“I’m your huckleberry,”…”Tell ’em the law’s comin’. You tell ’em I’m comin’, and hell’s comin’ with me!”…”You’re a daisy if ya do.” Some of the most iconic quotes from one of the best movies of all time. If you love the old west and you want to walk the streets of a legendary town, scene of the most fabled gunfights of all time, you have to get to Tombstone, Arizona. In the southern region of the state, Tombstone is about an hour and 15 minutes southeast of Tucson. Far from surpassing San Francisco as the next big city of the southwest, Tombstone still looks much like it did in the 1800’s. They have preserved the center of the town the old town main street. Here, the most notable spots like the OK Corral, The Oriental Saloon and the building where Morgan Earp died, are preserved for their historical significance. While many of the buildings have been made into gift shops and leather good stores, they have kept much of the historical integrity and walking down the street feels like walking back in time.
Make sure you stop outside of town at Boot Hill Cemetery. Here you can visit the graves of some of the most notorious residents in the history of Tombstone including the 3 men killed in the gunfight at the OK Corral. For a small fee, you get an informational brochure and as long as you need to visit the grave sites. It is likely the only cemetery you’ll visit where the tombstones declare their methods of decease; for instance “Murdered,” but also who murdered them. Then you can go a couple of rows over and view that person’s grave too.
In town, you can swing by the OK Corral and watch a full re-enactment and history of the most infamous gunfight in history. While it may may be a little touristy and slightly cheesy, it’s also fun.
Along East Allen Street, the historic street cut off from all traffic, you can read historical plaques on and in front of the buildings recalling the stories of the events that took place right where you’re standing. It’s a great way to learn about the people that came before and the places they inhabited. You should definitely take time to tour the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park located a block over from E Allen St, on Toughnut St. The courthouse would make a perfect starting point for your visit in town, it’s origin and timeline that will help as you tour Allen Street. From here you will have a better grasp on what you’re seeing.
If you’re in the area for any reason, Tombstone is a fun day trip. You’re also only about 30 minutes from Bisbee another fun stop for a lover of the Old West. Go ahead and be a tourist, “You’re a daisy if you do.”