Toni found us a sweetheart deal for a trip somewhere she knew I wanted to go and she had zero interest in. Once we got there, I think she may have enjoyed it even more than I did. A fan of the Western genre and, in particular, the Tombstone movie with Kurt Russell, I’d wanted to visit Tombstone for years and Toni’s Travel Zoo Top 20 deal was just what we needed to saddle up with some friends and kick for Arizona.
The Tombstone Monument Ranch is situated just outside the main town of Tombstone and is set up like the set of a Western movie town with each room having a different theme and a dusty strip dividing the hotel’s buildings with boardwalks connecting them. Check in is in the main building where you’ll eat your meals (the fare is hearty and excellent) and find a saloon for evening entertainment. We even ended up with an impromptu session of Texas Hold’em and got to play with some folks from the United Kingdom who wanted to visit an authentic Western venue.
There’s no shortage of activities to partake in at the Ranch, including archery and trail rides on horses matched to each rider’s needs. What I suggest though is going to do some shooting with Arizona Bill. Arizona Bill offers the chance to go shoot some authentic Western hardware including a Henry .22LR lever action rifle and because it’s a .22, it is fun to shoot for just about anyone since the recoil is negligible. Bill will walk you a short distance through the scrub brush, give you some earplugs, and let you plink away with the lever action. After hours, you can find Arizona Bill in downtown where he’ll take you on a haunted tour of Tombstone; I doubt you can find anyone more knowledgeable about Tombstone than Arizona Bill.
Some places I’d suggest hitting include Doc Holliday’s Saloon where Suzanne will provide you with the beer and whiskey you need to fuel your Tombstone tour, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, and the Tombstone Brewing Company where you’ll find many local brews to help quench the thirst you’ll get living that pew-pew life in Tombstone.
Make sure you visit the Tombstone Mustachery where Kevin will help you find some of the finest smelling shave soaps and traditional shave gear that will remind you of your trip to Tombstone for many years to come. I picked up a shave brush with a handle reportedly made from wood harvested from Jack Daniels casks and besides a reminder of my time in Tombstone, it’s holding up better than any brush from Wal-Mart or Walgreens I’ve ever owned. Most of the time, you can get an authentic straight razor shave but when I was visiting, the gentleman who usually shaves there was out of town so I missed out on what would have been one of the quintessential Tombstone experiences.
The coffee is ready plenty early at the ranch so you’re not burning daylight during your stay in Tombstone and there is plenty to do both in the town and at the ranch. This is one trip both of us really enjoyed and I definitely want to repeat.