On July 20th-22nd, the Local First Arizona Foundation brought 16 guests to Douglas, AZ to experience an arts, culture, and heritage getaway in a charming border-town. The experience quickly became a hit among our out-of-town visitors, featuring a stay in the beautiful Gadsden Hotel, local art making experiences, tours, and more.
According to one of our guests, the Douglas WeekendZona should officially be name "Fabulous-zona" (and I agree).
The weekend started at the Gadsden Hotel, a locally owned and operated hotel that has been being restored by the owners, Anel and Florenzo Lopez, for years. They strive to keep the beauty and history of this museum intact as they help bring some magic back to Douglas. The group received a private tour by the owners after a Mexican cuisine dinner at Casa Segovia. The dinner included the choice of cheese enchiladas or chile rellano and was followed with a flan dessert. Our guests were introduced to some traditional Mexican food on our first night in Douglas.
The next morning began at the fun Blueberry Cafe for breakfast that offered treats, breakfast sandwiches, burritos, smoothies, and coffee. Located downtown on G Avenue, it is just a short walk from the Gadsden Hotel. The entire cafe features pop-art pieces from a local artist that sells her work there.
After breakfast, the group headed to begin our tour with Douglas enthusiast, Ginny Jordan. She was born and raised in Douglas and after living in Tucson for some time, returned and eventually began the Faces of the Vietnam Veteran Museum which is where our tour began. As you enter the museum you can explore some of the history of Douglas and the Gadsden Hotel such as how the city began and some of the famous guests that have passed through there like Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Johnny Depp, and others.
Once we made our way through the museum we left the Gadsden Hotel and began our tour of Downtown Douglas while Ginny gave insight on the area's history. The tour went throughout Douglas, stopping at the church square which made it in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the only block with that many churches of a different denomination. The group then explored the border air museum which was the first international airport, and we ended our tour at the Art Car World!
After our tour we went to a make art event hosted by a local artists where guests were able to create pottery and paint. This was paired with a delicious wine tasting by Zapara Vineyard. The night ended with a Murder Mystery dinner hosted by the Gadsden where guests were served a three course meal while trying to discover the mystery of the night. After the amazing weekend, we ended the trip with breakfast at Mana, which offer breakfast with a Mexican cuisine twist.
A huge thank you to the City of Douglas, the Gasden Hotel, the Douglas Hispanic Chamber, Casa Segovia, Blueberry Cafe, and Mana for helping us put on such an amazing trip! We hope this inspires you to explore Douglas and other rural Arizona communities!