After that, graduate to one of the others, like the Best of the Barrio cuisine tour, Beaches of Rocky Point or Tombstone: Memories of the Old West. As with most Arizona desert destinations, spring is the best time to set out on a Tucson-based road trip. For our recommended places to stay or avoid in Bisbee, see our Bisbee Lodging Reviews. Ladies were dressed in their finest. Benson’s attractions include the Singing Wind Bookshop -- a well-known spot for book lovers, located on the town’s outskirts -- and the nearby Holy Trinity Monastery, which is open to visitors of all faiths and features lovely grounds, an enclosed courtyard, and a towering cross. Set the alarm clock, fuel up the car, plug in the GPS (though you’ll barely need it) and escape the city for a day in cooler temps around small-town charm and the artistic and Western flair of Southern Arizona’s mining towns. From Fairbank, the new line followed Walnut Gulch, a tributary of the San Pedro River, east for six miles, then climbed out of the ravine via a two and a half percent grade. Six wooden trestles were built across various streams along the route. The farthest of the two towns from your starting point in Tucson is just over an hour-and-a-half drive. It’s one of Arizona’s many selfie-friendly works of art and may prove to be the perfect album cover for your Southern Arizona trip. Expect to spend 4 to 5 hours in Tombstone. Both are major destinations in their own right. As Tucson's longest running tour business, we know the ins and outs that will make your trip special. Retired Southern Pacific caboose number 1057 and a boxcar were brought to Tombstone by truck in 1971 and placed next to the building on the old right-of-way. Pay attention for fun anecdotes about the miners’ sense of humor, and don’t be afraid to ask your friendly guide questions about the mining lifestyle. Outbound traffic from the mines consisted of ore bound for the mills along the San Pedro River. The final survey for the branch was completed in early July and grading for the new line began on July 29. Learn more about the sights of Tombstone on our "Things to Do in Tombstone" page. Enter a mountain tunnel and the town of Bisbee is just on the other side nestled between the hills. Temperatures tend to be warm and sunny, and cactus blooms are at their peak. Known as the Hummingbird Capital of the United States, it is prime bird-watching territory. The 1902 Copper Queen Hotel offers 48 quaint rooms and seven specialty rooms, while the 1906 Bisbee Grand Hotel offers seven suites and six rooms. Take Interstate 10 east to Highway 80. There is no way to fully enjoy Tombstone and Bisbee in one day. Plan to arrive no later than mid-morning for a bite to eat at Bisbee Breakfast Club at the south end of town. Tombstones and a corresponding map tell of the cowboys, miners and passerby victims who experienced the Wild West days of Tombstone but never made it out. Visit one of the 7 Wonders of the World, practically in your backyard! All In a Day’s Time: Road Trip to Tombstone & Bisbee, Itinerary: A Cultural Tour through Tucson, 8 Day Trips From Tucson for Every Traveler, Everyday in Cowboy Boots with John Gilbert in Tucson, Boneyards, Missiles and Forts: The Military Exhibits of Southern Arizona, Cowboy & Wild West Curiosities in the Scottsdale Area. Visitors are dressed with a yellow jacket, brown leather belt, hard hat and flashlight before boarding the miniature open-sided train that enters into the mine. The 88-mile line passed through Fairbank, located only nine miles from Tombstone. Upon arrival, take some time to wander the winding, narrow streets and alleys -- as well as the many historic staircases -- to absorb the quirky atmosphere of the old mining town. Citizen Auto Stage Co. The inn is centrally located near downtown hot spots and Tucson’s historic Fourth Avenue. Pass through wide-open doors on Main Street for unique art, eclectic antiques and remarkable eats. The old mining town of Tombstone needs no introduction. Between 6th and 3rd streets, Allen Street remains a historical Old West town—a dirt road, horse and carriage transportation (no cars allowed), saloons and gunfights (albeit staged). Experience the Old West and small-town living in quaint, hillside Bisbee and the town “too tough to die.”, The historically intact town of Tombstone offers insight into the days of the WIld West. Bisbee was founded as a copper, gold, and silver mining town in 1880, and named in honor of Judge DeWitt Bisbee, one of the financial backers of the adjacent Copper Queen Mine. Cars of coal were delivered to power the machinery. "The Little Dinky" was used to haul ore from the Tombstone mines to the mills at Fairbank. Bisbee Delve deep into Arizona's mining past in Bisbee, a town of colorful architecture and equally colorful characters. You’ll feel like you’re on the set of Tombstone starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. Tombstone & Bisbee are two old mining towns an hour and an hour and a half southeast of Tucson. The Train To Tombstone: Arizona Territory, 1903. You can view a video of each above. Are you ready to explore the depths of Kartchner with us? Her blog, NearandFarAZ gives readers an insider's view of the wonders of the U.S. Southwest, and a traveler's take on far-off locales from Panama to Hong Kong to the Czech Republic. The farthest of the two towns from your starting point in Tucson is just over an hour-and-a-half drive. To get the full experience, plan to have lunch at one of the rustic eateries on the main drag, such as the O.K. If time allows, the Rose Tree Museum just south of Allen Street on 4th Street houses plenty of interesting Tombstone artifacts with accompanying stories, and what is claimed to be the world’s largest rose tree has taken over the courtyard. The last major mine closed in 1959. Photo ca 1903. The drive back to the city may be just long enough to jog minds back to present day. The need for a railroad to encourage commerce by providing a reliable form of transportation for goods and passengers was seen as being of paramount importance. One of Arizona's top destinations, Tombstone continues to thrill old and young alike, Enjoy a relaxing 4 days at the beach in Rocky Point, Mexico, A Sonoran Cuisine Tour - experience Tucson through its unique Mexican Cuisine, Learn about Tucson’s historic roots and exciting downtown in this eye-opening tour, Explore the controversial national issue surrounding the US-Mexico border, This message is only visible to admins:Unable to display Facebook posts, © For more ideas of things to do in Tombstone, see our Tombstone article on Things to do in Tombstone or read about some Local Tombstone History. The theater remains intact with relics from its operating days in addition to many town artifacts. The Tombstone Prospector, the town's major newspaper, published a 56-page souvenir edition. Remember that all of our tours are available for group outings. They’re all right there on this 100-mile route into Arizona’s southern reaches. Sierra Vista, Tucson, Tombstone and Bisbee, and even Phoenix, these are my old stomping grounds. The turn of the 20th century came and went without Tombstone achieving its dream of a railroad. Twenty-five minutes down the highway, mining history is proudly highlighted in scenic and friendly Bisbee, a history-laden town set among hilly green landscapes just above a mile high. There, knowledgeable guides will recount stories of Bisbee’s mining heyday. Click on the link for our Bisbee Dining Reviews. Let Gray Line show you Tucson and Southern Arizona! Drive another 30 minutes to arrive in Bisbee, a mellow mile-high town snuggled into the Mule Mountains. Two boxcars served as a temporary depot while E.P. Bisbee’s old town is a classic example of a thriving mining camp that became an unbelievably prosperous little city in the middle of a vast desert. Tombstone & Bisbee are two old mining towns an hour and an hour and a half southeast of Tucson. Enter a mountain tunnel and the town of Bisbee is just on the other side nestled between the hills. Fall and winter are also great times to visit, with October’s high temperatures ranging in the mid-80s and February’s highs averaging a comfortable 70 degrees. Drop by for a wine tasting at Silver Mine Winery and settle in for dinner at one of the street’s historically intact saloons, such as Big Nose Kate’s or the Crystal Palace. The Bisbee to El Paso segment was completed November 1902. Gentlemen were speaking in unison with pride and joy regarding this historic event for their town of Tombstone. Park at the corner of 6th and Allen streets and take a selfie in front of the “Town Too Tough to Die” sign. Cindy Barks is an Arizona-based newspaper reporter, freelance travel writer, and travel blogger. . Sign-up and receive travel ideas directly to your inbox. ... Eat, Drink, and Explore Tucson and Tombstone. Are Tombstone and Bisbee worth driving 2-1/2 hrs. The N.M. & A. was an isolated subsidiary of the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, headquartered in Topeka, Kansas. This will provide an interesting overview of Tucson with a finish at one of the Southwest's best: the San Xavier Mission. Countless movies and television shows have focused on the gunfight that took place at the O.K. Enjoy the free-spirited vibe and, if time allows, stop in for a coffee at Bisbee Coffee Company or lunch at neighboring Bisbee’s Table, and take a tour the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum across the street.