Sahuarita, Arizona, is a small town in eastern Arizona that is big on history. It first served as a stagecoach stop and later housed a station for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Today Sahuarita is home to the largest pecan grove in the world. Its location offers easy access to the large city of Tuscon, and for outdoor recreation there's Madera Canyon for hiking and bird watching.
Green Valley Pecan Company
The Green Valley Pecan Company (greenvalleypecan.com) is a family-owned business that has been operating since 1948. The site includes a 5,000-acre orchard and the equipment needed to process and package the company's products. Visit the Pecan Store to buy an assortment of pecan products such as pecan pie or candied pecans. You'll also learn interesting facts about pecans, which are native only to North America.
Titan Missile Museum
The Titan Missile Museum (titanmissilemuseum.org) offers visitors a one-hour guided tour that includes a trip to the underground launch center, then up six stories for a view of the Titan II in its silo. The museum has a simulated launch and a museum store for souvenirs such as apparel, missile models and educational toys. The museum also hosts events throughout the year including Moonlight Madness Tours, Beyond the Blastdoor Tours and an in-depth five-hour tour, the Titan Top-to-Bottom Tour. Touring times vary and a reservation is required.
Catalina State Park
Catalina State Park is nestled at the bottom of the Santa Catalina Mountains in nearby Tucson. Its desert climate is a habitat for more than 150 bird species and a variety of plants and wildlife. Walking and horse trails meander through the 5,500 acres of the park's foothills, canyons and streams. Park amenities include grills, restrooms and picnic areas. The park also sponsors programs and events such as The Catalina Adventure Program for grades one through three. Students participate in a sensory learning experience and are guided through the park by a trained naturalist. The cost is $2 per student as of the date of publication.
Old Tucson Studios
Old Tucson Studios (oldtucson.com) has provided the backdrop for over 300 movies including two John Wayne movies -- "Rio Bravo" and "McLintock." The studio was built in 1939 for the movie "Arizona." Today the studio transports visitors to a simpler time when men ruled the west with a pair of six shooters. Guests experience a rough ride in a stage coach or explore an Indian Village. There are also stunt shows, gun fights and musical revues. Shopping, restaurants and horseback riding are available on the premises.
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