Tombstone Arizona

Tourists in Tombstone

We Three Tourists at the OK Corral With the Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday
We Three Tourists at the OK Corral With the Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday

Tombstone Through a Tourist's Eyes

If you are looking for a page full of facts figures and history then this is not the page for you and there are plenty of other sites on the web already that can give you that.

As someone who has been a tourist in America many times this hub will give you a typical tourist’s view of a visit to Tombstone as seen through the eyes of someone that comes from another country.

Our holidays in the States have always been of the fly drive variety, this is where we fly into somewhere pick up our hire car and then take off on our holiday.

The only motels that we have booked is for our first night in America and our last and this leaves us free in between to go where we like and to stay as long as we like.

Tombstone

Of course like most of my generation I learned the names of places in America before I learned those of my own country because on our weekly visits to the cinema.

Every week there was at least one cowboy film and so we grew up hearing the names of towns such as Dodge, Silver City, and Tucson to name but a few.

Many of the cowboys that we saw on television series and in the films were actually based on real people and some of the story lines had been based on real events.

Shootout at the OK Corral

When we saw Tombstone on the map it conjured up all sorts of images and just about every kid of my generation in England knew of the fight at the OK Corral.

We knew of the Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday and so of course we jumped at the chance to go and see the actual OK Corral and Tombstone for ourselves.

Tombstone is in our top ten places to visit in the States, it was so good that we went back for another visit and we enjoyed that second visit every bit as much the first.

Many people say that some of the shows are too unrealistic and touristy but take it from a tourist ignore these comments just judge for yourself.

I think that you will have a real good time watching this excellent show that actually portrays realistically the actual distances involved in the shootout at the OK Corral.

I thought that the action would be more spread out and I was very surprised how close together they all were when the shooting was going on.

The Gunfight

Apparently this represents the actual distance at which the gunfight took place
Apparently this represents the actual distance at which the gunfight took place

Firing Blanks

Most of the gunfights that I had seen on the TV and in cowboy films had the gunfighters facing each other off at distances of fifteen to twenty feet.

Seeing those involved in the gunfight standing facing each other at such close quarters was quite an eye opener for me.

The actors of course used blanks in the gunfight but before they started the show they showed us the effect that a blank had on a can of soda pop.

Seeing how the blank made a mess of the can when it was fired from close range was another surprise I had no idea that a blank could do any damage.

Posing or Posers?

The actors and actresses put on a fine show and we all got to see how the Earps and Doc Holliday killed Billy Clanton and Frank and Tom McLaury in Tombstone on the 26th of October 1881.

After the show you could pose for a photo with the actors and actresses that had taken part in the show and of course being tourists we couldn’t pass up that opportunity could we?

Posing or Posers?

Big Nose Kate

Mary Katherine Horony also known as Big Nose Kate was the was the girlfriend of Doc Holiday and it was rumoured that she ran a bordello in Tombstone but there is no evidence to support this but there is a Saloon in Tombstone named ‘Big Nose Kate

We went into Big Nose Kate’s Saloon where we had a bite to eat and something to drink and while we were there a woman country and western singer played the guitar and sang.

The singer had a very nice voice and it was a very pleasant atmosphere to sit in and it felt like a Saloon bar.

The Saloon itself and the staff all worked hard to keep the feel of a wild west Saloon but of course the tourists like us made it hard for this illusion to be kept up.

Big Nose Kate's Saloon

Outside the Saloon of Big Nose Kate
Outside the Saloon of Big Nose Kate
The Country and western singer in Big Nose Kate's Saloon
The Country and western singer in Big Nose Kate's Saloon
Tourists breaking the illusion
Tourists breaking the illusion

The Bird Cage

One of the most interesting places in Tombstone is the Bird Cage it has a reputation of being one of the meanest and wildest places in Tombstone and from the number of bullet holes that you can still see in the walls its reputation is well justified.

The Bird Cage

The Bird Cage with the steeds of today outside near where the hitching rail would have been.
The Bird Cage with the steeds of today outside near where the hitching rail would have been. | Source

Another Shootout Show

After a spot of lunch we went to see another western type shootout show, I know they are a bit corny and not very realistic but when you are a tourist on holiday they can be fun to watch and very entertaining and this was certainly both.

The actors interacted well with the audience and this made the show a very enjoyable experience.

One thing to keep in mind is that most of these shows take place outdoors and you sit in bleachers, these are not uncomfortable but in the hotter months it is a good idea to make sure you have with you sunscreen, a hat and a bottle of water.

Can't resist posing

Playing the typical tourist yet again notice the gun I have in my hand. If they had known me better they wouldn't have let me loose with a gun Lol..
Playing the typical tourist yet again notice the gun I have in my hand. If they had known me better they wouldn't have let me loose with a gun Lol.. | Source

Needs Killing Law

One of the shops we went into sold among many other things guns and my husband spoke to the shopkeeper for ages about Tombstone, guns and the law concerning buying guns.

The shopkeeper told my husband about a law in Arizona only recently taken off the books called the ‘Needs Killing’ law.

This is where if you could get twelve people to agree that someone needed killing then you could go out and kill them with the backing of the law.

Now I don’t know how true this is or if the shopkeeper was having a bit of fun with the gullible tourists but he seemed very convincing at the time and in Arizona it is still legal to walk about wearing loaded guns in plain sight.

I am glad that the Needs Killing Law has been taken off the books with so many guns about you wouldn't have to upset many people to put yourself in the line of fire would you?

The Gun Shop

This was a very interesting shop to browse round
This was a very interesting shop to browse round

Boot Hill

We saw and enjoyed many things in Tombstone but the final place we went to really was for some their final place and of course you’ve guessed no trip to Tombstone is complete without a visit to the famous Boot Hill graveyard.

I was a little confused as to which Boot Hill was the famous one as there is a Boot Hill in Dodge too though it is probably a name commonly given to burial places in the Old Wild West.

Boot Hill

Read what the grave marker says He was Hanged by mistake - He was right, we was wrong, we strung him up, and now he's gone.
Read what the grave marker says He was Hanged by mistake - He was right, we was wrong, we strung him up, and now he's gone.

Is Tombstone worth a visit?

Is Tombstone worth visiting?

Is it good value for money?

Is there lots to see and do?

To all these questions I would have to say a resounding yes if we are ever in that part of America again we would certainly go visit Tombstone again and my little ‘A tourist’s guide to Tombstone’ only just scratched the surface of what we saw and did in Tombstone.

Take some time out and see some of the other places we have been to. If you have never been to Spain then check out the Guadalest and Villajoyosa hubs you will be in for a real treat the photographs give you a real taste of Spain.

Thank you for your visit please take a moment to leave a comment

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Comments 29 comments

jnnfr271 profile image

jnnfr271 7 years ago from Texas

I think those pretend shootouts are fun!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

I will return to this-- No time right now, but I have Clantons in my family tree. (the ones who died didn't reproduce-- mine are on the 'other' side of the family).


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

maggs....you did a great job on this....now I want to go to Tombstone! Really enjoyed the pics...thanks! :)


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

jnnfr271 so do I and I am not ashamed of enjoying things like that which are laid on for the tourist


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Rochelle when I use to watch Wyatt Earp in the television series I thought that he was always the good guy but after visiting Tombstone and learning a little about what went on at the OK Corral I am not so sure anymore.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Tom I am sure that you and Deece would have a great time there Deece has already got a love of guns which everyone we spoke to there seemed to have. How about that 'Needs killing law? You wouldn't want to upset too many people there would you.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

oH MAGGS!!!! I am soooo homesick! This is fantastic and what FUN! But maggs, dearie, tuck your elbow in and level that pitol like you mean it! Thars some mean rattlers under them rocks you pilgrims had your feet propped up on :)

you know what would be so totally cool is that interesting shop ...if it was the one owned by my friend? I'm going to link this to facebook and see if shes awake.....


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

hello maggs, here's what Nell said (ooops, told her name...:) tall tales remember-er)

No that is not my shop . My shop is right across the street from big nose kates saloon. I don"t know if I told you or not but the building I am in is the old Campbell & Hatch saloon. The building Morgan Earp was shot in while playing pool. He died in the building about 45 mins after being shot. I think when u look up something on the tombstone chamber of commerce it talks about the ghost of Morgan in the Red Buffalo Trading co. (my shop) so it has some interesting history in the building. Lucky to have it!

how bout that maggs? thatll add a bit more punch to your next visit :) you can go see Nell at her Red Buffalo Trading CO!!!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

RNMSN Thanks for the added information and by the way I don't think tucking my elbow in would help that much lol not at all gun smart as you have seen from the photo.


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Yeah!! Fantastic as always!! You are an awesome tour guide!

Love you lots!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi Candie glad you enjoyed the tour love you lots too


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

I'm back. I did visit there many years ago. It looks like they went a little to the Disneyland side in their current approach to presenting the story.

I guess it's all fine as long as people are having fun, and realize it is mostly about the show.

I have read several accounts of this (My Grandmother was a Clanton) and there seems not to be a clear defining line between who were the good guys and who were the bad.

I tend to think the Clantons may have had a clue about some of the 'bad' things the good guys were involved in. It's all conjecture that comes from a time and culture we would barely recognize.

Glad you had a good time.

I love your travel strategy-- sounds like something a writer would do: Get the beginning and end nailed down before filling in the stuff that happens between.


Ambition398 profile image

Ambition398 7 years ago

My family went to Tombstone when I was a kid. It was great fun.


E. A. Wright profile image

E. A. Wright 7 years ago from New York City

Tombstone is fun. I've stopped there while making a cross-country move.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi Rochelle of course we were under no illusions regarding what we saw in Tombstone, of course it was more about entertainment than education for which as a tourist I am really glad.

I have visited many museums in the States and I don't think that the dirt, drunkeness,prostitution and poverty that exsisted in the lives of so many back then would provide much in the way of entertainment. When I am on holiday I love to have fun if I get a little education thrown in along the way then I am more than happy.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi ambition I agree with you it was great fun


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 7 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

E.A.Wright yes Tombstone is fun and it is fun to visit the places that you have heard of since childhood in movies, TV series and songs.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you maggs224, for a very realistic hub on Tombstone Arizona. My husband and I went there in November 2009, we enjoyed it, it was like living in the old western days. Thank you for sharing, I did a hub on it too. I hadn't seen you in a while, so I thought I would check up on you. God bless you. creativeone59


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

havent heard from you either maggs so like creativeone59 I am readng your hubs and seeing what you are doing...bet Spain is beautiful now..? or is that just my hollywood illusion?

we are back n our heart home finally and had a good time at the OK carral with our friend Nell at the red buffalo...how are you?


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

hi Creativeone, my computer died just before Christmas then we went away to visit my daughter and family in the USA for three weeks over Christmas and the new year, so all in all I haven't been online as much as usual I will pop over and check out your hub on Tombstone


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi Barbara, I am great, thanks for asking, my computer died, so I have to use other peoples at the moment that means I am not online so often.

During the day we are having temperatures of about 65 to 70 degrees but as soon as the sun goes down it gets very cold.

By the way I am very impressed with your hub score of 99 and the number of hubs that you have done.

I’ll send you an email soon to bring you up to date

love maggs


Karin, San Diego 5 years ago

Ive been considering going to Tombstone, thanks for all that info, im pretty sure ill be going now!!! :)


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi Karin I am sure you will have a great time, it has lots of atmosphere and plenty of things to see.


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

I have always wanted to go there. One day One day


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi Mrs J.B., When you get there I am sure you will enjoy yourself, it is a fun place to visit.


iZeko profile image

iZeko 5 years ago

It looks like an interesting place to visit. I'm traveling to Arizona this summer so I'll definitely go there. Glad I found your hub.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi iZeko Sorry I have taken so long to respond but I have no internet access at the moment and I am waiting for Telephonica to come and give me a line they say it should be no later than September. Spain and Telephonica move to the beat of a different drum :(

I am glad that you found and enjoyed the hub. I am sure that you will enjoy your visit to Tombstone very much :)


WesternHistory profile image

WesternHistory 5 years ago from California

Excellent hub. Great pictures too. Nearby Bisbee Arizona is also a great stop while in the area. Lots of history there as well.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain Author

Hi WesternHistory, Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments. The next time we are in this area, we will certainly give Bisbee a closer look :)

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