If Arizona is well known for anything, it’s its old wild, wild west reputation. Its gun-toting, cowboy hat wearing, horseback riding history. But let’s not forget the state known for its dry, cacti-spotted desert; here in southern Arizona, this is where you’ll find it all.
Some cities have become ghost towns over the years, the saloons and gambling halls layered in dirt, debris and history. Others, on the other hand, have become booming, popular tourist attractions, including Tombstone, the “Town Too Tough to Die.”
What draws visitors to the town are the daily gunfights, the over 400,000 yearly visitors at the saloons enjoying the live music and dancing, as well as the stagecoach and wagon tours where tourists are informed of the town’s rich history.
Another city boasting Old West charm is Bisbee, home of the history Copper Queen Mine. Travelers from all over the world visit for its location in the Mule Mountains, its Victorian structures, as well as its artist colony of antique stores, cafes and art galleries.
And, of course, there’s Tucson, the second most populous city in Arizona. Visitors will stumble upon a multitude of activities here, from luxurious resorts to outdoor activities. Tucson has become a destination for day spas, renowned golf courses, a rich arts and culture scene, and a seamless blend of cultures — all set on Saguaro cactus inundated desert and gorgeous sunsets.
But don’t be fooled; southern Arizona isn’t just one large desert. What some don’t know is the region is home to a biologically diverse forest and national park.
Near Tucson, Saguaro National Park is home to the Giant Saguaro, protecting these rarely found cacti. Or, you can head to the Coronado National Forest, located in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, covering nearly 1.8 acres of the two area.
Because the elevation ranges from 3,000 to 10,720 feet among 12 mountain ranges, the forest supports a wide spectrum of plant and animal life, as well as varied climates, from the hot desert to the chilly, snow-capped mountains.
Take a look at all of the cities within southern Arizona: