“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” – Paulo Coelho
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Tombstone, AZ – It’s been a while since we’ve been to the South. And, truth be told, we should have come back sooner. But, never mind. Here we are once again in beautiful Arizona and this time we thought we’d check out this cool little ghost town. We haven’t had too many of those, but Tombstone, AZ has such a rich history that we just couldn’t resist. Here’s our take on it.
Tombstone, AZ – A Ghost Town Famous For Many (Bad) Things
Ed Schieffelin founded Tombstone way back in 1879. At the time, the town was located in Pima County. However, today this ghost town is officially listed as a historic western city found in Cochise County. If we’re talking about the American Old West, then Tombstone was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in it. Not many people know it was once the largest productive silver district in the state of Arizona. In fact, between 1877 and 1890, it produced US $40 to $85 million in silver bullion.
The thing that Tombstone is most famous for today, thanks largely to Hollywood, is the conflict, or shootout, between the Earp brothers and members of The Cowboys. The latter were criminals who stole beef from ranches in Sonora, Mexico, whereas the former were – well, you know the story. Anyway, the after months of threats and arguments, the conflict escalated into the now-famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. But, actually, the fight took place a block or two away from the O.K. Corral, on Fremont Street.
What’s The Point Of Being In The Old West And Not Shooting A Colt 45?
Interestingly, Tombstone is often referred to as “The Town Too Tough To Die.” Historically, this could be because of a lot of things. But, it would seem that many consider this ghost town as only that – a desolate, empty historical place. What they don’t realize is that Tombstone is, in fact, a living, breathing town. And that means it has living, breathing inhabitants who have managed to surpass the tough times and remain a trademark of one of the most authentic Western Towns left in the country.
For a hands-on experience of Tombstone, our recommendation is either The Gunfight Palace or the Big Iron Shooting Gallery. Both of these fine establishments will let you shoot real period-accurate guns that made the West what it is today. That means real Colt 45 caliber Cowboy guns, folks! On the other hand, if you’re not into guns, you could go for Tombstone 1878 Underground Tours. This tour will take you through one of the first mines used in town back during the 1880’s.
A Couple Of Options, You Know, Just In Case
As you could imagine, there are tons of Tombstone, AZ restaurants. We particularly loved Brenda’s Chuckwagon Eatery, as well as the Crystal Palace Saloon. And if you’re into indulging your sweet tooth, you could do what we did and try some delicious ice cream at Fallen Angel Sweet Sin Parlor. Additionally, Wyatt’s Coffee House and Silver Strike Winery are good options when it comes to some much-needed coffee or delicious local wine.
Tombstone accommodation options range between hotels and motels, bed and breakfasts and RV campsites. We went with the Landmark Lookout Lodge, but have also heard great things about the Bella Union Adobe Lodge Motel. We also wanted to try the renowned T. Miller’s Tombstone Mercantile & Hotel, but didn’t have the time. Maybe you will and then let us know if it’s as good as they say it is. Because ultimately – the West is something everybody experiences in their own, unique way.