Bisbee is easily one of my favorite places in Arizona for many reasons. There is so much to do and see even though it is relatively small and the people are exceptionally friendly. It is packed with history and beauty (street art is huge here!), yet for some reason doesn’t get overwhelmed with tourism, which makes it nice for exploring.
How to get around:
You will most likely be driving, taking an Uber, or something similar to get there, but once you do, I would recommend parking your car at the bottom of the historic district and walking from place to place. There is a small fee but personally I feel like the exercise and ease of not having to navigate narrow and confusing streets (not to mention tricky parking!) just isn’t worth it. However, it is possible to drive if there is need.
Where to stay:
If you aren’t only taking a day trip from Douglas, Tucson, or other locations, there are several hotels to stay at, most of them being locally owned. There are plenty right near the historical district in buildings that are old and perhaps historic themselves. Examples of this is the Inn at Castle Rock or Bisbee Grand Hotel.
What to do:
There are quite a few options for things to do and see in Bisbee, of which wandering around town is one of my favorites. Bisbee is a strange place with many strange stores that one can find by walking the historic streets and window shopping. There are tons of businesses with massive collections of junk and antiques, but they are exceptionally fun to dig through. In most of them you can find lots of old outfits and hats or old photos or forgotten plates and dishes. Now and then you will stumble across some treasures to bring home. Some other stores have handmade works, be it candles, sewn goods, metal works, or more. One of my favorites stores !!!!!!! Is super cool for finding metal works to bring home and give. Along with seeing the stores, walking around will introduce you to tons of street art (legal and not), as well as lots of beautiful plants, which may be blooming if you plan to visit in the summer. I loved seeing all the pretty flowers!
There are two main museums in Bisbee, of which both are super informative and well organized. The more formal of the two is the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, which has tons of information and artifacts of the history of the city. There is a lot of information on the fires Bisbee has faced, as well as their involvement in the mining industry. The museum arrangement is beautiful and helpful in avoiding crowding, which make it a very pleasant visit. The other museum, the Bisbee Restoration Museum, is smaller and less formal, but is interesting nonetheless. It houses a fine collection of donated items from the times of the old west, when Bisbee was prospering. There are tons of old typewriters and sewing machines, amongst many other things. The admission to this one is free, making so there is no reason for you not to go!
The Copper Queen Mine is also an interesting place to visit and is one of the few mines still safe enough to visit. When you arrive to the old building just above the historic center, you will be given a headlamp and a bright yellow coat. From here, you board an old tram that takes you through the tunnels (would not recommend if you are claustrophobic), and into some of the wider areas. Your tour guide will explain how the mine used to function, stories about the people who worked here, and eventually the end of the mining industry in many of these old towns. The guide was super friendly and informative. There are tons of photo opportunities and cool things to see. I have had the opportunity to take many mine tours in Arizona, but this was honestly one of my favorites.
Old Bisbee Ghost Tours also hosts a handful of tours to give Bisbee’s tourists a paranormal experience. I personally have never been, but they are super popular and allow a mixture of urban legend and history. The company offers five tours, such as the Bisbeen Inn Ghost Hunt or the Haunted Pub Crawl. As an urban legend fanatic, I would love to go and suggest going yourself!
There are so many places to see in Bisbee and if you are in the area, I would not miss out on this little town. There is so much culture and character here that mixes with its old history and interesting people to create a warm, friendly, and fun environment. Definitely bring a camera with you because there are too many photo opportunities to miss!