Pinal County: Marana

Marana anchors the southern end of the Golden Corridor and makes an excellent base camp for regional exploring. With a myriad of hotels and restaurants, it’s easy to stay here and take the back roads to Saguaro National Park West, Old Tucson and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

With its favorable location on the Santa Cruz River, the area was long home to Native Americans, as evidenced by the recently discovered Las Capas archeological site, the oldest known agricultural irrigation system in the U.S. Marana became a successful farming and cattle ranching community that has grown to become a business and commerce hub, with easy access to Tucson and the vistas of Pinal County on its doorstep.

Many hiking and biking trails offer stunning views and all levels of challenge. Look for the petroglyphs on the Wild Burro Canyon Trail. Or visit the TopGolf Marana complex. Or go shopping at the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall at Marana Center.

The White Stallion Ranch has been featured in over 100 classic western movies. The private guest ranch offers tours (for guests only) and has been rated the No. 1 Family Resort by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards. The nearby Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse has been feeding cowboys and movie cowboys since 1947. The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort offers true 5-star luxury with a 27-hole golf course, 26 miles of hiking trails, its huge pool complex and a luxurious spa.

And Marana has now become a center for the farm-to-table and farm-to bottle movements. Fodor’sTravel recently featured two Marana gastronomy tour offerings, one culminating at the Ritz-Carlton, the other at the Catalina Brewing Company.

Bucket List

  • Marana gastronomy tours
  • The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain
  • White Stallion Ranch
  • Wild Burro Canyon petroglyphs
  • Tortolita Mountain Park
  • Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse