AZ is well known for the counties, towns, and cities with spectacular history and sights.
Benson is one of the cities, and it is located in Cochise County, from Tucson; it is fifty miles east; one thing about the place is that when you visit Benson, you attain the bragging rights of Cochise County.
In 1880, the city came into existence; at that time, in Southern Arizona, the Pacific Railroad equally came. The name of the city was derived from Judge W. Benson, the president of the railroad who resided there for so many years.
One of the most popular things about the place is “Kartchner Caverns,” the limestone cave with live icicles. Also, there is a Holy Trinity Monastery that offers spiritual delight to both visitors and locals.
As a visitor, you can visit the Historical Museum of Benson and learn about its historical past. The city’s culture is intrinsic to the old west and the Railroad heritage.
In addition, there are other recreational activities for everyone to participate in. Therefore, whenever you visit Benson, Arizona, here are some fun things that you can do:
Things to Do in Benson, AZ
1. Visit ‘Live’ Kartchner Caverns
This is on the top of everyone’s list whenever they come to Benson because all that has been said about it is true. You will find delicate formations of soda straws, helictites, and the 6-stories known as Kublai Khan.
Partaking in the tour helps one understand and learn about bats life cycle since the cave has remained their home from time immemorial.
The name was derived from the cave founders Lois Kartchner and James. They came together and ensured that the cave was safeguarded and used properly.
Address: Highway 90, 9 miles (14 km) south of Interstate 10, 85602 Benson, AZ
2. Go to Forever Home Donkey Rescue and see the Rescued Horses
The home is a non-profit organization that houses a good number of rescued horses and mules. It is situated on the Rockspring of Benson. In this home, maltreated, and the owners and staff are caring for neglected animals.
The staff is very welcoming to both visitors, and the animals receive special love and care. Visitors are allowed to play with the animals and even brush them. In addition, there is room for learning about the history of the donkeys. You will be delighted to come here.
Address: 360 W Rockspring Ln, Benson, AZ 85602, United States
3. Visit Double R Guest Ranch
You can come with your entire family and enjoy real-life cowboy adventures. This ranch has remained in existence for more than 30 years, offering visitors and locals mountain tours with a guide and on horseback.
These guides are professional cowboys that know all about the landscapes and trails at the top of their fingers.
The mountains were once home to Apache Indians. Explore the view, and scenic trails, learn about horse riding and watch the unique birds. You can celebrate any occasion or come and have a good weekend.
Address: 440 W Cimarron Ln, Benson, AZ 85602, United States
4. The Whetstone Mountains
The Whetstone Mountains is a picturesque place within Cochise County, at the popular National Forest of Coronado. You can gain access to this mountain by foot; it is usually fun as you take the State Park of Kartchner Caves and pass through their hiking trails.
History shows that in 1882, Whetstone Mountain is where Wyatt Earp fought in an old cowboy gunfight. The apex peak is Apache Peak which is as high as 7714 feet (2351 meters)
Address: Highway 90, 9 miles (14 km) south of Interstate 10, 85602 Benson, AZ
5. View Exotic Birds at Oasis Sanctuary
Oasis Sanctuary is a world of exotic birds found on N. Teran Road, a nonprofit organization that cares for the caves’ welfare. The facility has dedicated its time to rescuing birds and serving as a facility for live care, shelter, permanent care, and even providing rehabilitation.
Their doors are open to Passerines, racing pigeons, macaws, cockatoos, and parrots.
Interestingly, many of the birds have special needs, and at some point in their lives, they have passed through physical and emotional abuse, which has led to their unusual behavior. You can visit to learn more about these birds.
Address: 5411 N Teran Rd, Benson, AZ 85602, United States
6. Visit Benson Visitor Center – Train Depot and get a Warm Welcome
Situated in the city’s historic downtown, the street is called East Fourth. It has similar architectural features to the initial depot built over a century ago.
In addition, they have added a train simulator. Its usage is free. Afterward, you will receive their Souvenir, the Certificate of Benson Train Engineer.
This is a good start for your exploration when you visit Benson because the replica AAR Control Stand manages a “G” Scale Train on the 96 feet track that moves around the inner area of their Visitor Center. Kids are also welcome here.
Address: 249 E 4th St, 85602 Benson, AZ
7. Go to Gammon Gulch; a Movie Set Location
The Wild West movies are being filmed here. Gammon Gulch is located on the W Rockspring of Ln. A visit to this place always feels like traveling through the history lane to an Old Town in the west with its tiny alleyways.
A mining camp with the mining equipment, mine, and miners’ cabin car, is found here in Gulch. The location equally features beautiful views of mountains.
That is why you must have seen the view in most movies filmed in Gammon Gulch. So come with your picnic basket and enjoy in their saloon. Bring your friends along.
Address: 331 W Rockspring Lane, 85602 Benson, AZ
8. Go to ‘The Thing.’
In the state, a location, N. Johnson Road, has an attraction named “The Thing.” This sparse desert is very attractive, and people always stop by.
Homer Tate created the attraction, featuring a mummified child and mother. In the mid- 20th century, a man called Thomas Brinkley purchased “the Thing” and then made it the attraction it is today.
Address: 2631 Johnson Rd, 85602 Benson, AZ
9. Butterfield Overland Mail Station ruins
In the early 1800s, John Butterfield founded this station. On the Tucson and Arizona border, you will find other stations like Dragoon Springs and Apache Pass. This station is a huge historical site with a vast American railway history. The station ruins still have the old station’s walls.
Address: Interstate 10 East, Dragoon Road, Exit 318
10. The Quarles Art Gallery
This gallery belongs to a couple, Doug Quarles and Sharon. It used to be a movie theater that was subsequently transformed into an art gallery exhibiting various artworks. The couple is both artists and has each learned their photo-realistic styles of painting.
Their popularity is because of their paintings and lifelike murals that depict the beautiful livestock, landscapes, and life of people in the cities of Arizona as well as Old Western ways.
When they settled in Benson, they used to display their exhibits in places like Wilcox, Sierra Vista, Tombstone, and other places before 2013.
Address: 1020 B, W 4th St, Benson, AZ 85602, United States
11. Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
This store has secondhand goods for sale. Whether you are a bargain hunter, this place is for you. They have household items, purses, handbags, old furniture, appliances, and clothes that parishioners donated. Volunteers sign up to manage and operate the store.
The sales proceeds are used to help disadvantaged and financially challenged people in Benson. Fresh produce is equally given out to such people; they also add a one-night hotel stay and free food. The store aims at restoring humanity through charitable activities.
Address: 181 S Patagonia St, Benson, AZ 85602, United States
12. Visit the Singing Wind Bookstore
The Bookstore of Benson, Az, offers Southwest Literature. It is situated on the Singing Wind Road and has Honoured Southwestern Literature for over 40 years. Note that the store is located within a functional cattle ranch.
It focuses on the culture and southwest writers, tackling nonfiction, journalism, and fiction. In 1956, the owners (Bundy) received a Library Science Master’s Degree and purchased the original Singing Wind Ranch, then in 1974, opened the bookstore.
The books they sell are usually signed because the Bundy are knowledgeable in their practice. Unfortunately, to locate a book, you have to ask for assistance because the shelves are not labeled.
Address: 700 W Singing Wind Rd, Benson, AZ 85602, United States
13. Visit Benson Historical Museum and learn the history
It is best to be well abreast with a location’s history; thus, you can visit the Museum on San Pedro Street. In 1987, the museum came into existence, featuring historically significant items in Benson.
Initially, it was located in the Municipal Building of Benson and moved to the new location for visitors to have access to the collections and exhibits. The items are related to the country’s doctors, agricultural heritage, and founding fathers.
Address: 180 S San Pedro St, Benson, AZ 85602, United States
14. Visit Holy Trinity Monastery
The monastery was founded in the year 1974, in the Olivetan tradition. The monastery is where you can go for prayer, work, hospitality, and service for everyone to grow in the love of God and love for others. It occupies 132 acres.
Also, there is a 1.3mile bird sanctuary trail. When you visit, you can see the Benedictine oblates community living in the place. They stay there to ensure a rhythm and balance of work and prayer.
You can visit the auditorium, lakes and ponds, library, and Adobe chapel. The place is excellent for prayer and meditation. Pray for your family, friends, and the world at large.
Address: 1605 S St Marys Way, St David, AZ 85630, United States
15. Arena Bar
This bar offers so many beers and action too. They have only five employees, and each of them is very friendly as well as entertaining. The drinks are price friendly, and you can take a tasty bar chow as you communicate with locals.
There is a large outdoor arena for events, such as outdoor concerts, live band performances, or rodeo shows. They serve meals in designated areas, grandstands, bleachers, and outdoor bars. Pay attention to the billboards to see when an event comes up.
Address: 250 N Prickly Pear Ave, Benson, AZ 85602, United States
16. City of Benson Parks & Recreation
Citizens and visitors come here to have fun and picnic too. In Benson, there are three main public parks that are verdant and vast.
The Lions Park features sports facilities such as a state park, volleyball, walking trails, playgrounds, basketball courts, grills, ramadas, and restrooms.
Apache Park is situated in the popular historic district. In 1949, Apache Nitrogen Products, Inc. Union Street Park donated to the district. The place is equally good for children. However, you have to pay a small fee to use the facility.
Address: 1204 N Johnson St, Benson, NC 27504, United States
17. Visit San Pedro Golf Course and Try your Swing
The Golf Course came into existence in 2003, a Course of 18-hole in Tucson. The public facility is managed and owned by Benson city, and you cannot underestimate its amenities.
It is a cost-friendly attraction that offers an exceptional golf experience for visitors and locals. It has a front nine and back nine holes that offer a River-wilderness feeling. It occupies 7187 yards.
Address: 926 N Madison Ave, 85602 Benson, AZ.
18. Horseshoe Café and Bakery
For as long as 1936, the Horseshoe Cafe and Bakery has served classic homely dishes and desserts to their customers in Benson.
The iconic cafe is on E 4th St. with a long neon sign on its facade. Many movies feature this cafe because it is everybody’s favorite destination when it comes to satisfying food cravings. You can equally celebrate your birthday or an occasion here.
Stop by and have breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Their meals are made from fresh ingredients that are locally sourced. Begin with the soups or sandwiches and end with a chocolate pie or fresh celebration cake.
Address: 154 E 4th St, Benson, AZ 85602
19. Visit Murals Benson and See the Local History and Culture
Here, stunning murals are on the sides and walls of the building around Benson. Most of the murals get inspiration from the historical train industry. Doug Quarrels, an artist, provided the city with 40 murals.
In 2013, a nonprofit organization, Benson Clean and Beautiful, commissioned Quarrels to grow civic pride and promote the town through murals.
Due to the fact that Benson remains a gateway to Cochise County, they felt it is best to use murals and greet visitors with the historical story of the city.
20. Visit Benson Public Library
The Public library is located on S. Huachuca Street. It occupies a space of about 8175 square feet and offers different media and materials, ranging from audiobooks, audiotapes, and books to videos and CDs. This place is a heaven on earth for book lovers.
Address: 300 S Huachuca St, Benson, AZ 85602, USA.
21. Visit Butterfield RV Resort and Observatory and attend a Free Nightly Show
This is a place for everyone, apart from the fact that it equally affords one a chance to use the Meade LX-200 GPS 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. The Resort features a nightly star show in the fifteen-diameter dome.
Also, it can only occupy 18 people due to its seating capacity; thus, you should register earlier and save a spot for yourself. If you want to cancel your reservation, they request that you inform them. Their residential astronomers add humor to their commentaries. It is always entertaining.
Address: 251 S Ocotillo Ave, Benson, AZ 85602, USA