Dust off your boots and saddle up, partner. We’re road tripping to the town too tough to die.
|By Amanda Oien
A saloon-lined dusty street and the sound of spinning spurs greet visitors to Tombstone, Arizona, a place known for its Wild West history.
In 1881, gunfire rang out near Fremont Street, which later became known as the famous O.K. Corral Gunfight with Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday. In just 24 seconds, 30 shots were fired.
This gunfight would put Tombstone on the map; along with the American Old West’s famous outlaws and its historic buildings that still stand today, including the Bird Cage Theatre which was once known as the “wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast” according to the New York Times.
Allen Street Shopping
Giddy up, y’all, we’re going shopping. Allen Street is the main street of Tombstone and is lined with vintage clothing, antique and souvenir shops. You can easily spend hours sifting through the past and present.
The Shady Lady’s Closet has everything from Western wear and accessories to 1880’s Victorian wear. If you’re looking for Native American jewelry, pottery, sandpaintings, fetishes, rugs, or artifacts visit one of Arlene’s three locations along Allen Street.
Don’t go hungry now, ya hear? Half-way down Allen Street, you’ll find Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, named after Mary Katherine Haroney, a Hungarian dance hall girl and woman of the night, who was Doc Holliday’s on and off girlfriend. She later became known as Big Nose Kate.
Hunker down for food, live country music, and beer served in a glass stein.
Pro Tip: If you want to dress up and take pictures, behind the bar, on their piano, or with a cowboy or saloon girl, you can do so for free.
The O.K. Corral gunfight is reenacted daily at 11a.m, 12p.m, 2p.m. and 3:30p.m.; each show lasts about 30 minutes. However, you’ll want to get your tickets at least 2 hours before showtime to secure a seat.
Be sure to check out all that the O.K. Corral has to offer, including the stables with buggies, the cowboy bunkhouse, and even a look at the hearse used to take unfortunate souls to their final resting place at Boothill Cemetery.
Make your way on over to the Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper Museum. Home to Arizona’s oldest newspaper, it’s still published today. Read the original 1881 reports of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral and find out how newspapers were printed back in the 1800’s.
Pro-Tip: Admission to the Epitaph is free
Built in 1882, the Tombstone Courthouse still stands today and is now considered a State Historic Park. Learn about the miners, cattlemen, and pioneers of Tombstone and see replicas of the courtroom, sheriff offices, and the gallows where seven men were hanged.
Delve into the silver mining economy that kept Tombstone alive with a tour of the Goodenough Mine, dating back to 1878.
Before riding off into the sunset, stick around for one of Tombstone’s many ghost tours, including a walking tour of Tombstone or a haunted tour of the renowned Bird Cage Theatre, that has been said to be haunted by the spirits of prostitutes and cowboys.
Tombstone has many annual events centered around the town’s history. Take a gander before planning your next day trip to the town too tough to die.