Tombstone Vacation and National Parks

Tombstone, one of the world’s most famous small towns. It was whimsically named by its founder, Edward Schieffelin, after he was advised  his mad hunt for silver would culminate in exactly that – his tombstone.

Life-sized replicas of the participants in the celebrated shoot-out can be seen in the OK Corral. Here, on October 26, 1881, Marshall Wyatt Earp, along with his two brothers and Doc Holliday, confronted the Clanton and McLaury brothers and survived the ensuing battle, a bloody shoot-out that left three men dead. This 30-second incident has been replayed ever since in movies and Western museums as well as here and on a film narrated by Vincent Price in the adjoining Tombstone Historama.

The former studio of Wild West photographer Camillus Fly includes shots of the fierce, then pathetic, Apache chief Geronimo. The once wild-and-wicked Bird Cage Theater, as well as the monthly Tombstone Epitaph office, the Rose Tree Inn Museum and the Boothill Cemetery – have been preserved in their original state, although it is true that the later’s authenticity has often been questioned.

Bisbee

After a long drive through the grassland of San Pedro Valley is Bisbee – deposits of gold, silver and copper made it one of the biggest and richest towns in the West at the turn of the 19th century. All this history rich information are brought together in the Mining and Historical Museum.

National Parks

Dominating the southern part of the state here is the 1.8 million acre Coronado National Forest – a wilderness area popular with hikers and fishermen.

Just to the east is one of Arizona’s newest state parks – Kartchner Caverns, where visitors can take a tour through the underground wonderland of stalagmites and stalactites. Opened in 1999, the 550-acre park also features a large Discovery Center that explains the history and details of the caves, a hummingbird garden, a hiking trail and a campground.

Saguaro National Park situated at the North part – named for the ubiquitous fruit-bearing cactus that can live for 200 years and reach a height of 60 ft. This well-known symbol of the West is found only in Arizona and Mexico – nowhere else on earth.

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