Tombstone, AZ

On our stay in Tucson, I wanted to see a kitschy show, and I was willing to drive an hour to see one. Thus, we headed to Tombstone.

The town is an iconic Old West town. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday - the names are familiar, even if most people (myself included) only know the barest of facts about them. Everything I knew was from the movie "Tombstone". Which I loved, and I hope it's mostly sort-of historically accurate. If not, don't ruin my fantasy.

On the way south on Highway 80, we spotted Boot Hill, the legendary resting place of Tombstonians. Boot Hill, despite what the Moon's Tucson guidebook and Tucson Passport book said, isn't free - it costs $3 to enter. Sadly, neither my wife nor I found it worth the cost. While mildly interesting to read the headstones and sometimes clever saying written on them (I do love a clever saying), it was basically a hill with some rocks, presumably covering dead bodies. No offense to the deceased, but keep on trucking to Tombstone.

The town itself was interesting and entertaining. The central tourist spot was blocked off to cars to keep the people hawking shows from getting run over. Covered wooden sidewalks ran for a few blocks, and there were plenty of places to eat, shop, and be entertained. You will not want for things to look at.

There are multiple gunfight shows on East Allen Street, the main drag, but the show we saw was the reenactment at the OK Corral. We were privileged to see a thirty-minute show of a thirty-second gunfight with lots of dramatic (and comedic) reenactments of the events leading to the shootout. The show was entertaining, the actors amusing, and the gunshots loud. If you are hankering to see this show (and I do recommend it), make sure you get your tickets early. The bleachers where the crowd sits was nearly full by the time we arrived. And the bleachers are covered, so, for some reason, if you are wandering southern Arizona in the summer, you can be slightly cooler than the poor actors baking in the sun in their heavy (often black) clothing.

Need a public restroom? Of course you do. You're drinking enough water not to die, right? It is a desert, after all. Then the Tombstone City Park has you covered. It's at the corner of East Allen and South 3rd, and the bathrooms will not win any "Cleanest Bathroom" awards. In fact, while inside, touch as little as humanly possible, and don't get too close to the walls, either.

I'd love to go on and on about Tombstone, but we stayed just long enough to see the show before heading off to Kartchner Canyon, which is amazing and covered in a future blog post.

Verdict: Kitschy accomplished - I left satisfied. It's nothing I ever need to do again, but I felt I had done my fatherly duty to introduce my daughter to some Old West entertainment.

Latitude: 31.713116
Longitude: -110.068256

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