Nature & Parks arizona patagonia ghosttowns art US > Southern Arizona > Nogales > Patagonia

Things To Do In Patagonia, Arizona: Take A Walk Back In Time

things to do in patagonia arizona

With less than two thousand residents, Patagonia is filled with local charm and flavor. Best of all, it feels untouched by time. As you tour the abandoned towns left behind by eager miners in the 1900s, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported into the past. Patagonia is a popular destination for art-lovers, and you’ll be able to browse and buy unique, handmade items during your visit.

1. Go bird watching at Patagonia Lake State Park

2014 hiking at Patagonia Lake State Park #Arizona

A post shared by Katie Duff (@kai_duff) on Dec 1, 2015 at 6:14pm PST

Patagonia Lake State Park is a popular destination for birdwatchers, boaters, and fishermen. It features a 265-acre lake, and if you bring along a fishing rod, you might be able to catch crappie, bass, bluegill, and catfish. If you don’t own a boat, don’t worry, you can rent a variety of boats from canoes and kayaks to paddle boats, and enjoy your time exploring the lake. Though the lake is the park’s most popular feature, there is also a hiking trail available. Drop in to the visitor center for a park map, information on boat rental, and a handy bird guide that will help you identify the different species you’ll see as you explore the park.

If you’re a beginning bird watcher, consider taking a guided birding tour offered on a pontoon. You’ll be able to see a greater variety of birds and learn fun facts along the way. Pack a picnic and plan to stay for the day, (a day pass is 15 USD), or reserve a campsite and set up your home-away-from-home in an RV or tent. Patagonia Lake State Park is a great location for campers, offering shower houses, restrooms, and plenty of room for recreation.

Patagonia Lake State Park

Address: Patagonia Lake State Park

Price: from 15 USD

Opening Hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm during April-October. Park gates close from 10:00 pm to 4 am.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Access: Accessible by car from Patagonia.

Contact: +1 5202876965

Near by Food: The Ovens of Patagonia Bakery.

Website: Patagonia Lake State Park

2. Take a walk through the Patagonia Museum

Patagonia's 1914 Elementary School. Now under the stewardship of The Patagonia Museum.

Posted by The Patagonia Museum on Saturday, 31 October 2015

While you’re in Patagonia, don’t miss the Patagonia Museum! Housed in the former Lochiel Schoolhouse, which was built around 1905, the Patagonia Museum not only preserves the history of the Patagonia area but allows you to experience it first-hand with this historic structure. You’ll be able to browse pictures of some of the town’s earliest residents, and the museum features recordings of the residents telling stories of daily life in Patagonia in years past. You’ll also learn about the mining and ranching history of the town. It won’t take long to browse the museum’s collection, but it’s definitely worth a stop.

As it is run completely by volunteers, you can count on friendly service, but the museum is only open for a limited amount of hours. Be sure to call ahead before visiting to make sure the museum will be open or make an appointment to visit, as the museum staff will be happy to accommodate you. There is no admissions fee, but the museum appreciates donations.

Patagonia Museum

Address: 100 School Street, Patagonia, Arizona.

Opening Hours: Thursday-Saturday 2pm-4pm during October-May and Friday-Saturday 10:00 am-12:30pm during June-September, or by appointment. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Access: Accessible by car. Located within Patagonia.

Contact: +1 5203435641

Near by Food: Velvet Elvis Pizza Co.

Website: The Patagonia Museum

3. Peruse cultural pieces at the Metamorphosis Art Gallery

Located in the historic downtown area of Patagonia, the Metamorphosis Art Gallery showcases the finest local artists. Sculptures, paintings, and a variety of other media are displayed in the gallery, and employees will be happy to tell you a little bit about the artists who create the collections that are displayed in the gallery.

You won’t have to spend a dime on this attraction, simply browse till your heart’s content. After perusing the art, take a walk around the downtown area to take in the structures and flavor of historic Patagonia.

Metamorphosis Art Gallery

Address: 316 W Naugle Ave, Patagonia, AZ 85624

Opening Hours: Hours are limited; call ahead. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 1 hour required.

Access: Accessible by car. Located within Patagonia

Contact: +1 5203942105

Near by Food: Wagon Wheel Saloon.

Facebook: Metamorphosis Art Gallery

4. Tour eerie ghost towns

Patagonia Backroad Ghost Towns

Posted by Arizona Things to Do on Friday, 29 April 2016

One of the best ways to get a feel for the Patagonia area is to take a quick roadtrip through the area’s ghost towns. The most famous (and closest to Patagonia) are the towns of Harshaw, Mowry, Washington Camp, Duquesne, and Lochiel. These five towns are abandoned mining towns, and all that remains are the remnants of old buildings and foundations. Harshaw, which grew to a population of 2,000 during its peak mining time, was the largest of the remaining towns, but Duquesne is perhaps the most interesting ghost town to tour. Duquesne still has many abandoned buildings and mining shafts to view.

You can tour the ghost towns yourself, provided you have a car that can withstand gravel roads and semi-rough terrain. You’ll just need to follow state route 82, which heads southwest out of Patagonia and will pass through the five ghost towns mentioned above. For safety, make sure to visit the towns during the day to avoid injury and wildlife! Also, don’t forget to venture out of town with a current map and a full tank of gas, as there are very few gas stations along the route.

Patagonia Ghost Towns

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: One hour drive down AZ State Route 82.

Near by Food: Mercedes Restaurant

Website: Patagonia Ghost Towns

5. Browse unique, handmade gifts at Grayce's Gift and Candle Shop

Posted by Grayce's Gift & Candle Shop on Saturday, 25 June 2016

Established in 1976, the history of Grayce’s Gift and Candle Shop stretches back even farther– into 1905, when the house that the gift shop is located in was built in Patagonia. For years, the shop has attracted tourists and locals alike for its unique collection, and it is the oldest retail store in the area.

The history of the 1900-era house is present in the items for sale in the gift shop. Located close to the Mexican border, the shop has a southwestern flair, offering items from Mexico and Latin America as well as handmade items from local Arizona artists. The shop also offers some African items. If you’re looking for a souvenir to bring back home, look no further. You’ll be able to find home decor, candles, and a variety of other collectibles here.

The shop is also home to the La Galeria Dia De Los Muertos Museum, which features Latin American artifacts. Don’t miss this classic, old-time Patagonia destination.

Grayce's Gift and Candle Shop

Address: 260 Naugle Ave., Patagonia, AZ 85624

Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Access: Accessible by car. Located within Patagonia.

Contact: +1 520 3942035

Near by Food: Route 82 Market.

Website: Grayce’s Gift and Candle Shop

Take a walk through historical Patagonia

Historic railroad depot built in 1900
Source: Wikimedia

Browse the historic downtown streets of Patagonia, take a mini roadtrip through the ghost towns of the area, and eat some delicious local food from the Route 82 Market during your visit. Patagonia is the perfect destination for tourists who want to feel as if they’ve stepped back in time.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Railroad depot patagonia arizona 2015
Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

A storyteller first and foremost, Hannah has a bachelor's degree in English Creative Writing and a fascination with the written word. Over the past several years, she's gained experience as a...Read more

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Patagonia
Good things are meant to be shared!