Whenever family or friends come to call, I have an impressive schedule for them. After all, I am a planner! With so much to see and do here, I admit it is hard to come up with a short list for every visit. No matter how eager they are to do it all, there is always something for next time. You might be saying “get real.” But truth is: I am. COCHISE COUNTY, ARIZONA is as real as it gets.
Explore wide-open spaces in Cochise County. From hiking to biking, rock climbing to camping, experience real adventure. Discover the real West, “life list” birds, and real friendly communities. Then kick back under star-studded skies and savor real unique cuisine and local wine.
Ready for real? Visit ExploreCochise.com and use the “Planner” drop down for starter itineraries. Here are 10 places you can add to kick off your adventure.
- THE COVE. Sierra Vista has an indoor aquatic facility kept at a pleasant 80-85 degrees. The Cove features a zero-depth beach style entry, two enclosed tube slides, a warm water pool with jets, and more. The 36,500-square-foot site also includes locker rooms for men, women, and families.
- SAN PEDRO HOUSE. This historic ranch house was restored as a bookstore and gift shop and is located just outside Sierra Vista. The area has been officially designated a “globally important bird area.” Pull on your boots or grab your binoculars and enjoy the many trails for hiking, bicycling, equestrian use, and wildlife viewing.
- CORONADO NATIONAL MEMORIAL. A National Park Site, it was established to commemorate and interpret the Coronado Expedition of 1540 – where the first Europeans entered what is now the American Southwest and northwest Mexico. The park, located outside Sierra Vista, has eight miles of hiking trails, a large limestone cave to explore, and lots of birding and wildlife watching.
- QUEEN MINE TOUR. In almost 100 years, Bisbee produced one of the largest appraisals of metals of all the mining districts in the world. The Queen Mine Tour is an authentic mining journey complete with your own head lamp and hard hat, and experienced miners as your tour guides.
- LAVENDER JEEP TOUR. A driver-narrated tour can take you through the back roads of Old Bisbee, up into the Sky Islands, to neighboring ghost towns, or even to a ranch to picnic. Their drivers are Bisbee experts and share stories to have you falling in love with the quirky little town.
- LAVENDER OPEN MINE PIT. Located between Downtown Bisbee and Lowell, the Lavender Open Mine Pit produced some 75 million tons of ore from 1954 to 1970. The pit covers an area of 300 acres and is 900 feet deep. Its beautiful colors are worth a photo, just don’t drop your phone!
- BORDER AIR MUSEUM. Douglas was home to the first International Airport of the Americas. In 1908, a single plane glider was built in a building on Douglas’ G Avenue. It was air-lifted by a two-horse buggy equipped for release with an aerial hitch. Learn all about Douglas’ aviation history at the Border Air Museum. (The museum is presently only open by appointment.)
- ART CAR MUSEUM. Located in Douglas, the unique museum is dedicated to the celebration and preservation of this popular art form. It features 42 art cars, with more on a rotating exhibition. It is worth a look-see. (The museum is presently only open by appointment.)
- REX ALLEN DAYS MUSEUM. The quaint Rex Allen Days Museum opened in Willcox in 1989 to honor the famous Rex Allen. Memorabilia from Rex’s lifetime success in rodeo, radio, movies, and television covers the walls. This home-town hero was a real cowboy and the last of the singing cowboys.
- APPLE ANNIE’S. This Willcox “u-pick” orchard and produce farm also has a Country Store. The orchard features more than 15,000 trees, including 20 plus peach varieties, 10 different apples, in addition to pears. Their produce farm has over 20 different varieties of farm fresh vegetables. Visit Apple Annie’s Country Store for lunch and scoop up an amazing apple pie (or two) for the road!
Southeastern Arizona’s best-kept-secret boasts Instagrammable moments from birding and wildlife watching to history and culture, cuisine and wine to outdoor adventures. Your next adventure is calling. Get ready, get real… in Cochise County, Arizona!