The Visitors Bureau maintains a listing of regional happenings and a Special Events Hotline (520/459-3868).
Athletes age 50 and up compete in the Senior Games in January. Performers portray the West during the Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering (520/249-2511, www.cowboypoets.com) on the first full Fri.-Sun. in February. Festival of the Southwest in early May features music, arts, and crafts of the Southwest. Fireworks light the sky during the Fourth of July celebration.
Oktoberfest, in September, creates a German atmosphere with oompah bands, food, crafts, dancing, and song. The Fun Festival in September brings a big carnival, concerts, food, and crafts to Fort Huachuca. Art in the Park, on the first weekend of October, attracts artists and craftspeople from all over the Southwest. Custom and antique cars shine for Cars in the Park on the second Saturday of October. Balloons take to the air for the Festival of Color around late October. Festival of the Trees adds to holiday spirit in the Mall at Sierra Vista at the end of November and beginning of December. The Christmas Parade marches on the first Saturday of December. You can enjoy holiday decorations and history in the Tour of Officers' Homes at Fort Huachuca on the first Sunday of December.
Shopping and Services
The Mall at Sierra Vista has department stores on AZ 92, 1.8 miles south of Fry Boulevard. Hastings (3758 E. Fry Blvd., 520/459-8130) offers regional books as well as general reading on the southwest corner of Fry and AZ 92. San Pedro House Books & Gifts (520/508-4445) has an excellent selection of regional and natural history books seven miles east of town on AZ 90. You can pick up outdoor supplies at Big Five on the southeast corner of Fry Boulevard and AZ 92, and at Wal-Mart a couple of blocks farther north.
Veterans Memorial Park (3105 E. Fry Blvd., 520/458-7922) offers picnic tables, a playground, basketball court, horseshoe pits, and an aquatic center (520/417-4800). Buffalo Corral Riding Stables (520/533-5220) has rides and instruction at Fort Huachuca. Play golf year-round at Fort Huachuca's 18-hole Mountain View Golf Course (Buffalo Soldier Trail and Willcox Dr., 520/533-7092).
Inns and Bed & Breakfasts: Highly recommended, these places south of town let you get close to nature in the Huachucas or near the San Pedro River. All attract birders as well as hikers and people who enjoy beautiful surroundings.
Nestled under the trees and managed by the Nature Conservancy, Ramsey Canyon Inn Bed & Breakfast (520/378-3010, www.ramseycanyoninn.com) lies just below Ramsey Canyon Preserve. Rooms with breakfast and private bath cost $130-150 d and apartments with kitchens but no breakfast run $150-225 d. Guests enjoy homemade pie in the afternoon. Head six miles south of Sierra Vista on AZ 92, then turn west four miles up Ramsey Canyon Road.
Beatty's Guest Ranch & Orchard (2173 E. Miller Canyon Rd., 520/378-2728, www.BeattysGuestRanch.com) has a stunning setting on 10 acres of apple orchard, forest, and ponds below Miller Peak. The 5,800-foot elevation makes this one of the coolest places to stay in the area. Hummingbirds arrive in great numbers during the warmer months—15 species have been counted here. Drop by the website for birding and hiking information. Two large apartments ($80-95 d) and a 1911 cabin ($110 d) stay open year-round. Three small cabins, a short hike up in the woods, have solar lighting and composting toilets; they're open April-Sept. and cost $50-95 s, $65-95 d. All units have kitchens. A campground ($20) has tent spaces and a shower; no fires. Small RVs can park, but there aren't any hookups. The little store sells local produce, snacks, and birding books. Drive about nine miles south of town on AZ 92, then turn west three miles up Miller Canyon Road.
Seventeen miles southeast of town, San Pedro River Inn (8326 S. Hereford Rd., 520/366-5532, www.sanpedroriverinn.com, $105 d and up) offers four adobe houses with one to three bedrooms, all with kitchens. Five RV spaces w/hookups can be rented seasonally. Your horse can stay in the stables. Two ponds attract waterfowl, and the San Pedro River is just a short stroll away.
Also near the river, Casa de San Pedro (8933 S. Yell Lane in Hereford, 520/366-1300 or 888/257-2050, $119-149 d) has a peaceful setting on 10 acres. Guests enjoy birdwatching, gourmet breakfasts, a pool, and a hot tub. From Sierra Vista, go south on AZ 92, east on Hereford Road, south on Palominas Road, then east on Waters Road.
Under $50: Choices include Western Motel (43 W. Fry Blvd., 520/458-4303, $38 s, $42 d) with some kitchenettes, Bella Vista Motel (1101 E. Fry Blvd., 520/458-6737, $32 s, $38 d) with a pool and kitchenettes, and Motel 6 (1551 E. Fry Blvd., 520/459-5035 or 800/466-8356, $37 s, $43 d) with a pool.
$50 and up: Gateway Studio Suites (203 S. Garden Ave. near the fort's main gate, 520/458-5555 or 877/443-6200, $65 s, $75 d) features mini-suites, all with kitchenettes, plus an exercise room, pool, and a hot tub. Super 8 Motel (100 Fab Ave., 520/459-5380 or 800/800-8000, $50 s, $55 d) has a pool. Sierra Suites (391 E. Fry. Blvd., 520/459-4221, $69 s, $79 d, $99 d suite) offers a fitness room, pool, and a hot tub. Best Western Mission Inn (3460 E. Fry Blvd., 520/458-8500 or 877/937-8386, $66.50 s, $72.50 d) has a pool. Fairfield Inn & Suites (3855 El Mercado Loop, 520/439-5900, $79 d room or $89 d suite) provides an exercise room, pool, and hot tub; it's on the north side of the Mall at Sierra Vista off AZ 92. Windemere Hotel & Conference Center (2047 S. Hwy. 92, 520/459-5900 or 800/825-4656, www.windemerehotel.com, $139 d but can drop as low as $59 d on weekends) provides meeting rooms, a restaurant, pool, hot tub, fitness-center privileges, and full breakfast; it's across AZ 92 from the Mall at Sierra Vista. Hampton Inn Sierra Vista (4100 Snyder Blvd., 520/439-5400, http://sierravista.hamptoninn.com, $99-159 s, $109-169 up to 4) serves up a buffet breakfast, indoor pool and spa, and has package deals for Ramsey Canyon and local events.
Sierra Vista Mobile Home Village (733 S. Deer Creek Lane, two miles east on AZ 90/Bisbee Rd., 520/459-1690 or 800/955-7606, $25.50 RV w/hookups) accepts families. Tombstone Territories RV Park (2111 E. Hwy. 82 in Huachuca City, 520/457-2584 or 877/316-6714, $25.50 RV w/hookups) also accepts families.
Tenters have just a few options, all outside of town. See Carr Canyon Road below and Beatty's Guest Ranch & Orchard above. San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area has walk-in camping; see details below.
You'll find a platoon of eateries on Fry Boulevard, plus several popular spots south on AZ 92. Mesquite Tree (Hwy. 92, 520/378-2758, nightly except Mon. for dinner) serves up steak, prime rib, fish, shrimp, and Italian dishes at the turnoff for Carr Canyon, seven miles south of downtown; favorites include the stuffed filet mignon and the Vargas ribeye (smothered with green chili, cheese, and enchilada sauce); reservations are recommended. Caffe O Le (400 E. Fry Blvd., 520/458-6261) draws in the locals for good food at bargain prices; it's especially popular for breakfast.
South-of-the-border flavors inhabit La Casita Mexican Restaurant & Cantina (465 E. Fry Blvd., 520/458-2376).
Sierra Vista's many Asian restaurants have been credited in part to wives from overseas who married army personnel. For Chinese, try the Golden Phoenix (1173 E. Fry Blvd., 520/459-4717, closed Mon.). Enjoy Japanese cuisine at Tanuki Sushi Bar & Garden (1221 E. Fry Blvd., 520/459-6853, closed Sun.). For fine Vietnamese food, there's the Peacock (80 S. Carmichael Ave. near the west end of Fry Blvd., 520/459-0095, closed Mon.). You'll find supermarkets in the shopping centers along Fry Boulevard.
Sierra Vista Convention & Visitors Bureau (3020 E. Tacoma St., 520/417-6960 or 800/288-3861, www.visitsierravista.com, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.) offers information about the sights and services of the region. Mailing address is 1011 N. Coronado Dr., Sierra Vista, AZ 85635. You can purchase books and maps for local hiking and birding. It's in the northeastern part of town near the library; follow signs north one mile on Moorman Avenue/Coronado Drive from Fry Boulevard, or south one block on Coronado Drive from the AZ 90 bypass, then turn east on Tacoma.
Sierra Vista Ranger Station (5990 S. Hwy. 92, Hereford, AZ 85615, 520/378-0311, www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) provides recreation information for national forest lands in the Huachuca and Whetstone Mountains and sells maps and books. It's 6.5 miles south of downtown Sierra Vista, midway between the Ramsey Canyon and Carr Canyon turnoffs.
The BLM San Pedro Project Office (1763 Paseo San Luis, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635, 520/439-6400, www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/ncarea/sprnca.html, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) has information on the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. The office is on the east side of town; from Fry Boulevard, turn south one mile on AZ 92, left one block on Snyder Boulevard, then right about a block on Paseo San Luis.
Sierra Vista Public Library (2600 E. Tacoma St., 520/458-4225) is open daily in the northeastern part of town—turn north on Moorman Avenue/Coronado Drive from Fry Boulevard, then right on Tacoma; Friends Bookstore sells bargain books.
The post office (2300 E. Fry Blvd., 520/458-2540) is opposite the turnoff for the library and Visitor Bureau. Sierra Vista Regional Health Center (300 El Camino Real, 520/458-4641 or 800/880-0088) is a block east, then south from the post office.
Back to Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca Sights
On to San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area