The Azure Gate Bed & Breakfast
Table Of Contents
The Azure Gate is a romantic secluded estate on 5 acres of botanical garden ambiance located in northeast Tucson, Arizona at the gateway to magnificent Mt. Lemmon.
Open its gate and enter a magical place of brightly designed Mexican tiles, saltillo tile floors, colorful walls, courtyards with splashing fountains, and exquisite gates made by artist, Simon Donovan.
Relax by its pool. Explore meandering pathways and trails. Fall asleep in one of the beautiful bedrooms to a desert lullaby of hooting owls and yipping coyotes. Awaken to a sunrise song of cooing doves and the fragrant anticipation of a delicious breakfast.The Azure Gate is near the intersection of Tanque Verde and Catalina Highway, just minutes from Saguaro National Park East, Mt. Lemmon, Bear Canyon, and Sabino Canyon, and twenty-five minutes from the airport.
Your hosts, Dennis and Christine Widman:Dennis and Christine have lived and traveled throughout the US and Europe. Dennis is an avid wildlife photographer with four books available, including books on Mammals, Birds, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds. Christine is a children's book writer. Her six books are available online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon as well as other online bookstores. Both love hiking, nature, good food, conversation, and the arts. They will gladly assist you in finding the spectacular trail, savory dinner, local festival, or artistic SW memento that creates a vacation in Tucson which is uniquely yours.
Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Dennis & Christine Widman for sharing their own secrets with BBOnline.com! Why do most travelers stay at your inn?
I think it is a combination of our five acres of botanical garden ambiance and proximity to all the activities that make Southern Arizona a tourist destination. We have quite a bit of wildlife here on our property including: Coyotes, Javelinas, Bobcats, Rabbits, Lizards, Snakes, and over 80 species of birds.
What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?
What seems to get mentioned most on Trip Advisor is our breakfasts. We have a wide variety of breakfasts to suit every diet and or allergy. Our breakfast may include: Lobster, Shrimp, Halibut, Swordfish, Salmon, Mahi Mahi, Chicken, Duck, Pork Tenderloin, Filet Mignon, Flat Iron Steak, Rack of Lamb and a wide variety of sausages. Cuisines include: Mexican, Spanish, Southwest, Italian, or Thai with a few tradional American breakfasts thrown in. Christine sets a beautiful table each morning depending on what is being served.
If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?
There are numerous reasons for people to come to Southern Arizona including its natural beauty unlike anything anywhere in the world. But, also the four cultures – Native American, Cowboy, Spanish, and Mexican — all converge here to create both historical places and art.
What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?
That we as hosts, have created a warm, friendly, and helpful atmosphere that makes their visit special.
What’s the best kept secret about the area?
There is so much to see and do in Southern Arizona that first time visitors rarely allocated enough time. But, it brings them back.
If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?
This really depends on their interests. Southern Arizona is quite amazing. There is so much to see and to do. It is a place of wonderful natural beauty. Four mountain ranges surround Tucson. Six additional ranges are just to the south. All offer incredible scenery, golfing, biking, hiking, horseback riding, birding, and wildlife viewing. It is also a place where four different cultures – Wild West, Native American, Mexican, and Spanish have had major influences, creating historical sites and beautiful art.
There is also an interesting "Technical" aspect of Southern Arizona: Kitt Peak National Observatory (one of the premier observatories in the World); Mount Lemmon Sky Center, another Observatory run by the University of Arizona and just up the mountain from us; Pima Air and Space Museum (again one of the premier of its kind in the US); Titan Missile Base Tours; Bisbee Cooper Mine Tour; and Biosphere II. There are two caves: Colossal Cave, a dry cave with an interesting history from the Wild West; and Kartchner Cavens a recently discovered wet (living) cave that rivals the best caves in the US.
There are fascinating museums: The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum is listed as one of the top in the Country; the Creative Photograph Museum; the Native American exhibit at the Arizona State Museum; and the International Wildlife Museum. There is Old Tucson Studios where over 200 movies were filmed (Many of the John Wayne movies, but also Little House on the Prairie); Old Tucson Studios has "cowboy" shows and stagecoach rides as well as some things for kids. Tombstone has a wonderful museum and reenacts the gunfight at the OK Coral everyday. Then there is the Tucson Botanical Garden with an amazing live Butterfly exhibit with butterflies from all over the world. So there is much to see and do here.
Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?
We have five acres of botanical garden ambiance. Just walking around our property or sitting and watching a wide variety of birds is a destination in itself. There is also shopping and restaurants within 1/2 a mile (an easy walk).
What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?
Guadalajara Grill for Mexican and Jonathan's Cork for Southwest are both five minutes away.
Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?
We have brochures of area guides and websites including horseback riding, mine tours, birding, hiking museums, etc.
How many rooms does your inn have?
We have two guest houses complete with kitchen or kitchenette plus two rooms in the main house.
Do you accept pets?
We do not accept pets.
About Our Inn
The Azure Gate offers the solitude of nature, the glow of sunrise and sunset, the renewal of mountain views, and nights where the stars seem close enough to touch. Yet a world of recreation, history, and culture wait just outside its gates.
WildlifeIt's all at your finger tips and ready to make your stay a memorable one!The Azure Gate is also a birders paradise. With hummingbird, nut & bug, seed, and thistle feeders it attracts literally hundreds of birds. Binoculars are provided in the main house for guests to use during their stay. Among the many daily visitors are cardinals, pyrrhuloxias, goldfinches, house and casin's finch, silky flycatchers, mockingbirds, white winged/mourning doves, quail, thrashers, verdins, warblers, wrens, nuthatches, sparrows, and hummingbirds. And, of course, there is the occasional Cooper's, Sharp-shinned, Zone-tailed, and Harris Hawk, along with the Turkey Vulture. Plus our friend, the roadrunner.Animals are present as well, though some not often seen. On a daily basis you'll see desert cottontails, Harris antelope squirrels, and a variety of lizards. Less frequently you could come across one of our family of coyotes (though you may hear them nightly), javalinas, or one of several varieties of snakes.
Area AttractionsThe Azure Gate offers the solitude of nature, the glow of sunrise and sunset, the renewal of mountain views, and nights where the stars seem close enough to touch. Yet a world of recreation, history, and culture wait just outside its gates.
For those interested in hiking and birding there is:
- Aqua Caliente Park
- Saguaro National Park East
- Sabino Canyon
- Bear Canyon
- Mount Lemmon
A little further afield (about an hour's drive one way or the other):
- Madera Canyon
- Coronado National Conservation Area
- San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area
- Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve
- Patagonia Lake State Park
- Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
As for Historic Sites:
- San Xavier Mission
- Tumacacori Mission
- Tubac - Artists Community & Historic District
- Cochise Stronghold
- Bisbee and Copper Queen Mine
- Other Nearby Attractions...
- Old Tucson Studios
- Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum
- Tucson Botanical Gardens
- University of Arizona
- Downtown Tucson
- Colossal Caves
- Golfing, Horseback Riding, Biking