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Welcome to Benson, Arizona 
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Benson is located in the scenic and historic San Pedro Valley of southeastern Arizona.  We are 45 miles southeast of Tucson just off of  I-10, AZ Hwy 90 and US Hwy 80. 

The Southern Pacific Railroad completed in the 1880's, established Benson as a transportation hub of the area and Benson incorporated in 1924. In the early 1900's, the community grew along with the demand for copper and silver. Metals mined in the San Pedro Valley were shipped to Benson for smelting and distribution by railway. The Southern Pacific Railroad main line runs through Benson offering AMTRAK drop-off and pickup. Even now, the close proximity of the railway, the interstate, and state highways remains an advantage for businesses and tourism.

Benson is centrally located and has some of the most important visitor attractions within a short drive. Cultural and historic sites, national and state parks, ghost towns and mining history, and birding and wildlife preserves. Some of the nearby scenic and historic sites include Tombstone, Bisbee, Cochise Stronghold, Chiricahua National Monument, Ft. Bowie and Kartchner Caverns and these are just of few of the many things to do and see in our area.  

The moderate climate of the Benson area makes us a great relocation and retirement community. The mid desert elevation of 3,580 feet, makes it much cooler than  the low desert communities of Tucson and Phoenix but warmer than some of the high desert communities.

The public school system consists of two elementary schools and a high school. There are two private schools, a library, a new 18-hole tournament class golf course and a nine-hole course, senior citizens center, museum/gallery, hospital, and numerous restaurants, hotels/motels. A variety of shopping is available from groceries, clothing and gifts to feed stores.  You will find all that you need in Benson without going to the larger cities. 

Attractions      Benson Calendar of Events      Attractions By Area

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Attractions

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The Amerind Foundation -  Located 12 miles east of Benson in Texas Canyon. Take exit 318 and go south towards Dragoon, follow the signs. It will be on the north side of the road. These unique center has Indian artifacts from archaeological digs, paintings, and antique furnishings. For more information call 520-586-3666.

Benson Historic Walking Tour - Pick up a brochure on the Historic Walking Tour at the Benson Tourist Center located in the Railroad Depot.  This walk through Benson's past will tell you about the town's architecture, inhabitants and cultures. 

Cochise Stronghold - Located within the Coronado National Forest this unique rock "fortress" was one of the favorites of the Chiricahua Apache Indians.  There is camping, picnic grounds and hiking trails. Somewhere within this fortress the Apache chief Cochise is buried, however the location was known only to a select few so he rests in peace here. Located off Hwy 191 South and Ironwood, go east about 10 miles.

Ghost Town Trail - This unique "trail" starts in Pearce, Arizona and goes through Gleeson and Courtland ending up in Tombstone. Located off of Hwy 191 South past Sunsites.

Holy Trinity Monastery - Located 9 miles south of Benson and 2 miles south of St. David on Hwy 80. Book store, Gift shop, Library, Oriental garden, Museum, Art Gallery, Bird Sanctuary and Thrift Shop. Holds seasonal festivals that attract hundreds of visitors. For more information call 520-720-4642.

Kartchner Caverns State Park - Located on Hwy 90 in the Whetstone Mountains these unique caverns are the most pristine in the United States. The second "room" is about to opened to the public. These are living, growing wet caves, the moisture levels are closely monitored to make sure that they are not destroyed, and you do need to call ahead for reservations as a limited number of people are allowed in to the caves daily. There are camping facilities, hiking trails, bird sanctuary, visitors center, interprative displays and a gift shop.  For more information and reservations call 520-586-2283.  For general info: 520-586-4100.

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (NCA) extends from St. David, Arizona to Naco, Mexico. The San Pedro House is located off of Hwy 90 between Sierra Vista and Bisbee.  On the 40 miles of the upper San Pedro River the conservation area has over 50,000 acres with quantities of wildlife and vegetation, including over 350 species of birds. Over 250 recorded prehistoric and historic sites, the area offers birdwatching, wildlife viewing, photography, hiking, camping, seasonal hunting, horseback riding, nature studies and environmental education.  For more information please call Fairbanks BLM Headquarters at 520-586-3467

San Pedro Valley Arts & Historical Society is located in Benson on the corner of 5th St./San Pedro St. The Art Gallery and Historical Museum with changing displays and exhibits, is one of the area's cultural centers. Originally the building was a grocery store, and is now on the National Register for Historic Buildings.

Texas Canyon is located 14 miles east of Benson on I-10. This area is covered in huge rock formations, with rocks balancing on other rocks, odd shapes and sizes. This just one of the areas with unique rock formations in our area and is located in the "saddle" between the San Pedro Valley and the Sulphur Springs Valley.  Views into both valleys are quite spectacular and can be enjoyed by stopping at the rest stop in the middle of the Canyon.

Vega-Bray Observatory  is located on a hill overlooking the beautiful San Pedro River valley near Benson. The observatory has eight major telescopes from 6 to 20 inches in diameter. There is a planetarium, science classroom and museum. For more info call 520-745-2390.

Benson Calendar of Events

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February Territorial Days - Second Weekend
July Fourth of July Celebration
October Butterfield Stage Days - Second Weekend
November Valley Crafters Show - Second Weekend
December Cascabel Christmas Fair - First Weekend

Attractions By Area

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Benson/St. David
Benson Historical Walking Tour
Holy Trinity Monistary
Kartchner Caverns State Park
San Pedro Valley Art and Historical Museum
Vega-Bray Observatory

Dragoon/Pearce/Sunsites
Amerind Foundation
Cochise Stronghold
Ghost Town Trail - starts in Pearce
Texas Canyon

Tombstone
Boot Hill Cemetery
Historical City - home of the infamous OK corral, the Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday
The Bird Cage Theatre
Tombstone Rose - The largest rose bush in the world
Shoot outs, stagecoach rides, museums and more.

Sierra Vista/Ft.Huachuca
Coronado National Forest - Located next to the Mexico border this area is part of the trail that Coronado used in his explorations. Visitors Center, camping and picnics.
Fort Huachuca Historical Museum and Military Reservation
San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area
Ramsey Canyon Bird Sanctuary - several species of hummingbirds, golden eagles, and numerous other birds and wildlife inhabit this pristine area owned by the Nature Conservancy. Located in a canyon in the Huachuca Mountains.

Cochise/Dos Cabezas/Willcox
Chiricahua National Monument/Wonderland of Rocks
Cochise Hotel
Dos Cabezas - Ghost town
Fort Bowie
Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum

Bisbee
Copper Queen Hotel
Tour of the Historical Bisbee District
Lavender Pit - open pit copper mine
Museums
Queen Mine Tour - tour the old underground section of a copper mine.
Shopping - Arts & Crafts

Tucson/Green Valley
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - This is a one of a kind museum. Located in the Saguaro National Monument West.
Colossal Cave - This is a "dead" cave unlike Kartchner Caverns.
Ft. Lowell - remains of old adobe fort and museum
Old Tucson Movie Studio
Pima Air Museum - a great display of airplanes and associated memorabilia!
Saguaro National Monument East & West
San Xavier Mission
Titan Missile Museum
Tubac Mission

Mexico
Agua Prieta - 74 miles from Benson, is across the border from Douglas. Good shopping.
Naco is 56 miles from Benson, is a border crossing. No shopping.
Nogales - 73 miles from Benson, is across the border from Nogales, AZ. Good shopping and within a couple hours drive you can reach Rocky Point and the Sea of Cortez.

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Benson/San Pedro Valley Chamber of Commerce
249 E. 4th Street
PO Box 2255
Benson, AZ 85602
Telephone: 520-586-2842 or 520-586-1920
Fax: 520-586-1972

email: info@bensonchamberaz.com

825 East 4th Street
Benson, AZ
520 586-9314