Best Things to Do in Sierra Vista AZ
Sierra Vista, which is Spanish for Mountain View, lies at the center of what is regarded as the most biologically diverse area in the United States.
Known as the hummingbird capital of America, Sierra Vista has abundant wildlife, which draws tourists, especially bird watchers, from across the globe.
At the foot of the beautiful Huachuca Mountains is Ramsey Canyon, operated by the Nature Conservancy, and where visitors can observe up to 14 species of hummingbirds, as well as hundreds of other birds, mammals, reptiles and plant life. Hikers can also enjoy the many miles of trails in the region, which offer spectacular views of the valley below.
The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area is also home to 350 species of migrating and breeding birds and nature lovers can enjoy around 40 miles of riverbank along the San Pedro River.
Just 19 miles north of Sierra Vista, on State Route 90, is Kartchner Caverns State Park. The cave was discovered in 1974 and the site was purchased by the state and named for the family on whose land it was found. It is a subterranean jewel box that has taken millions of years to form and is one of only a handful of “living” caves in the world.
When you visit the greater Sierra Vista area you walk in the footsteps of warriors, villains, legends and folklore heroes. This region of Southeast Arizona is home to the fierce Buffalo Soldiers, to Indian chiefs Geronimo and Cochise, and to world famous gunslingers Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
Visitors can also experience the life of a soldier in the late 1800s, including the famous Buffalo Soldiers, at historic Fort Huachuca, established in 1877.
Excellent museums, both on the military post and in the Ethel Berger Center in town, give a taste of what life was really like in the “Wild West,” for soldiers and civilians alike.
Wine lovers should not pass up the opportunity of taking a trip to nearby Sonoita and Elgin, just a 40-minute drive from Sierra Vista. This beautiful region is now home to 10 excellent wineries, many of whom are now producing estate wines, including Arizona’s oldest commercial winery, Sonoita Vineyards.
Access to Fort Huachuca
Fort Huachuca is an active military installation. At the time of this writing, visitors must show a current driver’s license to gain access and all passengers aged 18 and older must also have photo IDs. However, international visitors are not permitted access, unless they are sponsored and escorted by authorized personnel. These regulations are subject to change, so please check before visiting.
The neighboring communities of Bisbee and Tombstone may be significantly smaller than Sierra Vista, but they are big on fascinating history, with much to offer both short- and long-term visitors. Both are well worth the short drive from Sierra Vista and you can read more about each city in this directory.
Arts and Entertainment in Sierra Vista AZ
Whatever the time of year, there is always something to see or do in Sierra Vista.
The calendar is full of activities and events, from the highly acclaimed Cowboy Poets & Music Gathering Annual Gathering in February to Arizona’s longest-running Christmas Parade in December.
The Buena Performing Arts Center, located at Buena High School, is a state-of-the-art, 1,350-seat theatre, which has played host to numerous concerts and performances. These include the annual Nutcracker Ballet, Miss Sierra Vista scholarship program, and seasonal concerts by the Sierra Vista Community Chorus and the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra, Cowboy Poets & Music Gathering and other local and touring productions.
Throughout the year the City of Sierra Vista’s Art Discovery Series presents plays, concerts and musicals, and in the summer there are regular band performances at Veterans’ Memorial Park as well as Movies In the Park featuring family oriented recent releases on a large screen.
The annual July 4th celebration is among the most spectacular in the state and is organized every year by the Sierra Vista Rotary Club.
From rodeos to the Veterans Day parade and from Art in the Park to Oktoberfest, there is no excuse for believing there is nothing to do in Sierra Vista.