By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
We stumbled upon one of Arizona’s secret beauties and her name is Arivaca. We have been getting to know these rolling hills for about a week now and are in love with this quaint little town. We have been camping at La Siesta Campgrounds, a charming countryside campground that offers a beautiful view and a quiet reprieve after the hustle and bustle of Tucson. The campground mascot is an adorable donkey named Jackie, he loves carrots and apples, so grab a few if you are heading his way. He will run, galloping and hee-hawing, across his pen to receive his tasty treats.
The town consists of just a handful of old adobe buildings, but they all have tremendous character. We have eaten at La Gitana Cantina (Gypsy Cantina) a few times, a building with a long history, good food and live music. The restaurant doubles as a dance hall and we were intrigued enough to attend their Valentines dance. We got to enjoy some live music for the first time since we’ve been on the road! (Unless, you count the hippie kids drumming at all ours of the night at Snyder hill.) If you are in a hurry and need a quick bite to go, there is also a mexican-american food stand directly beside the restaurant.
There is a small grocery store across the street with household items, produce and many bulk sized options for those not wanting to make the trek over to the next town for supplies. They also have a small farmers market on Saturday mornings, with some produce, baked goods and a coupon queen selling discounted household items.
The local artist Co-op has a lovely selection of handcrafted jewelry, pottery, art work and clothing. We picked up two t-shirts for a keepsake. We were surprised how artistic and hip this community is, despite the small population of 700 people.
Gadsden Coffee/ Caffe Aribac is down the road from our campground and they sell Arivaca’s very own local, shade grown coffee and a variety of breakfast foods. The coffee is to die for and they even have a La Siesta blend in honor of our favorite little campground. We also hear Sweet Peas Cafe makes a mean breakfast, and that we must eat there before we leave.
We have food, coffee, art and music – what more could we ask for? Just a post office, and well, they’ve got that too.
We are constantly discovering new beautiful places to explore. One day we took a scenic drive to Arivaca Lake, and River thoroughly enjoyed a nice cool dip on a sunny day. We have spent many afternoons strolling the boardwalk at Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge, talking and day dreaming against a backdrop of roaming cattle, tall grass and Mesquite trees. We look forward to hiking a few more nearby trails before we leave. It’s so beautiful in the middle of winter, I can only imagine how lush and green these rolling hills are in the spring and summer. The grassy plains sit high above the desert and are home to a very diverse ecosystem in the area that attract hunters, fisherman, bird watchers and nature lovers of all kinds.
The days here begin with coffee and pastries and flow into reading, hiking, and exploring. They end with a spectacular sunset, leading into campfires and a possible cookout. After the sun disappears below the horizon the animated banter of coyotes begin in the distance and eyelids fall heavy. We all take a cue from Jackie and decide to hit the hay. If we weren’t trying to get back to Alabama by the spring, to visit family and friends, we could easily lose track of time in this eclectic little corner of Arizona. We look forward to discovering more small towns to fall in love with, but it will be hard to say goodbye to Arivaca so soon. Steve has a wonderful vision for La Siesta and we look forward to seeing how it will grow and evolve. It gives us so much excitement and inspiration for our own dreams, to see someone so committed to their passion. He built something out of nothing, with a little will power and a lot of love.
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