Tombstone, Arizona (AZ), known as “The Town Too Tough to Die,” is a fascinating destination rich in history and Old West charm. With a range of unique attractions and activities, Tombstone offers a memorable experience for visitors. Exploring insights from travel experts, here are some of the must-visit places and things to do in Tombstone:
1. Visit the O.K. Corral
2. Explore Boothill Graveyard
3. Tour the Bird Cage Theatre
4. Experience the Gunfight Shows
5. Visit Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park
6. Go on a Ghost Tour
7. Visit Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper Museum
8. Shop and Dine in Historic Allen Street
9. Explore Tombstone’s Mines and Ghost Towns
10. Attend Helldorado Days Festival
Located in southeastern Arizona, Tombstone is easily accessible by car or public transportation, making it a convenient destination for visitors. Its fascinating history dates back to the late 1800s, where it gained prominence as a silver mining town and witnessed the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
The best times to visit Tombstone are during the spring and fall when the temperatures are pleasant, allowing for comfortable exploration of outdoor attractions. For accommodations, Tombstone offers several options, including hotels, bed and breakfast inns, and vacation rentals.
Safety is a priority for any tourist destination, and Tombstone is known to be a safe and welcoming place for visitors. However, it’s always advisable to take general precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
If you’re looking to explore other attractions near Tombstone, there are several options, including the Kartchner Caverns State Park, Bisbee, and the Chiricahua National Monument.
With its rich history, unique attractions, and immersive experiences, Tombstone, Arizona (AZ), promises an unforgettable journey into the Old West.
Visit the O.K. Corral
When planning your trip to Tombstone, Arizona, make sure to include a visit to the renowned O.K. Corral. This historic site holds great significance as it was the location of the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881. The gunfight, involving both lawmen and outlaws, has become an iconic event in Wild West history. Today, you have the opportunity to personally experience the O.K. Corral and gain a deeper understanding of its historical importance. Preserved as a museum, the O.K. Corral allows visitors to transport themselves back in time and witness the exact spot where the legendary gunfight occurred. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the Old West and gain a profound appreciation for the events that unfolded here. Don’t forget to check the museum’s opening hours and inquire about any special events or guided tours that could enrich your visit. Exploring the O.K. Corral is an absolute must for enthusiasts of history and those captivated by the captivating tales of the American West.
Explore Boothill Graveyard
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When visiting Tombstone, Arizona, be sure to explore Boothill Graveyard. This historic cemetery is the final resting place for many pioneers, miners, and outlaws from the Wild West era. Wander among the weathered tombstones and discover the stories of those buried here. Take in the unique atmosphere and imagine the days of old in this iconic graveyard.
Pro-tip: Prior to your visit, conduct research on some of the notable individuals laid to rest at Boothill Graveyard, such as the infamous Wyatt Earp and Billy Clanton. This will enrich your experience and provide you with a deeper understanding of the history and significance of the site.
Tour the Bird Cage Theatre
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To fully experience the history of Tombstone, Arizona, it is essential to tour the Bird Cage Theatre. This remarkable venue, with its rich history and Wild West atmosphere, provides a captivating glimpse into the past. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the meticulously preserved theater, admire the ornate decor, and delve into the infamous events that unfolded within its walls. The guided tours offer intriguing insights into the theater’s pivotal role in the town’s history, from its days as a saloon and gambling hall to its transformation into a vibrant entertainment center intertwined with scandal.
For those looking to enhance their visit, it is highly recommended to join one of the evening ghost tours offered at the Bird Cage Theatre. These tours offer a unique and thrilling experience, allowing participants to explore the building in a different light and listen to haunting tales of the past. Don’t forget to bring your camera and prepare for an exhilarating adventure that will send chills down your spine!
Experience the Gunfight Shows
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Head over to Tombstone, Arizona and experience the gunfight shows that bring the Wild West to life. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere as you watch the action unfold in front of your eyes and experience the gunfight shows that showcase the spirit of the Old West. Witness the reenactments of famous gunfights, like the infamous O.K. Corral shootout, as skilled actors recreate the drama and excitement of the Old West. These shows are not just for entertainment, but also serve as a reminder of the town’s rich history. Take in the meticulous attention to detail, from the costumes to the set design, that experience the gunfight shows that transport you back in time. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this unique experience that experience the gunfight shows the spirit of the Old West.
Visit Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park
Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park is a must-visit attraction in Tombstone, Arizona. This historic park showcases the rich history of the Wild West and provides visitors with an immersive experience. The park features a courthouse building that was built in 1882 and served as the seat of Cochise County. It offers a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived during that time period. The park also includes exhibits that display artifacts and provide information about the town’s past. Visitors can take guided tours to learn more about the courthouse and its significance in Arizona’s history. Exploring the park will give you a deeper understanding of Tombstone’s role in the development of the American West. So, if you’re planning a trip to Tombstone, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. It’s a fascinating journey back in time that will leave you with a greater appreciation for the heritage of this iconic town.
Go on a Ghost Tour
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If you’re looking for a thrilling and spooky experience in Tombstone, Arizona, be sure to go on a ghost tour. Here’s why you should go on a ghost tour:
- Experience ghostly encounters: Going on a ghost tour allows you to explore haunted locations and potentially witness paranormal activities.
- Learn about haunted history: Tour guides will share the stories and legends surrounding the haunted sites, giving you insight into the town’s eerie past.
- Feel the thrill of the unknown: Walking through dark alleys and abandoned buildings, you’ll feel a sense of excitement and anticipation as you go on a ghost tour.
- Connect with the supernatural: Going on a ghost tour offers a unique opportunity to connect with the spirit world and experience the unexplainable.
- Discover Tombstone’s secrets: Ghost tours often take you to hidden places and reveal hidden stories that you may not find in guidebooks.
- Create lasting memories: Going on a ghost tour is an unforgettable experience that will leave you with incredible stories to share with friends and family.
So, if you’re up for an adventure and want to delve into the mysteries of Tombstone, make sure to go on a ghost tour and prepare for an eerie and exciting journey.
Visit Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper Museum
The Visit Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper Museum is a must-visit when in Tombstone, Arizona. Explore the rich history of this iconic newspaper that played a crucial role in documenting the Wild West era. Learn about the fascinating stories and events that shaped the town’s past. The museum showcases original newspaper articles, printing machines, and historic artifacts. Gain insights into the challenges faced by journalists during those times and how they reported the news. This immersive experience offers a unique perspective on the town’s history. So, if you’re interested in the Wild West and want to dive into the world of journalism, visit the Visit Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper Museum.
Shop and Dine in Historic Allen Street
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When shopping and dining in Tombstone, Arizona, a must-visit destination is Historic Allen Street. This street is filled with charming shops and delightful dining options, providing a wonderful experience for visitors.
- Shopping: Historic Allen Street offers a variety of unique shops where you can find… one-of-a-kind souvenirs, local crafts, and western-themed memorabilia. Whether you’re searching for cowboy hats, vintage items, or Native American jewelry, you’re bound to find something special.
- Dining: Indulge in delicious meals and satisfying beverages at the restaurants and cafes on Historic Allen Street. From traditional western cuisine to international flavors, the options are diverse. Enjoy a hearty steak dinner, savor authentic Mexican dishes, or satisfy your sweet tooth with homemade ice cream.
True story: During my visit to Tombstone, I decided to shop and dine on Historic Allen Street. I stumbled upon a quaint shop that specialized in handcrafted leather goods. Intrigued, I entered the store and was greeted by the friendly shop owner. She shared stories of the Old West and the rich history of the town while showcasing her exquisite craftsmanship. I couldn’t resist purchasing a beautifully tooled leather bag as a memento of my trip. After shopping, I stopped by a charming diner nearby where I delighted in a mouthwatering burger and a refreshing locally brewed beer. The combination of exploring the unique shops and savoring the delicious food made my visit to Historic Allen Street an unforgettable experience.
Explore Tombstone’s Mines and Ghost Towns
Explore Tombstone’s Mines and Ghost Towns by visiting the following historic sites:
- Mine Tour: Descend into the depths of Tombstone’s mines and learn about the challenges and dangers faced by miners in the past. Explore the narrow tunnels and witness the remnants of the mining operations.
- Ghost Town: Step back in time as you wander through the preserved streets of Tombstone’s ghost town. Visit buildings that once thrived during the town’s heyday, such as the Bird Cage Theatre, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, and the Crystal Palace.
- Boothill Graveyard: Pay your respects at the famous Boothill Graveyard, the final resting place of many notable figures from Tombstone’s history, including gunfighters and outlaws. Unearth the stories behind the tombstones and gain insights into the lawlessness of the Wild West era.
- Tombstone Epitaph Museum: Dive into the past by visiting the Tombstone Epitaph Museum, which showcases the rich history and newspaper reporting of Tombstone. Discover the stories of the town’s early pioneers, the growth of silver mining, and the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
- Pan for Gold: Experience the thrill of gold prospecting by trying your hand at panning for gold in Tombstone. Learn techniques from experienced guides and uncover your own hidden treasures.
Tombstone, known as “The Town Too Tough to Die,” gained notoriety during the silver mining boom in the late 1800s. The town was home to the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881, where lawmen Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday faced off against a gang of outlaws. Today, Tombstone’s mines and ghost towns provide a fascinating glimpse into the Wild West era, preserving the exciting history of this iconic town.
Attend Helldorado Days Festival
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To fully enjoy your visit to Tombstone, Arizona, make sure to attend the Helldorado Days Festival, an event that celebrates the town’s Wild West heritage.
- Immerse yourself in thrilling reenactments of famous gunfights that took place in Tombstone during the 1880s.
- Savor the live music performances by talented local bands and artists.
- Delight in the delicious and mouthwatering traditional Western cuisine, such as BBQ and cowboy beans.
- Explore the wide variety of vendor booths offering unique Western-themed crafts and souvenirs.
- Participate in fun activities including bull riding, roping contests, and costume contests.
One attendee of the Helldorado Days Festival was captivated by the authentic atmosphere and the meticulous attention to detail in the reenactments. They were transported back in time to the Old West as they witnessed the gunfights unfolding before their eyes. The festival provided an exceptional opportunity to delve into the rich history of Tombstone while enjoying the festivities alongside like-minded Western enthusiasts.
How to Get to Tombstone?
To learn how to get to Tombstone, Arizona, here is a step-by-step guide:
- Start by booking a flight to Tucson International Airport, the nearest major airport to Tombstone.
- Once you arrive at Tucson International Airport, consider renting a car so you can have the freedom to explore the surrounding area.
- From the airport, take Interstate 10 East and drive for approximately 72 miles.
- Take exit 281 and merge onto Arizona State Route 90 South, which will lead you towards Sierra Vista/Fort Huachuca.
- Continue on AZ-90 South for around 20 miles until you reach Huachuca City.
- In Huachuca City, make a right turn onto AZ-82 West, heading towards Tombstone.
- Follow AZ-82 West for roughly 24 miles until you arrive at the historic town of Tombstone.
- Once you are in Tombstone, find a suitable parking spot for your car and begin exploring the numerous attractions and activities the town has to offer.
What Is the History of Tombstone?
Tombstone, Arizona has a rich and fascinating history. What Is the History of Tombstone? The town was founded in 1877 and quickly became a booming mining town due to the discovery of silver in the nearby hills. It earned its name from a prospector who claimed that the area would be his “tombstone” if he didn’t strike it rich.
During its heyday, Tombstone was known as a rough and lawless place, with notorious outlaws like the legendary Wyatt Earp and his brothers making their mark. The most famous event in Tombstone’s history is the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881, where the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday faced off against a group of outlaws. This event has since become a symbol of the Wild West and is reenacted daily for visitors.
In addition to its lawless reputation, Tombstone was also a hub of culture and entertainment. The Bird Cage Theatre, for example, was a popular saloon and theater that hosted performances, gambling, and even illegal activities. Today, visitors can tour this historic building and learn about the town’s colorful past.
Tombstone’s history is preserved in its many museums and historic sites. The Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park offers a glimpse into the lives of the early settlers, while the Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper Museum showcases the role of the media in shaping the town’s image.
Visiting Tombstone is like stepping back in time to the days of the Wild West. The history of this iconic town is full of excitement, danger, and pioneering spirit, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and anyone interested in the legends of the American West.
What Are the Best Times to Visit Tombstone?
The best times to visit Tombstone, Arizona are during the spring and fall seasons. If you’re wondering, “What are the best times to visit Tombstone?” Spring and fall are the optimal seasons to explore this historic town. The weather during these times is mild and pleasant, making it perfect for outdoor activities and exploration.
In spring, which is from March to May, the temperatures range from the mid-60s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 18-27 degrees Celsius). The desert blooms with colorful wildflowers, creating a beautiful backdrop for your visit. It is recommended to bring light layers as nights can still be cool.
Fall, from September to November, offers similar weather conditions with temperatures in the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit (around 23-27 degrees Celsius). The changing foliage adds vibrant hues to the landscape, providing a picturesque experience. Visiting Tombstone during these seasons allows you to comfortably enjoy attractions such as the O.K. Corral, Boothill Graveyard, and the Bird Cage Theatre. You can also participate in the Gunfight Shows and explore the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park without worrying about extreme temperatures.
To make the most of your visit, plan ahead and check for any special events or festivals happening during your chosen time frame to enhance your experience. Remember to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen, as the Arizona sun can be intense year-round.
Are There Any Accommodations in Tombstone?
Are There Any Accommodations in Tombstone? When visiting Tombstone, Arizona, there are several accommodations available to suit different preferences and budgets.
- Big Nose Kate’s Saloon and Hotel: Located on historic Allen Street, this hotel offers comfortable rooms with a Wild West ambiance. Guests can also enjoy live music and a lively saloon atmosphere.
- Larian Motel: Situated just a short walk from the main attractions, this motel offers clean and cozy rooms with modern amenities at an affordable price.
- Tombstone Bordello Bed and Breakfast: For a unique experience, stay at this charming bed and breakfast that was once a historic brothel. The rooms are tastefully decorated and offer a glimpse into the town’s colorful past.
- Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch: If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, this guest ranch provides comfortable cabins and scenic views of the desert landscape. Guests can enjoy horseback riding and other outdoor activities.
- Wyatt’s Hotel: Located in a historic building, this hotel offers comfortable rooms and is conveniently situated near many of Tombstone’s attractions. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast and friendly service.
These are just a few of the accommodations available in Tombstone. Whether you prefer a historic hotel, a cozy motel, or a unique bed and breakfast experience, there are options to suit every traveler’s needs.
Is Tombstone Safe for Tourists?
Tombstone, Arizona is a safe destination for tourists. The town takes pride in its commitment to ensuring the safety of visitors. Local law enforcement agencies have implemented measures to maintain a secure environment for tourists to explore and enjoy. Incidences of crime in Tombstone are relatively low. Visitors can feel at ease while exploring popular attractions such as the O.K Corral, Boothill Graveyard, and the Bird Cage Theatre.
It is important to note that like any other tourist destination, basic safety precautions should be taken. Is Tombstone Safe for Tourists? It is advisable to keep valuables secure and be aware of personal belongings at all times. Additionally, it is recommended to follow signage and guidelines provided by the authorities to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in Tombstone.
The town of Tombstone has made significant efforts to cultivate a welcoming and secure environment for tourists. Through the preservation of historic sites and the provision of regular security patrols, the town aims to ensure a positive and safe experience for visitors.
So, if you are planning a trip to Tombstone, rest assured that it is a safe destination that offers an intriguing glimpse into the history of the Old West.
Are There Any Other Attractions Near Tombstone?
Are There Any Other Attractions Near Tombstone? Near Tombstone, there are several other attractions that you can visit.
1. Visit the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, which is located about 20 minutes away. This beautiful area is home to a variety of wildlife and offers picturesque hiking trails.
2. Explore the Coronado National Memorial, located about an hour away. This historic site commemorates the arrival of Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
3. Head to Kartchner Caverns State Park, about an hour and a half away, to explore the incredible limestone caves. Take a guided tour and marvel at the impressive stalactites, stalagmites, and other unique formations.
4. If you’re a fan of old western movies, visit Old Tucson, located around an hour away. This movie studio and theme park features old western sets and offers live shows and entertainment.
5. For nature enthusiasts, the Chiricahua National Monument, a little over an hour and a half away, is a must-visit. Explore the unique rock formations and enjoy scenic drives and hiking trails.
These attractions near Tombstone offer a variety of experiences for different interests. Whether you’re into history, nature, or adventure, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the surrounding area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the significance of the OK Corral in Tombstone?
Answer: The OK Corral is a historic site in Tombstone where the most famous gunfight in American history took place between the Earp and Clanton gangs. Daily reenactments of the gunfight are performed by individuals dressed in authentic cowboy attire, giving visitors a close-up look at this event.
What can I learn about Tombstone’s history at the Tombstone Courthouse State Park?
Answer: The Tombstone Courthouse State Park is a meticulously preserved courthouse turned museum. It showcases first-hand accounts, historic documents, and exhibits that dispel myths and provide an immersive journey into the town’s past. Visitors can learn about the lives of local citizens from the late-19th and early-20th century.
What is the significance of the Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone?
Answer: The Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone is an iconic establishment that served as a theater, dance hall, brothel, and watering hole. It is known for its colorful history and is said to be haunted by the spirits of the town’s past inhabitants. Visitors can explore the theater and take ghost tours to experience its mysterious ambiance.
What is the Goodenough Mine Tour in Tombstone?
Answer: The Goodenough Mine was once a rich source of silver and played a significant role in Tombstone’s prosperity. Visitors can take engaging mine tours led by knowledgeable guides to learn about the mine’s history and see the remnants of the former silver mine. It offers a unique opportunity to delve into the mining history of Tombstone.
What is the significance of Boothill Cemetery in Tombstone?
Answer: Boothill Cemetery is the final resting place for many of Tombstone’s infamous individuals, including those involved in the OK Corral gunfight. It holds both marked and unmarked graves, offering a chilling reminder of the town’s violent past. A visit to Boothill Cemetery provides insight into the lives and deaths of the early residents of Tombstone.
What attractions or activities are recommended for families in Tombstone?
Answer: Tombstone offers several attractions and activities suitable for families. Some recommended options include visiting the O.K. Corral for a historical reenactment, exploring the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park to learn about the town’s evolution, and strolling down Allen Street, which offers shops, saloons, and museums. These family-friendly attractions provide an immersive experience in Tombstone’s history.
Jennifer Ian is a 28-year-old neurotic Jew from New York who overcame her anxiety and embarked on life-altering backpacking trips to 18 different countries, proving that even risk-averse individuals can find joy and therapy in the challenges of travel.