Tag Archives: gunfights

Mission San Xavier del Bac is also known as the "White Dove of the Desert."

Southern Arizona Day Trips

Want to get away, but don’t have the time to plan a vacation? Then a short, fun day trip is the perfect option. Check out this list of southern Arizona attractions to plan a great day trip.

  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
    2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson
    520-883-1380
    The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place.

  • Bisbee
    1 Main St., Bisbee
    520-432-5421
    In the 1880s, this was once an important mining center. Today, it flourishes as a tourist town.

  • Chiricahua National Monument
    13063 E. Bonita Canyon Rd., Willcox
    520-824-3560 ext. 302
    The monument is a mecca for hikers and birders. Chiricahua plants and animals represent one of the premier areas for biological diversity in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Colossal Cave Mountain Park
    16721 E. Old Spanish Tr., Vail
    520-647-7275
    Colossal Cave, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, had been used for centuries by prehistoric peoples when it was discovered in 1879.

  • Fort Bowie National Historic Site
    3203 S. Old Fort Bowie Rd., Bowie
    520-847-25004
    The site of the Bascom Affair, a wagon train massacre, and the battle of Apache Pass, where a large force of Chiricahua Apaches under Mangus Colorados and Cochise fought the California Volunteers. It stands as a lasting monument to the bravery and endurance of U.S. soldiers in paving the way for westward settlement and the taming of the Western frontier.

  • Ironwood Forest National Monument
    BLM Tucson Field Office: 12661 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson
    520-258-7200
    The 129,000-acre monument contains significant cultural and historical sites covering a 5,000-year period. Possessing one of the richest stands of Ironwood trees in the Sonoran Desert, the area encompasses several desert mountain ranges including the Silver Bell, Waterman and Sawtooth, with desert valleys in between. Elevation ranges from 1,800 to 4,261 feet.

  • Kartchner Caverns State Park
    2980 S. Hwy. 90, Benson
    520-586-CAVE (2283)
    Discovered in 1974, these caverns just recently opened to the public and feature stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations.

  • Kitt Peak National Observatory
    Off of SR 86 on the Tohono O’odham Nation, Tucson
    520-318-8726
    Kitt Peak is the world’s largest working astronomical observatory. Open daily.

  • Las Cienegas National Conservation Area
    BLM Tucson Field Office: 12661 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson
    520-258-7200
    Designated by Congress in 2000, this 42,000-acre area consists of vast desert grassland and rolling, oak-studded hills with a diverse plant and animal life, including several threatened or endangered species. Las Cienegas contains cultural resources within its borders, such as Empire Ranch House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, mines and mining towns, and historic travel routes. Visitor activities include birdwatching, camping, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, mountain biking and scenic drives.

  • Mission San Xavier Del Bac
    1950 W. San Xavier Rd., Tucson
    520-294-2624
    Framed in the warm browns of the surrounding hills and the violet shadows of distant mountains, it rises, brilliantly white from the desert floor of dusty green mesquite and sage.

  • Old Tucson Studios
    201 S. Kinney Rd., Tucson
    520-883-0100
    Arizona’s Hollywood in the Desert since 1939. This world-famous working film location offers fun for the whole family — guided historical set tours, live stunt shows, gunfights, and saloon musicals, plus rides for the kids! While you’re here, enjoy a scenic trail ride in the unique and beautiful Arizona Sonora Desert.

  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
    10 Organ Pipe Dr., Ajo
    520-387-6849 ext. 0
    This scenic 516-square-mile preserve is filled with Organ Pipe Cactus, rare in the United States, scattered among mountains and plains.

  • Picacho Peak State Park
    Picacho
    520-466-3183
    Hiking, camping and picnicking 60 miles southeast of Phoenix, just off I-10.

  • Reid Park Zoo
    1100 S. Randolph Way, Tucson
    520-791-4022
    Come visit Tucson’s Reid Park Zoo and have a wild time. Meet more than 400 animals — rhinos, elephants, anteaters, polar bears, lions and many more. Venture into the African, Asian and South American regions. Explore the Flight Connection — the full-flight, walkthrough aviary.

  • Saguaro National Park
    2700 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson
    520-733-5158
    This national park protects more than 3,500 acres of native plants and animals.

  • San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
    BLM Tucson Field Office: 12661 E. Broadway Blvd., Tucson
    520-258-7200
    This 57,000-acre area contains 40 miles of the San Pedro River, which is home to more than 100 species of birds and more than 400 species of migrating and wintering bird species.

  • Tombstone
    Tombstone
    520-457-3929
    Truly a historical American landmark, Tombstone is America’s best example of 1880 Western heritage, with original 1880s buildings, artifacts featured in numerous museums, gunfight re-enactments and Wild West legends.

  • Tucson
    100 S. Church Ave., Tucson
    800-638-8350
    Surrounded by rugged mountain ranges, the Old Pueblo is an international travel destination alive with character, history, art, cultural diversity, outdoor adventure and charm.

  • Yuma
    201 N. Fourth Ave., Yuma
    800-293-0071
    A visit to this growing metropolis offers something for everyone, from outdoor adventures to historic sites and museums. Yuma is also a great base for easy day trips “South of the Border,” and boasts varied dining, shopping and multiple casinos.
streetscene

Snapshot: Tombstone, “The Town Too Tough to Die”

The name of the town of Tombstone evokes strong imagery of what the Wild West really was — something right out of an old western with its dusty streets, wooden plank storefronts and faded paint wooden buildings.

It also lived up to its reputation of being one of the deadliest towns in the West. It was relatively isolated from everyone including the railroad. The surrounding countryside was controlled by the Apaches and the town had its share of gunfights including the famous shootout at the O.K. Corral between Wyatt Earp and the “Cow-boys.”

Tombstone was also the home to the Bird Cage Theatre which, in 1882, the New York Times reported was the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast. It was also visited in 2006 by the Syfy channel’s paranormal sleuths on an episode of “Ghost Hunters.”

Today, Tombstone is a tourist destination with approximately 450,000 visitors it a year.

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