Welcome to Tubac, founded in 1752 and still going strong!
Located in South Arizona, Tubac isn’t a place that most people can say they’ve visited. In fact, few people will ever get the chance to see this colony in their lifetime. Situated on the Santa Cruz River, it was founded in 1752 when the Spanish army built a presidio (fortress) known as Fort Tubac. It was established in order to protect the Spanish missions and settlements which were located around the Santa Cruz River Valley.
Go and enjoy the history
If you love learning about American history, particularly Spanish American history, you’ll find Tubac to be a highly-educating destination with plenty of things to do and see. Since it was founded from nothing almost three decades ago, this is a small corner of the world which the locals like to keep as original and authentic as possible.
View the art
The galleries are just one aspect of this colony which many visitors are entranced by. The K Newby Gallery and Sculpture Garden is an outdoor gallery which features many beautiful sculptures and pieces of art work. There are private events and exhibitions throughout the year at this gallery, and visitors can purchase certain works if they wish. There is also a craft gallery for jewellery, bags, small ornaments and other gifts. A wide range of artists feature at this gallery, so it’s easy for everyone to find something they like.
The Cobalt Fine Arts Gallery is run by a mother and daughter duo, and is the ideal place for those who love contemporary American art. With lots of interesting things to see, it’s easy to spend a couple of hours submerged in this gallery. Go a little further down the road and you’ll come to the Walter Wilson Studio, a gallery which showcases the work of Walter Wilson himself, who lived and painted in Tubac from 1988.
A shopper’s paradise!
While the idea of an American colony in South Arizona might seem outdated to some people, you’ll be amazed at how many shops there are. You can purchase clothing, paintings, sculptures and many other hand-crafted items which have been made by the locals and also imported from other parts of the United States and around the world. La Entrada de Tubac, for example, is a large shopping center which has plenty of gift shops selling items such as jewellery, mosiac art and custom-made boots and shoes.
Grab a bite to eat
Alongside an abundance of gift shops and galleries for you to visit, you’ll also find restaurants and food shops at every turn. With the main shopping center are bakeries, shops selling coffee, olive oil and other food items, and if you want to sit down and enjoy a meal, you can choose from one of the many restaurants in the area. For some modern Mexican cuisine and a cocktail or two, try Elvira’s Restaurant, or check out Tubac Jack’s Restaurant and Saloon for quicker snacks and coffee at lunch time. If you want to try some great Mexican food among other dishes, visit Soto’s Pk Outpost. Pay this restaurant a visit at the weekend to hear some Mexican-themed music and enjoy the busy atmosphere.
Arizona as a unique state
Compared to the rest of the United States, some things about Arizona are slightly different, making it a very interesting state to visit when on your travels. For example, unlike the rest of America, Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time. This means that during the spring, the rest of the country will put their clocks forward one hour, while the time in Arizona remains the same. When travelling from one state to another during certain months, the time will be an hour behind the rest of the states which are within the same time zone.
Arizona is also different when it comes to certain laws. In the past, payday loans were legal in Arizona, but from the end of June 2010, all loans with interest rates exceeding 36% were made illegal. While Arizona isn’t the only state to have prohibited loans with such high interest rates, it is certainly among the minority.
Staying in Tubac
Since Tubac is a fair distance from other inhabited villages or towns, lots of visitors find that they need to stay at least one or two nights in order to recover from their trip and to truly experience this colony for what it really is. For a more luxurious stay, try out the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa, which offers free Wifi and horseback riding for all guests. The Tubac Country Inn is another good option, and with three stars, you’ll get quiet and peaceful accommodation, free Wifi and free breakfast in the morning too.
What are you waiting for? If Tubac’s history and culture sounds like something you’d enjoy, why not go and check it out for yourself first hand?