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Overview

The Wild West lives on in Tombstone, and it’s the real deal. Rich lodes of silver ore caused the town to spring to life in the 1880s, drawing thousands of colorful characters with the lure of instant wealth. Saloons and bordellos did a boisterous business. Guns roared from time to time, including the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Those with sluggish trigger fingers or bad luck wound up in Boothill Graveyard on the edge of town. Officials in the courthouse tried to keep order, but it’s said that family women did the most to tame the town. Today you can visit all these places and watch the blazing action of gunfight re-enactments. The ...

The Wild West lives on in Tombstone, and it’s the real deal. Rich lodes of silver ore caused the town to spring to life in the 1880s, drawing thousands of colorful characters with the lure of instant wealth. Saloons and bordellos did a boisterous business. Guns roared from time to time, including the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Those with sluggish trigger fingers or bad luck wound up in Boothill Graveyard on the edge of town. Officials in the courthouse tried to keep order, but it’s said that family women did the most to tame the town. Today you can visit all these places and watch the blazing action of gunfight re-enactments. The courthouse is now a museum, an excellent place to begin your visit and learn about the people and events of early Tombstone. Old West architecture abounds, and you can step inside many of the historic structures. Be sure to visit the Birdcage Theatre for its original theater interior, then head downstairs to see the gambling tables and bordello rooms. Other museums and a mine tour also bring to life early Tombstone’s miners, pioneers, lawmen, and desperadoes. Gunfights take place daily at several venues; the chamber office has the locations and times.

Bill Weir
About the Expert

Bill Weir is the author of Moon Handbooks on Arizona, Utah and the Grand Canyon.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring and autumn have comfortable temperatures. Summer is hot, but most of Tombstone's sights are indoors. Winter is fine if you catch a period of sunny weather.