Located just 90 minutes away from State Farm Stadium via an easy drive down Interstate 10, Marana is the gateway to Southern Arizona. In Southern Arizona, you can experience the openness of the Sonoran Desert, and the Wild Western spirit that Arizona is commonly associated with. Marana embraces this western spirit, while also fusing it with premium, luxurious, and unique experiences.
Arriving by Business Jet? We’ve got you covered.
If you’re traveling to Arizona by business jet, you can "touchdown" right in Marana! Located off of Avra Valley Road in northwestern Marana, Marana Regional Airport can accommodate aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320, with an FBO, fuel facility, storage, and a restaurant on site! The East Ramp provides 800,000 square feet of tarmac, perfect for business jets.
Authentic Wild West Experiences
Marana has historically been dominated by agricultural activities such as ranching, homesteading, and cotton-farming, as well as mining. This translates into a significant western and cowboy culture, which continues even to today. This culture, combined with the stunning backdrops of the surrounding mountains, made Southern Arizona a top location for filming of Western movies, TV shows, and commercials of all types. Marana and the surrounding areas are home to many guest ranches, opportunities for horseback riding, and other ways to experience the wild western culture of Southern Arizona!
A luxury guest ranch, set against the stunning backdrop of the Tucson Mountains. The ranch has been the filming location for many western movies due to its striking scenery and wild desert feel, and was a favorite accommodation for the Hollywood stars who were on location. Guests can enjoy horseback riding, rock climbing, shooting and archery ranges, a spa, and a restaurant. The White Stallion Ranch carefully blends the personal touch, hospitality, and Western feel of a traditional dude ranch, with the service level and amenities of a fine resort.
A beloved, western-themed family theme park, which reopened in August 2022 after a 2-year hiatus. The park was at one time the second-most-visited attraction in Arizona aside from the Grand Canyon, and is also famous as a filming location. Over 400 Western movies, TV series, and commercials have been filmed at Old Tucson since its construction in 1939.
Arizona is a geological paradise, with mining being a major industry since the state’s earliest days. You can embrace this, in a way, with dozens of gem, mineral, fossil, and jewelry showcases all across the Tucson area, throughout January and February. These range from the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show (the largest & oldest gem and mineral show in the world), to the Miner’s Co-Op in Marana, to shows exclusively for wholesalers. Browse a variety of geological artifacts from around Arizona and all around the world.
View extensive displays of historic carriages, wagons, model trains, and artifacts from historic Tucson businesses! The museum features a collection of over 100 wagons and carriages, some of which were used in very well-known Western films and shows! The museum is open 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM, Thursday-Saturday. The Tucson Rodeo and La Fiesta de los Vaqueros, a nine-day festival centered around rodeo and celebrating the frontier history and spirit of Tucson starts February 18th (the Saturday following the Super Bowl), and runs through February 26th.
Southern Arizona is well-known for being a culinary paradise. Tucson is designated as a City of Gastronomy by the UNESCO Creative Cities program; the first city in the United States to be designated as such, and one of only two in the country to currently hold it. Marana continues this culture of excellent, innovative, and unique cuisine with a variety of great restaurants! Whether it's fine dining, excellent Mexican food, or unique and local street food, Marana has many different options to satisfy your palate!
If you’re looking for fine dining, check out CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar, the Forbes Four-Star-Certified restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. Enjoy an innovative menu of gourmet dishes, inspired by the ingredients and culture of the Sonoran Desert, complimented by an extensive wine list.
Marana, and all of Southern Arizona, is well-known for excellent Mexican food, specifically Sonoran-style Mexican food. Sonoran food is characterized by its simplicity, and the usage of wheat, rather than corn. You’ll often be asked “Flour or Corn?” at a Mexican restaurant, and, although both are great, “flour” will give you a more authentic Sonoran-style experience. The chimichanga, which was invented in Tucson, is Southern Arizona’s own, unique twist on Sonoran Mexican food.
While you're here, make sure to try a Sonoran Hot Dog, the signature street food (and quite a cultural phenomenon) of Southern Arizona! Marana has several restaurants and stands that serve them, and it's up to you to decide which one's the best!
Also, be sure to check out some of the drinks featured in the Drink Marana series, highlighting the signature and specially-themed beverages of Marana’s restaurants and bars.
Marana is home to many miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, which suit all skill and experience levels. The trails in and around Marana feature striking scenery and the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the landscape of the Sonoran Desert, without the crowds of the trails elsewhere in the state.
Saguaro National Park is home to the largest cactus forest in the United States, and backs right up to Marana’s southwestern boundary. Although symbolic of the entire Southwestern United States, the saguaro cactus can only be found in Arizona, Sonora, and a very small portion of California, with the largest concentration in Arizona. The park features dozens of miles of trails, of many different lengths and skill levels. The West District of the park also contains the magnificent Tucson Mountains, which provide a stunning and iconic backdrop for Marana.
Located on the northeastern side of Marana, the Tortolita Mountains, with their many secluded canyons. See magnificent desert vistas, rustic ruins, and ancient pictographs. The Town of Marana maintains nearly 30 miles of trails throughout the mountain range, as well as in a nature preserve in the foothills. Several of these trails are easily accessed from The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.
A literal oasis in the desert, El Rio Preserve protects 104 acres of riparian habitat along the Santa Cruz River, with water year-round. Over 200 species of birds have been spotted at the preserve, owing to Southern Arizona’s location along several different migration routes and at the intersection of multiple habitat types. Southern Arizona is known as one of the best places for bird-watching in the entire country.
The prominent peak to the north of Marana, which has served as a landmark for travelers since prehistoric times. The area around the mountain played host to the westernmost battle of the Civil War in 1862. Today, Picacho Peak State Park features exhibits on the history of the area, a campground, and hiking trails, including ones that summit the peak!
In addition to hiking and experiencing the desert on the ground, you can also experience it from the air! You can also fly above the desert on a hot air balloon with Foolish Pleasure Hot Air Balloon Rides, or skydive down towards it with Skydive Marana.
Marana is also an excellent gateway to the many other natural recreation areas around the Tucson area, including the Catalina Mountains and Catalina State Park, Saguaro National Park – Rincon Mountain (East) District, and Mount Lemmon (where you can ski – in Tucson).
With its four championship-level golf courses, Marana is a golf oasis in the middle of the desert, where players will enjoy undulating greens and fairways lined with iconic saguaro cacti – all of it combined with panoramic views of the desert, mountains, and the endless blue skies for which Southern Arizona is famous. Marana’s golf courses have been featured and lauded by various golf publications. Two of Marana's courses, The Golf Club at Dove Mountain (on the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain), and The Gallery Golf Club, have hosted championship and national touring-level events throughout the years, including the PGA Tour, the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship, and coming in March 2023, LIV Golf.
Nestled in the Tortolita Mountains, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain provides a secluded, luxurious experience like no other. The world-renowned resort has been highly lauded by many well-known publications in the travel and tourism industry, included being awarded the prestigious Double Five-Star Certification by Forbes Travel Guide, which it has maintained for three consecutive years. Besides the luxurious guest rooms, the property features a relaxing spa, 27 challenging holes of championship-level golf, guided tours of the miles of hiking trails and Native American archaeological sites surrounding the property, and five restaurants, with innovative dishes and drinks inspired by the Sonoran desert, made with many locally-sourced ingredients.
If you want to venture beyond a traditional hotel but still have a luxurious experience, Marana and the surrounding areas are also home to many bed-and-breakfasts, vacation rental properties (including on AirBNB and VRBO), and luxury camping/glamping opportunities.
Gateway to Southern Arizona
Marana is the perfect base camp for your Southern Arizona adventure, providing excellent connections by both road and air to communities all across the region, including Tucson, Oro Valley, Sahuarita, and Tombstone.