Tubac Travel Guide
You’ve signed up for a workshop in Tubac. Exciting! Now it’s time to plan your trip! We’ve put together this Tubac Travel Guide just for you. After reading this, you might want to plan extra time to soak in all of the peacefulness and beauty in our southern Arizona art community.
Getting to Tubac
A quick jaunt (30-40 minutes) down interstate 19, Tubac is easily accessible from Tucson International Airport. There are a few shuttles and private car services that serve the area. We have a new Uber driver in the area as well; she estimates a cost of between $45-55 to drive from the airport to TSFA. Once in Tubac, it’s unlikely you’ll have much use for a car as the town is small enough to travel on foot and the weather is beautiful.
Packing Tips for Artists
Here is my packing tip for artists. Make a list and check it twice.
There is nothing worse than getting to a workshop and realizing you’ve forgotten something.
I did this in Scottsdale. It wasn’t a problem as there is an art supply right there in Scottsdale. I thought I’d take my lunch hour and go pick up that paint. The only problem is, I’ve become so dependent on my Garmin, I don’t bother to ask for directions from real people anymore. I still trust a driving directions app because I’ll never remember every turn someone has told me. But in this instance, I was talking to my artist buddy, didn’t hear what Ms. Garmin said, and got going in the completely wrong direction. There wasn’t an exit for 5 miles! We’d gone 10 miles out of our way, and we were right back to where we started with only 45 more minutes to run our little errand and eat. I didn’t factor in the lunch hour traffic either. Apparently, everyone who’s anyone goes out to lunch in Scottsdale. Bottom line, we retrieved our forgotten supplies and returned to the school to find we had missed at least 45 minutes of Michelle Dunaway’s demo. Not to mention it took me a good 30 minutes to get back “in the zone.” Very disappointing!
I hate to say Tubac is in the middle of nowhere, but it is. A forgotten item won’t be replaced in an hour and a half. Luckily for us all, it’s a generous community and we love to share, but it’s much better to be prepared. I really like lists, specifically checklists, that I can print over and over. I have packing lists for all types of travel saved as templates in Evernote. I have one for cruise vacations, hiking trips, plein air excursions, and RV trips. I thought you might enjoy having one you could refer to for art workshops. Besides the art supplies listed on your workshop supply list, I have a downloadable checklist for the items you’ll want to consider bringing with you for your upcoming workshop in Tubac.
Flying with Art Supplies
Pack your “artists pigments” in your checked baggage. It’s a good idea to add cushioning between paint tubes to keep them from poking holes into one another. Bubble wrap works great but so do extra paper towels you can use when you arrive.
DO NOT take mineral spirits on flights. Let us know and we can have a bottle available for purchase when you arrive.
We have an arrangement with Viola Jo, a local art supply. If you prefer to have supply list items waiting for you, VJ will drop ship to the school. They will have the supply lists and require a minimum of 15 days’ notice. So, if you prefer to work with new materials or don’t want to worry about gathering and packing the required items for your class, this may be a great option for you.
Tubac: A Beautiful Place to Create
What is so special about Tubac?
- Beautiful environment, beautiful light
- Dark skies, a mandate for better stargazing
- Voluminous cloud formations and grandiose blue skies
- Surrounded by the Tumacacori and the Santa Rita mountain ranges, the sunsets are breathtaking. The fact that the sunset is amazing on both mountain ranges is baffling to me since one mountain is to the east and the other to the west.
- The textures- canyons, desert, rugged terrain, set against manicured golf courses.
- Abundant wildlife- rare and native birds, mule deer, javelinas, roadrunners, antelope jack rabbits, free-range cattle and wild horses.
- Excellent weather
- Award-winning resort accommodations
- Comfortable casitas and country inns.
- Locally owned restaurants
- A multitude of art galleries and studios to peruse
- Virtually no traffic
- Fabulous shopping
- Not to mention the fabulous Tubac School of Fine Art
Extra tips for visiting southern Arizona
Be Prepared!Be ready to create something beautiful in this unique southern Arizona Art community.
- What’s happening today in Tubac? There’s an app for that. It can be found here for iOS and here for Android. It helps you choose which of the many art galleries in Tubac you’ll want to visit, keeps you informed of special events, and offers guides to help you choose where to eat. The app has a great interactive map of the area.
- Remember the temperature can vary greatly in the desert. Cloudless skies allow daytime temperatures to escape quickly after nightfall. Bring a sweater or jacket for evenings and light layers for the daytime.
- The UV index is generally high in Arizona due to its proximity to the equator and doesn’t vary much throughout the year. Even if you’ll be visiting in the winter months you’ll need sunscreen and a hat.
- Crazy as it sounds, the interstate (I-19) leading to Tubac is measured in kilometers rather than miles, so this can be confusing when planning travel time. Typically, GoogleMaps is helpful with travel time estimates.
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