Thousands of years ago, before European explorers ever dreamed of sailing across the Atlantic, Nogales was part of a migratory path and trade route much later called El Camino Real (The King’s Highway). Much later, regiments of armor-clad Conquistadors forayed north along this very valley in quest of precious metals and gems. Today missions built by the Spanish colonials still dot the valley’s landscape.
Today, Nogales serves as one of the largest ports of entry between the United States and Mexico with almost 50% of the nation's produce passing through its gateways each year. Nogales is also an important retail hub for Northern Mexico with an estimated 60% of sales tax revenue coming from the 50,000 shoppers from Mexico who cross the border daily!
Architectural buffs will have a heyday in Nogales. In addition to the predominant Sonoran Style, there are also fine examples of Queen Anne Cottage, Second Empire, Spanish Colonial, Pueblo Revival, Mediterranean Style, and Bungalow Style all within the downtown area. Many of the stores along historic Morley Avenue, like Capin & Company and Brackers Department Store, were established in the early 1900s and are run by descendents of pioneer merchants.