This small town is named, like its cross-border sister, for the walnut trees that once thrived in the area. It has long been Santa Cruz County’s seat, and the beautiful old neoclassical shiny-domed Santa Cruz County Courthouse (2150 N. Congress Dr.), built in 1904 out of stone quarried locally, lends it a historic feel that belies the constant comings and goings of a border town.
The Old City Hall building, built in 1914, now houses the Pimería Alta Historical Society (Grand Ave. and Crawford St., 520/287-4621, Wed.–Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.), with several interesting exhibits and artifacts on the history of the region.
The town’s historic downtown along Morley Avenue has a few stores that were established in the early 1900s and are still being run by descendants of pioneer merchants.
With dozens of authentic Mexican restaurants within an easy walk across the border, don’t spend too much time eating on the Arizona side. If you insist on eating in Arizona, try the steaks and Sonoran-style food at Las Vigas Steak Ranch (180 W. Loma St. at Fiesta Market off Arroyo Blvd., 520/287-6641), or the excellent Mexican food at Cocina La Ley (226 W. 3rd St., 520/287-4555).
© Tim Hull from Moon Tucson, 1st Edition