Just as fun as riding a cable car or the tram to the top of Bergamo is the Covered Wagon ride in Tombstone. Feel the hard seat as you realize how uncomfortable that trip to the old west was from Missouri. Smell the dust and the horses, hear the sound of the creaking wagon and listen to the stories from the driver.
yippy Ki Yay...
Tombstone is 70 south of Tucson miles from You drive through the Sonoran Desert and you can enjoy the sight of the big Saguaro Cactuses - You immerse yourself in the History of the West and forget the rest -
Stagecoach - What else
Tombstone is a little town (population 1,550) easy to walk around. The main streets are below 1 mile (1.6 km) long but the most atractive part of city (Tombstone Historic District) covers less than half of that.
Tombstone receives approximately 450,000 tourist visitors each year. So, I was surprised that I so easily found a place on a street to park my car, right on main street called Allen Street (on business day in April). It may work worse other time though. I was also surprised that there were no parkometers and no parking fees there.
Route 80 (Fremont Street - no parking or limited parking there) crosses Tomstone's center but the most interesting is the first paralel street southwards called Allen Street. Driving southwards when I saw O.K. Corral advertesiment (photo 3) I turned right to 4th St. and again first right to Allen Street where I parked (photo 4). Map: follow the link below.
You must have a car to get to Tombstone which is located in southeastern Arizona, 49 miles (79 km) northwest of Mexican border at Douglas and 24 miles (39 km) south of I-10 (exit 303 at Benson). I drove Route 82 from Nogales via Patagonia and took Route 80 (Benson - Douglas) South to Tombstone and then I drove it futher down to Bisbee and Douglas.
At that sunny Thursday afternoon the traffic was light, so driving was comfortable and fast. Cruise control was very useful for me. Although you may easily and safely drive faster on almost empty highway, my recommendation is to follow local drivers and not to exceed the speed limit given on a sign by more than 5 miles per hour. State police and speed control by aircraft may give you inconveniences.
Enlarge my maps (picture 2-4) to see my itinerary through the Southwest and southeastern Arizona. Legend:
8 - Tucson
9 - Tubac
10 - Nogales
11 - Patagonia
12 - Tombstone
13 - Bisbee
14 - Douglas
15 - state line Arizona-New Mexico
The only real logical way to get to Tombstone or any of the nearby sites is by car. Public transportation is nearly non-existant. So either rent a car or look for a local tour operator in Tucson who offers tours to Tombstone and its vicinity.
When we were in Tombstone in late December, the main street of downtown (Allen Street) was blocked off to motor traffic, but there were horses, wagons and a stage coach carrying passangers passed up and down the streets. Admittedly this is a bit touristy, but the whole town is for that matter. The drivers give a lively narration, pointing out the sight of historic events, gunfights, and interesting stories and legends of Tombstone. This is a great way to get an overall look at what has been called "The most historic town in the old West."
The horse-drawn vehicles depart frequently from Big Nose Kate's on Allen Street, in the center of town. Rides last around 15-20 minutes.