The route takes you through magnificent country studded with cactus, beveled with foothills, and ringed with wide, open valleys. As the road climbs toward Sonoita, the landscape grows more lush—the area is nurtured by Sonoita Creek. Even during the summer, when the rest of the Arizona desert is bleached to a coarse yellow, the high grasses here retain their green tint. Everybody likes to visit Mexico at least once while in Arizona. What makes this trip easier than most Mexican vacations is that you don’t drive across the border. You’ll park in Nogales, Arizona, and walk across the international line into Nogales, Mexico. Once you leave Arizona and enter the state of Sonora, Mexico, you’ll feel worlds away from the United States.
In recent years, Patagonia has become its own tourist destination. There’s an excellent arts-and-crafts gallery to peruse and two excellent restaurants in the vicinity. In addition, the Patagonia–Sonoita Creek Sanctuary has become a bird-watcher’s paradise. This chapter from the DayTrips series describes many fascinating, exciting, (and many free of charge) things to do, most within a two-hour drive of Tucson. Each Day Trip includes destination highlights, places to visit along the way, choice restaurants and lodging, and shopping.
© Pam Hait/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.