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WONDERING IF TOMBSTONE, ARIZONA IS WORTH VISITING?
Thinking about checking out Tombstone, Arizona? Chances are you’ve seen at least one Old Western movie, or at the very minimum you’re familiar with the name Doc Holliday. Even if you’re slightly interested in visiting, you might be asking yourself… is Tombstone, Arizona worth visiting?!
The short answer is yes, Tombstone, Arizona is worth visiting! Tombstone, Arizona is a quaint historical town with plenty of things to do to keep everyone entertained. The town of Tombstone is a great historical attraction to visit especially if you’re considering taking a day trip from Phoenix or Tucson!
Why Tombstone, Arizona Is Worth Visiting: An Overview
One of the reasons that Tombstone, Arizona is worth visiting is because there are so many things to do there! Here is an overview of seventeen different things to do in Tombstone that I’ll be going over in this blog post.
17 Things To Do in Tombstone, Arizona
Let’s get down to business… is Tombstone, Arizona worth visiting? Check out these 17 things to do and decide for yourself!
1. Walk the Historic Downtown (East Allen Street)
What’s a better way to get the feel for a town than to take a stroll downtown?! Take a walk down East Allen Street to catch a glimpse of all the attractions, museums, and saloons for a taste of Western history. The three blocks of gravel dirt roads make you feel like you’re traveling back in time as you pass by horse carriages and cosplay characters along the way!
2. Take a Trolley or Stagecoach Tour
An alternative option to exploring Tombstone by foot is a trolley or stagecoach tour! These tours are a great way to get a comprehensive overview of the area along with detailed history of the attractions! These tours are a great way to explore the area for cheap – typically costing less than $20 per adult ticket.
3. Attend the OK Corral Gunfight Reenactment
If you’re planning a trip to Tombstone, the OK Corral Gunfight Reenactment is a must-see! Watch the reenactment of the gunfight between Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp in the same location where it took place! But first, check out the 11 historic exhibits on your way in.
The OK Corral Gunfight Reenactment occurs daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m., excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas. The reenactment itself takes around 30 minutes and costs around $10 per adult. You can only purchase tickets on the day of the reenactment, so you’ll want to buy them a few hours beforehand before they sell out.
I’m a little biased, but I’d say that this historical attraction alone is something that makes Tombstone, Arizona worth visiting!
4. See the Historama Theatre
Check out the Historama Theatre that’s located next to the OK Corral! Watch the 26-minute multimedia presentation to learn about the area’s history. The theater also includes movie poster displays based on all the cinema made about Tombstone. The show runs hourly between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Tickets to the Historama Theatre are included in the price of the OK Corral Gunfight Reenactment.
5. Visit the Epigraph Newspaper and Museum
The Epigraph is Arizona’s oldest newspaper, and it’s still getting published today! Check out the museum to see the original reports of the Gunfight – if you purchased a ticket for a reenactment you’ll even receive a free copy! The Epigraph Newspaper Museum is free to enter and is open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM.
6. Check out the Gunfighter Hall of Fame
If the Doc Holliday gunfight is what’s bringing you to Tombstone, make sure to check out the Gunfighter Hall of Fame. Inside this museum, you’ll see historical artifacts such as photographs, weaponry, and more. Pop in to learn more about the outlaws that once roamed the streets of Tombstone!
This museum is open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM and charges a small fee to enter.
7. Head over to the Old Tombstone Western Theme Park
If you’re bringing kids along to Tombstone, the Western Theme Park is where you’ll want to be! If the OK Corral reenactment sparks your interest, this theme park also offers a comedic gunfight for all ages. The theme park includes a 17-hole mini golf course, shooting gallery, and site to pan for gold.
8. Tour the Good Enough Silver Mine
To really get a feel for Tombstone’s history, check out the Good Enough Silver Mine. There are plenty of different tour options, and you’ll learn about the mine’s history and previous working conditions along the way. Go underground for an hour to see what raw silver looks like!
This tour is an extremely immersive experience where you’ll learn interesting facts and even wear the gear to enter the mine! This tour is definitely one of the things that makes Tombstone, Arizona worth visiting!
9. Look inside the Courthouse Historic State Park
Another great way to learn about Tombstone’s history is through the Courthouse Historic State Park. This courthouse is dedicated to protecting the town’s history through its collections of articles, artifacts, and memorabilia. Through these exhibits, you’ll learn more about what it was really like to live in Tombstone back when the town was booming.
10. Drive by the Historic Gleeson Jail
If you’re interested in ghost towns, the Historic Gleeson Jail might be worth checking out. Located just 14 miles outside of Tombstone, drive by this old-time jail in the ghost town of Gleeson to get a historical yet slightly creepy feel.
11. Stake out the Boothill Cemetary
On the outskirts of town you’ll find the Boothill Cemetary, also sometimes referred to as the “Old City Cemetary.” In the early years, it was used to bury all Tombstones pioneers, but after 1883, the graveyard was mostly used for outlaws. It’s a small cemetery with around 250 tombs but is nonetheless a favorite stop for many tourists passing through.
12. Take a Ghost Tour
Tombstone is supposedly known as one of the most haunted towns from the Old West, so it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of ghost tours available at night. Check out the town’s most haunted locations by taking a walk on the paranormal side. Some ghost tour options include:
Our Top Pick: Ghosts and Gunslingers of the Wild West Tour – click this link to book today!
13. Stop by the Rose Tree Museum
Even if mines, gunfights, and ghosts aren’t your thing, Tombstone has something for everyone. Check out the Rose Tree Museum to see the largest rose tree in the entire world! This museum is also a bookshop and hotel, so visitors can enjoy a relaxing read or stay in a historical suite while checking out this natural wonder.
The best time to see the rose tree is during the blooming season from the beginning of March to the end of April.
14. Visit the Bird Cage Theatre
Into the fine arts? The Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone might be a place you’d like to check out. It operated as a theatre between 1881 and 1894, but when the silver mine closed, it was then turned into a coffee shop in 1934.
Check out this historical building to learn about past performances. This building hosted various acts, including the longest poker game, wrestling matches, and magic shows. It’s also known as one of the most haunted buildings in the town, and you can take a ghost tour inside, too.
15. Scope out Fly’s Photography Gallery
Interested in photography? Check out Fly’s Photography Gallery to see historical photographs of the Wild West. C. S. Fly was regarded as one of the earliest photojournalists who captured pictures of Native Americans who were still at war with the US.
Thanks to C. S. Fly, we have pictures of important Western historical Tombstone residents. In 1912, a fire destroyed the building, but luckily many of his famous collections remain to be appreciated by tourists.
16. Partake in a Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Traveling with kiddos? There are tons of fun scavenger hunts available for your family to purchase and complete during your trip. Choose your scanger hunt adventure to discover some of the best gems in the town. Some scavenger hunt options include:
17. Dine In at a Restaurant or Saloon
Even if none of the historical attractions catch your eye, the food in Tombstone is one of the reasons it is worth visiting. Enjoy tasty local food from the handful of restaurants and saloons that surround the historical downtown.
No matter where you choose to eat, you’re guaranteed to get a taste of the Wild West. Check out:
Whether it’s the gunfights, silver mine, haunted history, or southern appetite, Tombstone has something for everyone. I hope that you’ve found that Tombstone, Arizona really is worth visiting from all the things listed above. You can see most of the attractions in a day, but if you want to extend your trip, I’ve listed some accommodation options below.
Where To Stay
Like any other town, Tombstone has hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. There are even some accommodations that will offer you a historical perspective during your overnight stay. Although I could go over plenty of options, let’s focus on some of the favorites in the area:
Hotel Tombstone – Located on East Allen Street across from the Bird Cage theatre, you have the chance to look over the historical town from your private balcony at night. All rooms are self-check-in, and include parking, WiFi, and stocked coffee and tea.
The Gunslingers Hideout – Check out these fun vintage cottages that are just down the street from downtown! The three “hideouts” come with varying sleep accommodations and amenities, so make sure to check out the website before you book!
Katie’s Cozy Cabins – These quaint cabins are just yards away from the OK Corral, giving you a real feeling of living in the old West. All cabins easily fit 4 people and include kitchenettes and a porch. Katie also hosts guests in suites above the Rose Museum – give her a call for more information!
Crazy Annie’s Bordello & Saloon – This dainty bed and breakfast offers four unique rooms named after female historical figures in the 1880s. All rooms are historically decorated, have common areas, and include continental breakfast. It’s also within walking distance of downtown.
The Little House – This original 1880s miners’ house gives a real historical touch to an accommodation. This vacation rental is filled with antiques and was owned by a friend of the town’s founder. This house hosts five with kitchen amenities and a great view of the mountains. Located only one block away from the Bird Cage Theatre.
Tombstone Monument Ranch – This working cattle guest ranch is just a few miles outside of town and is surrounded by historic mines, old railroads, and petroglyphs. Riding and archery lessons and evening entertainment are offered for all of the guests interested. There is also a swimming pool and hot tub for those looking for a relaxing time in southern Arizona.
Our Pick: The Gunslingers Hideout… Click the link to check prices and book your stay!
Before we get into all of the attractions that Tombstone has to offer, let’s focus on the basics: the town’s location, history, hours of operation, and available day trip options. Hopefully just reading over this brief introduction will give you insight on why Tombstone is worth visiting!
Tombstone, Arizona is located in southeastern Arizona only about 30 miles north of the Mexican border. It’s less than an hour and a half away from Tucson, and a little over 3 hours from Pheonix. For anyone in southern Arizona, Tombstone is great for a day trip.
Tombstone, Arizona was founded in 1877 by Ed Schieffelin during an expedition against the Chiricahua Apaches. Ed was certain that there was silver located in the area, despite the doubt from his peers. Funnily enough, they warned him that he was more likely to find his Tombstone than any silver, and that’s how the town got its name.
Luckily for Ed, he did eventually find silver, which led him to travel to Tucson on horseback for an appraisal. Realizing the area was a silver hot spot, he traveled back to Tombstone and started the first mine. The town’s population quickly grew as many workers migrated to work in that very mine, now known as the Good Enough Silver Mine.
Although the majority of Tombstone’s history revolves around the silver mine, many people know about this historical town from the infamous gunfight between Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, and Johnny Ringo in 1882. The story of this famous conflict is arguably what attracts tourists from all around the world to experience a taste of the “wild wild West.”
There are no set hours for Tombstone, Arizona itself, as it is an operating town. However, you can expect many of the main historical attractions and shops in the area to open around 9 or 10 AM and close around 5 or 6 PM. The restaurants and saloons will have differing hours but are usually open later.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve discussed the basics of Tombstone, let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about visiting this historic town.
How much time should I spend in Tombstone AZ?
Generally speaking, you should be able to hit all of the historical attractions in one full day. The downtown only consists of three blocks, and it’s easily walkable. However, there is plenty to do and see during your time, and if you don’t want to feel rushed, you may consider staying overnight at one of the many historical accommodations listed above.
What is the best time to visit Tombstone AZ?
Luckily, many of Tombstone’s attractions are open year-round excluding holidays. Since Arizona can get hot in the summertime, I would recommend visiting during the cooler months. Aim for the fall or springtime. If you visit during the Spring, you may be able to catch the largest Rose Tree in the world bloom!
Is Tombstone a tourist trap?
While Tombstone has been repurposed to bring more tourists in, the attractions and food in town are arguably pretty cheap. Yes, this town is aimed towards attracting tourism, but the Western history of the area is fascinating and worth the money, especially if you’re a history buff.
How much does it cost to get into Tombstone?
It doesn’t cost anything to get into the town itself, however many of the historical attractions do charge a fee. Museums, gunfight reenactments, and tours all differ in cost, but generally won’t break the bank.
Wrapping Up: Is Tombstone, Arizona worth visiting?
From this long, comprehensive list of things to do in Tombstone, I hope that you’ve reached a conclusion on whether or not Tombstone is worth visiting. I’d most definitely argue that yes, it is worth visiting, due to the rich history and fun attractions the town has to offer.
Tombstone has something for everyone… whether it’s an interest in the Wild West, mining, the paranormal, the natural environment, or even the fine arts, you can find a way to be entertained. Whether you take a day trip or stay overnight, you’re sure to get a glimpse of the old Wild West.