I’m sure you wouldn’t necessarily expect a winery in a cowboy’s backyard. But Willcox, Arizona brings you just that, and much more! This sweltering town is just an hour and a half away from the east side of Tucson, via exit I-10. Its citizens have made a great effort to ensure that most of its historical buildings remain in place, and the town has many attractive landmarks. Camp outside and snap some shots of the birds that fly across its skies or clink glasses of wine with your loved ones, as you admire the sunset from the vineyards. Whatever you choose to do, Willcox will be sure to deliver a great travel experience to you.
Read on to find out the top 8 things to do in Willcox, AZ:
1. Chiricahua National Monument
There are two ways to explore this rocky wonderland. You can either opt for a scenic drive-thru experience by using its 8-mile (12.9 km) paved road or see it by foot, through its hiking trail that totals 17 miles (27.4 km). The rock formations that create the scene of the Chiricahua National Monument are known as rock pinnacles.
These unique structures were caused by a volcanic eruption and later, the erosion, of dense volcano ash and pumice. If you love trail-blazing, there are a series of hikes you can opt for, from the easier hikes of the Bonita Creek Trail, which run for half a mile (0.8 km), to the Big Loop, which will give you the ultimate in wilderness backdrops, at the muscle-toning distance of 9.5 miles (15.4 km).
Chiricahua National Monument
Address: E Bonita Canyon Rd, Willcox, AZ 85643
Website: Chiricahua National Monument
2. Muleshoe Ranch
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Muleshoe Ranch is part of the Nature Conservancy, a body with the primary mission of conserving the waters and land on which all forms of life are dependent upon. The ranch encompasses 49,120 acres (19,878 hectares) of land and is heaven for outdoor lovers. There are seven streams supporting the native fish and aquatic habitat. A total of five native fish can be found in its waters, with the Gila chub currently an endangered species.
Bird-watching is another favorite activity here. Rent one of the casitas and enjoy a night in the wilderness, complete with a visit to its all-natural hot spring tubs.
Address: 6502 North Muleshoe Ranch Road, Willcox, AZ 85643-3644
Website: Muleshoe Ranch
3. Coronado Vineyards
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Coronado Vineyards opened its door back in 2006. It is run by the owners themselves, Mark and Jacque Cook. Their aim is to provide their customers with wines they can truly savor and enjoy, be it a bottle with a tinge of sweetness, a dry note or one that suits the taste buds of a complex, elaborate tongue.
The vineyard holds a series of awards and bottles start at 12 USD. Drop by and try out their Wine Tasting and Tapas Menu. You can also try their Colorado Slider Meal if you’re looking to sample some good American grub and wash it down with a glass of Voodoux, their white wine that’s fruity, with a hint of oak.
Address: 2909 E Country Club Dr, Willcox, AZ 85643
Website: Coronado Vineyards
4. Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum
Rex Allen was born and bred in Willcox, and he was one of the last standing singing cowboys in Western movie flicks. The museum was established in 1989 and it is the home to various memorabilia from his lifetime success on the silver screen. Just across the street from the Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum is an enormous statue of the legend, sculpted by Buck McCain. Within its steely figure lies a bronze heart, complete with arteries, symbolizing that the cowboy’s beating heart will always remain in Willcox, Arizona.
Admission is an affordable 2 USD per entry, and donations towards the museum are welcome, too.
Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum
Address: 150 Railroad Ave, Willcox, AZ 85643
Website: Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum
5. Apple Anne's Orchard
Have you ever wanted to pick your own fruit, weigh them and pay for them? Then head to Apple Anne’s Orchard, which will give you that remarkable experience. You’ll be spoiled for choice with their luscious apples, juicy peaches and sweet, sweet pears to pick from and bite into.
Be sure to check out their ripening calendar before you head over, so you know what’s ready to be picked from the shrubs and trees. When you’re done, head over to the country store for their jarred assortments of jams, jellies and butters, as well as their other fantastic baked goods.
Apple Anne's Orchard
Address: 2081 W Hardy Rd Willcox, AZ 85643
Website: Apple Anne’s Orchard
6. Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Fort Bowie is a monument that represents the bitter clash that took place between the U.S. Military and the Chiricahua Apaches. Today, the place holds more of a peaceful vibe, with its unique flora as well as its well-regarded hiking trail - the Fort Bowie Trail. The hiking landscape follows through onto Apache Pass Road and offers you a glance into its historical significance.
Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Address: 3500 Apache Pass Rd, Bowie, AZ 85605
Website: Fort Bowie National Historic Site
7. Willcox Playa Wildlife Area
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
The wild animals of the Willcox Playa Wildlife Area range from migrating waterfowl and sandhill cranes to mule deer and Mexican Hognose snakes. You can birdwatch at the playa and explore the living habitats of other wildlife, within its area. Rainfall tends to occur between the months of July right through to November, so you might want to strike those months off.
Willcox Playa Wildlife Area
Address: Kansas Settlement Rd, off Hwy 186, Willcox, AZ
Website: Willcox Playa Wildlife Area
8. Heart of Rocks
Known to the Apache Indians as the “Land of the Standing-up Rocks”, the Heart of Rocks are really impressive, as far as rock formations go. The hike you take to reach the view might be a tough one, but it’s worth the sweat. Avoid the trail during weekends, as it tends to be crowded and overwhelming.
Heart of Rocks
Address: Willcox, AZ
Website: Heart of Rocks
This tiny heart in Arizona awaits you
Yep, this city in Cochise County is certainly worth your while. You’ll be amazed by all the things you can find to do in this humble town. Surprise yourself and visit Willcox for the cowboy and wildlife escapade of your life!
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