This is a self guided tour a few miles outside of Florence. It is an oasis in the desert. There are chapels, living quarters, a dining hall for the monks, vegetable gardens, citrus orchards, vineyards, olive grove, flower gardens, pathways, gazebos and Spanish fountains. All visitors must be modestly dressed.. men wear long pants and long sleeved shirts and women wear long skirts below the knee, long sleeved blouses and a scarf on your head. (you could wear a pair of cutoffs under the dress for later) Guidelines for dress are mandatory. There is a Bookstore/Gift Shop and photos may be taken of the grounds, but not the monks.
We will carpool down in a caravan because it is difficult to find and we would want tour as a group. There are many people in the Surprise, Sun City, Peoria area who could start a carpool there and take the 101 down to I-10 and meetup with the others from Buckeye, Goodyear, Avondale area at the Costco on McDowell near the 101. We should leave at 9 a.m. since the tour hours are from 10 - 2:30 p.m. After we leave the monastery, we will eat a meal at a Greek restaurant in Florence called Mt. Athos. The food is outstanding.
Here are some good directions in case we get separated and someone gets lost. Also, the website is www.stanthonysmonastery.org which gives an interesting history of St Anthony's.
Take I-10 east (towards Tucson) and take exit 185. Follow signs for Coolidge/Florence (a left at the exit ramp, followed by a right 1/2 mile later). You will be on Rt. 387 North which takes you to Rt. 87. Turn right on 87 South, heading towards Coolidge. You will pass Coolidge on your right, but continue on 287 East until you reach Florence 9 miles past Coolidge). Stay on your right, taking Rt. 79 towards Tucson. After mile marker 124, turn left on Paisano Drive. Follow it all the way to the end, where it turns left. This unmarked road is St. Joseph's Way, and it will take you to the monastery's parking lot.