With the publication of the History Press’ first Arizona title on the horizon, History Press West invited author Lili DeBarbieri to share some of her Southwest travel tips.
Southern Arizona’s Top 10 Agri-Tourist Excursions
In this year of Arizona’s centennial, reconnecting with the cultural backbone of the state—our family farms and ranches—is an unbeatable getaway and history lesson to boot. As the agricultural hub of the state, Southern Arizona’s diversity of agri-tourism offerings is just exquisite—from food to recreation to cultural enrichment to overnight stays.
This summer cool-off, learn a new skill, sample mouth-watering local fare, and embrace the spirit of the country with this list of some of the region’s and season’s best:
#1 Cowboy Up
#2 Soak Up the Flavors
Soak up some Provence reminiscent ambiance (no passport needed) and Arizona wine history. About a half hour drive from downtown Tucson, family-owned Charron Vineyards and Winery has the distinction of being one of Southern Arizona’s oldest vineyards. “Santa Cruz and Pima Counties are the true vineyard experience to be had in this state,” remarks dedicated owner and winemaker Milton Craig. Sample six different varieties and blends for only $5 (price includes a large wine glass) at Charron’s on-site winery. Visitors can also enjoy picnics with spectacular views of the Empire and Santa Rita mountains.
#3 Dates & Drinks
Discover Yuma’s majestic Bard Valley date gardens (try Martha’s Garden Date Farm or Imperial Date Gardens). Dates are the oldest cultivated tree crop in human history and the key ingredient in delicious, thick, nutritious and wallet friendly shakes made right on the farm.
#4 Cheese from the Spread
#5 Seasonal Markets
#6 Peaches & Homemade Preserves
Cook up your own homemade jams and preserves at Aravaipa Farms Bed and Breakfast Country Inn right next door to the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area. Organic peaches are in-season all summer at this farm, orchard and artist’s haven and used as a teaching tool in the farm’s kitchen.
#7 Music under the Stars