Welcome to Cochise County, a Western wonderland of natural history, beauty and diversity in the southeastern portion of Arizona! Home to three national parks – Chiricahua National Monument, Coronado National Memorial and Fort Bowie National Historic Site – Cochise County has been the site of Civil War battles, Indian wars and famous gunfights. Kartchner Caverns in Benson, Arizona is a “live” cave where formations continue to grow and evolve. A visit to Kartchner Caverns is a great family-friendly and educational trip that also provides wheelchair access throughout the cave. Check out the Benson Visitor Center, and view the incredible model train exhibit – a detailed replica of a Union Pacific SD70 locomotive pulling five railcars around the inside of the visitor center. Bisbee is a laid back, eclectic and diverse community that welcomes all to experience its quaint charm and storied history. Unique shops of all sorts, fine art galleries, antique and jewelry stores, historical (maybe even haunted) hotels, saloons, a “namesake” brewery and a wide array of cuisine distinguish Bisbee among towns of the Southwest. Sierra Vista is the most populous city in Cochise County (pop. 43,888) and is little more than an hour’s drive from Tucson. The city is known as the “Hummingbird Capital of the United States.” Its clear night skies have made Sierra Vista the center of amateur astronomy in Arizona, as more than a dozen observatories are within city limits. A favorite of mountain bikers from around the world, Sierra Vista boasts 1,876 bike trails. It is located along U.S. Bike Route 90 and is home to over 100 miles of designated bike lanes and over 30 miles of designated bike paths. Willcox Wine Country is a consortium of Arizona farm wineries located in the Willcox area. The consortium consists of 10 wineries and tasting rooms. This area grows 74 percent of Arizona’s wine grapes and is the source of the most highly-rated Arizona wines by Wine Spectator, with 45 wines rated 88 to 90 over the past five years. The Willcox Wine Country Fall Festival 2017 is held on Oct. 21 & 22 at Railroad Park in downtown Willcox.
Marana is located just northwest of Tucson and a short one-and-a-half-hour drive from Phoenix. Marana is home to the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain – a five-star resort framed against the Tortolita Mountains. The resort is surrounded by more than 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, which are tailormade for being tackled during the cooler fall season. An excellent way to celebrate autumn with your family, the Marana Pumpkin Patch & Farm Festival is held Oct. 7 through Oct. 29. Explore the 50-acre pumpkin field and get lost in one of two unique corn mazes. Festive foods, a petting zoo and huge jumping pillows guarantee that you’ll leave the festival happy and in the Halloween spirit. Nicknamed the “Town of Gastronomy,” Marana is a center for farm-to-table, farmto-bottle and gourmet desertforaged food sources. Quench your hunger at one of the many Marana restaurants that feature hyper-local cuisine, desert foods and farm-grown grains and produce. Learn more about ancient and contemporary Sonoran Desert foods through guided Marana Gastronomy Tours at TownofGastronomy.org