Patagonia: 18 miles NW of Nogales; 60 miles SE of Tucson; 171 miles SE of Phoenix; 50 miles SW of Tombstone

A mild climate, a few good restaurants, bed-and-breakfast inns, and a handful of wineries have turned the small communities of Patagonia and Sonoita into a favorite weekend getaway for Tucsonans. Sonoita Creek, one of the only perennial streams in southern Arizona, attracts an amazing variety of bird life and, consequently, this area also attracts flocks of bird-watchers from all over the country.

Patagonia and Sonoita are only about 12 miles apart, but they have decidedly different characters. Patagonia is a sleepy little hamlet with tree-shaded streets, quite a few old adobe buildings, and a big park in the middle of town. The town's main draw, especially for bird-watchers, is the Nature Conservancy preserve on the western edge of town. Sonoita, on the other hand, sits out on the windswept high plains and is really a highway crossroads, not a town. The landscape around Sonoita, however, is filled with expensive new homes on small ranches, and not far away are the vineyards of one of Arizona's main wine regions.