Events & Area Attractions
Southern Arizona is rich in history...
Located just outside of the Coronado National Forest, Tubac, Arizona is a centuries-old town that was once the site of a Spanish Colonial presidio. Today, the town is home to the Art Colony of Tubac, where working artists’ studios abound. Don’t miss the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, located in the old town, and the Santa Cruz River, a top spot for Arizona birding.
In Southern Arizona, Tubac’s reputation as an artist enclave got its start in 1948. That year, landscape painter Dale Nichols established an art school just a stone’s throw from a historic landmark – the ruins of the 18th century Spanish presidio. The school attracted other artists to town, and, before long, artists were hanging their work on garden walls for tourists to buy.
Things are a tad more organized now, each year, tens of thousands of visitors enjoy attending events such as February’s Tubac Festival of the Arts, which dates to 1959 and is the granddaddy (and longest running) of Arizona’s art festivals; and the open studios and special gallery shows during the spring and fall art walks. Visitors stroll among dozens of galleries, eclectic shops and cafés.
Viva .la Moda, an annual fashion show, brings fashion to the forefront for charity. The creator wanted to combine her passion for the Arts and love of giving back, while showcasing and supporting the community and fashion. It's a way of promoting Tubac not only an Artists Colony, but also as a place to find boutique clothing and unique, upscale jewelery and decor.
A must-stop is Tubac Center for the Arts for exhibits by area artists, plus film screenings and concerts. And, because Tubac has been called the town where art and history meet, don’t leave without visiting the presidio, where you can learn about Arizona’s Spanish past and also enjoy concerts, exhibits, talks and films.
For a laid back look at classic style on wheels, the Santa Cruz Valley Car Nuts hosts its annual Collector Car Show at the Tubac Golf Resort. This casual, fun-filled weekend kicks off with an evening car cruise to the Elks Club for a traditional barbecue dinner.
Starting in 1691, Jesuit priest Eusebio Kino founded more than 20 missions, some of which still exist north of today’s US-Mexico border. Tumacacori National Historical Park in Tubac preserves remains of San Jose de Tumacacori, one of Kino’s first missions. See several preserved ruins at the site, including the never-completed Tumacacori church. Learn more about the cultural influence of Spanish missionaries at the park’s museum. Attend special masses conducted on the grounds during Fiesta de Tumacacori in December and within the sanctuary during October’s Anza Days.
The St. Ann’s Catholic Church building in Tubac dates to the 1920s, but it’s on the foundations of a church established in the early 1760s. A museum shows historical photos, and a brochure tells of the church’s long history.
Articles about Tubac:
- Traveling Arizona's DeAnza Trail
- A Cook’s Tour, Arizona Style
- Here's Looking at You, Chica: Arizona’s Top Margarita
- A Warm Winter’s Glow: Arizona’s Holiday Light Display
- Best Bets for Tucson and Southern Arizona
- 100 Years of Arizona’s Wild West Past
- Arizona’s Eclectic Shopping Destinations
- Latino Arts of Arizona
- Arizona’s Artist Enclaves
- Arizona’s Classic Car Season
- Grab Your (Shopping) Bags!
- Southern Arizona’s Missions & Churches
- Historic Architecture at Arizona State Park
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