Jason and Nikki in Tombstone

Tombstone, Sarsaparilla and Sweet Caramels in Arizona

It always feels a bit dicey each time I visit a place I have always wanted to see.  I build up all kinds of expectations (even thought I try hard not to).  Now, Tombstone Arizona hasn’t exactly been on the top of my list, but growing up watching old western’s does spark a good bit of curiosity.

Jason and Nikki in Tombstone

Tombstone was one of the last boomtowns of the west in the 1800’s.  Silver, silver, and more silver produced $40 to $85 million in cold hard cash!  Can you imagine that amount in the 1800’s?  It’s like hittin’ the big one on every state lottery combined!

With all this money came huge population growth from 100 residents to a whoppin’ 14,000…. a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house (a big deal back in the day), a school, two banks (worth robbing), three newspapers, 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and a fair amount of brothels (still alive and well in Amsterdam).

Tombstone saloon

And of course I can’t forget to mention it was home to the famous Hollywood stars and law enforcing Earp brothers:  Virgil, Wyatt, Morgan and Warren Earp.  I’m not sure how accurate the 1994 Wyatt Earp film was, but if you haven’t watched it you should.  Kevin Costner and Wyatt Earp both won awards in my heart.

Yes ladies and gents, those were the days!  I can’t say that the present day Tombstone is anything like it used to be, however it’s still fun to wander the street (yes, it’s really just one main street) smell the cigarette smoke and pretend those gun slingers are real (and not just manly 5 year olds playing with cap guns and driving stage coaches).

tombstone buggy

streets of tombstone

I do however need to point out 2 stops that made the trip tasty and worthwhile.  The first is the fantastic bar banter with Johnny One Dog over an ice cold Sarsaparilla.

Johnny One Dog

enjoying a soda

The second was the chance meeting of the some of the best caramels we’ve ever had.  The couple who makes them is really nice too, but with joyous cadence of honey, vanilla and sea salt swirling in my mouth, anyone would have been mother Teresa!

untamed confections

Overall Tombstone is no longer the wild city it once was (but would you really want to visit if it was?) and other than some remaining buildings and costumed actors you won’t be seeing any shoot outs (unless you pay a fee).  However if you are a true lover of the Wild West you will enjoy the history, the tours and the efforts of the locals in 1800’s old west costumes.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (5)

  • Ken

    Tombstone is a hoot. Sure they charge to see the old cemetery, but Jesse, its only $2 and someone has to pay for upkeep. Don’t miss the world’s biggest rosebush while you are there, and go the extra 20 miles south to Bisbee. You won’t be sorry!

  • Kim Bean

    Just saw your piece on choosing your RV on the travel channel. I think it is amazing that you are taking advantage of this opportunity now in your life. My hubby and I are volunteers for the Calif State Parks 6 months out of the year, so I can relate to the RV lifestyle. Come visit our park, El Capitan State Beach, just north of Santa Barbara. In my opinion, it is the best park in the state and we have the friendliest camp hosts too. We won’t be there till May, but if you come after that, stop and say hi!

  • Tab

    We loved tombstone when we were there, that was 2005 and we had just started traveling full time. We spent a month in Hauchucha City and did quite a bit of exploring Seirre Vista and surrounding areas. If you haven’t been to Quartzite you need to. During the winter of course 🙂

  • Peg C

    If you make it to Sedona I hope you connect with us. (It’s the house with the Vesta sitting in the driveway.) We are only 20 miles away from Sedona. Kathy is right, it is beautiful and lots of wineries here in Cottonwood. You would both enjoy it. Plus it is on your way to Lk Havasu if you go the north route over I-40. In fact, if you are going north on I-17 from Tombstone to Sedona you pass the turn off in Camp Verde.

  • Kathy

    Tombstone looks kinda a “ya wanna try to re-create the wild west” sort of way, lol. I;m sure you guys MADE it fun! I love,love,love Sedona, Az….If you haven’t been, you gotta go, its soooooo beautiful! Everywhere there is a postcard pic.
    Have a great time!

    Kathy H
    Chapin, SC


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