TRAVEL

27 things to do this week around Arizona

Try some of these intriguing events around the state.  Get out and explore Arizona. 

3/2-4: Bluegrass on the Beach at Lake Havasu

Come on out to the 2018 Bluegrass on the Beach Festival and mingle with bluegrass veterans and newcomers alike. There are jam sessions on and off stage, so don’t be shy about bringing your favorite instrument and joining in. Events include workshops, arts and crafts, great food and beer, kids zone and more.

Details: 10 a.m. Friday-Sunday, March 2-4. Lake Havasu State Park, 699 London Bridge Road, Lake Havasu City. Schedule and ticket options are on the website. www.azstateparks.com/lake-havasu.

Saturdays in March: Campfire Chat

Don’t feel like building your own campfire? Meet new friends and make memories at ours. Bring your chair and beverage to the campfire circle adjacent to the campground amphitheater. Don’t forget your roasting sticks and marshmallows!

Details: 4:30 p.m. every Saturday in March. Picacho Peak State Park, south of Phoenix at Exit 219 off Interstate 10. $7 per vehicle. www.azstateparks.com/picacho. 

3/3: Star Party at Homolovi State Park

Join us at Homolovi’s Visitor Center Museum and Observatory for a night under the stars.

Details: At sunset on Saturday, March 3. Homolovi State Park, north of Winslow at Exit 257 off Interstate 40. $7 per vehicle. www.stateparks.com/homolovi 

3/3: Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Marietta Loherlein plays folk, pop, and country music in this installment of the Music in the Mountains concert series.

Details: 4 p.m. Saturday, March 3. Catalina State Park, 11570 N. Oracle Road, Tucson. $7 per vehicle. www.azstateparks.com/catalina.

3/3: Desert Native Bees Workshop

This workshop will enable you to create an environment that fosters successful native bee populations in gardens, orchards and natural spaces.

Details: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, March 3. Oracle State Park, 3820 Wildlife Drive, Oracle. $7 per vehicle. www.azstateparks.com/oracle.

3/2-4: Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

It’s your choice, take lengthy, perhaps strenuous rides on your mountain bike, or celebrate the thought of riding with food, beer and music. Then again, you can do both at this festival that welcomes the perfect for single-track riding among the red rocks. Hop on a shuttle for a trip to one of several popular trails.

Details: 9 a.m. Friday-Sunday, March 2-4. Posse Grounds Park, 525 Posse Ground Rd., Sedona. Registration is $50-$100. sedonamtbfestival.com.

3/2-4: Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair

Enjoy one of Arizona’s funkiest neighborhoods during this block party. Bounce between Fourth Avenue’s bars, boutiques and restaurants without having to look both ways, thanks to barriers limiting traffic to those on foot. More than 400 vendors will be joined by street performers and three stages with live entertainment.

Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday, March 2-4. Fourth Avenue between Ninth Street and University Boulevard, Tucson. Free. 520-624-5004, www.fourthavenue.org.

3/3: ACTC Tree Festival & Climbing Championship

Celebrate the easily excitable 8-year-old in you at an event featuring people who know how to climb trees very quickly. Those who go out on a limb for a living (typically wielding trimming implements) gather to find who’s the fastest to the top. Sounds like it should be an Olympic sport. There also will be arbor-related booths and activities.

Details: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 3. Peart Park, 350 E. Sixth St., Casa Grande. Free. 602-354-3023, aztrees.org.

Through 6/3: “One Trader’s Legacy: Steve Getzwiller Collects the West”

Steve Getzwiller, a cowboy, collector and Indian trader, has been collecting Native American and Western artifacts for almost 50 years. “One Trader’s Legacy,” at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, is the first time Getzwiller’s personal collection of paintings, rugs, pottery, baskets and guns are on public display.

Details: Through June 3. Desert Caballeros Western Museum, 21 N. Frontier St., Wickenburg. $12, $10 for seniors and AAA members, free for active military and a guest and for ages 17 and under. 928-684-2272, westernmuseum.org.

From afar it looks like a velvet pincushion, hundreds of needles piercing an earthen tapestry of desert hues. Closer inspection reveals an almost unreal landscape of stately saguaros stretching toward the sky, growing in numbers found only in this place.

Photographs and drawings often depict the saguaro as a loner, a single inhabitant on a barren plain that instills a sense of utter loneliness. But the truth emerges here where the cactus thrives, clustered in a forest lacking only a leafy canopy. Saguaro National Park is split into two districts, Tucson Mountain to the west and Rincon Mountain to the east. Tucson Mountain District is more accessible and has a vehicle-friendly loop drive that offers a scenic sampling. Take the short Valley View Overlook Trail to see the undulating waves of saguaro below.

Details: Saguaro National Park’s Tucson Mountain District is 110 miles south of Phoenix. The Rincon Mountain District is 134 miles southeast of Phoenix. www.nps.gov/sagu.

RELATED:  At Saguaro National Park, a fragment of the Old West is necessary to preserve the future

A collection of well-preserved military buildings dating to the late 1800s plus a modern cultural museum. The Kinishba structure is about 4 miles away.

Details: 127 Scout St. Fort Apache. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday in summer, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday the rest of the year. $5, $3 for age 64 and older and students, free for age 6 and younger. 928-338-4625, www.wmat.nsn.us/fortapachepark.htm.

Ongoing: Valley of the Moon

Details: 2544 E. Allen Road, Tucson. Open evenings on the first Saturday of each month, and for special events. www.tucsonvalleyofthemoon.com. A 2.3-acre park built from 1923 to 1932 by spiritualist George Legler, who offered tours of this “fairy world” complete with actors, storytellers and musicians.

Ongoing: Watson Lake

Watson Lake is beautifully situated in the rocky wonderland of Prescott’s Granite Dells. A private company rents canoes and kayaks right on the lake, or bring your own boat. The lake is not stocked, but contains warm-water species. The 5.2-mile Peavine National Recreation Trail loops around the lake and is popular with hikers, bicyclists and equestrians.

Fish species in the lake include: largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and catfish. There is no store at the lake, so bring your own supplies.

Details: 3101 Watson Lake Road, Prescott, 928-777-1550, cityofprescott.net/services/parks/parks/index.php?id=24.

Ongoing: Lowell Observatory

Lowell Observatory was founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell, a wealthy Bostonian with a keen interest in astronomy. The original 24-inch telescope was built in Boston and shipped to Flagstaff. Today, the scope no longer is used for research but to educate the 70,000 people who visit the observatory every year. Lowell devoted his time and fortune to the search for Planet X, one that had been theorized to exist beyond Neptune, the eighth planet in our solar system. Percival Lowell died in 1913. His search finally bore fruit in 1930 when Pluto was discovered.

Details: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff.  $15, $14 for seniors, college students and AAA members, $8 for ages 5-17, free for age 4 and younger.. 928-774-3358, lowell.edu.

Ongoing: Arizona Horseback Experience

In the beautiful mountainous grasslands of Sonoita, we discovered a fun adventure that brings the Old West to Arizona’s New West. Arizona Horseback Experience has created a one-of-a-kind tour that takes you on horseback through canyons and hills you could not see any other way. Stop along the way and take in spectacular views, and the cherry on this ride is a delicious lunch and a tasting of some of Arizona’s best wines. Kick back enjoy your wine; Arizona Horseback Experience will safely drive you back.

Details: 16 Coyote Court, Sonoita. $180 per person. 520-455-5696; www.horsebackexperience.com.

Our Top 10 Explore Arizona app

Want more tips on the best Arizona has to offer? Check out our new Top 10 Explore Arizona mobile experience.

Go to azcentral.com/exploreaz on your smartphone or tablet to access almost 500 recommendations for the best places to eat, play and stay in 14 destinations around Arizona, chosen by The Republic’s dining, travel and things-to-do experts. You’ll also find top-10 lists of the state’s best spas, golf courses and more.

Ongoing: O.K. Corral

The O.K. Corral is the centerpiece of any Tombstone visit. The gunfight re-enactment takes place at 2 p.m. It lags in spots but ends with a flourish of well-staged carnage. Tour C.S. Fly’s Photo Studio, study the models occupying the shootout site and watch an old-time blacksmith at work. Before leaving, don’t miss the Historama, a sweetly clunky multimedia show from 1963 that’s narrated by the least cowboylike star available at the time, Vincent Price.

Details: $10; free for age 5 and younger. 326 E. Allen St. 520-457-3456, okcorral.com.

Ongoing: Bearizona

If you’ll be taking visitors to the Grand Canyon over the holidays, make a detour at Williams to visit Bearizona. This drive-through zoo offers a chance to see wildlife from the comfort of your car.

A series of gated exhibits features Rocky Mountain goats, American burros, bison, Arctic wolves, Alaskan tundra wolves, Dall sheep, Rocky Mountain sheep and black bears. You must remain in your car through the drive-through area, where animals are free to roam.

You’re welcome to stroll about in the walking area. Animals here include a red fox, bears, lynx, raccoons and javelinas. There also are a petting zoo and gift shop. The park is open daily year-round. (Closed on Christmas.)

Details:1500 E. Route 66, Williams. 928-635-2289, bearizona.com.

Ongoing: Tombstone at Twilight

Explore Tombstone’s Old West shops and attractions during the city’s new monthly Tombstone at Twilight events.

During the early-evening hours, tourists and residents can shop and enjoy free entertainment. A mock shootout features the Blood at Dusk Gunfighters, and many residents stroll Allen Street dressed in 18th- and 19th-century clothing.

Details: The event is held on the last Saturday of each month. Along Allen Street in Tombstone. Free. www.facebook.com/TombstoneAtTwilight.

​Ongoing: Fort Verde

Fort Verde was the site of mass surrenders in 1873 by Yavapai and Apache people who grew weary of fighting and were cut off from supplies. Today, there are three buildings for park visitors to explore: the living quarters for the commanding officer, the surgeon’s quarters and the quarters for bachelor officers. Rooms are furnished in the style of the times — the living spaces for the commanding officer and the doctor show an attempt to bring Old World class to the Wild West. Furniture is ornate and Victorian. The museum in the visitor center explains the fort’s history.

Details: 125 E. Hollamon St., Camp Verde. 928-567-3275, azstateparks.com/Parks/FOVE.

Ongoing: San Xavier del Bac

San Xavier del Bac restoration projects goes on year around to preserve an historic monument in the Tohono O’odham Nation near Tucson, Az.

This striking church, about 10 miles south of Tucson, was begun by Franciscans in 1783 and finished 14 years later. Today, the “White Dove of the Desert” serves the Tohono O’odham community with daily Masses, religious ceremonies and a school. Visitors can tour the church and its elaborate murals, statues and museum, which offers exhibits and a 20-minute video on the mission’s history. Then they can move outside and rest their eyes in the tranquil courtyard or walk over to the nearby cemetery. Remember, it’s an active church, so be respectful of worshipers.

Details: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 1950 W. San Xavier Road. Free; donations accepted. 520-294-2624, www.sanxaviermission.org.

Ongoing: Hoover Dam

One of the most striking features in western Arizona is Hoover Dam, the 726-foot-tall stopper of the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada. It was built in Black Canyon during the Great Depression and dedicated on Sept. 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The Bureau of Reclamation offers tours of the dam (1 hour) and power plant (30 minutes). Tours start with a 70-second elevator ride down 54 stories to one of the tunnels built to divert the river away from the construction site. It takes you to the Nevada wing of the power plant, home to eight generators, mostly used to power Southern California.

Spend some time in the visitor center, which has interactive exhibits and a visual and audio history of the dam’s construction.

Details: About 75 miles north of Kingman on U.S. 93. 702-494-2517, www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam.

Ongoing: Grand Canyon Railway tour

The Grand Canyon Railway’s historical steam locomotive No. 4960, outfitted to operate on environment-friendly waste vegetable oil, will depart from Williams Depot and take you to the Big Ditch.

Details: 9:30 a.m.-5:45 p.m. daily. 233 N. Grand Canyon Blvd., Williams. $59-$75; $29-$45 for age 15 or younger. 928-635-1418, experiencewilliams.com; 800-843-8724, thetrain.com.

Ongoing: Red Rock State Park

Drop in to learn something about the Oak Creek ecosystem, Arizona history and the formation of those majestic red rocks. The park offers environmental education, guided nature walks and daily presentations.

Details: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Guided nature walks at 10 a.m. Daily activities and presentations at 2 p.m. The park is southwest of Sedona on State Route 89A. $5. 928-282-6907, azstateparks.com/parks/rero.

Ongoing: The Smoki Museum

The Smoki Museum’s mission is to promote understanding of and respect for American Indian cultures of the Southwest. The museum holds two Navajo rug auctions each year. Auctioneer Bruce Burnham will help the uninitiated learn about the art forms.

Details: Smoki Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave. Prescott, AZ. Free. 928-445-1230, smokimuseum.org.

Ongoing: Woods Canyon Lake

Get out of town, and rent a boat or just walk a trail around this Mogollon Rim lake. Anglers can fish for stocked trout. The lake is within a short distance of scenic viewpoints along the Rim, about 45 minutes from Payson.

Details: The turnoff to Woods Canyon Lake is 29 miles northeast on Arizona 260. Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests: 928-333-4301, www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf.

Ongoing: Lynx Lake

Lynx Lake is a blue gem just a few miles from the bustle of downtown. Nestled in the green hills of the northern Bradshaw Mountains and surrounded by tall pines, scrub oak and manzanita, the lake is a quiet getaway because only boats with electric motors, sails, paddles or oars are permitted. You may bring your own — kayaks and canoes are popular — or rent one at Lynx Lake Store starting in the last week of March. An easy, 2.3-mile trail loops the lake, and there are two campgrounds nearby.

Details: 928-443-8000, www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott. Lynx Lake Store, 928-778-0720.

Ongoing: Big Lake

Spend time at one of eastern Arizona’s nicest high-elevation lakes. Rent a boat, fish for trout, hike one of the nearby trails or just camp out. The lake, nestled in the cool pines, is just one of several in the scenic White Mountains.

Details: Boat rentals at 928-521-1387, biglakeaz.com/index.htm.

Ongoing: Sahuaro Ranch

Did you know date-palm trees can live more than 100 years? They do, and you can see many fine specimens at the Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area, which also has historic buildings, barnyard and fruit orchards. Tour the Main House Museum, built between 1891-98, and learn about the history of the people who lived there.

Details: Grounds open 6 a.m.-sunset. Tours 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area, 9802 N. 59th Ave., Glendale. Free. 623-930-4200, glendaleaz.com/srpha.

 

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