Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Famous Tombstone Arizona

When one thinks about the wild, wild west, one has thoughts of cattle drives, saloons, outlaws, cowboys and of course gun fights. Tombstone Arizona is probably one of the most notorious towns of the west. Tombstone started in 1877 when silver was found and grew to close to 20,000 people by the mid 1880s. But silver mining is the lesser reason that this town is famous, what made it legendary was The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This famous gunfight between Wyatt Earp (and brothers), Doc Holliday and the McLaury, Claiborne and Clanton brothers built the town’s legendary status in history. Today the town has preserved and reconstructed a portion of the old historic district along Allen Street. The street is dirt and the sidewalks are wooden in many places, so you get the feeling of the old west. All the shops along Allen Street are in the style of the time. There are plenty of shops to explore ranging from western clothing to tourist gifts with a western theme.

All the walking made us hungry for lunch (of course), so we headed to Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. Walking into the saloon felt like walking back in time. The saloon still has the original wooden bar, decor and atmosphere (saloon girls authentically dressed, and sheriff patrolling the floor keeping order). The menu had a good selection of sandwiches and other lunch entrees including salads. The food portions were more than enough, but the quality was just okay. There was a live guitar player and singer while we were there, which added to the experience. If you are in Tombstone, this saloon is worth a stop even if you aren’t hungry.

However, after we had spent some time walking this area, we became disappointed with the town and experience. The town felt "fake" in a way. Every historic building, site or event required buying a ticket to see it and get the whole experience. And on top of that, there was always someone trying to sell us something, or persuade was to give them our business. I guess times are tough everywhere and Tombstone is no exception, but we were expecting more of a balance where you could go and see the O.K. Corral as a historical site and not as tourist trap.


Jerry and Suzy said...

Guys, we felt exactly the same way when we first saw Tombstone many years ago with our young children, and what we've seen since hasn't improved our opinion one bit. Try Gammons Gulch, 12 miles north of I-10, exit 302, on Pomerene Road which turns into Cascabel Road. Keep going until you know you've gone too far, then go a little further and turn left at the sign that says Gammons Gulch. It's 3/10 of a mile on dirt road. We loved it! They are closed on Sunday and Monday and Tuesday.


We are ranch sitting at the edge of the White Water Draw, just spent the day in Bisbee..... sounds like we have been just missing each other! Kelly

LiveWorkDream said...

Hey we just left Tombstone this afternoon. We felt the same exact way. It was as touristy as Deadwood SD, but a lot quieter and with less to do that you didn't have to pay for. Characters in costume were hocking tickets and being really aggressive about it. We only spent about 1 hour there and left.

And guess where we are now? at Kelly and Al's place here in the White Water Draw!

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