PRESS RELEASE: First UNESCO-Approved Gastronomy Tour Program in the U.S. now open in Marana, Arizona


MARANA, ARIZONA (November 8, 2017) –  Discover Marana, the tourism and marketing program of the Town of Marana, is pleased to announce the launch of the Marana Gastronomy Tour program. The tours will take a foodways journey back 1,000 years with Dr. Suzanne Fish, University of Arizona Emerita Professor and Arizona State Museum Curator, to Hohokam archaeological sites that Dr. Fish has studied for decades. Adventurers can sign up now. 

The five-hour adventure includes tastings of gourmet wild foods, Catalina Brewing Company’s craft beer made with wild foods, and concludes with a multi-course small plate tasting at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana. Offered twice a month, through April, the tours are limited to 13 people. The cost is $109 per person.

“Most people don’t know this area as being one of first places in North America where agriculture was practiced 4,000 years ago,” said Laura Cortelyou, Tourism and Marketing Manager for the Town of Marana. “Marana has rich cultural resources and is still a farming area. Growers provide produce to farm-to-table restaurants, BKW Farms grows White Sonora wheat that is used in local craft beer and artisanal baking by Barrio Bread. There are also wild foods educators that teach people how to responsibly harvest from the 450 edible plants in the Sonoran Desert, and beekeepers that produce mesquite and wildflower honey. The knowledge, talent, and creativity that is showcased on the Marana Gastronomy Tour makes a one-of-a-kind experience.”   

According to Jonathan Mabry, Ph.D., President of the Tucson City of Gastronomy nonprofit organization, “The Marana Gastronomy Tour program represents the spirit of the UNESCO Creative City designation. The tour provides a journey that illuminates the unique flavors and peoples, past and present, of the Sonoran Desert.”

Gray Line Tours Tucson is the tour provider and a third-generation family-owned business that has provided premier tours in, and from, Tucson for more than 100 years.

The Marana Gastronomy Tours are the first tours approved by UNESCO Creative Cities Network member, Tucson City of Gastronomy, the first City of Gastronomy in the U.S.  

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Marana Gastronomy Tour Reservations

For tour information visit .

For tour reservations visit .

Marana Visitor Center

13881 N. Casa Grande Hwy #100, Marana, AZ 85653

Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 9:00 – noon; closed Saturday and Sunday

About Discover Marana

Discover Marana was created in 2014 by the Town of Marana’s Economic Development Department to promote visitation.

Marana is home to the Forbes Five Star-rated Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain resort, Tucson  Premium Outlets at Marana Center, and Topgolf Marana. Once home to the Accenture Match Play, Marana has nationally-renowned golf courses at Dove Mountain; including Dove Mountain Golf Club, The Gallery, and The Highlands. Marana hosts a start in El Tour de Tucson, the annual cycling event. Marana has the oldest agricultural irrigation canal system found in North America and numerous archeology sites. Hiking, biking, bird watching, and horseback riding are popular activities. For more information, please visit  Follow Discover Marana on Facebook and Instagram.