Tubac: A small town celebrating the arts

Tubac, Arizona is a haven for artists of all kinds. The Santa Cruz River lends itself to inspiration. It is a desert oasis in Southern Arizona. Two main festivals, the Festival of Arts and The Taste of Tubac, draw artists of all kinds to the town. The town offers many recreational activities. It has a rich history which visitors can easily discover.


This is a predominantly white, affluent community with the majority of the people making about $60,000 per year. House values are nearly $250,000. Only a few more than 1,000 people live there making the town a perfect escape for those tired of crowded cities. Roman Catholic is the main religion. Married couples make up a large percentage of the population.


This town has an elevation above 3,000 feet. This makes for mild temperatures throughout the year.  Mid-July is the start of the summer monsoon season and the main concern of residents. The day begins with sunshine, but the clouds come and suck out any moisture that exists. Flash floods come as the sky opens out and pours out its precipitation. Any small stream can turn into a raging river. With the storms come the lightning, which residents term “nature’s fireworks.” The unique cloud shapes make the sky show all that much interesting.


In February, The Festival of the Arts draws many travelling artists, especially painters and sculptors. However, artwork of all types fills the festival grounds. It takes place in Tubac Village. In April, the Taste of Tubac takes place at the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa. The festival features delicious foods and wines of the Santa Cruz Valley region. Tickets cost $45.


This town lies in the high desert and offers many different activities that contain vast amounts of space for golfers, mountain bikers, birders, off-road bikers and hikers. Arizona’s first state park is the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.


Located just twenty miles for Nogales and forty miles from Phoenix, the town provides easy access to the Anza Trail, Tumacacori Mission, Kartchner Caverns, and the ghost town of Ruby. By following the Santa Cruz River, hikers retrace the footsteps of Juan Bautista de Anza.


The town has more than eighty galleries and shops including sculptures, pottery, jewelry, and other crafts.

Everyone can enjoy this small town, from tourists enjoying the river and shops to people who want to live in a city away from crowds but near enough to larger cities that they do not feel isolated. Tubac is a city rich with history and art that inspires artists and historians.