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Sahuarita is in Southern Arizona. It is in Pima County. The town is located along Interstate 19 between Tucson and Nogales, just north of Green Valley. The Santa Cruz River flows to the east of town.
Sahuarita is a great place for visitors to stop in and pick up some delicious pecans. The town sits at an elevation of 2,540 feet. The southwestern climate has a winter low temperature of 40 degrees and a summer high temperature of 100 degrees.
This small community began as a ranch. The word Sahuarita means “little saguaro cactus” and is pronounced sah-wah-REE-tah. Long ago, the country was thick with saguaros, thus the name. Later, the town became a stage stop. Then, it was a railroad station for the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Today, it is the home of the Santa Cruz Valley Pecan Company and Pecan Store. Sahuarita has an ideal location along the Santa Cruz River, making conditions right for the world’s largest pecan grove. The Grove stretches more than 5,550 acres.
Green Valley Arizona
Green Valley, a retirement community, was established in 1964. In the fertile Santa Cruz River Valley at an elevation of 2,900 feet, Green Valley is midway between Tucson and Nogales. It is a successful modern community built in an area full of historic lore. Green Valley occupies part of the vast (46,696 acres) San Ignacio de las Canoa grant which was given to New Spain by the Spanish Crown in the 16th century.
The country-surrounding Green Valley abounds with historic attractions– early Spanish missions, frontier outposts and old mines. Tubac, located 25 miles south, is the oldest Spanish settlement in the Southwest. It has been a frontier town and an army outpost and is now an active artist colony. The San Xavier del Bac Mission, 18 miles north, and Tumacacori National Monument, 30 miles south, are both Spanish missions built by Jesuit priests in the early 1700s.
Scenic drives and recreational opportunities are plentiful near Green Valley: Pena Blanca Lake, 40 miles southwest; Arivaca Lake, 33 miles southwest; Madera Canyon, 12 miles southeast; Kitt Peak Observatory, 40 miles west; Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation, 12 miles north; and the Mexican border at Nogales, 45 miles south. Tucson, 25 miles north, offers many cultural and recreational attractions, sporting events, and a broad range of services.
Within Green Valley, the Titan II Missile Museum (the only one of its kind) is open daily. Several annual golf tournaments are held in Green Valley. Additionally, the three-day Country Fair and Parade is held in Green Valley every October. For the culturally minded, art events and activities from Tucson are available year-round in Green Valley.
Rio Rico (“rich river”) is a planned community located in
Santa Cruz County, 57 miles south of Tucson and 12 miles north of
Mexico. The community’s 39,000 acres roll gently down from the
Santa Rita Mountains through the San Cayetano Foothills westward
to the Santa Cruz River. The area around and including Rio Rico was
once part of the Baca Float, a tract of approximately 100,000 acres
granted by the U.S. Congress to the heirs of Luis Maria Baca as the
result of an early, unclear grant from the Spanish government. The
the community had its beginnings in 1969 and has continued to grow
at a steady pace with the influx of tenants to the Rio Rico South
Rio Rico’s South Industrial Park is comprised of 256 acres, with 100
acres now serving produce and distribution warehouses and manufacturing
firms (C. E. Gillman Co., Badger Meter Manufacturing and
Molex Inc.). The Rio Rico commercial area comprises 544 acres,
which includes Rio Rico Resort (with tennis and 18-hole championship
golf course) and a commercial center containing a supermarket,
restaurant and a variety of specialty shops. Because of its proximity
to Mexico, Rio Rico has become a stopover for tourists,
increasing the importance of tourism to the area.
Rio Rico is in an area where Spanish and Indian families lived generations
before the American Revolution and where Arizona history
began. Tumacacori National Monument, four miles north, was in Arizona and worked by Mexicans before being purchased by Americans in the 1850s; Santa Rita Hacienda, both a mining and ranching center during the Spanish and Mexican periods, acquired
by the Americans after the Gadsden Purchase. Sonoita, to the east,
was established by the Sobaipuri Indians in 1698. It was visited by
Kino and became a Visita of the Guevavi Mission. Sopori, near
Amado, was originally a Pima Rancheria. It became a Spanish mining
and stock-raising center and was acquired by Americans in the
An excursion to the historic Tumacacori National Monument,
Tubac Presidio, the ruins of old Fort Crittendon and the Duquesne
Tubac, in the far southern part of Arizona, is 40 miles south
of Tucson on Interstate 19, and 23 miles north of the international
the border at Nogales. It lies in the Santa Cruz River Valley and is bordered
by the Santa Rita, Tumacacori and San Cayetano mountains.
At a high desert elevation of 3,200 feet, it possesses a mild climate.
The origin of the Tubac name has never been successfully interpreted.
Some say it means “place of brackish water,” while others
claim the meaning is “low ruins or houses.”
Tubac has been home to at least five distinct cultures: the
Hohokam between 300 and 1400 AD; the Ootam (Pima and
Papago) arrived sometime in the 1500s; the Spaniards arrived with
Father Campos in 1726, according to a baptismal record; Mexico
claimed it during the 1821 Mexican War of Independence, and it
was bought by the United States under the 1853 Gadsden
Tubac was first settled by the Spanish in 1752 at a Presidio, or
military fort, to protect the settlers around Tumacacori and San
Xavier. Tubac then became the first European community in Arizona
and the second oldest west of the Mississippi.
This internationally known artist colony and historic site hosts a variety
of special events, including the Anza Days Celebration, Art Walk
in March, and the oldest art fair in the country, the annual Tubac
Festival of the Arts held in February. There are more than 80 retail
shops, working studios, galleries, and restaurants.
Tourism and retirement play important roles in the economy of
Tubac. Although most of Tubac’s population has been represented
by retirees and winter visitors, it is growing to include professionals
who commute to Tucson or Nogales, or entrepreneurs who own
and operate local businesses. In addition to wages and salaries,
other income not related to tourism includes Social Security payments,
private retirement benefits, and stock dividends. All of Santa
Cruz County is an Enterprise Zone.
Tubac, where the Spanish and Indian families lived generations
before the American Revolution and where Arizona history actually
began, is the home of the Tumacacori National Monument mission.
Visited by Father Kino in 1691, the mission had its most active years
from 1791 to 1812. On weekends, the mission offers a glimpse of
life during Spanish colonial times with interpretative specialists’ in
native dress, language, and cuisine. History also lives at the Tubac
Presidio State Park. Los Tubaquenos, volunteers making history
come alive, offer a realistic view of frontier life.
Excursions to the Tumacacori National Monument, historic Tubac
State Park, Mt. Hopkins Observatory, the Smithsonian Institution at
Amado, the ruins of old Fort Crittendon, and the Duquesne and
Washington Camp ghost towns can all be made within a two-hour
round trip. Nearby recreational areas include Pena Blanca and
Patagonia Lakes, Madero Canyon and Mt. Wrightson (9,453 feet),
and the Coronado National Forest. The Santa Rita and Tumacacori
mountains offer hiking opportunities. Hunting and fishing are available