Many of our adventures eventually lead us back to Tombstone. Whether it’s after a day of exploring the cave in Coronado National Memorial or hiking out to Fort Bowie, we always seem to end up in Tombstone before heading back home. Well, there must be a pretty good reason right? Here are 10 quirky reasons.
1. Get your wild west fix
This feisty little Town Too Tough to Die perfectly captures the spirit of the Old West.
2. You’ll see really weird things
We can’t even explain this, found in a store window. Perhaps it’s metaphoric –you turn into an angry bear wielding a lace umbrella when you drink too much Bacardi…
3. You can interact with the actors who roam the town
You can chat them up when suddenly one of them will pull out a gun and re-enact a gunfight with another actor right in the middle of the street!
4. The amusing signs posted all over town
You can even buy some of them as a souveneir… for your er… loved ones.
See the original post to this photo below from our 2008 visit.
5. These two horses were the inspiration for the animated horses in Disney’s Frozen
Your kids will probably recognize Sitron, Prince Hans’ horsey.
6. There’s much more to the O.K. Corral than a re-enactment to the infamous Cowboy-Earp brothers gunfight
There’s actually a mini-museum with actual artifacts from Tombstone’s glory days.
And a neat, hands-on way to teach your kids about gemstone mining.
Or you can just take silly photos with your mamma-in-law. 🙂
7. There are still quite a few historic buildings standing today that survived the fire of 1881
Like the Oriental Saloon and Bella Union Saloon. Many of them that didn’t survive the fire of 1881 are still historic, having been re-built that same year or the year after. See this link for details of the buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
8. See the original bullet holes in the Bird Cage Theatre
The Bird Cage Theatre is probably the 2nd most notorious, right after the O.K. Coral gunfight site. The Bird Cage Theatre served as a combination theater, saloon, gambling parlor, and brothel… a den of inequity. There are over 120 bullet holes in the building, many of which are still visible.
The long bar in the front parlor is the original. There’s a 45 caliber bullet hole with the bullet still intact in one of its posts.
This canvas of belly-dancer Fatima (who started her career at the Bird Cage Theatre) has six bullet holes and a knife slash in it.
“The Human Fly” was an act in which women dressed in costumes and walked across the stage ceiling upside down. This act ended when one of the performers fell to her death.
“Come visit me at the Bird Cage Theatre. Moo.”
9. Boothill’s cemetery and its interesting tombstone epitaphs
A cemetery? Seriously? You want me to visit a cemetery? Well, yes actually.
(See the original post to the below Boothill photos in our 2011 visit to Tombstone)
You can see where the notorious Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers were buried.
And see the interesting epitaphs inscribed on some of the tombstones.
10. There’s something for visitors of all ages!
Party-poopers complain that Tombstone is a tourist trap. Well yes, in many ways it is. But with approximately 500,000 visitors per year, there’s a pretty darn good reason (10 good reasons actually) people willingly fall into that so-called trap. Entrance and parking are free. It’s up to you whether you want to purchase souvenirs or pay for activities. There’s something to amuse people of all ages and interests. We love the atmosphere so much that we come back every year, even if it’s just to grab lunch after another adventure.
Tombstone Ghost Town Overview