Need ideas for having a perfect Sonoran Desert getaway in Marana? First, you can plan your fall and winter adventures around 19 direct flights to Tucson International Airport every day from major Calfiornia cities, including Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland, San Jose, San Diego; major Pacific Northwest cities Seattle, Bellingham, and Portand; plus Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Denver. You can also fly direct from Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Houston. And then the fun begins.
Tucson International Airport
Marana is a fast and easy getaway from coastal California and the Pacific Northwest. In just a few hours you can go from sitting in endless traffic or wearing a hat and gloves, to laying by a sparkling pool, golfing, and enjoying hiking, mountain biking and endless outdoor recreation!
If you have your own plane, you can fly directly into Marana from any U.S. airport. Marana Regional Airport is a convenient way to get to the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, White Stallion Ranch, and Miraval Resort and Spa. For more information, visit FlyMarana.com.
If you love exploring American Indian heritage to Mission Era history take a look at our 15 ways to experience the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area.
Or you can have an unplanned get away and take an easy drive through the majestic scenery of Saguaro National Park West, a forest that is home to the largest cactus on earth, the saguaro (suh-WAR-o, rhymes with "CAR-o"). Saguaro National Park West is full of life with flora and fauna native only to the Sonora Desert, and evidence of ancient cultures wherever the trained eye looks. Along the way, you might stop to discover a cowboy movie attraction, like no other in the world (Old Tucson). These two experiences, alone, will transport you to new worlds.
Have Your Pick of Classic Cowboy Western Movie Experiences
Old Tucson Studios was the epicenter of Hollywood cowboy movie filming outside of Hollywood from 1939-1995. It is still continually used for filming and it's also a spectacularly rich attraction for all ages with a relaxing pace. If Old Tucson stirs your appetite for digging into classic cowboy movie culture, your vacation has just planned itself.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Located adjacent to Saguaro National Park, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-ranked botanic garden and naturalistic zoo, featuring the largest and smallest animals of the Sonora Desert in a spectacular setting with sweeping views, activities, cafes, bookstore, and much more.
For many travelers, Marana has the perfect hidden gem tucked into the quiet canyons of the Tortolita Mountains. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is Arizona’s only Five-Star, Five-Diamond Resort and Spa, a distinction earned by its welcoming staff, sumptuous rooms, and picture-perfect location. Its three salt-water pools all offer stunning views of rock-strewn and saguaro-studded slopes. Every room includes a private balcony from which you can take in all the colors of a desert sunset. Here, a sunset isn’t something you so much see, but rather experience. Book a massage at its incomparable spa, and you’ll enjoy the therapeutic elements and time-honored traditions of the Sonoran Desert.
Sonoran Desert Gastronomy & Libations
After long days of hiking, golfing, and exploring, you’ll enjoy tasting local microbrewed beer made with wild Sonoran Desert ingredients at Catalina Brewing Company and Button Brew House. These microbreweries are neighbors, so there's no need to make a decision. And then, tuck into a feast of classic, Sonoran Mexican cooking or explore other dining.
In 2016, Tucson became the first UNESCO World City of Gastronomy in the U.S. As a breadbasket of Southern Arizona, Marana is home to a variety of heritage crops, like white Sonoran wheat, a grain used in local breads, beers, and even pizza doughs. Grounded in these ingredients, Southern Arizona’s rich cultural tapestry has fostered a local cuisine that draws not only on Mexican influences, but also on Native American methods, Middle Eastern spices, and American West sensibilities. With a restaurant scene distinct even from such nearby neighbors as Santa Fe and Phoenix, Marana and Southern Arizona offer a dining experience you won’t want to miss.
Dude Ranch Experience
If you’re interested in exploring Southern Arizona’s roots, consider a stay at the White Stallion Ranch. This classic dude ranch experience includes communal meals beneath an ocotillo rib ceiling, horseback riding during the day, movies or line dances at night, and a rodeo every week. White Stallion has welcomed guests for fifty years, and when you enter their vast acreage, you leave behind the outside world. There’s lots to do here, but perhaps the its greatest draw is what it doesn’t have: incoming emails, buzzing texts, or strategy meetings. If peace and quiet is the recipe for your perfect vacation, look no farther than White Stallion.
World-Class Golf Courses
For those who prefer the fairway to the hiking trail, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Marana is home to a variety of world-class golfing facilities, designed by legends of the links like Jack Nicklaus, John Fought, and Arthur Hills. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to put away your clubs until spring. In Marana, fall, winter, and spring are the perfect seasons for hitting the greens and teeing up.
We hope to see you here, soon.