Travel to Tombstone, Arizona, and one will be greeted with an old Wild West town that looks straight out of Hollywood. It is a boomtown (one of the last of the American frontier) made famous for the Gunfight At O.K. Corral - an event that has since been made into many Western films.
Tombstone has earned itself the title, the Town Too Tough To Die, and is a must for anyone exploring the region. Tombstone really is one of the best places to step back in time and learn about the days of the Old Wild West. Tombstone can be seen in a day, but if one would like to soak in the atmosphere, consider staying overnight in a historic hotel.
Tombstone - The Town Too Tough To Die
Tombstone boomed in the 1880s on silver bullion mining and reached a population of around 14,000. Today the town lives on with a population of around 1,300 residents (it got at low as 646 in 1910). It retains many Wild West historical sites and attractions.
- Known For: The Site Of The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
While the town boomed, tensions under the surface mounted. On the one hand, the mining capitalists and townsfolk were typically from the Northern states, while the ranchers (like the Clantons) were Confederate sympathizers.
In its heyday, Tombstone had:
- 110 Saloons
- 14 Gambling Halls
- Many Dance Halls and Brothels
- Three Newspapers
- Two Banks
- An Ice House
- Four Churches
Being so close to the Mexican border, it was an open market for selling stolen cattle from Mexico.
Tombstone's Good Enough Mine Tour
Despite its reputation as a beef and cowboy town, Tombstone was born a mining town and silver runs deep within its veins. Learn about the history of Tombstone with a mine tour. These tours are 45 minutes and are fully narrated going 100 feet below the surface into the mine.
Visitors see the veins of silver in the mines and explore a real 1880s silver mine. All the digging was done by hand - without power tools and with candlelight. Visitors get to explore a small sampling of the over 300 miles of mines under Tombstone and the area.
These mines propelled Tombstone to become (briefly) the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco.
- Adults: $20.00
- Children: $10.00
- Duration: 45 Minutes
Other Activities In Tombstone
Today much of the infrastructure of the historic town is preserved today and is an easy day trip from Tuscon. There are plenty of activities for all to relive the days of the Old West.
Old Butterfield State Coach
The Bufferfield State Coach was the longest State Coach in the world and could bring mail out to the West in as little as 25 days. At Tombstone, visitors can ride the Old Butterfield Stage Coast and enjoy a narrated tour of the historic Old Tombstone.
- Adults: $10.00
- Children: $5.00
- Hours: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
- Address: 326 E. Allen St. in front of the OK Corral
- Duration: 20 Minutes
Tombstone Arizona Ghost Tours
What better place for a spooky Wild West ghost tour than at the town of the Gunfight at O.K. Corral? There are plenty of haunted spots in Tombstone - like the Tombstone General Hospital. On the tour, hear the lore of the courthouse hangings and the China Mary's opium den in Hop Town.
- Adults: $30.00
- Reservations: Required In Advance
- Duration: Approx. 90 Minutes
OK Corral & Historama
One can't come to Tombstone and not see the Gunfight at O.K. Corral re-enactment. Every day at noon, 2 pm, and 3.5 pm, see the Clantons and Doc Holliday and the others shoot it out. Historama is held throughout the day.
- Gun Fight Re-enactments: At Noon, 2.00 pm, and 3.50 pm
- Hours: Open 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
- Address: Allen St. Between 3rd & 4th
Trolley Tour Of Tombstone
Another fun way to explore Tombstone is with the Trolley Tour. The Good Enough Trolley offers a historical six-mile tour and covers some 55 landmarks in and around Tombstone. The route goes through Tombstone, the mining districts, the cemeteries, and the Schieffelin Monument. Guests also see the O.K. Corral.
The trolley is air-conditioned and heated with cushioned seats. It is a great way to get introduced to Tombstone.
- Adult: $15.00
- Children: $8.00
- Landmarks: Over 55 Landmarks
- Duration: 40 Minutes
The entrance to Tombstone is free, so if one is on a budget, one could also just visit and walk around without paying for expensive attractions. There is also lodging in Tombstone for those wanting to stay the night.