Tubac, Arizona

An affordable small town where art and history meet

Best places to retire - Tubac AZ
Affordable places to retire
affordable places to retire in Arizona

Places to retire for artists

Here is perhaps the perfect place to retire for anyone desiring a retreat from big city living. Tubac, a tiny town in the desert Southwest about 45 miles south of Tucson, is one of the largest artists communities in Arizona. With a population of approximately 1,200 people, this tiny town has more than 80 galleries, shops and studios and has been said to resemble the Santa Fe of 30 years ago.

With a stimulating mix of artists, middle- and upper-level executives and retirees, Tubac is an interesting and vibrant place to live.

The Spanish arrived in the area in the late 1600's, and since the establishment of a fortress on the site in 1752, the village has been continuously inhabited. Today, centuries-old adobe houses line Tubac's central streets and blend in with new master planned communities stretching across the Santa Cruz Valley. At an altitude of 4,000 feet, Tubac's climate is significantly cooler than Phoenix or Tucson, yet it retains the cultural diversity that permeates most places in southern Arizona. Historic Spanish missions, a sense of Old Mexico and traces of the area's Native American influences blend together to create a heritage that attracts visitors for both its arts and crafts and to sample its historical significance.

While the open spaces and towering mountain ranges give one a feeling of solitude and seclusion from the outside world, there are plenty of outdoor attractions nearby to satisfy even the most active individuals. The nearby Coronado National Forest offers hiking, fishing and other outdoor adventures. Golfers can find several challenging courses nearby, including Rio Rico, a destination resort with a Robert Trent Jones course and the historic Tubac Golf Resort, which numbers Bing Crosby as one of its founders. Big city amenities, such as a major airport, shopping and quality medical facilities, are fairly close by in Tucson, less than hour away.

For a small town, Tubac has an amazing number of diversions to occupy one's time. In addition to the numerous art galleries, working studios and gift shops, there is the Tubac Center of the Arts, which provides a broad spectrum of art programs and seasonal exhibitions. This internationally known artist colony and historic site hosts a variety of special events annually, including Festival of the Arts, the oldest art fair in the state and hosts artists and craftspeople from all over the country during this nine-day event held in February and Art Walk in March.

Fall festivals include Anza Days in October and Tubac-An Art Experience in November. In December, the holiday season is marked by Las Fiesta de Tumacacori and Luminaria/Fiesta Navidad.

Compared to other areas of Arizona, the cost of living is lower in Tubac than might be expected. Also real estate costs are very attractive when viewed against other retirement and resort areas in the desert Southwest. Obviously, because of the small size of the original portion of Tubac, there is a rather limited inventory of homes in that section.

Most homes currently on the market are in one of several master-planned communities that have been developed around Tubac. Among these, Tubac Golf Resort, a historic golf resort, has begun sales of some residential lots that have only recently been made available for building. While prices there and in other new communities such as Barrio de Tubad and Morningstar Ranch can be somewhat expensive, they are still reasonably priced in comparison to property at similar developments in areas of Arizona.

January Avg. Low - 33 July Avg. High - 96
Rainfall - 14" Snowfall - 0


places to retire for golf communities


Tubac Center for the Arts

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

Historic Missions




Tucson Chamber of Commerce

Tubac Chamber

Green Valley Chamber

Nogales-Santa Cruz Chamber

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