As you plan your trip, here are a bunch of resources, links, restaurants
Southern Arizona Guide has a number of great area attractions.
Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve: The Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve website has information about nature walks, bird watching tours, and other outdoor activities in the area.
Santa Cruz County Tourism Council: The Santa Cruz County Tourism Council website has information about things to do and see in the region, including events and attractions in Patagonia.
Arizona Office of Tourism: The Arizona Office of Tourism website has information about events and activities throughout the state, including those in Patagonia and the surrounding areas.
I hope these resources help you find the information you’re looking for about current events, arts programs, heritage events, races, tours of new mines, and economic opportunities in Patagonia, Arizona.
The Gathering Grounds is a cafe and bakery located in the center of Patagonia, Arizona. They serve a range of breakfast and lunch dishes, including sandwiches, soups, salads, quiches, and baked goods, as well as coffee and tea beverages.
The menu features a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, with an emphasis on locally sourced and organic ingredients.
Some popular menu items include the breakfast burrito, the quiche of the day, and the chai latte. Many reviewers also note that the restaurant is a great place to relax and enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee while taking in the local scenery and ambiance.
For us, this is our go to breakfast spot, try the Binx or omelet. The gravy side goes with anything. Save room for scratch-baked goods on your way out. The town mayor and their family own and operate the restaurant, if you’re lucky, Mayor Wood may be your server.
Dos Cabezas Winery in Sonoita, Arizona, is renowned for its commitment to producing high-quality, handcrafted wines in the unique and challenging terroir of the high desert. With a focus on sustainability and minimal intervention winemaking, Dos Cabezas offers visitors an authentic wine-tasting experience. Their wines showcase the distinct flavors of the region, with a strong emphasis on Rhône and Spanish grape varietals, ensuring a diverse and rich wine selection to enjoy. While they do not have a restaurant on-site, they often host food and wine events featuring local culinary partners, creating an excellent opportunity for guests to savor the region’s flavors paired with their exceptional wines.
Get the Pepperoni or Margahrite, but we suggest you explore and try the Arugala, mushroom, or chorizo. The crust is one of the best in Arizona. Simple ingredients, brick oven baked, and worth the drive from wherever!
The Wagon Wheel Saloon & Restaurant is a bar and restaurant located in downtown Patagonia. This local hang out is an authentic western bar with long winding horseshoe bar that looks like it’s right out of a movie set from the 1890’s. Tourists from all sorts and styles drop in for a beer or a bite to eat.
The restaurant serves a range of American-style dishes, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast. Service is touching since COVID and always check on the wait from the kitchen if you’re going to eat.
For us, The Wagon Wheel is a drinking spot and if you’re super hungry, their breakfast will do the trick.
The Velvet Elvis La Mision has been in Patagonia for a long time. It has recently moved to a remodeled Spanish mission-style building right on main street. The new spot captures the southwest with the owner’s amazing eye for detail.
The menu includes perfectly cooked calzone pizza, pies, and pizza salads.
Their bar is great for before dinner or to eat at if you’re solo.
This is a comfortable spot for out-of-town guests with a beautiful interior great service and good foot. Most visitors consider the staff competent. It’s not fine dining but more formal than the Stage Stop Inn the other main dinner spot.
For us, the apple and walnut salad and any of the calzones are great options.
Patagonia Lumber. The lumber yard was established in the early 1900s by the Bradner family, who also operated a sawmill in the area.
In the 1950s, the lumber yard was purchased by the Baldwin family, who expanded the business to include a hardware store and a feed and grain operation. Great photos from @shannonchristinephoto
Over the years, Patagonia Lumber has become a fixture in the community, today it is the newest edition to the bar scene in Patagonia. The new owners have brought with them organized mountain bike events that have grown in popularity in recent years.
Spirit 100 World, mountain bike race. The Spirit World 100 and 50-mile course options are 2 of the most coveted and adored gravel routes in southern Arizona. It takes place in November and has put Patagonia on the map for rock bike riders. Zander and Heidi own Patagonia Lumber and have turned their sport of gravel bike into a business and brought new visitors into our community. There are plans to add hostels and other accommodations for the new riders that are flocking to the area. More on the Gravel Bike scene HERE.
We like to grab a beer with friends and listen to live music on the patio. Lots of locals show up and you’ll truly see why they call Patagonia – ‘Mayberry on Mushrooms’.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the building that now houses the Stage Stop Inn was used as a mercantile store, a post office, and a stagecoach stop. The stagecoaches would stop here on their way from Tucson to Nogales and vice versa, and passengers would stay overnight before continuing their journey.
In the 1940s, the building was converted into a hotel and restaurant (book HERE), and it was officially named the Stage Stop Inn in 1950. The hotel has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years to accommodate more guests and to provide modern amenities, but the original adobe walls and other historic features have been preserved.
Their bar and restaurant are a decent spot, great to stop in for a beer and to eat at the bar. You’ll always find a mix of locals, Harley riders from Tucson out on a day trip or miners kicking off the mud after a day of work. We’re not fans of Mexican food but the burger is amazing. They source local beef and get the Arizona Burger with sourdough and onion rings. Often you’ll catch local Mariachi live from the area high school.
The Ovens of Patagonia Cafe is known for its wood-fired oven, which is used to bake a variety of breads, pastries, and pizzas. The restaurant specializes in European-style baked goods, including croissants, scones, and baguettes, as well as American-style breakfast dishes like pancakes and omelets.
Many of the ingredients used in the dishes are locally sourced, and the restaurant places an emphasis on using fresh, high-quality ingredients.
The restaurant is popular with locals and visitors alike, and it has received positive reviews for its food, service, and atmosphere.
There are new owners of the cafe and they are planning on adding full BBQ meat options. Should be fun to check out.
For us, Ovens is the desert spot. Their baked good are top-notch. The new owners are opening earlier and adding to the menu to capture mine workers so keep checking in.
The Steak Out Restaurant is a steakhouse located in Sonoita, Arizona, a small town in Santa Cruz County. Here is a brief history of the restaurant:
The Steak Out was founded by the Haught family, who were ranchers in the area. The Haughts had been raising cattle in the region for several generations and decided to open a restaurant in the early 1970s to showcase their beef. The original restaurant was a small, 10-table establishment with a Western decor.
In 1994, the restaurant was destroyed by a fire, but it was quickly rebuilt and expanded. The restaurant is owned by the Wystrach family with a long history of raising quality Herford beef in the region.
Their son Mark is the lead singer for the band Midland and during the Sonoita horse races you may get a chance to say hello.
Our go to favorites are the Prime Rib or the Rib Eye. Raised, aged, and cooked to perfection about 12 miles from Patagonia.
The brewery offers a variety of beers, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers. Their beers are made with local ingredients and the brewery prides itself on being fresh and cold. They also offer a selection of wines, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages.
One of the standout features of Copper Brothel Brewery is its outdoor seating area. Bring your dogs and enjoy something from the scratch kitchen. This family business hit the Sonoita and Patagonia scene and has become a favorite for locals and tourists driving through. You’ll see ranch trucks next to Harley’s making a day trip from Tucson. Check out their menu!
For us, the Nachos with Pulled Pork or the Pulled Pork sandwich is a go-to.
The wine industry in Arizona has been growing in recent years, and one of the most popular regions for wine production is the Sonoita-Elgin area. Located about an hour’s drive south of Tucson and about 20 minutes from our ranch, this region boasts a high elevation, temperate climate, and well-draining soil that are ideal for growing grapes.
Many of the wineries in the Sonoita-Elgin area offer wine tours, which provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at the wine production process. During a wine tour, visitors can expect to see the vineyards, learn about the different grape varietals that are grown in the region, and see the winemaking facilities.
In addition to the wine tours, many of the wineries also offer tasting rooms where visitors can sample a variety of wines. Some of the wineries in the Sonoita-Elgin area specialize in certain types of wine, such as reds, whites, or rosés, while others offer a range of different varietals.
Wine tourism has become an increasingly popular activity in the Sonoita-Elgin area, and many visitors make a day trip or weekend getaway out of visiting the wineries. In addition to the wine tours and tastings, many of the wineries offer beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, and some even have on-site restaurants or food trucks where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack. Our friend Kat did a history of Sonoita wine county that’s worth a read – HERE.
Plan your wine trip:
Sonoita Elgin Chamer Wine Map and Tour Guide – Such A Spot, Arizona Wine Trail Guide – Choice Wineries, 10 Best Wineries In Sonoita Arionza – Tucson Foodie, Sippin Your Way Around Sonoita Elgin
Bird Watching In Patagonia
The Sky Islands of Patagonia (visit PARA), Arizona are a prime destination for birdwatching. With its unique combination of mountainous terrain and diverse habitats, the Sky Islands are home to an incredible variety of bird species, many of which are not found anywhere else in the United States.
Some of the most sought-after bird species in the Sky Islands include the Elegant Trogon, the Spotted Owl, and the Zone-tailed Hawk. Other common birds found in the area include the Gilded Flicker, the Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, and the Gray Hawk.
The best time to go birdwatching in the Sky Islands is during the spring and fall migration seasons when thousands of birds pass through the area. During these times, birders can witness a spectacular display of color and movement as birds enter their breeding or wintering grounds.
There are several designated birdwatching areas in the Sky Islands, including Madera Canyon, Patagonia Lake State Park, and Ramsey Canyon Preserve. Each of these areas offers unique habitats and bird species, and they are all easily accessible by car.
Visitors to the Sky Islands should be sure to bring along a pair of binoculars, a bird guidebook, and a field journal to keep track of the birds they see. Additionally, birders should be prepared to hike in the mountainous terrain, as some of the best birdwatching spots can only be reached on foot.
Overall, birdwatching in the Sky Islands of Patagonia, Arizona is a truly unforgettable experience for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Check out the Hummingbird Sanctuary between town and our property (HERE). Tourist info – HERE
Hunters From Around America
Mearns’ Quail hunting is a popular activity in Patagonia, Arizona, particularly in the Sky Islands region. Mearns’ Quail, also known as Montezuma Quail, are small, elusive birds known for their challenging hunting style and beautiful plumage.
Hunting Mearns’ Quail typically takes place in the early morning or late afternoon, when the birds are most active. Hunting usually involves a combination of walking and driving through the rugged terrain of the Sky Islands, while keeping an eye out for the birds. When a group of Mearns’ Quail is located, the hunter will take aim and attempt to bring the birds down with their firearm.
Mearns’ Quail hunting is considered to be a challenging and rewarding experience for experienced hunters, due to the birds’ elusive nature and the rugged terrain of the Sky Islands. Hunting for Mearns’ Quail typically takes place between September and March, when the birds are in their prime.
It is important to note that hunting Mearns’ Quail in Arizona requires a valid hunting license and adhering to all state and federal hunting regulations. Additionally, hunters should be familiar with the rules and regulations of the specific hunting area, as well as with safe hunting practices.
Overall, Mearns’ Quail hunting in Patagonia, Arizona offers a unique and exciting outdoor experience for experienced hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.
Tucson Audubon’s – Paton Center for Hummingbird – The Hummingbird Sanctuary in Patagonia, Arizona is a natural reserve and wildlife sanctuary that was established to protect and preserve the habitat of various species of hummingbirds. It is located in the southeastern part of the state, near the border with Mexico, and covers an area of about 10 acres.
The sanctuary is home to over a dozen different species of hummingbirds, including the Anna’s Hummingbird, the Broad-billed Hummingbird, the Black-chinned Hummingbird, and the Rufous Hummingbird, among others. Visitors to the sanctuary can observe these beautiful birds as they feed on nectar from the numerous flowers that grow in the area.
In addition to the hummingbirds, the sanctuary is also home to other wildlife, such as butterflies, lizards, and various species of birds. The sanctuary features a variety of walking trails that allow visitors to explore the area and observe the wildlife up close.
The Hummingbird Sanctuary is operated by the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and study of birds in the region. The sanctuary is open to the public, and visitors are encouraged to make a donation to help support the organization’s conservation efforts.
The Nature Conservancy – Patagonia Sonoita Creek Preserve – This piece of heaven, located here in Patagonia is a conservation center and research facility that focuses on protecting and preserving the natural environment of the region. It is located in the town of Patagonia, in the southeastern part of the state, and covers an area of over 200 acres.
The center is part of the larger Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, which is managed by The Nature Conservancy, a global organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. The preserve encompasses a variety of habitats, including grasslands, riparian areas, and oak woodlands, and is home to a diverse range of wildlife.
At the center, visitors can participate in a variety of educational and conservation programs, such as guided nature walks, bird watching, and environmental education programs. The center also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including workshops, lectures, and community events.
In addition to its conservation and education programs, the Nature Conservancy Center in Patagonia is also a research facility that is dedicated to studying the ecology and conservation of the region’s wildlife and habitats. Researchers at the center conduct studies on a variety of topics, such as the impact of climate change on local ecosystems and the effectiveness of conservation strategies.
The Mystical Shrine of Patagonia’s John Ward Ranch: A Story of Devotion
In the 1940s, a religious shrine was built by Juanita and Juan Telles into a hillside grotto at the site of the historical John Ward Ranch, located just off Highway 82 in Patagonia, Arizona. The couple had one son, or possibly five sons, and they constructed the shrine to ensure their child or children’s safe return from World War II, or the Korean War, or possibly both.
Miraculously, the son(s) did return, and the war(s) ended, yet the Telles family kept the shrine lit with candles every day. Though the family is no longer present, the shrine remains intact, and the Arizona Department of Transportation has built a parking area and concrete steps with handrails to the site.
Today, the townspeople of Patagonia have taken on the responsibility of maintaining the shrine and keeping the candles burning. The grotto, with its flickering candles, has become a mystical and spiritual spot for visitors and locals alike.
The John Ward Ranch shrine is a unique example of devotion and faith, reminding us of the power of prayer and the enduring hope that it provides. If you find yourself in Patagonia, make sure to stop by and experience the beauty and serenity of this mystical spot.