How to Spend a Day in Sierra Vista Arizona
When people think of Arizona, they often think of Sedona, Quartzsite, or Sun City, to name a few. But what people should be thinking of is a Sonoran Desert town a mere 20 miles north of the border – Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Sierra Vista is an active community surrounded by old mining town history, desert vistas, and mountainous beauty. This charming town has so much to do and see! So, we’ve put together an itinerary for the perfect day in Sierra Vista.
About Sierra Vista, Arizona
Sierra Vista is a U.S. Army military town located in the Sonoran Desert 75 miles southeast of Tucson and 20 miles north of Mexico. With a population of 45,000 people, it has grown drastically over the years, as a result of being near Fort Huachuca.
Spanish for “Mountain View,” and located at 4600 feet, Sierra Vista has 275 days of sunshine and a temperate climate. As a matter of fact, the average summer temperatures in the 90s for highs and 70s for lows. Winter months average in the 50s during the day with lows in the mid-30s.
The monsoon season takes place from July to September; however, Sierra Vista does not get a lot of rain. Actually, it receives less than seven inches a year.
The area was once known as America’s frontier, where the famous Indians Cochise and Geronimo once roamed.
Now you’ll find mesquite trees, rock formations, mountain lions, javelina, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and tarantulas to keep you on your toes when exploring.
Morning in Sierra Vista
Breakfast at Landmark Cafe
Address: 400 W. Fry Blvd. #1
Known for their “Pam” cakes and low prices, you’ll find Pam cakes, waffles, biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwiches, omelets, steak and eggs, and the list keeps going.
You can also enjoy a traditional Mexican breakfast and an array of eggs benedicts, salads, burgers, lunch sandwiches. So, whatever your hungry tummy needs to start your day in Sierra Vista, Arizona, they probably have.
Landmark Cafe offers a great family breakfast place with gluten-free options. Mostly an American Diner, it also provides a large variety of South of the Border menu options.
Certainly, with the excellent customer service and good home-cooked food, you’ll be ready to explore Sierra Vista on a happy stomach.
Tour the Fort Huachuca Base and Museum
Sierra Vista would not be in existence if it weren’t for Fort Huachuca. This large army military base has helped Sierra Vista become the thriving community it is today.
Initially, the fort’s key role in national defense began in 1877. Since then, it has been home to many soldiers, including World War 2 Infantrymen. Today, Fort Huachuca is a center for technical development and soldier training.
There’s a lot of history on the fort. Therefore, a museum was created to educate the many visitors that pass through this area daily. Opened in 1960, the Fort Huachuca Base Museum is home to several thousand objects and documents.
Each one tells a part of the Fort’s one hundred and thirty-five-year story. It’s open to the public free of charge.
Afternoon in Sierra Vista
Eat lunch at 143 Street Tacos
Address: 80 S. Carmichael
Street tacos, street tacos, and more street tacos. And, of course, Sonoran hot dogs, burritos, Mexican pizza, super nachos, quesadillas, and other delicious items.
But did I mention that they have street tacos? Every flavor you can imagine is available, such as chicken, steak, shredded beef, pork loin, red chili beef. And it’s all wrapped in homemade flour tortillas with all the fixings.
Moreover, with friendly, fast service and authentic Mexican food, this Sierra Vista restaurant is like a second family. You’ll walk in knowing nothing about this place.
Then, you’ll leave knowing you’ll be back with your friends to introduce them to your new family. It’s that good!
Hike the Arizona Trail
Fueled up on street tacos, you’re ready to hike the 800 mile Arizona Trail. Though, maybe not the entire 800 miles.
But you can certainly hike a few of them, starting at the southern terminus in Sierra Vista. The trail links deserts, mountains, canyons, forests, communities, and people as it stretches across Arizona from Mexico to Utah.
Whatever you do to stay fit, this trail is for you because it offers many opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Starting at the U.S/Mexico border, the Arizona trail ascends and descends thousands of feet, then winds its way through the Superstition Mountains ending at the Grand Canyon.
No matter where you start hiking or biking, you’ll be sure to experience Arizona from a lens of wonder while wandering this trail in Sierra Vista.
Explore San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area contains nearly 57,000 acres of public land, including the San Pedro River.
The banks and waters of the San Pedro are home to more than 80 species of mammals, a variety of species of fish, and more than 40 species of amphibians and reptiles. Not to mention, it provides habitat for 250 species of migrant and wintering birds plus 100 species of breeding birds.
You can enjoy free access to hiking, wildlife viewing, and picnicking while exploring this beautiful area. There are several access points, but the primary trailhead access is at the San Pedro House, six miles east of Sierra Vista.
Evening in Sierra Vista
Dinner at Vinny’s New York Pizza
Address: 1977 S. Frontage Rd.
With a name like Vinny’s, how could it not be pizza? The menu focuses on their fresh dough and specialized sauce that compliments every pizza.
You can choose from pesto to steak-n-spinach, to Philly Cheesesteak, and much more for anybody’s taste buds. On the other hand, what would a pizza place be without subs, pasta, and chicken wings?
They’ve got all that, too.
You really can’t go wrong when you serve the classics, and Vinny’s knows their classics. Up for a challenge? You might have to ask about their wing challenge.
With pool tables and art murals bringing in the ambiance to match the food, you’ve now found your best pizza and wing place ever!
Drinks at Bone Dry Tap House
Address: 2640, 962 E. Fry Blvd.
Bone Dry Tap House offers over 30 taps to serve you craft brews along with a variety of ciders. Your craft beer cravings will be fulfilled here!
Choose from many local Arizona taps along with a few other well known breweries across the country.
Bone Dry Tap House hosts events such as Trivia Night and “Pint and Paint.” Not only will you find a variety of craft beers on tap here, but you’ll also find a community.
Once you’ve made the difficult choice of what beer to drink, finding a friendly face to chat with is only tricky because they’re all friendly. Sit back, relax and enjoy an evening with fresh craft brews and a community of like-minded people.
Take an Evening Trip to Historic Tombstone
Relive the days of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Old West in “The Town Too Tough to Die.” Tombstone, Arizona, is just a 25-minute drive northeast of Sierra Vista, yet it will take you back hundreds of years.
Have you heard of the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral?
Then you know Tombstone. Experience a re-enacted Old West gunfight or wander the wooden boardwalks in this real-life mining town. Pretend you’re a cowboy and spend some time in the many saloons, restaurants, and shops that make up Allen Street.
Where to Stay in Sierra Vista?
Sierra Vista RV Park
Address: 733 S. Deer Creek Lane
This Good Sam park offers everything you need to be comfortable while exploring Sierra Vista, Arizona, and the surrounding areas. Here you’ll find full hookup RV sites, two swimming pools, a spa, laundry and shower rooms, a pool room, and miniature golf on site. T
hey have nightly, weekly and monthly rates, with nightly rates starting at $30.
Centrally located to all the exciting places to visit, you won’t miss out on anything in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert.
With a friendly staff and clean and quiet spots, your nights will be just as relaxing as your days are exciting.
A Day in Sierra Vista AZ
Spending a day in Sierra Vista, Arizona, is not enough time to get to know the rich history of this growing community, let alone the surrounding beauty of the desert.
So next time you start thinking of a place to explore, a place with warm sunshine, trails to hike and bike, and museums to explore, think of Sierra Vista, Arizona.
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