Ahhh, Tombstone, Arizona. The crowning jewel of the history of the Wild West. This city is the quintessential boomtown, all kudos to silver prospector, Ed Schieffelin. Later famous for the historical O.K. Corral Shootout, Tombstone has an exotic and frankly, naughty history. Visiting it, although it’s all mostly on one street, is almost enough for a multi-day trip. However, if you are trying to cram it in one day, here is your best bet:
7:00- Rise and shine to get ready and eat breakfast, either at a diner, your hotel, or wherever you are staying.
8:00- Drive to Boothill Graveyard. This is the historic cemetery of many businessmen, ranch hand, settlers, immigrants, miners, and the occasional drunk. You will also find the graves of the McLaury’s and Billy Clanton, as well as many other numerous key figures such as China Mary, Lester Moore, and John Heath. (Tip: Make sure you get the booklet describing who is buried where and how they died.)
9:00- Drive or walk to Tombstone Courthouse Historic State Park. Tour the museum following the guides (chronological order) and marvel at the many artifacts and documents starting from Ed’s discoveries to the shootout to all the scandalous activities along the way. Make sure to look at the courtroom itself and the gallows
10:30- Start the main haul up Allen Street, but before you make it all the way there, make sure to stop at the Rose museum, even if its just to gawk at the massive plant. Yep, you guessed it, that’s the world’s largest rosebush. Inside is the personal accounts of the family and more artifacts on Tombstone, mostly odd ones about the culture.
11:00: Hopefully at this point you have made it up to Allen Street by now and didn’t get too caught up in things, but from here you can take a left and go down to the main attraction in Tombstone- OK Corral. Here you can pick up interesting gifts (flavored crickets, anyone?) and see plenty of artifacts. Leaving the building, you can see information and buildings on brothels in the city (yes, in a boomtown with a hundred saloons or so, prostitution was a big deal), as well as the life of corral and stable workers. Keep going and you will see Fly’s Photography, the main photographer in the city, and the building where Doc’s significant other, Kate, watched the entire shootout. Next to Fly’s is the area itself where the Clantons and McLaurys turned their guns against the brave and charismatic Doc Holliday and the Earps. If you are really lucky, you may be able to witness one of the gunfight reenactments, which in my opinion, were a little exaggerated but, they were sure funny.
13:00- Stop at Crystal Palace for Lunch. This fancy saloon was home to a brewery and even the offices of the Earps. In fact, this is the very saloon where Morgan Earp was shot in the spine, right before the shootout and then later, the vendetta of Wyatt Earp.
14:00- Walk on over to the Bird Cage Theatre. Pictured just the same as in the movie, Tombstone, it was home to most of the popular and scandalous shows in the town. Make sure to look at Fatima, the massive painting, and gawk at the bullet holes in the ceiling. Yup, things got a little rowdy there. Below is the brothel rooms and a gambling table that hasn’t been moved in over a hundred years, as well as a wine cellar. The area in there may be small, but by the time you have read and looked at all the history, it will have been a while.
15:30- Run back down to Toughnut to go on the Good Enough Mine Tour. These tour guides are the greatest. They tell the best jokes and are super helpful in guiding you around the massive mine that lugged out large amounts of silver. Learn what a honey pot is, as well as how they mined well beneath the town. Dogs are allowed and its pretty cheap compared to many mine tours.
17:00- I would try to check out some of the shops if you can (some close early), but lots have interesting trinkets and clothes. You will truly grasp how weird Tombstone is at this point (if you haven’t already). Stop and get some ice cream at Tombstone Mercantile if you want.
19:00- My favorite! Hop over to Big Nose Kate’s. I can not put in words how incredible this place is. You can barely order food because of all the things on the wall catching your attention. My recommendation is pizza, its so incredible. I wish I could go there more often, it’s seriously so good. Hopefully there is a live performer, if there is, tip them, they are usually really good and will play whatever song you want. Once you are done eating your second or third pizza (trust me, you will want more), go take a look downstairs at the gift shop and the Shaft. I love this saloon, its seriously amazing. Oh and did I mention everyone is in costume?
Hope this is helpful! Follow me on twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest @walksofnamayani