There are a number of places you can be stationed as an Army family that send shivers up and down your spine. Fort Drum, Fort Polk, and for those in the intelligence field, Fort Huachuca. In the middle of nowhere, Arizona, about 90 minutes southeast of Tucson — yes, you can go 90 minutes southeast of Tucson and still be in Arizona, barely — you can find a small town. It may not look appealing in the month of April, but with a beautiful monsoon season and a moderate winter, there are many things that make “Fort We-gotcha” a blessing in disguise.
Get Outside and Explore
Hands down, the best part about living in the Fort Huachuca area is being outside. Kids can play outside every day here. They may need a light jacket, and they may get wet in the summer, but every…day. It’s a parent’s heaven. Want to go hiking? There are several options on and off the installation, and most of them are good for small feet.
In the summer, you may find the installation pool a little — well — frigid, and staffed by overzealous lifeguards, so here’s a tip: Try the Huachuca City Pool. Or, look into the summer pool membership at Pueblo Del Sol Country Club. Splash pads aren’t really big in Sierra Vista, but if you want to make the trip to Tucson, you’ll have more options.
Pro tip: There are several great playgrounds in the area, including one over by the mall that has covered play equipment and bathrooms. Try there first!
While not exactly the Mediterranean, Arizona has a fantastic environment for grapes. And grapes, as we all know, make one of our favorite beverages. Wine-tasting venues, wine festivals, and winery tours are all on the list of things you simply must try in southeastern Arizona.
One of our favorites is Hops and Vines in nearby Sonoita, which is also quite close to Flying Leap Vineyards & Distillery. We’ve managed to score some great tastings in these vineyards, and even walked away with an amazing bottle of Fort Huachuca Red to savor the memories. If you want to make a weekend of it, you may consider traveling up to Elgin and staying at bed and breakfast.
Pro tip: Consider joining the Fort Huachuca Community Spouses’ Club and tag along on one of their wine tours. And don’t miss the Jazz Festival on Brown Parade Field in early summer, they have wine there too!
A Great Local Community
One of the best things about living in Fort Huachuca, or the surrounding area of Sierra Vista, is the local community. There is a festival almost every weekend and Veterans Memorial Park, in the middle of town, plays host to playgroups, farmers markets, and service projects.
Topping the list of don’t-miss events are the Festival of the Southwest in mid-May, the annual Veterans Day parade, and the evening Christmas Parade the first Saturday of December. The town packs both sides of Fry from about 7th down to the entrance of Veterans Park, and it is an amazing experience.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a great place to unwind with friends and maybe play a game while enjoying a great bottle of wine, but you don’t want to clean your house, check out Hoppin’ Grapes. It’s a military-spouse- and veteran-owned wine bar that brings a little class to your glass.
Enjoy your time in the desert, however long — or short — it may be.
Daydreaming about where the Army could send you next? Check out all of our Army guides for Living Like a Local. ‘Cause, hey, a military spouse can dream, right?
Photo Credits: Rebecca Alwine | Unsplash