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Tombstone has been dubbed the "Town Too Tough To Die!" and is a historic city in Arizona. It is arguably the ultimate Old Wild West boomtown to visit and is located an easy drive from Tuscon not far from the Mexican border. Arizona with its cactuses and deserts is the home of many of the romantic ideas of what the Wild West frontier settlements looked like.

The former Wild West is full of old boomtowns and ghost towns. These are filled with different characters - Bodie in California looks like an abandoned Wild West movie stage set, Virginia City in Nevada (near Reno) is a living Wild West boomtown, and Bannock offers a completely different feel in Montana (but it comes alive again every year at Halloween).


Is Tombstone A Real Town? Yes, And It's A Jewel Of The Wild West

Tombstone, Arizona became one of the last boomtowns of the American frontier being founded in 1877. It grew in the mid-1880s fueled by Arizona's largest productive silver district.

Its population swelled from around 100 to around 14,000 in only around seven years.

  • Founded: 1877
  • Last: One Of The Last Boomtowns
  • Economy: Silver Mining
  • Famous For: The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

Today it is something of the epitome of the Old Wild West and is famous for being the site of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Some may remember the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral immortalized in the 1957 movie of the same name. Others may remember it in the arguably cheesy Star Trek: Original Series Season 3, Episode 6 "Specter of the Gun."

In its heyday, Tombstone had a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, banks, 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and lots of brothels. The businesses were located by the silver mines. It would have been a sight to see Tombstones' gentlemen and ladies attending operas while the miners and cowboys of the town frequented the brothels and the Bird Cage Theatre.

Related: Tour Vulture City, Arizona's Eeriest Ghost Town

How Much Time Is Needed In Tombstone?

Being the Old West Atmosphere of the “Town Too Tough To Die!” one should spend enough time there to really soak up the atmosphere. Walk the streets that Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp and his brothers did. See the town's many historic buildings and hear the many legendary stories of the past.

One can enjoy history tours around the town, these are offered on foot or by stagecoach or trolley.

See the museums, experience the underground mines, watch the gunfight reenactments and learn about paranormal adventures. There is plenty to see and do and can be experienced as a day trip or have a full overnight experience in Tombstone.

  • How Much Time To See Tombstone: At Least Four Hours
  • Recommended: Two Days & One Night In Tombstone

To really soak in the atmosphere of Tombstone, stay overnight in the town. There are a number of hotels, motels, and other accommodations - like RV parks and vacation rentals to choose from. Browse the listings on Tombstone's website.

Related: Fort Churchill: The Abandoned Wild West Fort That Guarded The Frontier

How Much Does It Cost To Get To Tombstone?

Tombstone is only a 75-mile drive from the major Arizona city of Tucson and so can be a fun and affordable family day trip. It is also located just off the I-10 Highway running across the nation - so it can be an attraction one can stop and visit if one is crossing the country.

  • Get There: 75-Mile Drive From Tucson

Tombstone itself is free and there is no admission fee to enter. Each of the attractions, museums, and tours is likely to have a fee, but these are all optional activities. If one is just coming for a day trip and if one is happy to not pay for any of the attractions, then one need only pay for the cost of gasoline for a 150-mile round trip journey from Tucson (but bring a packed lunch).

  • Tombstone Admission Fee: None - Free Entrance
  • Hotels In Tombstone: From Around $80.00 Per Night For Two

For an average 7-day trip to Tombstone, a solo traveler can expect to pay around $1,291, a couple $2,319, and a family of four $4,347.

But of course, one is not likely to spend a full week in Tombstone, one night should be enough and the cheapest hotels for two people start at around $80.00 per night. As of the time of writing (July 2022), Booking.com listed 10 accommodation options with prices ranging from $82.00 per night to $464 per night.