Sahuarita Lake Park

Open space and Sahuarita Lake Park with its 10-acre lake surrounded by grassy areas, walking paths and an amphitheater were among the reasons Money magazine put the community on the list of best places to live. It ranked No. 29 of 50.

You don't have to travel far for a different view.

Kayak at Sahuarita Lake Rentals

Location: Sahuarita Lake Park, 15466 S. Rancho Sahuarita Blvd.

🚗  Not too far. You'll drive for about half an hour.

Hours: Open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sahuarita's peaceful, man-made lake is the perfect place to forget you live in Saguaro City. Ride a bike, take a gentle stroll or kayak. You can rent stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, pedal boats, and canoes from Sahuarita Lake Rentals. It's inexpensive and everyone can ride. 

Prices per hour

• Stand-up paddle boards cost $25 and include a life jacket, a paddle and a leash. You must be at least 12 years old to ride.

• Kayaks cost $20 and include a life jacket and a paddle.

• Pedal boats cost $25 and include life jackets.

• Tandem kayaks cost $25 and include life jackets and paddles.

Find more information online.

Play in the snow at Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley

Location: Mt. Lemmon, 10300 Ski Run Rd.

🚗  Expect to an hour-long drive. Bring snacks. 

Hours: Open from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the weekend.


John Manning, left, helps daughter Solana, 5, into her skis to warm up on the beginner slopes at Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013. The mountain received 18-19 inches of new snow, better than Snowbowl in Flagstaff.

Snow isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Arizona. Here's your gentle reminder to visit Mt. Lemmon's Ski Valley when the snow hits. It's magical. Get on the ski lift before the snow arrives to see what fall is supposed to look like.

Don't know how to snowboard or ski? You can pay for lessons before you hit the slopes. An adult only pays $70 for the first-time skier package and children (12 and under) pay $47. Already a pro? Full-day or half-day lift tickets and rental information is listed here.

Iron Door Restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch.

Find more information online.

A new environment at Biosphere 2

🚗  Expect to drive for about an hour.

Hours: Open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors get a view of the beach habitat on the way to the Tropical Rainforest habitat during a tour.

Experience a tropical rainforest or the Savanna without having to worry about getting lost or running into wild animals. At Biosphere 2, you'll experience seven model ecosystems and learn about research that could change the future.

Admission: Adults pay $20; military pays $18; children (6-12) pay $13; UA student/faculty/staff with UA CatCard pay $10; and non-UA student/faculty/staff with college ID pay $15.

Find more information online.

Look at the universe at Kitt Peak

🚗  Expect to drive for a little more than an hour.

Hours: The Visitor Center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.


A view from the Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope of some of the other telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory west of Tucson, AZ. The tall telescope at left is The McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope. Top center is The 2.1-meter Telescope and at right is The WIYN Telescope. Photo taken Wednesday, October 23, 2013.

Arizona has beautiful skies so experience something bigger than yourself at Kitt Peak. Learn about astronomy and telescopes by participating in daytime or nighttime activities or attending a tour.

Prices vary by program and tours, check the website for more information.

Find more information online.

Sip wine at Kief-Joshua Vineyards

Location: 370 Elgin Rd.

🚗  Expect to drive for about an hour drive.

Hours: The tasting room is open every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The Kief-Joshua Vineyards in Elgin. Owner Kief Manning backs Sierra Vista's "Napa-zona" initiative, saying, "Every little bit is good, so hopefully it'll be a nice way to get the word out and bring people down to see us."

Napa Valley may be hours away but the search for rich wines and exquisite vineyards doesn't have to take that long. Head to Elgin, Arizona for Arizona's own Napa. While there are many vineyards to choose from, we recommend Kief-Joshua Vineyards. Learn the basics of wine tasting, attend a public tour or let wine bring your coworkers together (more information here).

Find more information online.