Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Tombstone, AZ

  • Published 2023/03/01

There’s no better place on Earth to witness the authentic Old Wild West scene than Tombstone in Arizona.

This famous city near Tucson in Cochise County is the grandfather of Western folklore and cowboy culture.

It’s where the legendary Old West characters were immortalized in films, stories, and in some cases in reenactments.

What makes Tombstone unique is its community, where everyone joined hands to preserve its rich history while restoring its old beauty.

Tombstone is a tourist haven with dozens of attractions.

From museums, old mines, parks, and old saloons, Tombstone’s streets are filled with fascinating stories to tell.

So, if you’re ready to travel back to the 1800s, here are the best things to do in Tombstone, AZ:

Roam the Tombstone Courthouse State Park

Exterior of Tombstone Courthouse

ehrlif /

One of the locals’ most recommended places is the Tombstone Courthouse State Park along the 3rd and Toughnut Streets.

This famous historical site in Tombstone was the busiest place in the city back in the Wild West era.

It’s where most of the vicious gunfights, robberies, heists, and other crimes happened during the height of the Wild West.

The jury box inside Tombstone Courthouse

Gillfoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the old courthouse is a museum storing most of the artifacts from Tombstone’s heyday for the public to see.

Don’t forget to check out the museum’s exhibits full of documents from first-hand accounts of stories of Tombstone.

Meanwhile, the courthouse features charming architecture, making a perfect backdrop for a good photo.

Visiting this place upon arriving at Tombstone lets you immerse in the city’s history before heading out and exploring the rest of the town.

Court library in Tombstone Courthouse

Gillfoto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hear Stories of the Famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

Name sign of the O.K. Corral

Sean Pavone /

You need to visit another famous historical attraction in Tombstone, the O.K. Corral, along East Allen Street.

The O.K. Corral became famous because of the infamous gunfight between the Clanton-McLaury and Earp gangs in 1881.

The shooting happened in a vacant lot behind the building.

The gunfight left three men dead while three were severely wounded.

The O.K. Corral gunfight site exhibit

The Courage to Travel /

According to historians in Tombstone, the gunfight was one of the most famous incidents in the center of the city.

Dozens of novelists and filmmakers found inspiration in their stories through the historical accounts of that fateful incident.

Today, this horse corral is one of Tombstone’s best tourist attractions and a must-visit place to remember what the city was back in the day.

Exterior of O.K. Corral

Jeffrey M. Frank /

Step inside the Bird Cage Theatre

Exterior of the Bird Cage Theatre

Jeffrey M. Frank /

In the 1800s, Bird Cage Theatre was one of the leading entertainment hubs in Tombstone.

It became famous back in the day because of its 24/7 operation.

Cowboys, businesspeople, prospectors, and even outlaws loved to watch its shows during the height of the silver boom in Arizona.

The Bird Cage Theatre isn’t just your typical theatre.

Interior of Bird Cage Theatre

Paul R. Jones /

It had a brothel, a saloon, and crib-style housings dubbed “bird cages” back in the day.

Despite its popularity, Bird Cage Theatre has a notorious history.

The Bird Cage Theatre became a den of prostitution, gambling, and crime in Tombstone until it closed in 1892 when the silver mining boom died down.

Today, it’s a fascinating piece of history in Tombstone.

Guided tours are the favorite activities you can enjoy at this place, or perhaps join the nightly tours to try ghost hunting.

Merchandise inside Bird Cage Theatre

Paul R. Jones /

See the World’s Largest Rose Tree

History plaque of the Rose Tree Museum

Thomas Trompeter /

The Rose Tree Museum and Bookstore along 4th Street is famous for its century-old rose tree, the largest rose tree in the world.

The Scottish miner Henry Gee planted the rose tree, also known as “Lady Banksia,” back in 1886.

It has grown more than 9,000 square feet and blossoms with clusters of white roses every year.

Daytime view of the World's Largest Rose Tree

Manuela Durson /

Today, the rose tree is nursed carefully to extend its lifespan, while a museum adjacent to it features hundreds of relics or artifacts from the 1800s.

This fascinating museum houses items from prominent people in Tombstone, including photographs, housewares, guns, and documents during the Wild West era and other relevant histories.

In addition, it has a bookstore that is equally fascinating to visit, featuring rare books which you can read or buy as your souvenir.

View from under the World's Largest Rose Tree

Manuela Durson /

Have Fun at the Old Tombstone Western Theme Park

Entryway of Old Tombstone Western Theme Park

ehrlif /

If you’re looking for a bit of fun after discovering historic sites in Tombstone, head to the Old Tombstone Western Theme Park.

This one-of-a-kind attraction in Tombstone is a famous place for various events such as weddings, parties, reunions, graduations, and even a simple family picnic.

It boasts a genuine Old Western town theme that takes you back in time during the era of outlaws and cowboys.

Gunfights area at Old Tombstone Western Theme Park

ehrlif /

This theme park is not just your typical events venue; it has something for everyone.

Locals regularly reenact comedic gunfights and other stories about the Old Wild West history, while historical trolley tours tour guests around the entire theme park.

In addition, it has a restaurant, a miniature golf course, gold panning, and a shooting gallery to enjoy at this place.

Browse the Gunfighter Hall of Fame

Exterior of Gunfighter Hall of Fame

Cheri Alguire /

If you’re a fan of cowboys or outlaws, visit the Gunfighter Hall of Fame.

This mini-museum just outside the Old Tombstone Western Theme Park highlights a collection of cowboy memorabilia from guns, badges, holsters, hats, and boots.

In addition, this mini-museum also features original cowboy clothing, photographs, news clippings, and lots of stuff curated by its owner.

Each displayed item has information or details about its backstory, making this place highly fascinating to visit, especially for history buffs and cowboy fans.

Spending an hour or two at the Gunfighter Hall of Fame is genuinely worthwhile, especially if you’re eager to learn more about Tombstone’s history.

Stroll along the Iconic East Allen Street

A horse carriage in front of East Allen Street shops

StellarD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The iconic East Allen Street serves as the main thoroughfare in Tombstone.

It is where most of Tombstone’s historic buildings, structures, and relevant events happened.

Besides history, it’s also where Tombstone’s shops, restaurants, and businesses are located.

A saloon at East Allen Street

Marine 69-71, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Strolling along the covered wooden boardwalks of East Allen Street virtually takes you back in time.

Return to a time when sheriffs and outlaws regularly clashed in the middle of the road, making Tombstone known throughout the world.

Visiting this place is truly remarkable, especially if you witness the occasional reenactments of performers who stage barroom brawls and gunfights.

Explore the Dark but Incredible Goodenough Mine

Tombstone and Arizona thrived from silver and gold mining back in the day.

Dozens of mines throughout the state provided livelihood and business to thousands of people.

One of the mines that provided income to Tombstone was Goodenough Mine.

However, this famous mine closed down while the rest of Arizona grappled with the industry’s decline.

Today, Goodenough Mine is a famous historical attraction in Tombstone where visitors can explore its depths.

It also lets visitors learn fascinating anecdotes and facts about the mine and the people that worked there.

The entire tour takes about an hour or two, where tourists are taken to the underground silver mine.

If you want to experience the unusual, you can join guided ghost tours where ghost hunters take you to the creepiest parts of the mine.

Read Old News Clippings at the Tombstone Epitaph

Exterior of Tombstone Epitaph

Gestalt Imagery /

You probably know the content of Tombstone’s newspapers back in the day.

Most of the headlines talked about gunfights and the silver mining industry.

The obituary regularly announced violent deaths.

The Tombstone Epitaph is an incredible place to learn about Tombstone’s history.

First edition newspapers in Tombstone Epitaph

Paul R. Jones /

Founded in 1880, this is Arizona’s oldest operating newspaper publishing company.

Today, this company is known as the Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper, which has its own museum for tourists to visit.

A quick stopover at the Tombstone Epitaph is a worthwhile experience you shouldn’t miss.

It has thousands of great news clippings and documents about relevant events in Tombstone back in the day.

An old typewriter on a wooden table inside Tombstone Epitaph

William Cushman /

Marvel at Tombstone’s Historama’s Show

Exterior of Tombstone's Historama

Thomas Trompeter /

If you’re searching for a unique experience in Tombstone, head to the Tombstone Historama along East Allen Street.

This one-of-a-kind historical show offers visitors a unique perspective based on the authoritative account of the city’s history.

For example, you’ll learn the story of Geronimo Apache.

The show has an incredible 25-minute computer-controlled animated figures which move through a revolving stage, depicting the Indian Wars and famous gunfights in Tombstone.

In addition, it also has a video presentation and historic photo slideshows to complete your experience.

Enter the Schieffelin Hall

History marker of Schieffelin Hall

Paul R. Jones /

Visit the biggest adobe structure in the southwest United States, the Schieffelin Hall in Tombstone.

It is along E Fremont St in Tombstone, which now serves as a historical attraction in the city.

Albert Schieffelin and William Hardwood built the hall in the 1800s.

It served as a theater and a top-notch opera house back in the day.

Compared to other theatres in Tombstone, this one has a respectable reputation since most of its patrons were the city’s elite and prominent citizens.

Besides its remarkable history, Schieffelin Hall is widely famous in Tombstone for ghost hunting.

Numerous paranormal experts have tagged Schieffelin Hall as the most haunted theatre in Southern Arizona.

The Schieffelin Hall is probably the most exciting place to visit in Tombstone.

Join the Exciting Tombstone Walking Tours

For a relaxing and educational experience during your visit to Tombstone, join the Tombstone Walking Tours.

This worthwhile activity highlights guided walks around the city, combining entertainment and knowledge in telling Tombstone’s history.

This activity allows tourists in Tombstone to walk through the streets and recount the most famous gunfight incident in the city between the Clanton-McLaury and Earp gangs.

The entire tour takes about 90 minutes or even longer, depending on the number of stopovers.

To join this activity in Tombstone, visit the office of Tombstone Walking Tours situated along East Allen Street.

Pour a Glass of Excellent Arizona Wine at Silver Strike Winery

Interior of Silver Strike Winery

Kim, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re searching for a place to unwind from touring Tombstone’s historical sites, check out Silver Strike Winery.

Situated in the city’s heart, this winery is a family-owned business that makes one of the finest wines in Cochise County.

They have a cozy lounge area and tasting room to sample their excellent wine.

They primarily serve Arizona wines from their vineyards which grow European grape varieties from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal.

Their wines are then aged in a massive stainless-steel container until it is ready for bottling.

Now you know where to go for a glass of wine in Tombstone.

Watch Entertaining Shows at the Saloon Theatre

For a fun day during your visit to Tombstone, head to the Saloon Theatre along 3rd Street.

This place offers a nostalgic show featuring professional actors that reenacts not just Tombstone’s famous historical events but also popular stage play titles.

This famous playhouse is one of Tombstone’s most beloved tourist attractions that you shouldn’t miss.

If you’re a fan of stage plays or broadway performances, catch them at the Saloon Theatre.

Explore Boothill Cemetery

A tombstone with flowers at Boothill Cemetery

Joseph Sohm /

Boothill Cemetery is a must-see during your trip to Tombstone, as this played a crucial role in the significance of the town’s bloody Wild West history.

In fact, this cemetery isn’t the usual kind as it’s marketed exactly as a tourist destination, complete with a small admission fee and a map to guide you in your exploration.

Boothill Cemetery has a spooky aesthetic, almost as if it came right out of Hollywood—it’s a must-see for the adventurous travelers.

Headstones at Boothill Cemetery

Jeffrey M. Frank /

You’ll learn lots of lore and history about Tombstone and its famed gunfights as you visit several gravesites at Boothill Cemetery.

One of the most exciting places in Tombstone, find the entrance to this cemetery along Highway 80.

Daytime view of Boothill Cemetery

Paul R. Jones /

Enjoy a Cold Glass of Beer at Tombstone Brewing Company

Tombstone Brewing Company is a well-known institution in the city because it’s one of the best all-rounders to hang out with friends or family.

They serve some amazing beer here that comes in a variety of flavors—a testament to their craft and passion.

One of their most recommended beverages here is the Russian Imperial Stout, so give that a try.

If you’re not familiar with alcohol, they have friendly and expert bartenders here to enhance the experience.

Beyond that, Tombstone Brewing Company also has a lovely patio that lets you experience the historic vibes of the city.

Find this awesome brewery along East Toughnut Street.

Visit The Russ House

The Russ House is one of the most historic buildings in Tombstone, found along South 5th Street.

Opened in 1880, The Russ House is originally a boarding house, hotel, and restaurant—it’s particularly famous for its dining area as it’s one of the largest in Tombstone at that time.

Named after its original counterpart in San Francisco, this house used to serve cheap meals and accommodation for the miners and the poor who were ravaged by the hardship in the U.S. during those times.

Today, you can experience the history and heritage of The Russ House either by checking in at their 19th Century themed rooms or trying their Mexican menu.

They have some amazing margaritas, salsas, and enchiladas here—a perfect stopover during your trip.

Go Camping at Tombstone RV Park and Campground

If you want to experience a rustic accommodation in Tombstone, you can’t go wrong with Tombstone RV Park and Campground.

It offers modern amenities while still preserving that rustic atmosphere that many avid campers covet—a great place to experience the outdoors of the city.

One of their best facilities here is their heated swimming pool that’s a hit to many of their customers.

Tombstone RV Park and Campground also has a spacious lounge, a dog park, and a horse area.

Found along Highway 80, this is one of the best options if you’re looking to camp in the city.

Ride an ATV with Apache ATV Tours

Apache ATV Tours is a credible and renowned company providing guided ATV tours in Tombstone and other nearby areas in Phoenix and Arizona as a whole.

This is a great addition to your itinerary that can easily take up a whole day, as you’ll be exploring most of the interesting terrains in Tombstone.

You’ll be able to take lots of photos of other nearby historic areas with Apache ATV Tours, making this a great sightseeing activity as well.

Of course, there’s also the added thrill of venturing in the desert fields of Arizona on an ATV.

You can visit Apache ATV Tours along North Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Appreciate Nature’s Beauty at San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area

Before returning home, head to the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in Hereford.

This 57,000-acre conservation area teems with wildlife featuring Arizona’s unique flora and fauna.

It’s a magnificent place to visit near Tombstone, especially for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers.

Explore San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area multipurpose trails, or perhaps spend the night at its campsite.

There are also ranger-guided tours that take you through the conservation area’s most scenic spots.

Besides wildlife viewing, you can also enjoy hiking, biking, and fishing in this terrific natural attraction.

Final Thoughts

It’s not surprising Tombstone is on most people’s bucket lists of travel destinations.

This Arizona city showcases a genuine experience you won’t see in other places.

Whether you’re an avid Old West enthusiast or an eager tourist, something extraordinary awaits you in Tombstone.

Start planning your Tombstone trip today!

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