Rolling hills of Santa Cruz County

The rolling hills of Santa Cruz County, Arizona. photo (c) by B. Waldon


Santa Cruz County, Arizona is a place like no other. Its natural beauty varies from arid Sonoran desert to the rolling grassland hills of its wine country. The rich blend of history and cultures here reach back hundreds of years, from the area’s original native inhabitants and Spanish missionaries and explorers to the adventurers, ranchers and other more recent arrivals who made this place their home.

The name Santa Cruz, which means “holy cross” in Spanish, also reflects the strong Hispanic heritage and close interrelationships between the residents on both sides of the border. The sister cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora peacefully coexist on different sides of the international line. In fact, until relatively recently, when the cities were bifurcated by an imposing border fence, there were very few physical barriers between these two closely related communities.

There are a multitude of places in Santa Cruz County to explore that will fascinate bird watchers, photographers, history buffs, art enthusiasts, cultural explorers and anyone who is interested in learning more about the border region. From the wine country in Sonoita and Elgin to the arts communities of Tubac and Patagonia, natural lakes and outdoor areas that are home to hundreds of species of migratory birds every year, and the ruins of the Kino mission at Tumacacori, Santa Cruz County offers endless opportunities to explore and experience its treasures.

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