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Touring Southern Arizona - Historic Cochise County Attractions

Updated on July 6, 2014
Beautiful Arizona!
Beautiful Arizona! | Source

Cochise County is in the Southern part of Arizona. it is an area rich with history and steeped in culture. The nearest big city is Tucson, almost 80 miles away. Parts of Cochise County border Mexico and New Merxico. Whether you are visiting Arizona or already live here and just sightseeing, this is a great "daytrip" but I recommend stay a few days so that you will have time to experience all its jewels.


Where in Arizona is Cochise County?

A markerCochise County, Az -
Cochise, AZ, USA
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Tombstone, Arizona

Tombstone, "The town too tough to die." Come and see where Wyatt Earp and "Doc" Holliday became legend from the Gunfight at O.K. Corral. If you come in October, you can even participate in the annual 5 day Wyatt Earps Vendetta Ride, a trip on horseback following his posse's trail of retribution. But you don't need to take this tour to get a taste of the wild west. Along with many of its original buildings, Tombstone boasts museums, saloons, restuarants and re-enactments from the silver mining heyday.

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The natural sites are pretty amazing, too!In addition to all the other great attractions in the area, you can take some great hikes!
The natural sites are pretty amazing, too!
The natural sites are pretty amazing, too! | Source
In addition to all the other great attractions in the area, you can take some great hikes!
In addition to all the other great attractions in the area, you can take some great hikes! | Source

Bisbee, Az

Bisbee was originally a mining town. They are known for their high quality turquoise, called Bisbee Blue. The variety of their copper based minerals as well as gold, silver and other mineral specimens is so broad, you can find specimens in musems around the world. The mines were closed in 1975 but you can take a guided mine tour with Copper Queen Mine Tour. The link will provide you with all the details but this is an amazing tour offered 5 times a day, led by retired mine employees. They lead you down 1500 feet and can regal you with personal stories! It isd $13 per adult and $5.50 for children between 4 and 12. Children under 4 are free.

Kartchner Caverns State Park, Benson, Az

These caves are absolutely beautiful to walk through. You can discover how they were formed and witness 45,000 year old bat guano for yourself! There are two different hour and a half tours available but only onre allows kids under age 7. Both are a half an hour long and led by trained guides.You can book your reservations on line. Tickets are a bit pricey at $22.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids ages 7-13 and free for kids under 7. There is also a $6 parking fee. While you are in Benson, you may like to visit the Whetstone Mountains or French Joe Canyon. They are nestled between Benson and Sierra Vista.

One more view of the entire area!

Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Wilcox, Arizona

This is where the US Army took military actions against the Chiricahua Apaches for more than twenty years. It is rich with artifacts, written documentations and ruins. It is free to visit the park andf you can find all kinds of information along the trails and in the visitor's center. Plan on spending at least 2 hours in order to see everything. Also, part of the the Fort Bowie experience includes hiking in. This is a way to see and feel the lonely isolation that the soldiers that were stationed there experienced.

For a change of pace, you can tour one of the more than a dozen wineries in the Wilcox area!

Douglas, Arizona

The town of Douglas has more than one claim to fame. Texas John Slaughter was one of the most beloved, yet feared lawmen of the Southwest. You can tour his home, known as the Slaughter House, visit the museum, enjoy the wildlife and atmosphere, Wednesday's through Sundays, free of charge.

Douglas is also home to the Hotel Gadsden, originally built in 1907. There is a lot of history surrounding this hotel, including:

  • Nearly every Arizona governor has stayed there, as has Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • The hotel was destoyed by a fire in 1929, but rebuilt.
  • There is a claim that Panco ran up the marble staircase (there's a chip that the owner's say proves it) but there is controversy on the timing!
  • The hotel was a victim of neglect but was resurrected again in 1988 by its current owners.
  • There is a resident ghost who floats through the hotel and sitings have been reported by the owners, hotel employees and guests.
  • There have been several films made at the hotel and many famous actors have stayed there. In fact, Cameron Diaz has reported seeing the ghost!

You can stay at the Hotel Gadsden or you can stop and eat at their restaurant or visit their saloon!

Lodging in Cochise County, Arizona

In addition to the above mentioned Hotel Gadsden, there is plenty of lodging in the area ranging from rv and camping accomodations to bed and and breakfasts. There are the usual hotel and motel chains along the way, as well!

Check here for a complete listing of where to stay.

Where to eat in Cochise County

For most people, when visiting an area so rich in culture, they like to stay authentic and Cochise County doesn't disappoint! You can stop at any water hole or saloon and grab a burger or a beer in any of the given towns. You may even be treated to re-enactments and entertainment while you dine! You can visit The Crystal Palace Saloon in Tombstone, stop at Jimmy's Hot Dog Company in Bisbee (5 stars!) or The Dining Car in Wilcox. And if you don't want to eat somewhere new and different, there is always your standard fast food restaurants.

The Dining Car in Wilcox is built in an actual rail car!
The Dining Car in Wilcox is built in an actual rail car! | Source

Come and See Southern Arizona!

I have not covered half of what there is to do in Cochise County. If you live here in Arizona or visit frequently, you can break it up into several fun day trips. But if you are only making one visit, please make sure that you have enough time to visit the museums, mines and ghost towns that make up this lovely, authentic area! Give yourself enough time to check out the gubfight at the OK Corral and enjoy a meal or stay at the Hotel Gadsden. And, if you are inclined, take a hike!

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a state I have never visited. I'll have to correct that one day. Nice job of highlighting some of the wonders of this state. We'll come visit you one day.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Bill. Az is a place you should definitely visit. We'd be happy to show you around! Work has kept me from hubhopping so I am looking forward to reading those I've missed

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      In my 50 years in Az, I have yet to visit Wilcox.

      Rex Allen, movie star, singing cowboy and narrater for many Disney movies was born there, and Tanya Tucker also hails from Wilcox. Amazing for a town of less than 4,000.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Well done about our interesting state. You covered and wrote it very well. Voting up and sharing.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Well then I don't feel so bad, Willstar! I'm almost at the 5 year mark and have only seen part of it! Thanks for stopping by!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I've only lived in this area since Thanksgiving and look forward to exploring the sights! We've made friends that live in Wilcox and they've told us about The Dining Car. Looking forward to trying the food there! Thanks for some great information!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Carol! And Terry! I have not yet explored it all, either! How about an Arizona Hubwriters' meet up? I do appreciate seeing you both here! Thanks for the vote and share. And Carol, I will be your way first!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I love travel hubs, especially when they are so well written. What a lovely town with lots to see and close to so much more. I enjoyed your photos too. Nice piece!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • wabash annie profile image

      wabash annie 4 years ago from Colorado Front Range

      Really enjoyed your hub with the great pictures and descriptions. It made me want to jump in the car and go! Thanks much for sharing this information.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Mary! I take that as a great compliment coming from a writer of your caliber,!

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      I have yet to visit Arizona, but I enjoyed your hub. It looks beautiful! Voted up and interesting.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Well, Wabash Annie, drive on over. We'd be honored to have you! Thank you for stopping by.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Gail, thank you so much for stopping by. Az is a great place to visit. Thank you for your votes!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      What a fascinating place! Just the name Tombstone makes me want to get on a plane and come over, and the caves sound amazing too, great hub and really interesting!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thanks for taking us on a fabulous tour of southern Arizona! I have only been as far west as Texas, where my husband was stationed in the Air Force for two years, and where my daughter was born. Must travel to Arizona. Beautiful. Great write.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing (well I will have to come back and share, my computer is acting up, and I do not see any share buttons)

      God bless, Faith Reaper

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Nell Rose! Arrizona has some great names for their towns, such as: Carefree and Surprise (my personal favorites!) There's also Tuba City and BumbleBee and the list goes on.... Do come visit. We'd be honored to have you!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for stopping by, Faith reaper. Az is a lovely place to visit if you have the opportunity. Thank you for your votes and share! Take care, Randi

    • LagunaAlkaline profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Camas, WA

      My mom used to live here and she raves about it. I am not so fond of really hot weather but now I really want to go visit! Thanks! Great hub! I voted it up and useful!!

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      If you decide to visit, let me know

      How fun would that be?!

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 4 years ago

      Yes Az, has a lot of beautiful areas ---I was born there 81 years ago in an ole adobe shack near Florence and have written several Hubs on some of those experences ---check it out if you like this ole Cajun's crazy humor.

    • btrbell profile image
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      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you for stopping by, Ginn! I will be sure to check them out! I am looking forward to it. I live in Mesa, just a hop, skip and (long) jump to Florence!

    • LagunaAlkaline profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Camas, WA

      I might have to make a special trip to AZ to meet you! Apparently, you live really close to where my mom used to live and she's been dying for me to go see it.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Amanda, you should most definitely come and visit! My kids and I would be thrilled to show you around! Bring your mom, too! She'll be surprised at all the changes here. I have only been here 4 years but I understand it is a completely different place!

    • LagunaAlkaline profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Camas, WA

      I don't doubt that Arizona has changed since my mom left there. It's been at LEAST 23 years since she went there. That'd be a nice surprise for her. Maybe I really should plan it.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      How fun! I am planning on being in town for a while. My daughter is having a baby in May so we will be close to home! And just think of all the writing material we'd have, too!

    • LagunaAlkaline profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Camas, WA

      Aw how precious! Congrats! We'd have enough writing material to last us a while. Goodbye writer's block!!!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      What a wonderful hub Randi and thank you for sharing.

      Lots of love.

      Eddy.

    • btrbell profile image
      Author

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Eddy!

      xoxo,

      Randi

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