.

Tubac Center of the Arts offers three galleries, a museum, countless shops and studios. The real fun here is stopping in at the local artists and crafters studios in the small village and watching them work their magic.

Tubac is the starting point of one of historyís greatest adventures. From here, Juan Bautista de Anza led a small group of settlers westward to found the city of San Francisco. The trail section at Tubac offers one of Arizonaís best birding destinations.

For a unique lodging experience right on the trail, try the Tubac Golf Resort. Nestled between the Santa Rita and Tumacacori Mountain Ranges. Part of its charm begins with its history. It is built on the site of the Otero Ranch, established in 1789, this was the first Spanish Land Grant in the Southwest. The Otero family lived on the ranch until the 1860s when Arizona became a Confederate territory. The withdrawal of federal forces from nearby Fort Buchanan made the marauding apaches too serious a threat.


The saddle barstools at The Stables: a part of the old west.

The family returned in 1867 and continued to prosper. They remodeled the old family hacienda, which is still standing today. It is located just north of the Stables Bar & Grill and houses a honeymoon suite as well as a meeting room with the most welcoming fireplace you ever warmed your toes in front of. The old stable is converted into a rustic watering hole, worth a visit in its own right. You will feel like an old western cattle baron or baroness when you climb into the saddle barstools.

If following in the footsteps of Spanish grandees isnít enough, how about a Hollywood legend? Bing Crosby discovered the ranch in 1959. He was so charmed by the setting that he and several local businessmen formed a partnership to create what is now the Tubac Golf Resort. Oh, yeah, it has a great golf course but even if you are not a golfer, you will enjoy the intimate individual suites. They offer nineteen Casitas, twenty-seven Posadas and eighteen Haciendas scattered throughout three gardened acres. Most have their own fireplaces.

The moderate climate make this a great all year resort. One other thing, leave lots of extra room in your luggage. You wonít be able to resist the art, pottery or jewelry. Itís truly unique. As is Tubac itself.

For more information about Tubac:
http://www.tubacgolfresort.com/ or http://www.tubacaz.com/

Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.

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