What to See in Tombstone, AZ: A Journey into the Wild West
Tombstone, Arizona, is a town steeped in history and notorious for its role in the wild and rugged days of the American Old West. Known as “The Town Too Tough to Die,” Tombstone offers visitors a glimpse into the past, where cowboys, outlaws, and lawmen roamed the streets. From historic landmarks to reenactments of famous gunfights, this town is a must-visit for history buffs and Wild West enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will explore some of the must-see attractions in Tombstone, AZ and answer seven frequently asked questions about the town.
1. The O.K. Corral: The infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral is perhaps the most iconic event in Tombstone’s history. Visitors can witness a reenactment of the famous shootout, where lawmen Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday faced off against the notorious Clanton and McLaury brothers. Explore the museum and learn about the events leading up to this historic confrontation.
2. Boothill Graveyard: A visit to Tombstone wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Boothill Graveyard. This historic cemetery is the final resting place for many of the town’s early settlers, outlaws, and victims of the Wild West. Take a self-guided tour and read the epitaphs on the headstones, which provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives and deaths of those buried here.
3. Bird Cage Theatre: Step into the past by visiting the Bird Cage Theatre, a former saloon, gambling den, and brothel. This well-preserved building offers a glimpse into the rowdy and lawless lifestyle of the Old West. Take a guided tour and learn about the theater’s colorful history, including tales of gunfights, gambling, and the spirits said to haunt its halls.
4. Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park: Housed in the original Cochise County Courthouse, this park offers a fascinating look at the town’s history and the people who shaped it. Explore the exhibits, including the courtroom and sheriff’s office, and learn about the trials and tribulations faced by the citizens of Tombstone.
5. Crystal Palace Saloon: Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Old West by grabbing a drink at the Crystal Palace Saloon. This iconic establishment has been serving patrons since 1879 and still retains its historic charm. Enjoy live music, delicious food, and imagine yourself back in the days of cowboys and outlaws.
6. Tombstone Epitaph: Visit the office of the Tombstone Epitaph, the oldest continuously published newspaper in Arizona. Explore the museum and learn about the role this publication played in documenting the events of the Wild West. See original printing presses and historic articles that offer a unique perspective on the town’s history.
7. Helldorado Town: Step back in time at Helldorado Town, an authentic replica of Tombstone’s historic streets. Stroll through the town and experience the sights and sounds of the Old West, including saloons, shops, and even a gallows. Enjoy live performances, gunfight reenactments, and immerse yourself in the culture of the Wild West.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How long should I plan to spend in Tombstone?
A visit to Tombstone can be done in a day, but to fully explore all the attractions and immerse yourself in the town’s history, it is recommended to spend at least two to three days.
2. Are the gunfights at the O.K. Corral real?
The gunfights at the O.K. Corral are reenactments performed by actors, but they are based on the historical events that took place in Tombstone.
3. Are there any ghost tours in Tombstone?
Yes, there are ghost tours available in Tombstone, where visitors can learn about the town’s haunted history and possibly encounter paranormal activity.
4. Is Tombstone a family-friendly destination?
Tombstone offers family-friendly activities and attractions, such as the reenactments, museums, and tours. However, parents should exercise discretion when visiting certain establishments, like the Bird Cage Theatre.
5. Can I dress up in Western attire while visiting Tombstone?
Absolutely! Many visitors choose to embrace the Wild West spirit by dressing up in cowboy hats, boots, and other Western attire, adding to the authentic experience.
6. Are there any accommodations in Tombstone?
Tombstone offers a range of accommodations, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and RV parks, ensuring visitors have a comfortable stay during their visit.
7. Can I bring my pet to Tombstone attractions?
While some outdoor attractions may allow leashed pets, most indoor attractions, such as museums and historic buildings, do not permit pets. It is best to check with each specific attraction for their pet policy.
In conclusion, Tombstone, AZ, offers a captivating journey into the Wild West, with its rich history and iconic attractions. From the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral to the historic Bird Cage Theatre, visitors can immerse themselves in the tales of cowboys, outlaws, and lawmen that shaped this town. With its plethora of attractions and activities, Tombstone is a destination that will transport you back in time to the legendary days of the American Old West.