As the sun sinks below the Santa Rita Mountains, towering shade trees and adobe haciendas cast long shadows across Agua Linda Farm’s 63 acres. Over the years, this idyllic farm has nabbed attention from the press as well as visits from celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne, who may have played hide-and-seek amid the rows of organic vegetables and flowers. In addition to a focus on sustainable agriculture, the farm strives to serve as a community hub. Farmsteaders Stewart and Laurel Loew host dinners, weddings, and scarecrow support groups in the adobe hacienda, and spark the imaginations of young horticulturists with family-centric spring and fall harvest festivals.
Each of the 18 fairways at Haven Golf Course presents golfers with a lush Bermuda-grass oasis in which to craft artful divots as they traverse the par-72 track. The Arthur Jack Snyder, ASGCA design leads playing groups along 6,905 yards of the Green Valley, clustering around a large elongated lake on one side and wrapping around several residential blocks on the other. Prior to embarking on their expedition, groups can warm up at the practice facility, complete with grass tees that mimic on-course lies.
Adjacent to the main championship course lies Haven's Tortuga Golf Course, a short par-3 course with holes that measure between 50 and 90 yards. This shrunken jaunt presents beginning golfers with an easy place to take up the game and more experienced golfers a place to practice air strumming their putter.
Course at a Glance:
Green Valley Lanes recently updated its facility to include a new scoring system with 32-inch LCD monitors and cameras, resurfaced and newly buffed lanes, and Brunswick all-wood professional pins. The biggest innovation, however, was the installation of rooftop solar panels, which allow the alley to be completely powered by the sun. But while the renovations have given the facility a modern luster, the rules of the classic sport remain the same, as couples, families, and pros alike engage in 10-frame competitions to see who can pummel the most pins and who can deliver the most heartfelt apology afterwards. The familiar beeps emanating from the video arcade act as a siren call for thumbs eager to twiddle the joysticks of games such as Street Fighter and Tekken 3, and bowlers can rest their throwing arms while savoring a cocktail or beer at the Wet Spot bar and lounge or slices of pizza crafted with homemade dough at the Perky's Pizza snack bar.
During the course of this 90-minute adventure tour, you'll explore the Colossal Cave, a miles-long system of underground "dry" caves, which means there is not enough moisture for formations to continue growing, and you won't need any special shoes or suction-cupped foot gear. With nothing more than a hardhat and headlamp, you and a small group of fellow spelunkers (7–12 people) will climb and squeeze through narrow tunnels and subterranean passages revealing exquisite stalactite and stalagmite formations. A knowledgeable guide talks about the cave’s history (it had been used for centuries by prehistoric peoples) and legends (it was a bandit hideout in the late 1800s).
Crafting wines culled from the fertile fields of southern Arizona, Charron Vineyards has a penchant for producing quality whites and reds thanks to its high altitude, cool night temperatures, and lush fields of wine-bottle plants. Guests visit the welcoming, pet-friendly estate to walk along the 4 acres of mature grapevines and learn the intricate details of making fine wines such as their signature white merlot and smooth French-style rosé. The staff also hosts tastings on the scenic open deck and in the glass-enclosed tasting room, during which guests sip fruity whites and complex reds as they gaze at the breathtaking Santa Rita and Empire mountain ranges. Located about a half hour south of Tucson, guests are always welcome to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the extensive tasting menu of wines offered by the bottle or glass.
The Vail Preservation Society keeps evidence of the town’s history, culture, and heritage so that visitors can take a step back in time to learn about prior generations. With its late-19th-century roots as a railroad town, the greater Vail area reserves an important place in American history––a place the Preservation Society's members intend to protect. They do so by scanning old photographs, recording oral histories, and participating in an annual cleanup every spring. They've also taken on the task of restoring the Old Vail Post Office, which, for more than a century, has managed to survive by devouring years’ worth of undelivered cookie packages and letters to Santa.