Looking for some fun things to do in Tombstone, Az? You’ve come to the right place!
Hey there, fellow travelers! Are you ready to step back in time and experience the Wild West at its finest?
We’ve had the pleasure of living in Tombstone for a winter, and let us tell you, it was an unforgettable adventure.
With family currently living in this historic town and our extensive traveling experience, we’ve got the scoop on all the must-see spots, hidden gems, and local favorites that you won’t want to miss as you plan your visit to this legendary town.
So saddle up, partner, and get ready to discover the untamed beauty and enduring spirit of Tombstone, Arizona.
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Things To Do In Tombstone, Az
Let’s get straight into what you can do on a visit to Tombstone.
1. Bird Cage Theatre
The Bird Cage Theater officially opened in December 1881.
When the mine closed a few years later, most of the miners and residents moved away, leaving no business for the theater. And so it closed its doors in 1892, after only ten years.
During its heyday, the theater provided entertainment for mainly the silver miners in the area.
Entertainment consisted of comedy, singing, strength shows, and more. The theater also had women in the world’s oldest profession who sat in cribs above the lobby showing off their wares.
The theater also touts that it held the longest poker game in history, lasting 8 years and having players including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday play in the game.
Today, you can head into the main lobby for free and see the original bar and bullet holes peppered throughout.
If you want to pay the admission price, you can head to the basement to see the oddities below. The Bird Cage does have the original Boothill Graveyard hearse (coming up in #8), called the “Black Mariah,” which we thought was worth the admission price alone.
The theater is said to be haunted and has been featured in a number of ghost-hunting shows. It offers ghost tours of its facility if you would like a good spooking. You can purchase the tickets on-site.
📎 Tip: If you are heading down from the Scottsdale or Phoenix area, we have some great suggestions for stops along the road.
2. Rose Tree Museum
Our next destination is the Rose Tree Museum, where you will witness the biggest rose tree in the world.
The story goes that a young couple left Scotland and headed for Tombstone. The woman, Mary, met and became friends with Amelia, who ran a boarding house for the silver miners.
Mary received a package from Scotland that included some seeds and plants from home. She gave Amelia a piece of the White Lady Banksia rose tree as a present. Together they planted it behind the boarding house.
Eventually, the boarding house was sold and became a hotel that used the rose tree as shade for a back patio. The rest is history.
The rose tree spreads to more than 5000 feet today and is held up by a trellis so that you can walk beneath it.
For a small admission price, you can see the rose tree as well as follow the Macia family history through generations of living in Tombstone.
📎 Tip: If you want to see the roses in bloom, the best time to visit this particular museum is from mid-March to late April.
3. O.K. Corral And Gunfight Show
This might be the most obvious one we recommend regarding what to do in Tombstone.
But you really can’t come to Tombstone and not see the O.K. Corral and Gunfight Show.
Most people who know a bit about the Old West have likely heard about the “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.”
Even if you don’t necessarily know the outcome or who was involved, you have heard the phrase. And it is certainly one of the most famous shootouts in the Old West.
Now is your chance to see what really happened on that October day in 1881.
After paying for your admission, you will head to the staging area to find a seat for the show portion of your ticket.
Actors perform a short production leading up to the final 30-second gunfight scene between the Earps (the lawmen) and the Cowboy gang (the outlaws).
You are welcome to stay and explore the remainder of the facility after the show to view the other exhibits. There are stables, several old carriages, photos, and more.
4. Tombstone’s Historama
It seems fitting to include the Historama next on our list of activities in Tombstone, as it is INCLUDED in the admission price of the O.K. Corral.
Located next door to the O.K. Corral, the Historama is partly video and partly a revolving stage. Narrated by Vincent Price, it shares a portion of Tombstone’s history for about 30 minutes.
Today, the production value would be considered low-tech.
Picture fire being depicted with small red Christmas lights, and you are on track.
But sometimes cheesy and old-school is the perfect thing to share with family in a tourist destination.
5. Old Tombstone Western Theme Park
If you are interested in things to do in Tombstone, Az, that will entertain the kids, this is the one for you.
Located a block off the main Tombstone downtown area, this is an entertainment complex with several activities for families and adults who are kids at heart.
The theme park has a variety of attractions, from mini golf, to panning for gold like an old prospector, to a shooting range. It also has a live comedy show that includes a gunfight re-enactment and some Hollywood stunts. There is a fee for individual activities.
If you are looking for some food options, you will also find a Mexican restaurant and a Chuckwagon.
📎 Keep in Mind: The Wild West stunt show is NOT related to the OK Corral gunfight, and the tickets are not interchangeable. This show is an interactive audience participation show and is for pure entertainment. The O.K. Corral gunfight in #3 is more historically based and located at the Corral on East Allen St. There has been some confusion between the two.
6. East Allen Street
Next is to wander East Allen Street. It is the main downtown area and shouldn’t be missed.
This is where you can spend some time shopping, find a place to eat, as well as find a few other items from our list, like the Bird Cage Theater and the O.K. Corral.
We recommend you walk up one side of the strip and down the other. The tourist section of East Allen St is for pedestrians only and is set up to look like the Old West, with dirt roads and wooden boardwalks in front of the shops.
If you are looking for a souvenir, clothes, jewelry, or even an old-time portrait, then East Allen St is where you will find it.
7. Walking Tour
Want to find out all about Tombstone’s history from a guide? Someone you can ask all your burning questions?
Walking tours are educational and fun and can give you insight into what makes Tombstone special. And they are a great way to start your experience in the Old West, especially if you don’t know much about the city.
This is the tour we recommend.
The tour will provide a history of Tombstone, point out special features that you may want to check out later during your visit, and will be an excellent overview of “the town too tough to die.”
8. Boothill Graveyard
Boothill Graveyard is one of our favorite places to visit in Tombstone.
The graveyard was originally called the City Cemetery when it was active from 1878-1884. The name boothill is not unique to this graveyard and rather indicates a cemetery with quite a few outlaws or cowboys who “died with their boots on.”
There are several around the country.
In Tombstone’s case, it began to be called Boothill Graveyard in the early 1930s.
The graveyard includes a mix of people from all walks of life. You will find Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers, who died at the O.K. Corral gunfight. But you will also find miners, prostitutes, businessmen, and cowboys.
We found it particularly interesting to wander the graves and see what the grave markers read. We found shot, hanged, killed in a stampede, murdered, and drowned. The list goes on.
Life in Tombstone was hard, and this graveyard sheds light on just how difficult.
9. Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper And Museum
Up next is the Tombstone Epitaph Newspaper and Museum.
The Tombstone Epitaph is the state’s oldest newspaper that has been continuously running since it opened.
Begun in 1880, the newspaper regularly ran reports of what was happening in Tombstone featuring now-famous names like Wyatt Earp. The paper is well-known for reporting on the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881.
Today, you can get the paper every month with stories about the Old West.
Inside the museum, you will find a Washington flatbed press which is how the newspaper was originally printed. On display are rare photos, old printing equipment, and early editions of the paper.
In addition, you will find out about John Clum, who helped establish the Epitaph. He is also known for capturing Geronimo and hiring the Earps to establish order in Tombstone.
The museum is FREE to enter.
📎 Tip: If you have paid for admission to the O.K. Corral and Gunfight Show in #3, you can come here and receive a FREE reprint of the 1881 Epitaph newspaper where the gunfight at the O.K. Corral was reported.
10. Nighttime Ghost Tour
Positively one of our FAVORITE things to do in Tombstone, Az, is to take one of the ghost tours.
If you believe in ghosts, Tombstone would certainly have its fair share. With its rowdy history, famous shootouts, and outlaws, there has been so much death in Tombstone.
One of the best ways to explore Tombstone’s shadowy past and learn about the apparitions and hauntings that residents and visitors alike claim to have seen is through a ghost tour.
For instance, on our tour, we were told about the Larian Motel and how an apparition has been seen in the Wyatt Earp room, with another possible sighting in the Doc Holliday room.
Items have been moved or disappeared for a time only to reappear later. And music has also been heard playing when no one was staying in that particular room.
The Bird Cage Theater has its own ghost tour, as does the Good Enough Mine coming up shortly.
But we prefer this one that hits up the majority of the spooky sites rather than just one.
📎 Note: The one suggested here is adults only, which was perfect for us as we don’t have kids. If you want the family-friendly version, check out our post on the rest of the ghost tours Tombstone offers!
11. Outlaw Zipline
For those of you who need a break from learning about the history of Tombstone, the Outlaw Zipline might be just what you are looking for.
This zipline has a twist in that it is the only one in the world where you are shooting targets with a laser gun during the ride. What would being in the Wild Wild West be if “guns” weren’t part of the experience?
And because this zipline isn’t extremely high or dangerous, they actually ENCOURAGE you to spin around or try upside down.
12. Wyatt Earp House And Other Old Homes
There are some who say that this is where Wyatt Earp (and his common-law wife, Mattie) lived while in Tombstone.
And there are others who say that this couldn’t possibly be it. That according to documentation, he lived on the SOUTH side of Fremont St next to Virgil. A place that no longer holds the original houses.
We probably will never know for certain as much of what was in Tombstone in the early 1880s is no longer standing.
But this home is still worth a quick pass-by. There is an antique wagon and a statue of Wyatt Earp himself with some information.
In addition to the Wyatt Earp house, many of the houses in the area state the dates they were built or have history attached to the home, like who used to live there.
It is worth just wandering a few side streets nearby East Allen St to see what you can find.
📎 Note: Can you find the home stating it is the oldest in Tombstone (built in 1879)?
13. Big Nose Kate’s Saloon
We haven’t listed any restaurants on our list yet, but this one is sure to please.
The saloon was originally a hotel, the Grand Hotel, opened in 1880.
It quickly became recognized as one of the finest hotels in the state, with upscale furnishings and famous guests like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.
The fire that raged through Tombstone in 1882 took the majority of the hotel along with so many other places downtown. But what did survive was the long bar located in the basement. It is now the bar you can sit at to enjoy a few drinks in the saloon.
Who is Big Nose Kate, you might be asking? Well, she was the first brothel Madame in Tombstone and was the common-law wife of Doc Holliday.
Today, the saloon is open daily for awesome food, drinks, and nightly live entertainment.
You can also take the narrow steps to the basement to visit the gift shop and see the tunnel that leads to the mine shafts.
In our experience, the basement is closed and roped off sometime in the evening before the saloon itself closes. So if you want to see it, head there during the day.
And if you haven’t seen the movie Tombstone in a while (or ever), the Saloon plays the movie repeatedly on the TV displays.
14. Gunfighter Hall Of Fame
If you are interested in gunfighters, then this one is for you.
This museum houses several displays featuring famous gunfighters and outlaws from the real Old West and also from Western movies.
Each gunfighter has a display that contains personal artifacts, photos, and information. Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, and Wyatt Earp are included, just to name a few.
In addition, there are all kinds of memorabilia related to Western movies, like Dirty Harry’s guns and John Wayne memorabilia.
The museum even has some of the guns used in filming Tombstone.
The owner is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate. The only downside is that because the museum is personally run, the hours vary depending on when he is available. It can be hit or miss and the admission fee is only cash.
15. Ride In A Stagecoach
If you truly want to feel like you stepped back into the 1880s, riding a stagecoach should make your list of things to do in Tombstone, Az.
You will ride along the downtown area, where automobiles are not allowed, as well as along the side streets of Tombstone. They generally run for about 15 to 20 minutes.
The tours are narrated to describe what you see and how it relates to Tombstone’s history.
We believe there are currently two different stagecoach tour options available. They are often only running on weekends and can be booked right on East Allen St.
IMPORTANT: Traveling In Focus takes animal abuse and neglect very seriously. If you, as the reader, ever feel that the welfare and health of the animals are not being upheld at an activity we have suggested when you visit, please do not support the vendor.
16. Wine Tasting At Silver Strike Winery
The Silver Strike Winery is a family-run winery right in the heart of downtown Tombstone.
Wines are made directly on-site from grapes grown at their vineyard. They can be tasted in their tasting room during the afternoon hours.
It is a great place to stop for an adult refreshment while shopping along the strip.
17. Good Enough Mine Tour
If you are scared of the dark or smaller spaces, you might want to skip to #18 as this one won’t be for you.
The Good Enough Mine was claimed in 1878 by Ed Schiefflin, who founded Tombstone.
The mine was extremely productive and put Tombstone on the map.
Some estimates put the silver pulled from the mine at more than USD 40 million (more than a billion USD today) in just the first few years.
The Good Enough Mine Underground Tour is approximately 45 minutes and takes you 100 feet down into the darkness of a silver mine. You will have to walk down some steep steps to get there.
Once below, the guide will show you what it was like to work in a mine in the 1880s…think candles and hand tools. You will get to see silver veins that still exist in the walls.
The company also offers a Toughnut Mine Adventure Tour for those in better shape. This 2-3 hour tour travels into lesser-seen portions of the mine and even offers an option to head down an additional ladder to 200 feet underground.
As with so many other locations, the Goodenough mine is thought to be haunted, and ghost tours are available.
Prices vary depending on your tour option.
18. Schieffelin Hall
In the Southwest, the biggest adobe structure still standing is Schieffelin Hall, located right here in Tombstone.
Albert Schieffelin (brother of Ed) built the hall in 1881.
It had many uses at the time, from a recital hall to a theater to a gathering place for the locals. In 1882, it survived the big fire that decimated much of the downtown.
Over time it stopped being used and fell into disrepair until the early 1960s when it began to be renovated into what it is today.
It is still used for many of the uses for which it was originally built, such as a freemasonry lodge, a theater, and a meeting hall. It also houses city council meetings.
19. Craft Beer At Tombstone Brewing Company
If you are into trying local breweries, we feel Tombstone Brewing Company is one of the best in the Southwest.
Opened in 2016, the brewery has done so well that they now have a second location in Phoenix.
The beers on tap change frequently, so if you visit Tombstone more than once, you can expect something different. Like most breweries, they offer growlers and even cans to take home your favorites with you.
We recommend trying the Strawberry Shortcake Sour Ale. It is by far our favorite.
We have only ever seen it in cans (not on tap), but that just makes it easier to load up a cooler!
20. Fly’s Photography Gallery
As we love all things photography here at Traveling In Focus, we had to include a photo gallery on our list of interesting places to see in Tombstone.
In the early 1880s, C.S. Fly ran a boarding house with a photographic studio in the back, where you could get your photo taken for a staggering 35 cents USD.
But his passion and skills seemed to lie in recording important historical events as they played out. For that reason, he is considered by many to be one of the first photojournalists before it was even considered a profession.
He was there for the aftermath of the O.K. Corral gunfight and took a photo of the deceased men in their caskets. This image is displayed at the O.K. Corral facility and you can see it during your tour.
He also took the only known photographs of Geronimo surrendering in 1886.
Inside the gallery, you will find a wide range of photographs that Fly took over the years.
21. Courthouse State Historic Park
The Courthouse State Historic Park is a state park that encompasses the Cochise County courthouse that was built back in 1882.
This Victorian-style Courthouse is one of the top recommended places to see by the locals.
The building originally housed the sheriff, treasurer, jail, courtrooms, and more.
Today it is a museum. You can step back into the past and see a reproduction of a furnished office and courtroom. The courthouse also holds plenty of old documentation and books, drawings, artifacts, and more.
Our favorite part is a replica of the gallows that would have been on the grounds.
In fact, more than a handful of men were hanged here after being found guilty of their crimes.
22. Trolley Tour
There are many ways to tour around and learn about Tombstone’s history. We have already discussed a few, including the walking tour and taking a short ride in a stagecoach.
Our final tour option for you on our list of things to do in Tombstone, Az, is a Trolley tour.
It is run through the Good Enough Mine. The trolley ride is about 45 minutes and takes you to all the hot spots around town. If you want to ride comfortably, this is the tour for you.
The tour goes beyond what you could see on foot downtown, taking you to Boothill Cemetery and other notable locations.
In all, you will see more than 50 historical sites while being told their history.
📎 Tip: If you want to do the trolley AND the mine tour, a combo ticket can be purchased at the Good Enough Mine.
23. Ike Clanton’s Haunted Hotel
If you are in for a bit of a scare that is family-friendly, then this haunted hotel should not be missed.
For a small admission price, you enter the back of this “hotel” for the walk-through of its hauntings.
There are only a handful of rooms, and the attraction can be done in 15 minutes or so.
Each room has a dark-toned theme with mannequins and props to view while a spooky narrator tells you about the room and its history.
There was a small jump scare attempt, but it didn’t phase us personally.
Like the Historama, this one is a bit corny but is still good fun.
On the way out of the attraction, you can see the FIRST EDITION of the Tombstone Epitaph hanging in a frame on the wall.
24. Visit During An Annual Tombstone Event
Visiting Tombstone at any time of the year is a fun experience. In a way, you get to step back in time and see what living in the Old West was like.
But hitting up Tombstone during one of their annual weekend events is a whole nother level. During these events, there are special activities that only happen during that time.
There are too many events to mention here, and we don’t know exactly what you would enjoy.
But Helldorado in October is quite popular. And the Schieffelin Days in April have an entertaining desert donkey dash.
And, of course, the downtown is all decorated for Christmas, including a tree in the center of town if you want to visit for the holidays.
25. Dress Up In “Period Wear” And Wander Downtown
Dressing up in Old West clothing and wandering downtown can make the Tombstone experience feel authentic, making it the final spot on our things to do in Tombstone, Az, list.
Many locals do so already, so you certainly won’t be out of place if you want to give it a try. Servers at Big Nose Kates, actors from the two gunfight shows, those doing walking tours, and much more wear Old Western attire most of the time.
Unfortunately, there are no rental shops to do it just for the day. If you have planned your visit to Tombstone, consider bringing some things that might work for an outfit.
If your visit to Tombstone is more on a whim, several shops in town sell traditional clothing to choose from. Miss Kitty’s is a big one for the ladies.
Rundown of Tombstone Attractions
Now that we’ve blown your mind with everything you can do on a visit, we are sharing our top favorites and a map to make it easy to get around.
Our Top Recommendations
We know 25 things can be overwhelming, especially if you only plan on spending a day or two in Tombstone.
While we recommend everything we put on our list, here are our top 9 attractions we think you should hit up if you don’t have much time in the Old West.
Map For The Best Things To Do In Tombstone, Az
For those of you who are visual learners or want to be able to use google maps to find these activities, this is for you!
If you are on your phone, click the top right box, and this map will open directly into google maps, where you can get directions.
Where To Stay In Tombstone
Interested in staying for a couple of days? Here are our recommendations.
Luxury 💵 💵 💵 – Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch
- This ranch is designed to make you feel like you’ve traveled back to the 1880s; from the Old West-themed rooms to the friendly staff dressed in period attire, you’ll be fully immersed in the authentic Wild West atmosphere
- A wide range of activities are available, including horseback riding, stagecoach rides, and even shooting lessons
- Nestled in the heart of the Dragoon Mountains, the ranch offers breathtaking views and the opportunity to reconnect with nature, including picturesque sunsets, starlit nights, and the peaceful tranquility of the desert landscape
Mid-Range 💵 💵 – Tombstone Bordello B&B
- The Bordello is a beautifully restored Victorian building, complete with antique furnishings and vintage décor so it’s like stepping into a time capsule
- Each morning, you’ll be treated to a scrumptious homemade breakfast to fuel your day of Tombstone exploration
- The friendly staff always goes above and beyond
Budget 💵 – Larian Motel
- The Larian Motel offers clean and comfortable rooms at an affordable price, making it perfect for budget-conscious travelers who still want a pleasant stay
- Situated just a block away from the heart of Tombstone’s historic district, you’ll have easy access to all the sights and attractions while still enjoying a peaceful and quiet night’s sleep
- For those intrigued by the supernatural, the Larian Motel is known to be a paranormal hotspot, with guests reporting mysterious occurrences and ghostly encounters
Best Ways To Get Around The Tombstone, Az, Attractions
When it comes to exploring the heart of Tombstone, there’s no better way to take in the sights, sounds, and rich history than by walking.
Strolling through the streets will give you an up-close and personal experience of this fascinating Wild West town.
You’ll be able to easily navigate Tombstone’s historic district on foot, as most of the main attractions, including the O.K. Corral, Bird Cage Theatre, and Tombstone Epitaph, are within walking distance of one another.
However, it’s important to note that you’ll need a car to get to Tombstone itself, as public transportation options are nonexistent.
If you don’t have your car, renting a car can be convenient. It is especially nice if you’re planning to explore the surrounding areas or take day trips to nearby locations.
Having a car at your disposal will give you the freedom to venture beyond Tombstone’s borders and discover even more of the beautiful Arizona landscape.
We always recommend Discover Cars to compare prices because they carry all the big rental companies in one place, like Hertz and Dollar.
FAQs For Tombstone, Az, Activities
Let’s discuss some common questions about Tombstone.
How Much Time Should I Spend In Tombstone?
You should spend at least one full day in Tombstone to explore its main attractions. However, to delve deeper into the town’s history, participate in activities, or explore the surrounding areas, consider spending two to three days for a more comprehensive and leisurely experience.
What Is The Best Month To Visit Tombstone, Arizona?
The best time to visit Tombstone, Arizona, is during fall, specifically October and November. The weather is pleasantly mild, making it comfortable for outdoor exploration. You’ll avoid the intense heat of summer and the peak tourist season, resulting in a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.
What Is So Special About Tombstone?
Tombstone is special because it offers an authentic glimpse into the Wild West era, with well-preserved historic sites, reenactments, and a rich, captivating history. The town’s rugged charm, lively atmosphere, and enduring spirit make it a unique destination for history buffs, adventure-seekers, and anyone looking to step back in time and experience a slice of Americana.
What Is The Famous Street In Tombstone?
The most famous street in Tombstone is East Allen Street. This historic thoroughfare, lined with preserved 19th-century buildings, takes you back in time and is home to iconic attractions like the O.K. Corral, Bird Cage Theatre, and numerous saloons, museums, and shops that celebrate the town’s Wild West heritage.
How Far Is Tombstone From The Grand Canyon?
Tombstone is approximately 400 miles southeast of the Grand Canyon. The drive between the two destinations takes 6 to 7 hours, depending on the route and traffic conditions. While not a short trip, it offers an opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes and attractions of Arizona along the way.
To Finish – Interesting Things To Do In Tombstone, Az
As you can see, there are tons of things to do in Tombstone, Az.
Rich in its history, visiting feels like stepping back into the 1880s. There are old buildings (or replicas) everywhere you look, and people dressed in Old Western attire make you feel part of a long-ago era.
This history is part of Tombstone’s soul. It is the heart of what keeps this Wild West town kicking and brings visitors to explore what it offers.
Our list has everything from corny attractions to gunfight re-enactments to many places that delve into Tombstone’s past—a bit of everything for every person.
So head to the Southwest and spend a day or two in this incredible place.