The quaint village of Tubac calls itself "a place where art and history meet ". Just 15 miles south of Green Valley, its streets are filled with galleries, artists' studios, shops and boutiques and charming restaurants . Tubac has numerous choices forHotel, Bed & Breakfast and Guest Ranch Accomodations in and around the area . It claims the distinction of being the first European settlement in the state, as well as having the first school and the first state park.
As Arizona’s first European settlement, the village of Tubac has seen its share of history and change. First settled in 1752 when Spanish soldiers built a presidio, Tubac also bears evidence of mammoth hunters, who preceded the O’odham peoples (formerly known as the Pimas and Papagos). Five flags have flown over the town. Tubac has been an Indian community, a Spanish Colony, part of the New Mexico Territory, a Mexican community and an Arizona Territory.
Today, art and history are juxtaposed amid the stunning beauty in Santa Cruz County. By 1930, after years of conflict over the land, the town had virtually vanished. In the 1940s, the late painter Dale Nichols visualized an art colony and started a school in 1948. Fascinated with the seclusion and simplicity in the desert landscapes, Nichols painted in a Tubac studio for six years. Other artists came to Tubac and helped promote the town by showing their works to interested passers-by. In the early days, tourists who traveled from Tucson to Nogales often stopped for refreshments in Tubac, and the artists found that offering a cool drink was a necessity in developing their businesses.
Nichols returned in the late 80s at the age of 86 with more visions of opportunities. The village had grown from his sowing of seeds into a crop of shops. Today, it is much more than a stop for water. It has come into its own with an eclectic mix of more than 80 shops, galleries and restaurants. Set in a mercado atmosphere, the town invites visitors to stroll through the shops in leisurely fashion.
Painters, potters, sculptors and carvers are among the many artists who make their home in the village and they produce works in every medium. Works by nationally and internationally known artists fill the galleries and bring national acclaim to the area and its humble beginnings.