Arizona natives tend to think the desert is boring. It’s easy to become numb to the allure of the sand and cacti stretching on for miles, and even the sight of our beautiful campus eventually becomes mundane. With the rush of midterm season finally coming to an end, and a brief break before finals hit, now is the ideal time in the semester for a little R and R.
The weather is finally reaching perfection and we’re no longer reduced to puddles on the way to class, so break out of your comfort zone, get away from the UA and see what this state has to offer over the three-day weekend.
No need to leave the country for decent wine when we have access to it right in our backyard. This weekend is the annual St. Martin’s New Release Festival at the award-winning Sonoita Vineyards. Established at an elevation of 5,000 feet, the vineyards encompass over 30 acres and comprise the oldest commercial vineyard and winery in Arizona. Approximately one hour from campus, the vineyard has a wide variety of wines, including sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot, pinot noir, sangiovese and mission. This weekend, the vineyard will feature horse-drawn wagon rides, wine and food pairings, winemaker discussions and barrel tasting. The outdoor festivities are the perfect weekend getaway.
Mt. Lemmon is one of Tucson’s most treasured spots. A mere 45-minute drive will take you to some of the city’s most beautiful scenery, and the weather is perfect year-round. The drive surrounds you with trees and views of Tucson unavailable anywhere else. Be sure to stop at Summerhaven and Windy Point on your way up. The best times to visit Mt. Lemmon are during sunrise and sunset, for what is arguably the best view in the city.
Bisbee is an eclectic town that marches to the beat of its own drum. Located less than two hours from campus, Bisbee is full of art and scenery that make it perfect for a day trip or even an extended weekend visit. With a population of just under 6,000, this is the place to stop if you’re looking for that small-town feel.
For a weekend trip, Sedona is the place to go. Approximately three and a half hours from campus, Sedona promises much to explore. Sedona’s main allure is the display of red rock formations that form a backdrop for day hikes and family gatherings. Offering Jeep and Hummer tours throughout the day, Sedona is the perfect weekend getaway to take a break from the demands of school.