Marana Gastronomy Tour Dates for 2020

Tucson UNESCO City of Gastronomy-Approved Tour Program


Contact:  Laura Cortelyou, Economic Development Department
Tourism, Marketing, and Film Manager
(520) 382-1988

MARANA, ARIZONA (February 5, 2020) – Discover Marana, announces the dates of its fourth year of gastronomy tours. “The Marana Gastronomy Tour” and “A Taste of the Wild: The Marana Wild Foods Gastronomy Tour” are led by extraordinary local guides showcasing our region’s renowned ancient archaeology, master foragers, master brewers, and The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain chefs. Both tours explore different aspects of ancient foodways at archaeology sites and through contemporary and wild food tastings. “The Marana Gastronomy Tour” features a small plates tasting at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain presented by Executive Chef Emily Dillport. “A Taste of the Wild: The Marana Wild Foods Gastronomy Tour” features a guided wild foods tour with wild foods cookbook author Carolyn Niethammer. Both tours feature a guided archaeology tour by Allen Denoyer, preservation archaeologist at Archaeology Southwest, near where the oldest large scale agricultural site has been found in the U.S. Both tours have tastings of local craft beer at Button Brew House or Catalina Brewing Company, made with Sonoran Desert wild food ingredients, and Bean Tree Farm’s hyperlocal wildcrafted foods.

Tour Dates & Reservations

The Marana Gastronomy Tour: Fridays; February 28, March 20; April 10; 12:30 pm - 6:00 pm. $109 per person. Featuring extraordinary guide Allen Denoyer, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain chefs, and more. Up to 12 people. For reservations visit:

A Taste of the Wild: The Marana Wild Foods Gastronomy Tour: Friday; March 13; 9:30 am – 1:30 pm. $65 per person. Featuring extraordinary guides, Carolyn Niethammer, Allen Denoyer, and more. Up to 20 people. For reservations visit Marana Parks & Recreation’s webpage:

Carolyn Niethammer, author              Allen Denoyer, Archaeology Southwest               The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

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The Marana Gastronomy Tours program was noted in the 2019 Fodor’s Travel Guide here:

“The UNESCO City of Gastronomy and Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area designations were given to Tucson and Marana because the Santa Cruz River supported the earliest large scale agriculture found in the United States,” said Laura Cortelyou, Tourism, Marketing, and Film Manager for the Town of Marana. “These tours guide you through ancient archaeology sites and offer you ancient flavors in craft beer, hyperlocal wildcrafted foods, and classical French/Sonoran Desert fusion cuisine.”

The Las Capas archaeology site, the oldest agricultural irrigation canal system found in the U.S. was discovered in Marana in 2009. Marana is also home to wild foods educators, chefs, and craft brewers that responsibly harvest from the 450 edible plants in the Sonoran Desert; as well as farm-to-table restaurant suppliers, and BKW Farms that grows white Sonora wheat used in local craft beer and artisanal baking by Barrio Bread.

Gray Line Tours Tucson is the tour provider for “The Marana Gastronomy Tour,” and a third-generation family-owned business that has provided premier tours in, and from, Tucson for more than 100 years.

The Town of Marana Parks and Recreation Department is the provider for the “A Taste of the Wild: The Marana Wild Foods Gastronomy tour.” Marana Parks and Recreation has expanded its programs for residents and visitors alike.

Both tours are approved by UNESCO Creative Cities Network member, Tucson City of Gastronomy, the first City of Gastronomy in the U.S.