We are spending the month of March in Patagonia, Arizona. This little town is just an hour or so south of Tucson, where we hid from winter in February -- but a world's away.
While Tucson has a population of over a million (for the entire Metro area) that swells even higher during the winter "snowbird" months, Patagonia's population is a mere 905. The downtown area is just three blocks long. You can walk or bike anywhere in town, and there's no any interstate highway close by. The temperatures in Patagonia are a little cooler than Tucson since the elevation is higher at 4050'.
For a small town, Patagonia offers some surprising "big city" amenities like yoga and Pilates studios, a health-food store overflowing with bright, fresh organic produce, and art galleries. What you won't find here is a chain restaurant, or a chain anything, for that matter. Even the one gas station is a "mom and pop" type of place, very quirky, where we see locals hanging around and chatting during the day. Instead of Starbucks, you can get a cuppa at another popular local spot, Gathering Grounds. And the pizza is excellent at Velvet Elvis, with toppings like sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced potatoes, and fresh herbs. This is definitely not the small-town America I was familiar with from the southeast!
Here are an assortment of shots one or the other of us took around town since we arrived here.
Although there are a surprising number of trailers and mobile homes on the "back streets" in town, there are also some adorable little abodes, like these.
Patagonia is a study in contrasts. The attractive library in a renovated building is right across Duquesne Ave. from a boarded up pool hall.
Patagonia is a prime birding destination -- always a plus for us. There are huge cottonwood trees, mesquites, a wash (seasonal creek) running through town, and loads of birds. The Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve operated by the Nature Conservancy is well-known by birders near and far and is less than two miles down the road. We're looking forward to checking it out. In the meantime, there are birds to see all around town, including lots of ravens, for whatever reason!
And the views of the surrounding mountains from town are stunning. Barry captured this mountain-view shot on Sunday morning. It had rained all day and night long on Saturday, but the higher elevations got snow instead. It's melted now, so I am pleased he got this photo of what might be the last snow of the season.
We'll have lots more from Patagonia and the surrounding area in the coming days, so stay tuned!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
Favorite Travel Blogs