It’s officially summer, and that means: Road Trip! As one of the top historic venues in the country, Tombstone, Arizona, is officially open for a new season of fun, history, and excitement. And this year there are more ways than ever to have the time of your life. Here are the top 10 things to do in Tombstone this summer:
Old Tombstone Western Theme Park
Round up your entire gang and head to the Old Tombstone Western Theme Park. It’s jam-packed with attractions and tours that are suitable for the whole family, ranging from a 17-hole mini golf course to a shooting gallery and the world-famous gunfight shows. It’s like traveling back to the 1800s, when good guys and bad guys fought about just everything. Tombstone’s number one tourist attraction features a variety of Wild West activities that will make every kid (no matter what age) want to come back for more. Hollywood stunt actors perform hilarious and edge-of-your-seat-suspenseful gunfight shows with stunts right out of the top Western movies. There’s also panning for gold, a shooting gallery, an Old Time PhotoShop, and so much more. Everything gives visitors a fascinating history lesson with loads of fun thrown in. Tombstone, Arizona, was known for its gruesome gunfights, with famous cowboys being shot to death, so you can fully expect many haunted sights on the Old Tombstone Western Theme Park’s ghostly Trolley Tours that will take you to all the real places where the gunplay turned deadly. The park also has onsite restaurants, a cantina, and more, for that appetite you’ll surely work up.
Experience a slice of the Wild West on the Tombstone Trolley Historical Tour as expert conductors take you on a 25-minute journey through Tombstone’s storied past, sharing the history, legends and lore that have earned Old Tombstone its nickname as the “Town Too Tough to Die.” Tickets can be purchased online, at our Trolley Depot or at Old Tombstone Western Theme Park. And be sure to save your tickets for discounts on gunfights, tours, restaurants and more! The tours offer a spooky “Ghost and Murder Tour” on Friday and Saturday nights at dusk. So whether you’re looking for a taste of history or a good scare, the Tombstone Trolley has something for everyone! Wheelchair accessible. On/off service available to Boothill Graveyard.
It isn’t much of a secret that Tombstone is one of the most haunted towns of the Old West. After all, many people who visit Tombstone do so because of the reported hauntings and ghosts. Go on two of the best ghost tours you’ll find in Tombstone. First off, there’s the Classic Ghost Tour, which takes you to some of the most well-known haunted locations in town, including the Bird Cage Theater and Boothill Graveyard. And if you’re really feeling brave, try the VIP Ghost Tour, where you’ll get an even more in-depth look at some of the most haunted places in Tombstone, as well as access to some locations that are not normally open to the public. No matter which tour you choose, you’re sure to have a spooky good time!
The O.K. Corral is one of the most famous attractions in the American West. It commemorates the battle that took place in 1881 between the Earps and the Clanton-McLaury gang better known as the Cowboys. This gunfight has captured the imaginations of filmmakers, historians, and novelists for more than 135 years. The O.K. Corral has been restored to its former glory, transformed from a livery to an auto corral. But it still holds the same fascination for everyone who loves to hear the true stories of the Wild West. Visitors can get an authentic taste of what life was like in the American West during this time period – and relive the event that transpired in less than a minute but sparked a legend that will last forever.
Bird Cage Theater
The Bird Cage Theater was a unique and famous theater that operated continuously, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for eight years from 1881 to 1889. The theater got its name from the “bird cages” that hung from the ceiling in the theater where the prostitutes worked. It was known for being one of the wickedest theaters between San Francisco and New Orleans, and was visited by many famous and infamous people during its time, including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday. The silver boom in Tombstone eventually ended and the theater closed its doors for good in 1889. However, the Bird Cage Theater is still standing today and is open for tours. Visitors can step back in time and experience what it was like to visit this famous theater during the wild west days of Tombstone.
Allen Street is the primary business and tourist district of the famous Old West town of Tombstone. Featuring three blocks of shaded boardwalks lined with buildings that reflect what Tombstone was like during the boomtown days, Allen Street today is packed with fun attractions such as re-enactments of famous showdowns at the O.K. Corral and the Bird Cage Theater. It exudes the excitement and enchantment of the Wild West days with saloons, shops, and restaurants for a true taste of the Old West. Don’t forget to take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage while you’re here!
Tombstone Walking Tours
Dr. Jay’s Tombstone Walking Tours are the perfect way to learn about the history of Tombstone, Arizona, while getting some exercise. The 90 minute stroll through history allows visitors to walk in the actual footsteps of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday as they made their way to the famous gunfight site. Dr. Jay’s knowledge and unique brand of humor, which he calls “Edu-tainment,” make the tour an exciting and scintillating experience. Good walking shoes are recommended, as the tour covers a lot of ground. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about some of the most famous events in Old West history!
Boothill Graveyard, also known as the Old City Cemetery, is a small graveyard in Tombstone dating back to the 1880s and containing the graves of famous and infamous characters including Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers, all killed at the Gunfight at the OK Corral. “Boothill” refers to men who died with their boots on, usually violently. But “dying with your boots on” came to mean dying with courage, fighting on till the end – a good reason why “Boothill” was one of the most popular names for cemeteries in the American West. The graveyard has up to 250 interments, including the grave of Marshal Fred White, killed by Curly Bill Brocius, one of the leaders of the notorious Cowboy gang. Visitors to the graveyard can explore its history through a self-guided audio tour or take a guided tour led by a city ranger. Free admission.
The Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper and Museum
The Tombstone Epitaph is a monthly publication that serves as a window on the history and culture of the Old West. It was founded in 1880 and is Arizona’s oldest continuously published newspaper. The museum is dedicated to showcasing the history of the paper and features an array of exhibits showing how the Tombstone Epitaph was printed in the 1880s on the original Washington hand press, how the editor of the newspaper, John Clum, captured the Apache warrior Geronimo, and why he hired the Earp brothers to defend Tombstone. Located on Fifth Street between Allen and Fremont Streets in historic downtown Tombstone, Arizona, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Admission is free for everyone.
Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park
The Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park is a state park that contains and preserves the original Cochise County courthouse. Built in 1882 in a shape replicating that of a Roman cross, it is a magnificent two-story Victorian structure that once housed the offices of the sheriff, treasurer, and recorder, as well as the jail and courtrooms of Cochise County. Today, the 12,000 square foot courthouse is a museum filled with artifacts and installations that tell the story of the rich history of the territory. Exhibits in the Tombstone Courthouse include a replica of Wyatt Earp’s office, as well as a recreation of a typical 19th century courtroom. The Tombstone Courthouse is open daily from 9am to 5pm, and admission is free. Guided tours are also available for a small fee.
If you think this sounds like the family vacation you’ve been looking for…you’re right. For more information and tickets to Tombstone’s Number One destination.