Those of us who live here in the High Desert are ready to debunk out-of-towner's concepts about what desert living is really all about, and like a gun-slinger at high noon on Allen Street in Tombstone, you're ready to draw - outta your hip pocket - the list of places our friends and family absolutely have to see while they're here visiting. If for no other reason than to prove how amazing it is in the 'Zone.

Green in the Desert. Image Credit: Valerie Davidson
Green in the Desert. Image Credit: Valerie Davidson
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I recently asked K101 listeners on the socials: What is the ONE place you absolutely MUST take visitors from out of town when they visit here in Cochise? As always, our listeners stepped up in a big way.

The obvious answers: Tombstone, Bisbee, Sonoita, and Willcox, to name a few cities. Then, of course, our natural attractions, Brown Canyon Ranch, Carr and Miller Canyons, plus Ramsey Canyon Preserve.

Responses even took us a little further afield, out to the Triangle T Guest Ranch, Texas Canyon, Chiricahua National Monument and Parker Canyon Lake. Setting aside the fact Sonoita and Parker Canyon Lake are in Santa Cruz County, they're still close enough for a comfortable day trip from Sierra Vista.

Main Street, Bisbee, AZ Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash
Main Street, Bisbee, AZ
Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash
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Of course, I have to mention Fort Huachuca, the Amerind Museum and Kartchner Caverns, which our listeners graciously added.

Facebook follower Sean Paul boiled it down in one easy paragraph: "One of the wonderful things about this area is the diversity of environments that suit different needs or even moods.

  • Nature lover? Ramsey Canyon Preserve, and seasonally, the San Pedro River
  • Hard-core nature lover? Hiking in the Chiricahua's, perhaps the Coronado National Park, or the different canyons in the Huachucas.
  • Love science? Kartchner Caverns
  • Adore cowboy movies? Tombstone and Fort Huachuca
  • Miss San Francisco or are you an esoteric history buff? Bisbee and Warren
  • Sierra Vista might not be specified on the list, but it's central to everything on the list".

I was so focused on the attractions in Cochise County, I almost forgot about the people. Facebook user Brian Jacks said the American Legion Post 52, Sierra Vista, AZ in response to my "Must See" question. I asked why the Legion was so special and he responded, "The Veterans. They are always giving back to the community. On the 4th of July they gave out 300 meals - hotdogs and hamburgers - to the public."

The Veterans in Cochise County make up the fabric of our landscape here, and on the heels of Independence Day taking our friends and family to veteran stomping grounds like the VFW and the American Legion in Sierra Vista, is as important as Kartchner, Tombstone, and Bisbee to get the real flavor of our area!