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Tombstone

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

W Tombstone Trail, Phoenix, AZ 85085, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"When visiting the legendary town of Tombstone near Phoenix, make sure to stop by the Bird Cage Theatre for a ghost tour; it's less crowded in the late afternoons, and you might just experience the eerie feeling of the Old West all to yourself. Also, many tourists don't realize you can grab a drink at the same saloon once frequented by Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, just ask a local for directions to Big Nose Kate's Saloon - the atmosphere is unforgettable."

What is Tombstone?

Tombstone is a storied town in the southeastern part of Arizona, known predominantly for its rich history in the era of the Wild West. Famous for the OK Corral gunfight and its legendary figures like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, Tombstone is a living testament to the rugged frontier life of the late 19th century. It's a place where the history feels palpable, walking down Allen Street can feel like stepping back in time, with the wooden sidewalks and historic buildings that have been preserved or restored to their former glory.

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History of Tombstone

Tombstone's history began in 1877 when prospector Ed Schieffelin arrived in the area to seek his fortune. The locals, soldiers based at Fort Huachuca, told him he'd only find his "tombstone" in the dangerous, Apache-filled wilderness. Contrary to their predictions, Schieffelin struck silver, prompting a boom when the news of his success spread. Thus, in some ironic twist of fate, he named his first mine "Tombstone."

The town of Tombstone was officially founded in 1879, and at its peak, it was one of the richest mining towns in the West, with a population that soared into the thousands. Lawlessness and vice were rampant, leading to the infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881 which etched Tombstone's place firmly into the tapestry of American lore. Over the years, the mines flooded and the price of silver plummeted leading to the town's decline, but it has managed to survive through tourism, capitalizing on its wild west heritage.

Why is Tombstone Important?

Tombstone holds a critical place in American Western history. It represents the quintessential image of the Wild West with its gunfights, saloons, and lawless streets. The town is an embodiment of the era's rugged individualism and the American spirit of exploration and expansion. The clash at the O.K. Corral, in particular, is one of the most famed events in the Old West, symbolizing the law-and-order issues that frontier towns faced.

Skirmishes like this one led to the establishment of more structured law enforcement agencies and governance in the West. Moreover, Tombstone's preservation offers a tangible connection to this bygone era, giving individuals today a chance to experience a bit of 19th-century life. The town's narrative is also cemented in popular culture through countless movies, books, and folklore, making it a living piece of Americana.

Things to Do & See at Tombstone

Visitors to Tombstone can immerse themselves in the town's storied past by partaking in a multitude of attractions and activities. Start with a visit to the O.K. Corral, where daily reenactments bring the infamous gunfight to life. The Bird Cage Theatre is another must-see; once a theater, saloon, gambling den, and brothel, it stands today as a museum, remarkably preserved almost exactly as it was in the 1880s.

You can also wander through the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, which now serves as a museum with exhibits detailing the town's history. Don't miss Boothill Graveyard, where you'll find the graves of some of Tombstone’s most notorious residents, including those killed at the O.K. Corral. Additionally, Allen Street is lined with various shops, restaurants, and historic displays—perfect for a leisurely stroll to soak up the local ambience.

  • O.K. Corral: Experience the daily reenactments and historical displays of the famous gunfight.
  • Bird Cage Theatre: Explore this original saloon and theater turned museum, showcasing 1880s life.
  • Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park: Delve into artifacts and exhibits chronicling the silver boom and the town's development.
  • Boothill Graveyard: Visit the final resting place for the infamous gunmen of the era.
  • Shopping and Dining on Allen Street: Enjoy the Old West atmosphere with modern-day amenities.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the historical significance of Tombstone in Phoenix?

Tombstone is a historic town in Arizona, known for its Wild West history, including the famous 1881 Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. While not located in Phoenix, it is a significant tourist destination within reach from Phoenix.

Can visitors participate in any interactive activities at Tombstone?

Yes, visitors to Tombstone can enjoy reenactments of gunfights, tour the historic district in a stagecoach, visit museums such as the Bird Cage Theatre, and engage with actors portraying historical figures.

What are the operating hours of attractions in Tombstone?

The operating hours for attractions in Tombstone vary, but many are open from 9 AM to 5 PM. It's best to check with individual attractions or the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce for specific times.

Is Tombstone suitable for family visits?

Yes, Tombstone offers a range of experiences that can be educational and entertaining for visitors of all ages. However, parents should be mindful of the Wild West themes, which include simulated gunfights and tales of outlaws.

Are there guided tours available in Tombstone?

Guided tours are available in Tombstone, offering insights into the town's history and visits to famous landmarks. Options include walking tours, trolley tours, and even ghost tours for those interested in the town's haunted past.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

W Tombstone Trail, Phoenix, AZ 85085, USA

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps