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Road Trips

Ah, a road trip.... The freedom of getting in your car, choosing a destination, making a few plans, and you're off!

Road trips create memories, and allow us to relax. We slow down and talk more, laugh more. Road trips lift our spirits and remind us how good it feels to be free to go wherever we choose to drive.

Our cars are part of our freedom of choice. As long as your car is serviced and well-maintained, nothing can hold you back.

Each quarter we add a new road trip:

Tombstone and Southeast Arizona

Crystal Palace in Tombstone, Arizona.

Head east out of Tucson and drive back through time and into cowboy country, visiting Tombstone, Fort Bowie, the Slaughter Ranch, and the Chiricahua Mountains, once an Apache stronghold.

Photo courtesy Crystal Palace Saloon, Tombstone.

Tombstone Online
Learn about the town that is "a living testament to the Old West," and get information on the O. K. Corral, Wyatt Earp, Boothill cemetery, and the Tombstone rose. Additional site information includes lodging, dining, merchants, ghost towns, events, history, and other area attractions.

Kartchner Caverns State Park
These enormous limestone caverns in the Whestone Mountains near Benson contain an impressive array of colorful mineral formations that have developed over eons.

Holy Trinity Monastery
The residents of this Benedictine religious community, located between Benson and Tombstone, have developed a 130-acre bird sanctuary along the San Pedro River.

Coronado National Memorial
This memorial to Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who searched fruitlessly for the Seven Cities of Cibola and died in obscurity, is located in Montezuma Canyon at the southwestern end of the Huachuca Mountains.

Slaughter Ranch
John Slaughter's 1884 ranch house and other buildings, in extreme Southeastern Arizona, have been preserved so visitors can see what ranch living was like for the wealthy at the turn of the last century.

Fort Bowie National Historic Site
The ruins of Fort Bowie, build in 1862 to combat Apache raids led by Cochise, can be reached by an easy 3-mile roundtrip hike, which provides a real treat at it rambles past Butterfield Stage Station and Apache Spring.

Chiricahua National Monument
Spectacular eroded volcanic formations and rare bird life make this one of the most unusual attractions in the state.

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Silver City, New Mexico

image, Silver City, New Mexico.

Escape the Sonoran desert heat for historic Silver City, New Mexico, and the Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway. The byway includes the Silver City Museum, the Big Ditch Park, historic Pinos Altos, Gila National Forest and Wilderness, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Lake Roberts, Bear Canyon Dam waterfall, the Mimbres River Valley, the Santa Rita open pit copper mine, and historic Fort Bayard Officers' Quarters.

Photo courtesy Silver City/Grant County Chamber of Commerce.

Silver City/Grant County Chamber of Commerce
Take a photo tour of the Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway and learn about local attractions, dining, lodging, events, shopping, and more.

Gila National Forest and Wilderness
The Gila National Forest has spectacular scenery ranging from high cool mountains with aspen and douglas fir to warm semi-arid lowlands with juniper, oak and cactus. It is one of the more remote and least developed national forests in the Southwest.

Old West Country—Explore Southwest New Mexico
Learn about attractions, communities, dining tours, birding, and annual events; and view slideshows or visit the country store.

Silver City History and Facts
50 Healthiest Places to Live and Retire gave the historic community of Silver City a high rating, primarily due to climate, elevation, terrain and "lack of urban stress."

Town of Silver City, New Mexico
Official Town of Silver City website.

Silver City Daily Press
Featuring community news, columns, Silver scene, arts and entertainment, sports action, and more.

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San Diego

image, San Diego's bustling downtown and sunny beaches are only eight hours from Southern Arizona.

As the weather warms up in Tucson, it's a great time for a road trip to the temperate climate of San Diego. San Diego boasts a bustling downtown, scores of beaches, and plenty of seaside and inland attractions. And it's only eight hours via smooth interstate from Tucson.  

SanDiego.com
San Diego news, culture, hotels, coupons, classifieds, dining, and more.

San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau
Everything online about visiting San Diego, from where to stay to what to do.

City of San Diego
Learn more about the self-acclaimed "most efficiently run big city in California."

San Diego Source - The Daily Transcript
San Diego news online, featuring the San Diego Sourcebook 2004.

San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is one of the most visited and best known zoos in the world. The zoo also hosts a botanical garden, and is a repository for tropical endangered plant species from around the world. Site also includes Wild Animal Park information.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
The interpretive center for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, the Birch Aquarium is an outstanding small aquarium.

The Gaslamp Quarter
San Diego's liveliest neighborhood is the Gaslamp Quarter, adjacent to downtown. Information about dining, shopping, lodging, entertainment, events, and more in San Diego's historic center.

SeaWorld Adventure Park
SeaWorld San Diego features rides, shows, animal attractions, and more.

La Jolla by the Sea
Interactive Website featuring information about San Diego's beachside jewel, La Jolla. Site includes a slideshow, hotel, restaurants, shopping, art, community planning association, and more.

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Driving Into Mexico

Planning a driving trip to Mexico? Winter is the ideal time to drive from Southern Arizona into Mexico, with its coastal resorts and warmer weather. If planned well, including ensuring your car is in good condition, your trip promises to be a cultural experience you'll remember for a lifetime.

Take a minute to review our Mexico travel requirements list—courtesy of AAA Arizona—then review the following links for more information.

image, San Carlos, one of Sonora's most beautiful destinations and only a six-hour drive from Tucson.

Photo courtesy of Go2SanCarlos.org.

There are four requirements for driving into Mexico:

1. Proof of Citizenship
Anyone traveling into Mexico must have proof of citizenship in order to return to the United States. Acceptable proofs of citizenship for U.S. or Canadian citizens include current passport, original state-issue birth certificate, and original certificate of naturalization. Drivers licenses, baptismal certificates, and voter registration cards are not acceptable.

2. Tourist Visa (a.k.a. Immigration Permit)
Anyone visiting the Free Trade Zone for more than 72 hours, anyone traveling into Sonora under the Only Sonora Program for more than 72 hours, or anyone traveling into the interior of Mexico regardless of length of stay must have a tourist visa. Blank tourist visas can be acquired in advance of your trip form Mexican consultants in the U.S. and Canada, or from Immigration (Emigracion) offices at border Points of Entry. Present your proof of citizenship and a completed tourist visa form to the immigration agent for an official stamp before proceeding into Mexico.

3. Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit
Anyone traveling into Sonora or the interior of Mexico must get a Vehicle Permit. Mexican authorities consider it a temporary importation of your vehicle when you drive your car into Mexico, and will also have you sign a Promise to Return Vehicle to ensure you will return the vehicle to the United States. To obtain the Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit, you must have a valid drivers license; the vehicle's original title or original registration; a notarized letter from the leasing company and/or registered owner giving you permission to take the vehicle into Mexico if the vehicle is leased or not owned by you; a letter from the lien-holder authorizing use of the vehicle in Mexico if there is a lien on the vehicle; a major credit card in your name—you will use the credit card to pay the vehicle permit fee, which is approximately $11-$20. The card is also used to guarantee to the Mexican government that the vehicle will be returned to the U.S. If traveling under the Only Sonora Program, the vehicle permit fee is waived.

4. Mexico Insurance
U.S. automobile insurance is not valid in Mexico. Even though some U.S. companies extend their coverage a certain number of miles from the border, if you have an accident only a Mexican automobile liability policy is acceptable by the Mexican authorities as evidence of financial responsibility. Under Mexican law, an auto accident is a criminal offense and authorities there operate on the Napoleonic Code, which presume guilt until innocence is proven. As a result, all parties involved in a motor vehicle accident in Mexico are detained for assessing responsibility. A Mexican insurance policy is recognized by the authorities as a guarantee of proper payment for damages according to the terms of the policy. When presented, it can significantly reduce red tape and help to bring about an early release. All accidents or claims must be reported before leaving Mexico. To obtain Mexico insurance, you will need your valid title or registration; coverage sheet from your current insurance; valid drivers license for the person(s) listed on the title or registration; a letter from your leasing company giving you permission to take the vehicle into Mexico if the automobile is leased (refer to your lease agreement); a notarized letter from the owner granting permission to take the vehicle into Mexico if your name is not listed on the registration or title.

Use the resources below to learn more about driving into Mexico:

Arizona Daily Star's Step-by-Step Tips Into Mexico
General information on insurance, Border Zone, tourist permit, vehicle permits, exceptions, and general advice.

Mexico Insurance Online from AAA Arizona
If you are a AAA member, complete this online Mexico insurance form to download/print a certificate of Mexico insurance.

Mexico Travel Guide
Includes travel trips, Spanish helper, Mexico articles, travel links, Mexico hotel information, and much more.

Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce
Bridging Nogales, Arizona with Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, the Nogales-Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce offers information on visiting Mexico, including travel tips, destinations, and maps.

Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) Mexico Online
A wealth of information about Sonora's most popular drive from Tucson, including where to stay, where to dine, how to get there, and weather information.

San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
Information about the Mexican resort community of San Carlos, located on the Sea of Cortez, about a six-hour drive from Tucson.

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Arizona's White Mountains

image, Fall driving tours of Arizona's White Mountains make for great road trips.

Catch the turning aspen leaves in Arizona's White Mountains, a scenic drive from Tucson for a weekend (or more) destination.

Photo courtesy of AZWhiteMountains.net.
  

AZWhiteMountains.net
Comprehensive White Mountain site ranging from travel information to events, weekend getaways to history.

WhiteMountainsGuide.com
Where to go, what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and what you need to know about Arizona's White Mountains.

Hiking in the White Mountains
A resource for hiking and other outdoor activities in the White Mountains.

Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce
Discover Arizona's cool mountain hideaway with this online tourism guide.

Show Low Chamber of Commerce
Learn more about Show Low, the "fun and adventure capital of Arizona's White Mountains."

GreerAZ.com
Find a bed and breakfast, backwoods cabin, restaurants, and more in the town of Greer.

White Mountain Apache Tribe
The official Website of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, with information about visiting the White Mountain Apache Reservation.

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