/ Modified mar 28, 2024 11:45 a.m.

Short Drives and Big Adventures in Southern Arizona

Episode 1026

Patagonia Lake State Park
Residents who want a dependable source of water for fishing or boating in southern Arizona don’t have to travel to Mexico or another state: Patagonia Lake State Park in Santa Cruz County offers various options for visitors at the property’s more than 2,000 of acres, of which the lake encompasses about 260 acres. The park offers boating, fishing, trails, camping and other activities and is considered “an oasis in the desert” by many of its supporters. Prior to the park opening and being dedicated on April 1, 1975, after the state purchased the land, it was private property as part of the Patagonia Recreation Association, Inc. (LPRA) which had finished acquiring the land on October 3, 1967.

Rock Shop
Tucson hosts the world’s largest gem and mineral show in February, but one store on the westside that keeps the tradition going 365 days a year. Tucson Mineral and Gem World has been selling delightful oddities for 57 years and counting, even during the hottest time of year.

Around Oracle
Oracle is a small community north of Tucson that is full of history and character even though many people in other parts of Arizona haven’t taken the time to visit. The town is known for its artists, Arizona’s longest zipline eco-tour that held its grand opening in January 2016, an active historical society, and a growing number of restaurants and other attractions.

Gordon Hirabayashi
There is a sign on the road to Mount Lemmon that reads Gordon Hirabayashi. During World War II the site where that sign stands was a prison camp. Gordon Hirabayashi was an inmate. Hirabayashi was one of only three Japanese Americans to openly defy the U.S. government when it forcibly interned nearly 70,000 American citizens of Japanese descent into harsh and isolated detention camps. This is the story of how he went from prisoner to civil rights hero.

Sabino Dam
Flowing water in the desert is often hard to fight but there's a place in Tucson that provides a dependable aquatic environment most of the year. Sabino Dam is an easy walk that’s about a mile from the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center. The destination provides an accessible oasis to tens of thousands of people in our community each year.

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