|| arizona | southeast
Tombstone and Bisbee
|In historic Tombstone, kids won't be surprised to see horses riding down Allen Street, a stage coach waiting to collect passengers, and the Earps and Doc Holliday about to meet the Clantons and McLaurys behind the O.K. Corral.
|Tombstone, "the town too tough to die," was a wild west boomtown, wealthy from silver mining in the 1880's. It's most famous for the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. On Oct. 26, 1881, Virgil Earp, the marshal, his brothers Wyatt and Morgan, and Doc Holliday confronted the four outlaw Clantons and McLaurys in an alley; in the short gunfight, the two McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton were killed. The Earps and Doc Holliday were arrested for murder, but acquitted.
|O.K. Corral Watch a 40 minute live re-enactment of the famous gunfight between the Earps, Doc Holliday, the Clantons and McLaurys. The ticket also includes and open air museum with blacksmith shop, cowboy bunkhouse, stables, vintage wooden carriages (which you can climb into), life-size diorama of the gunfight, Historama multimedia show, and visit to Epitaph Museum.
|Epitaph Museum The Tombstone Epitaph is Arizona's oldest newspaper and Tombstone's oldest business. Pick up a reprint of the newspaper report of the shootout at the O.K. Corral, with detailed eyewitness accounts, and the trial. Museum is free.
|Stage coach rides Go for a 25 minute ride around town in a stagecoach, pulled by sturdy Clydesdale horses. Pick up tickets and stage coaches on Allen St.
|Rose Tree and Museum An oddity in the desert, this is the largest rose bush in the world. The root stock came from Scotland in 1885, and now the bush is as big as a tree with branches spreading over a large area (nice and shady in summer). Also check out the exhibits in the small museum 19th century children's clothing and shoes, and a collection of guns, Smith & Wesson (type used by Wyatt Earp), grandma's muff gun, Springfield and Winchester rifles.
|Helldorado Town Play 18 holes of mini-golf with a western theme or try your hand at the shooting gallery.
|City Park Next to O.K. Corral, the city park has covered picnic tables, swings, and restrooms.
|Boothill Graveyard On the north side of town, visit Boothill Graveyard, where outlaws, train robbers, pioneers, ranchers, miners, and family members of Tombstone were buried. Before visiting the graveyard, pick up the booklet with descriptions of who's buried in the cemetery, and how they died (most did not die peacefully). For example, Thomas Harper was hanged, a rancher was shot when he went out to chop wood, a miner fell down a shaft, one train robber died of his wounds.
|In the late 19th century, Bisbee was famous for one of the richest copper mines in history, the Queen Mine, and its high-quality minerals turquoise ("Bisbee Blue"), gold, silver, lead, zinc, azurite, malachite. Today, old Bisbee retains its Victorian era buildings, and kids can stop in for old-fashioned hard candies and ice cream in the center of town.
|Queen Mine Tour The Queen Mine Tour is a "must do." Put on hard hats, miners lamps and rain slickers (available in kid's sizes), and ride the mine train underground into the Queen Mine for an hour tour. As you walk through the mine tunnels, learn about mining techniques and hear the miner's stories and experiences. The temperature in the mine is 47 degrees, so dress accordingly.
|Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum The museum, affiliated with the Smithsonian, is an excellent introduction to Bisbee's mining heritage. Experience life-size dioramas of miners, see what life was like for children in the 19th century, step inside the cab of large mining equipment, find out what copper is used for (nickels and quarters, washers and dryers), walk through a crystal cave, and see a gorgeous collection of minerals mined in the Bisbee area deep blue azurite, bright green malachite, huge chunks of copper. In the museum gift shop are bins of multi-colored rocks for sale.
|City Park (corner of Taylor and Brewery St.) The city park has a playground with climbing structures and shaded picnic tables.
In Tombstone, try local sarsaparilla ("justice is coming but Tombstone Sarsaparilla is here"), homemade fudge, and old fashioned salt water taffy. The shop at Boothill Graveyard has homemade fudge in flavors of root beer, prickly pear, cookies and cream, ginger bread, chocolate, and vanilla.
|It's always fun to buy western style cowboy hats, stores have kid's sizes. Also, in Tombstone, at the shop on the corner of Allen St. and 4th St., watch leather saddles, holsters and belts being made.