While Arizona is mostly famous for its majestic Colorado River and Grand Canyon, there are also some really fascinating beauty spots in this exhilarating southwestern U.S. State. Oro Valley, being one of such places, must be on every traveler’s bucket list. Especially if you are into outdoor activities and really love hiking, running, climbing amidst nature, Oro Valley is just waiting for you to woo you in every possible way. The Town of Oro Valley, itself, has more than 50 miles of trails through Santa Catalina Mountains. Deserts, canyons, shopping, dining in Tucson, breathtaking long driveways – Oro Valley (AZ) is one of the most off-beat destinations for your summer trip. Today we will be jotting down some of the great activities to do in Oro Valley that you must not actually miss to call this trip the best trip of your life.
Whether you want to delve into heart-pumping adventure activities or just want to relax and chill enjoying the dreamy scenery, Oro Valley (AZ) is the place to be at. It is a year-long destination and remains cooler than the adjacent Tucson due to the higher elevation. Surrounding Sonoran Desert, the charming landscape, elegant resorts, wine tasting tours in Southern Arizona – there are so many things to do and so many places to head to. Now let’s not waste any more time and have a look at all the possible things to do in and around Oro Valley (AZ).
Best Things To Do In Oro Valley (AZ) For An Ultimate Travel Experience:
Catalina State Park:
To start off with, we have Catalina State Park, the most dramatic park with stark landscape and impressive hiking trails. It sits close to Coronado National Forest which is again a very scenic forest near Tucson. Catalina State Park is just about 10 miles north of Tucson and seeks a visit for its outstanding canyons, cliff faces, rugged terrain, and obviously unending hiking trails.
There are Romero Ruin Trail, Nature Trail, Sutherland Trail, 50-year trail and many more for you to explore. Some of the trails directly connect with other trails of the Coronado Forest. Besides, there are many campgrounds and an equestrian center too.
Massive saguaros, giant thick-armed cacti will greet you all the way inside the park and Catalina State Park is probably the best place to head to while you are in Oro Valley (AZ). Get off your car and walk through the trails to get up close and personal with this uniquely beautiful park.
Can you think of a park where you get a number of trails, two separate off-leash dog area, an organization (Sonoran Desert Flyers) solely devoted to radio-controlled aircraft modeling for everyone – all at the same place? Naranja Park in Oro Valley (AZ) is such a place. Moreover, the park provides archery courses to everyone ranging between beginner level to expert level.
Keeping aside all of these things, the park is also the venue where the annual Oro Valley Music Festival takes place. You need to visit this massive park encompassing a huge area of 213 acres to thoroughly enjoy all the fun this place has to offer.
Sonoran Wine Tasting Tours:
Southern Arizona boasts of some of the best vineyards in the world. So while in Oro Valley, you may consider taking a premier wine tasting tour. Sonoran tasting tours take you out for a trip where you will enjoy visiting best of the bests Tucson’s wineries, will learn about the process how wine is made, and of course, will get to taste around 5-6 varieties of wine.
Enjoy the lush scenery of the vineyards, have your lunch and it is gonna be a relishing experience altogether.
The tour generally starts from Tucson and you will be taken to Willcox. After you are done with the winery visit, tasting, and driving, they will drop you to Tucson again at around 4 pm. Do you know what will you take back as a gift? They will gift you the wine glasses as a token of love.
Honey Bee Canyon Park:
Another very captivating hiking trail amidst the canyon where you will have to walk down the hill on sands at some places. Locating on the Northwest side of Tucson, the park is very famous for witnessing some historical landmarks and the Petroglyphs made by the Hohokam people that date back to near about thousand years. The trail is not very hard to hike through and is considered an urban hiking area.
As usual, you will get to see some popular desert plants here too. Saguaros, Cholla, Barrel Cactus – there are abundant cactus and desert plants in the park. Parts of the park that fall under the area of the Sonoran Desert are visited by wild animals. You might encounter desert cats, mountain lions, snakes, spiders, desert scorpions on your way. Spotting unknown birds along your way can prove to be an awe-inspiring experience for you. Definitely check out this epic park on your trip to Oro Valley (AZ).
Mission San Xavier del Bac:
This Spanish Catholic Church definitely seeks a visit for its alluring architecture. The architecture of this mission-style church is actually a beautiful blend of Spanish, Native American, and Moorish architecture. A beautiful decorative entrance leaves you at the inside of the campus where you will be awe-struck by the masterly paintings, ravishing frescoes, statues, and whatnot.
The church is a symbol of sheer elegance and holds the nickname of ‘The White Dove of the Desert’ because of its bright lime-washed exterior. The mission is still in service and also made a cameo appearance in Willa Cather’s novel Death Comes for the Archbishop’. Visit this white lotus-like church and you are sure to praise it from the core of your heart.
Oro Valley Farmer’s Market:
Now let’s move on to something very fun and colorful. We are talking about Oro Valley Farmer’s Market which is a weekly market. It sets up every Saturday and is basically a morning market that runs from 8 am to 12 pm during the summer months and in winters the market hour starts one hour later.
The market remains all full with local community vendors selling everything from local produces (fruits & vegetables), pork, farm-fresh eggs, and different artifacts to street food. Being in the market is an overwhelming experience and the friendly vendors, occasional special events – everything will make your trip to the Oro Valley (AZ) worthwhile.
Oro Valley (AZ) Aquatic Center:
This is a family-friendly destination where visitors irrespective of their ages will enjoy swimming. It is a great place for swimming where you are always guarded by efficient lifeguards. Your kids will love being here too. The large pools are clean, warm, and comfortable. So when you feel a bit tired after finishing off with all the sightseeing and shopping, just come here and relax in the pool to get all refreshed.
So visit Oro Valley (AZ) and make the best out of your travel. Head to the museums and the parks because Oro Valley has some of the best parks to offer to its visitors. Enjoy the wineries at Willcox, praise the abundant wildlife and go for some long drive to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the surroundings. We hope you liked our recommendations and will plan your travel to this unique town in Arizona real soon. Let us know what did you feel about the post and share with us your travel experience for sure.