The old west mining town of Tombstone is southeast of Tucson. Tombstone was often referred to as the “town to tough to die.” Silver worth millions of dollars found deep in the mines attracted people. In it’s heyday, Tombstone’s population rose to 10,000 inhabitants.
This old west mining town is famous thanks to some of it’s infamous residents including: Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, and Doc Holiday. A 30-second gunfight at OK Corral portrayed in the old west movie “Tombstone” has helped bring more than 200,000 visitors to the town of Tombstone each year.
Things to do in Tombstone
So, you have a couple of days to spend in Tombstone. Here are some sights you shouldn’t miss. Take a ride on an authentic stagecoach. Visit the Crystal Palace to see where Virgil Earp was shot. Take a trip back in time and stop by the famous, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon.
The entire town of Tombstone is a step back into the old west days. Tombstone has lots to see:
- See the OK Corral
- Rose Tree Museum
- Boothill Graveyard
- Bird Cage Theatre
- Tombstone Courthouse
- Big Nose Kate’s Saloon
- Historic Ghost Tours
- The Tombstone Epitaph
The gunfight at the OK Corral is what Tombstone is most famous for. Visit it today to see the re-enactment of the gunfight between the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday, and the cowboys Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers. You can also see the room Doc Holliday stayed in, the stables, and watch a historama about Tombstone.
Visit the Rose Tree Museum in Tombstone to see “The World’s Largest Rose.” Visit the Rose Tree Museum in April to see this incredible 100+ year old rose tree in bloom.
Boothill Grave Yard
Boothill Grave Yard created in 1878 it is on the national historic registry. It is the final resting place of 250 of Tombstone’s first pioneers. You can find the graves of the Mclaury brothers and Billy Clanton at Boothill Grave Yard.
Bird Cage Theatre
According to the New York Times, the Bird Cage Theatre was the “wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.” Bird cages were the small areas in the balcony where prostitutes entertained guests. The Bird Cage Theatre is the only building in Tombstone that was not involved in a fire.
This is one of the coolest buildings in Tombstone because it looks like time stopped inside. The theatre was closed for almost 50 years with all of its fixtures and furnishings intact. Everything inside the theatre is in the original spot it was in when it was closed. Visiting here is like getting a glimpse of everyday life in a freeze frame.
See the original belly up bar inside the Bird Cage Theatre. Violence was part of the theatre’s history as you can see from the many bullet holes throughout the building. Below is a bullet hole in the bar.
Take the tour to see the basement. In 1889 the theatre was closed. Everything was left untouched as if time stood still. In 1934 when the doors reopened, the theatre was a look into the town’s past. You can view the longest ever poker game table, the high-roller bordello rooms and other items preserved from the past.
A couple of months after the shoot out at the OK Corral, men tried to assassinate Virgil Earp while he was walking in front the of the Crystal Palace.
Big Nose Kate’s Saloon
No visit to Tombstone is complete without grabbing a drink at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. In 1880, the saloon was one of the finest hotels in Arizona. Some famous hotel guests inlcude: Wyatt and Nigel Earp, the McLaury brothers, and Doc Holliday . The hotel was rebuilt after a fire, however, the long bar is original. Big Nose Kate was one of Tombstone’s first prostitutes and Doc Holliday’s girlfriend.
Learn all about Tombstone’s history at Tombstone’s Courthouse State Historic Park. Built in 1882 it is now a museum of Tombstone’s history. See a reproduction of the courtroom, and the gallows. Hear about what it was like to live here as a miner, a cowboy, and for pioneers.
Visitors can take a ghost tour seven days a week. Is Tombstone haunted? Some say they have seen the ghosts of those who once called this town home. Some tours are adult only tours, others allow children 12 years and older.
The Tombstone Epitaph , an Old West Newspaper office, is now a museum of printing presses, and type cases. Get reprints of the OK Corral gunfight and other Tombstone news.