As the Hummingbird Capital of the United States, Sierra Vista, Arizona has a flourishing wildlife population. The landscape is great for hikers, cyclists, and nature lovers alike. This city’s canyons, rivers, and mountains are the ideal background for wildlife watching, camping, and horseback riding.
1.San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
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The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area offers recreation opportunities, gorgeous sights, and archaeological artifacts. Because the park houses a large variety of mammals, fish, and reptiles, visitors of the conservation area enjoy bird watching, fishing, and hunting. Solo and guided hikes are also available. Guests can see the remnants of a Spanish fort or explore an abandoned mining town. The conservation area also contains the Murray Springs Clovis Site, where visitors can see the artifacts left behind by Native American civilizations. Guests can enjoy meals at picnic areas within the park, and gifts can be purchased at the San Pedro Gift Shop and Bookstore.
4070 South Avenida Saracino, Sierra Vista, AZ 85615, Phone: 520-258-7200
2.Sierra Vista Farmers Market
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Open year round, the Sierra Vista Farmers Market is a service used by Sierra Vista locals and visitors alike. Visitors can spend the day browsing the market, shopping for goods or enjoying food from meal vendors. Products for sale at the market include produce, dairy products, meat and fish, and eggs. Guests can also buy pastries, breads, nuts, and artisan snacks. Crafts are also available; local vendors sell pottery and hand carved wooden goods, as well as soaps and bath products. The Sierra Vista Farmers Market also features live music and special events that focus on community outreach.
Veterans’ Memorial Park, 3105 E Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 520-678-2638
3.Brown’s Canyon Trail
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The Brown’s Canyon Trail is a great site for outdoor recreation. The trail is 5.3 miles long and reaches an elevation of 5600 feet. Guests of Sierra Vista enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and cycling on the Brown’s Canyon Trail. Open throughout the year, guests can enjoy a mixture of sun and shade on this pavement and gravel path. The Brown’s Canyon Trail is located conveniently near to the Brown’s Canyon Ranch, which allows visitors to bike or hike past this historical site. During the spring, drinkable water is available on the trail. The trail is dog-friendly.
Buffalo Soldier Trail and Hwy. 92, Sierra Vista, AZ 85650
4.Brown’s Canyon Ranch
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Located near the Huachuca Mountains, Brown’s Canyon Ranch offers visitors a glimpse into the early twentieth century. The ranch includes the Barchas Ranch house as well as other smaller structures used by inhabitants of the ranch. Brown’s Canyon Ranch offers a variety of special annual events that include guided tours, weapons demonstrations, and live music. For wildlife viewing, guests can also visit the ranch’s pond, which is home to a species of endangered frogs. Guests of the ranch can also head to the Brown’s Canyon Cemetery or visit the abandoned Pomono Mine. Picnicking facilities are also available on the grounds.
Ramsey Canyon Road (past Calle Metate), Sierra Vista, AZ 85650, Phone: 818-709-4822
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Located near the Huachuca Mountains, Garden Canyon has a variety of historical and natural sights for visitors to choose from. Guests can visit Garden Canyon Park, which offers picnic areas, waterfalls, and trees that draw birds and birdwatchers alike. Visitors can also look back through history by visiting one of the many ghost towns that populate the area. Garden Canyon is home to the ghost towns of Fairbank, Gleeson, and Pearce, which feature abandoned buildings from the towns’ past. Guests can also see abandoned mines. Garden Canyon is also home to Fort Huachuca, an 1877 military base that boasts 70,000 acres of land and an educational museum.
Fort Huachuca, Squier Ave. 2, Sierra Vista, AZ 85650, Phone: 520-533-3000
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Perfect for hiking, driving, and wildlife viewing, Carr Canyon offers breathtaking views of the San Pedro Valley and the town of Sierra Vista. Bird watching is particularly popular at Carr Canyon due to the wide variety of high-elevation and forest birds that pass through the canyon. Guests also report seeing mammals and reptiles throughout the canyon. While at the canyon, visitors can also check out the Carr House, which has been renovated to serve as a visitor’s center. For an extended stay, guests are invited to camp at Carr Canyon. The campground offers bathroom facilities, grills, and picnic tables.
Carr Canyon Road, Sierra Vista, AZ 85650, Phone: 520-378-0311
7.Henry F. Hauser Museum and Gift Shop
© Henry F. Hauser Museum and Gift Shop
The Henry F. Hauser Museum and Gift Shop honors the life of Henry F. Hauser, a local athlete, soldier, and politician. Home to decades of Sierra Vista history, this museum chronicles the lives, businesses, and pastimes of Sierra Vista residents throughout time. The Henry F. Hauser Museum hosts traveling exhibits, presentations from the Sierra Public Library, and the Arizona Hall of Fame Quilt Documentation Project. Children can also enjoy an interactive kiosk that allows them to explore outdated technology, or become a Junior History Detective. Gifts, books, and décor are available for sale at the museum’s gift shop.
2950 E Tacoma St, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 520-439-2306
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8.The Presidio of Santa Cruz de Terrenate
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The Presidio of Santa Cruz de Terrenate is an abandoned Spanish military fortress. Although only ruins remain, this is historical site provides a glimpse into the history of the area. Guests can expect to see the remains of buildings like the barracks and chapel, each of which have been labeled and preserved by the Bureau of Land Management. Getting to this isolated fortress also allows guests to enjoy a short hike in the natural beauty of the area. There is no available food or water at the Presidio of Santa Cruz de Terrenate, but visitors are welcome to bring their own food and beverages.
N. Kellar Road, Sierra Vista, AZ 85650, Phone: 520-439-6400
9.Hoppin’ Grapes Wine and Beer Tasting Shop
© Hoppin’ Grapes Wine and Beer Tasting Shop
The Hoppin’ Grapes Wine and Beer Tasting Shop is a great place to stop for a drink or a bite to eat. Hoppin’ Grapes offers a variety of craft beers, both bottled and on tap, as well as a selection of white, red, and rose wines. Guests can enjoy wine tastings and rotating specials like sake or port. Guests of the shop can also enjoy some of their Hoppin’ Bites. Cheese plates, meat and cheese spreads, and desserts are all available alongside the beverages served at Hoppin’ Grapes. Guests are even welcome to bring their own food if they purchase beverages from the shop.
409B West Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 520-338-9463
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10.Huachuca Art Association
© Huachuca Art Association
The Huachuca Art Association (HAA) promotes the growth of the Sierra Vista arts community. Guests can visit the Huachuca Arts Association Gallery and Studio for art exhibits, studio space, and art instruction, including special art classes for children. The Gallery includes a gift shop that highlights the work of local artists. Visitors can also enjoy the annual Art in the Park event. Located in the Sierra Vista Veterans Memorial Park, this festival features the multimedia creations of local artists, including ceramics, photographs, jewelry, and woodworking. Guests can browse the booths, support artists from the area, and enjoy snacks from food truck vendors.
1835 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 520-803-1078
11.The Mall at Sierra Vista
© The Mall at Sierra Vista
Serving both southeastern Arizona and parts of Mexico, the Mall at Sierra Vista has over 400,000 square feet of space and a variety of stores, eateries, and entertainment spaces. Guests can take in a movie at the Cinemark 10, enjoy a meal in the food court, or browse the shops. The mall also contains a medical center and a nail salon. Surrounding the mall, guests can also enjoy access to a variety of additional facilities, including hotels, restaurants, banks, and hardware stores. The Mall at Sierra Vista is also the site of annual events and car shows.
2200 El Mercado Loop, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 520-452-0011
12.The Cove Aquatic Center
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With 36,500 square feet of fun, the Cove Aquatic Center is an indoor water park that offers a variety of activities perfect for the whole family. Guests can enjoy heated water, two tube slides, and a diving pool. Eight lap lanes are available for adults, while kids can enjoy the kids’ lagoon and water slides. Children under five years old can also attend Splash Time, which allows children full access to the facility as long as an adult supervises them. Light fare can be purchased at the snack bar. Guests can use one of the three available locker rooms.
2900 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 520-417-4800
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The Miller Canyon Trail is a stunning natural environment for outdoor recreation. Visitors enjoy hiking, biking, and picnicking along this trail throughout the year. The trail also offers opportunities to explore the history of the area. It goes by Palmerlee, an abandoned town, as well as the remains of mining digs. The path has shady and sunny areas, making it easy to hike the entire 3.5-mile trail. The trail provides views of the San Pedro Valley, as well as the Mule Mountains. Guests are encouraged to bring their own water or water purification devices.
Miller Canyon Road, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 520-378-0311
14.Lehners Mammoth Kill Site
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Lehners Mammoth Kill Site is a historical and archaeological site that memorializes the killing of mammoths by ancient civilizations in 9000 BCE. The site revealed the bones of a variety of animals, as well as several early varieties of tools. Guests can read about the landmark on plaques, or charter a guided tour to the landmark. Lehners Mammoth Kill Site is located near the San Pedro Riparian Natural Conservation Area, so visitors can easily stop by for more history and outdoor recreation. There are no dining options or bathroom facilities, so visitors may want to plan accordingly.
E. Lehner Rd., Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 602-417-9200
Indochine Restaurant is a local restaurant that features Vietnamese fare and fresh ingredients, including vegetables grown by the restaurant’s chef. Open for lunch and dinner, Indochine offers appetizers and entrees that merge traditional recipes and American ingredients. Alongside beef, pork, chicken, and seafood offerings, guests can also enjoy vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant can also accommodate visitors with special diets or allergies, such as ketogenic, low carb, or gluten-free diets. Indochine is available to cater events of all sizes. The restaurant also offers delivery services to Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca, Hereford, and Huachuca City.
1299 E. Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 520-459-2805
16.La Casita Restaurant and Cantina
© La Casita Restaurant and Cantina
Visitors of Sierra Vista can visit La Casita Mexican Restaurant & Cantina for authentic Mexican cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner, La Casita Restaurant serves up soups, specialty entrees, and taco platters. Guests can also enjoy blended margaritas and other beverages alongside their meals. The restaurant can accommodate visitors with specialty diets or allergies; La Casita’s menu includes gluten-free and vegetarian offerings. La Casita also features live music on the weekends. For larger gatherings, La Casita has a private banquet facility, which can be booked for events with up to 80 guests. The restaurant also offers takeout dining.
465 E Fry Blvd, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, Phone: 520-458-2376
16 Best Things to Do in Sierra Vista, Arizona
- San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Photo: Courtesy of Aleh - Fotolia.com
- Sierra Vista Farmers Market, Photo: Courtesy of smashingoats - Fotolia.com
- Brown’s Canyon Trail, Photo: Courtesy of juriskraulis - Fotolia.com
- Brown’s Canyon Ranch, Photo: Courtesy of olexanderkozak - Fotolia.com
- Garden Canyon, Photo: Courtesy of Brian Lasenby - Fotolia.com
- Carr Canyon, Photo: Courtesy of Kurt - Fotolia.com
- Henry F. Hauser Museum and Gift Shop, Photo: Henry F. Hauser Museum and Gift Shop
- The Presidio of Santa Cruz de Terrenate, Photo: Courtesy of isabela66 - Fotolia.com
- Hoppin’ Grapes Wine and Beer Tasting Shop, Photo: Hoppin’ Grapes Wine and Beer Tasting Shop
- Huachuca Art Association, Photo: Huachuca Art Association
- The Mall at Sierra Vista, Photo: The Mall at Sierra Vista
- The Cove Aquatic Center, Photo: Courtesy of goodluz - Fotolia.com
- Miller Canyon, Photo: Courtesy of Derrick Neill - Fotolia.com
- Lehners Mammoth Kill Site, Photo: Courtesy of S_E - Fotolia.com
- Indochine, Photo: Indochine
- La Casita Restaurant and Cantina, Photo: La Casita Restaurant and Cantina
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Derrick Neill - Fotolia.com