15 Fun Things to do in Tombstone, AZ – its more than gun fights!
Tombstone Tourist Attractions: Wondering what to do in Tombstone, Arizona? There are so many things to see and do in Tombstone. It is a family friendly destination with a lot of fun things to do.
Tombstone is a historic city in the southeast of Arizona. The city was made famous by the 1993 movie by the same name – Tombstone. When visiting Tombstone you can step back in time and visit the Old West. There are even gun reenactments you can watch.
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Check out my post on the Best Hotels in Tombstone to plan your stay while visiting.
15 Best Things to do in Tombstone, Arizona
Watch a Gunfight at OK Corral
Do you ever want to experience the infamous Gunfight at OK Corral that you have seen in movies? Well now you can, Tombstone, Arizona has the O.K Corral Reenactment. This reenactment occurs daily and is one of the most popular things to do when you visit Tombstone.
Performed at the actual site of the infamous shootout, you can get to see 30 mins of the reenactment as if you are part of it. After the gunfight, take a picture standing next to the gunfighters. Visit O.K Corral, experiencing life in the Old West as if it was in the 1880s.
Take a Goodenough Mine Tour
Visit the mine that made a name for the city Tombstone, the Goodenough Mine. In the Wild West town known as “the town too tough to die” the historic Goodenough mine is among the most well-preserved mines in the state. Today, all who embark on the Goodenough Mine Tour can descend 100 feet underground into the heart of Arizona’s silver mining industry.
You can see many deposits of silver and many other minerals and demonstrations of mining techniques as the guide narrates the history of the name Tombstone as a whole. You will never know what relics of the past you will stumble upon in this interactive tour experience here in the Goodenough Mine Tour.
The Wyatt Earp House and Gallery
Visit the house and gallery of the hero of Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, and learn about the history of its hero. Enjoy this house full of history and mystery as you get to learn about the city’s history alongside the history of the man who participated in one of the most famous gunfights in American History.
This house is open to all visitors and is something you can enjoy. Such a hero deserves to be known all around America and the Wyatt Earp House and Gallery is a great place to learn all about him.
Explore the Tombstone Courthouse State Park
Built-in the shape of a Roman cross, it once housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, board of supervisors, jail, and courtrooms of Cochise County. The 12,000 square foot courthouse is now a museum filled with artifacts of those who tamed the territory or made it wild. Take a glimpse of the artifacts to form the Old West in one of its most infamous towns.
Tombstone’s origin as a frontier silver mining boomtown is contained in exhibits at the courthouse museum. Meet the miners, cattlemen, and pioneers who settled here, and see a reproduction of the courtroom and sheriff’s office. Included in the displays are a tax license for operating a brothel and an invitation to a hanging. Visit the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park to know and understand the history of what Tombstone used to be.
Bird Cage Theater
In the “Town Too Tough to Die” the Bird Cage Theater may be the most gruesome attraction. With 26 people dead in the same theater and the murder of the infamous “Painted Lady” Margarita, it’s no secret that Bird Cage Theater is a top spot for tourists and supernatural enthusiasts alike.
Today, there seems to be no end to the unexplained and disturbing activity that continues to happen inside of the walls of the theater. The Bird Cage Theater has been a feature in the paranormal investigation shows Ghost Hunters in 2006, Ghost Adventures in 2009, and 2015. So bring your camera and man up as you visit Bird Cage Theater.
Pick up a newspaper at the Tombstone Epitaph
Pick up the “latest” news of the Old West in the Tombstone Epitaph. Explore the 1880s museum of Arizona’s oldest continuously published newspaper. Located on Fifth Street between Allen and Fremont Streets behind the Crystal Palace Saloon. You can read the original 1881 reports of the Gunfight at the O.K Corral, and receive the reprint of the 1881 Epitaph with the original Gunfight reports in admission in the Tombstone Epitaph.
You can also see how the Epitaph was printed back in the 1880s. There is a fantastic display that chronicles the life of John P. Clum — the Epitaph’s founder. Nothing in history is lost in a place stuck in time like the Tombstone Epitaph.
Stroll along Allen St
Being famous as the heart of the action during the time of the Old West, Tombstone has some places and streets that stayed the same over the years. Allen St. Is the main business and tourist district of Tombstone. Having full of history having once been the attraction during the Old West times, it has certainly seen plenty of action and history in its time. Visit the Tombstone Visitor and Information Center, where people can pick up a map of the area to start their planning on the places to go in Tombstone. One of the most popular attractions in this street is the O.K Corral where you can see and enjoy the reenactment of the Gunfight in O.K Corral. After the reenactment, take a peek at the Tombstone Ghosts and Legends Tour, which will guarantee to give everyone a chill. Visitors can ride along the dusty road on the Tucson Stage Line and you can enjoy traveling. A trip to Allen St. really gives people a chance to experience life in the Old West. Allen Street is a must-see for any visitor to Tombstone.
Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum
Copper was one of the most important resources back in the Old West, and Bisbee was among the biggest, most prosperous city between St. Louis and San Francisco. Learn more about the history of the copper-mining town’s role in the industrialization of America.
The Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum takes you and your family and friends back in time to the days of the Arizona Territory, telling the story of the copper town’s role in America. This museum offers an interactive trip back in time to learn about the mentioned history of this town.don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the history of copper in the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum.
Boothill is not only an interesting name for a cemetery but has history on its name. Its name is derived from the way the people have died here. Boothill Cemetery is a small graveyard located in Tombstone, Arizona. Most of the causes of death of the people buried in this cemetery are mostly humorous so tourists can have a way to alleviate the dreadful atmosphere.
It may not be Tombstone’s first cemetery but it is the most notorious since 1878. Travelers report spectral shadows, strange lights, and spooky sounds. In Boothill’s Gift Shop, merchandise is inexplicably misplaced, disturbed, and disheveled. The sweatshirt rack rotates on its own, untouched by human hands. Photographs reveal apparitions unseen to the naked eye. You will never get bored exploring the Boothill Cemetery here in Tombstone.
San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
Explore the beauty and wonder of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Located in Cochise County, the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area contains nearly 57,000 acres of public land perfect for tourists and hikers alike to relax and explore the area. Visit the San Pedro House, a popular trailhead for birdwatchers, hikers, and mountain bikers.
Explore the Spanish Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrente, a presidio with an extensive network of similar presidios that is perfect for hikers to explore. There are other recreational activities to do aside from visiting many historical sites like hiking, primitive camping, and hunting is allowed. There are many things to explore and appreciate here in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
Flandrau Science Center
Learn Science the fun way in the Flandrau Science Center. The Flandrau Science Center inspires visitors of all ages with the wonders of science. Located at the University of Arizona, Flandrau offers planetarium shows powered by state of the art full-dome digital projection system, which is perfect for people who love to see the starry skies. Flandrau also offers interactive science exhibits that will engage the whole family.
There are many exhibits with different topics like astronomy, marine biology, earth science, math puzzles, and minerals. There are many things to learn in this amazing planetarium and exhibits in the Flandrau Science Center.
Benson Arts and Historical Society Museum
A stroll to any museum is a walk back in time and the Benson Art and Historical Society Museum is no different. This museum occupies a group of buildings, one of which is a century old. In the span of two decades this building was erected, a group was formed, artifacts were collected and written items are preserved. Today, visitors will find a nice variety of items ranging from metates and manos to sewing machines and a horse drawn school bus for our viewing pleasure. The museum is staffed by volunteers and they always look forward to seeing people taking an interest in the history of Benson, AZ. From a simple grocery store in the past turned into a museum full of precious pieces of history, this is a great place to learn about the history of Benson.
Visit Crystal Palace Saloon
Visit one of early Tombstone’s first saloons, the Crystal Palace Saloon. Originally known as the Golden Eagle Brewing Company, this establishment occupies a small lot of about 50 by 30 feet while the brewery was in another structure to the rear. As you step into the saloon, beautiful chandeliers hang down over the tables. On the left, is a large mahogany bar that runs almost all the way to the entrance with an equally gorgeous back bar with mirrors.
The rest of the saloon has nice tables and chairs that take up the floor space. Aside from the beautiful interior, there are also stories of manifestations of spirits that make Crystal Palace considered a haunted house. Those stories include the Spirit of Virgil Earp, Spirits of Cowboys, and many more. The importance of Crystal Palace history as a Saloon and then a theater in Tombstone’s ongoing adventure is something you can relive today. This place is a must-visit for anyone looking to see the beauty of the bar and hear some stories of the past.
Fairbank Historic Town
Arizona is famous for its numerous ghost towns, and Fairbank Historic Town is one of them. Once called “Junction City”, Fairbank is located in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and was the closest rail stop to nearby Tombstone. In 1886 this town had about 100 residents, a steam quartz mill, a general store, a butcher shop, a restaurant, a saloon, a Wells Fargo office, a railroad depot, and a stagecoach station. Today, this ghost town has been preserved by the people of the San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area which tourists are allowed to visit. One of the restored buildings you can visit is the old schoolhouse, which has been remodeled to a museum and gift shop to learn about the ghost town and get some nice souvenirs. Fairbank now also provides walking trails and picnic areas along the San Pedro River. The Fairbank Historic Town is an interesting place to stop by when you are hiking in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Fort Bowie witnessed almost 25 years of conflict between the Chiricahua Apache and the US Army and remains a tangible connection to the turbulent era of the late 1800s. Explore the history of Fort Bowie and Apache Pass as you hike to the visitor center and old fort ruins. Today, this peaceful landscape stands in stark contrast to the violence that once gripped this land.
This site preserves the remains of a fort in operation from 1868 to 1894, a key outpost during the territorial dispute with the local Apache Indians. The scenery around the pass is rugged but the remoteness and lack of any settlements help retain a sense of what frontier life must have been like back then. The trail along the site has many other attractions such as the Butterfield Stage Coach Station, the Post Cemetery, an Apache Wickiup, the Apache Indian Agency, Apache Springs, the original Fort, and the Visitor Center. Visit the Fort Bowie National Historic Site, an attraction of a battle stuck in time.
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