Enjoy a day Trip from Scottsdale to Tombstone Arizona

Everybody loves vacations and traveling helps one live a happy life. Understandably, everyone can’t go on long vacations. So, short trips are the way to go. Taking a short, one-day trip to a beautiful location is the best way to take a break from the stress and routine of life.

Arizona has some beautiful cities that are perfect for taking quick trips to rejuvenate your body and mind. Tombstone, about a 3 hour drive from Scottsdale, has breathtakingly attractive scenery and places to visit. If you take a day-trip from Scottsdale to Tombstone, you will discover many neat places and things to see and visit.

1. Watch Gunfight at the OK Corral

O.K. Corral is a very fun destination to check out. It is the place where the popular gunfight had taken place between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. They reenact the gunfight at the site, and it is a very enjoyable experience to watch the show.

The set-up is exactly like it must have looked in the 1880s and gives an authentic feel of the Old West. Many people come to this reenactment. You can take a tour and get your picture clicked with the actors in their costumes.

2. Wander down Allen Street

Allen Street is the main street in Tombstone, Arizona. It is the best place to wander around for tourists. There are many historical sights to see and lots of unique businesses where you can enjoy shopping for unique items and souvenirs.

Since Allen Street was the main street where everything used to happen when Tombstone was a popular town, a lot of historical events that happened there. Many tourists go there to experience the feeling of Tombstone as it used to be in the Old West days.

Looking east down historic Allen Street in Tombstone Arizona at sunrise.

3. Courthouse State Historic Park

The Tombstone County Courthouse is a beautiful Victorian style building made of red brick. The architecture is interesting, and the courthouse is now a museum tourists can visit.

The museum has guns, weapons, documents, and other things that speak of the 1880s. There are a lot of things to do in the park. You can walk around in the park, have a picnic and even camp outdoors. Visitors are assisted very well, and you can learn how to set up a tent and cook while camping. 

4. See the Bird Cage Theatre

The Bird Cage Theatre is a popular tourist attraction in Tombstone. In the olden days the theatre was brothel but it has now been converted into a museum. It is a place steeped in the Old West history of the town. Anyone who visits the place instantly feels how it would have been to be a cowboy in Tombstone in the 1880s.

There are many artifacts to see inside the museum, and you should try to do a full tour of the building. The poker table, bars, saloon, dance hall are some of the very interesting things to see there.

Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone Arizona

5. Take an Underground Tour with Good Enough Mine Tour

Taking a tour of the underground mines in Tombstone is a must for visitors, without which a trip to Tombstone is incomplete. A tour of the silver mine with Good Enough Mine Tour makes tourists feel like they have found what the true West feels and looks like.

This tour takes you through the history of mining in Arizona. The tour includes famous historical stories like the first silver strike in Arizona, the story of Wyatt Earp, and so on. You can also see the actual silver in the mines while touring the underground in a mining trolley.

6. Rose Tree Museum

This is a beautiful museum that you just cannot miss when you are in Tombstone, Arizona. It is near Allen Street and used to be a residential building of one of the town’s oldest families. The Rose Tree Museum has the largest rose tree in the world.

Visitors can stay in the Rose Tree Inn, visit the bookshop and museum and relax in the backyard. The museum is very impressive and holds a lot of information about the tree and the local history. 

7. Tombstone Epitaph

The Tombstone Epitaph is a fascinating place to visit when you are in Arizona. The most famous newspaper in The Old West gets printed here. Visitors can see the office that has old printing memorabilia from more than 100 years ago on display.

The original printing equipment, typesetting machines, and old newspapers are preserved here, and it is a place every tourist should try to see. It is very interesting to witness how the newspapers used to be printed in the olden times. There’s a gift shop there where you can buy souvenirs and old newspapers.

8. Tombstone’s Historama

At the Tombstone’s Historama, visitors can watch a movie and diorama presentation of the history of the town of Tombstone. The movie is about 25 minutes long, and Vincent Price narrates the presentation.

The movie and presentation take the audience back to the 1880s and give an amazing overview of how life used to be. It also tells the story of the popular gunfight that happened on October 26, 1881. It is a very educational experience and gives an accurate picture of the people who used to live in the town.

If You’re Traveling With Kids – Some Kids Travel Attractions

1. Old Tombstone Western Town

The Old Tombstone Western Town is a theme park that is great to visit with children. There are many rides and games for kids to enjoy, like shooting games, golf and so on.

Everything has an authentic Mexican theme that is accurate with its history. There are some restaurants to eat in and historical tours with knowledgeable and engaging tour guides. There is also live theatre with a comedy show performance that children will love. 

2. Tombstone City Park

Tombstone City Park is a small and beautiful park that is perfect for relaxing. It is a quiet place that is popular with locals, too. There is ample shade in the park where you can walk around the premises. There are plenty of shelters, benches, and places to sit.

For children, there’s also equipment to play on and run around. Visitors can arrange picnics. Overall, it is a very pleasant place where parents can relax while their children can play. It is the place to go to after you have explored the tourist attractions.

Tombstone Staying Places for Sightseeing

Larian Motel: The Larian is a very good motel to stay in for a day or two. Located close to all the tourist attractions, it has all the necessary facilities including free Wi-Fi, clean rooms, and bathrooms. It also has a television, microwave, and air-conditioner.

Tombstone Monument Ranch: You could consider staying at the Tombstone Monument Ranch for an authentic feel of the Old Western town. The rooms are designed to transport visitors back to the time of cowboys. While the rooms have all the modern facilities, it also has the feel of the 1880s.

• Landmark Lookout Lodge: The location of this lodge is perfect since it is close to all the important spots like the OK Corral, the Mine Tours, and so on. It offers attractive facilities like an outdoor pool, free breakfast, and free Wi-Fi. The rooms have a television, an air conditioner, and electronic door locks. 

Tombstone Sagebrush Inn: This inn is the perfect place to have a relaxing and enjoyable stay. It has got many good reviews and guests love staying here. Tombstone Sagebrush Inn is extremely close to many famous tourist locations and is a great place to stay if you are going to go sightseeing.

Stay With Style Scottsdale: You can book your favorite room in this place if you’re traveling to Scottsdale, Arizona for a long vacation. If Tombstone is on your day trip list, Stay with Style Scottsdale can arrange amazing vacation rentals for your long-term vacation stay.

Places Where You Can Eat in Tombstone:

1. Puny Johns BBQ With Outdoor Seating Option

Puny Johns is a barbeque place that offers lunch, dinner, and drinks. Smoked potatoes, pork, and brisket sandwiches are some of their specialties. It is one of the best places in Tombstone to grab a quick bite.

They have delicious food options, from ribs to homemade green beans and macaroni and cheese. You can choose to sit either inside the restaurant or outside on the patio. The patio can accommodate up to 70 customers, while 84 people can sit inside. The barbeque place is open from Friday to Monday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

2. Cafe Margarita With Outdoor Seating Option

Cafe Margarita, formerly known as The Russ House, serves delicious Mexican food. Although the menu offers some Italian and Southwestern options, Cafe Margarita is best known for its Mexican food. Its Nachos, taco salads, and margaritas are very well-loved.

The food is completely fresh and homemade and the cafe has a huge patio and can seat large groups of people. The service is wonderful and the salsa they make is famous. Cafe Margarita is open from Thursday to Sunday from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. 

3. Mario’s Bakery Cafe

Mario’s Bakery Cafe is an eatery on Allen Street in Tombstone. Because of its convenient location near tourist attractions, it is a well-known place to eat. Visitors can have lunch here, and it offers mainly baked food like cookies, sandwiches, and cakes.

The cafe is a vegetarian-friendly place and has vegan options available for those who may want it. It is open from Wednesday to Monday from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Their delicious food and hospitality have made them a popular destination for tourists to grab a bite.

4. Fallen Angel Sweet Sin Parlor

Fallen Angel Sweet Sin Parlor is located just next to the Bird Cage Theatre, a popular museum and tourist attraction in Tombstone, Arizona. They mostly offer ice cream, candy, and yogurt in a lot of different flavors.

The ice cream place is a good place to stop to cool down and have something cold. Since it is a small place, there’s no place to sit and eat. You can buy your food and eat it on the way. It is open on all days of the week from 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM. 

5. Old West Chuckwagon

Old West Chuckwagon is now called The Hitching Post Café. It is one of the best restaurants in Tombstone. They offer lunch, brunch and dinner in American cuisine. Vegetarian food options are available for vegetarians. It is a very reasonable place to eat in.

All items on the menu are priced at less than $8. The food is delicious and filling, and the customers always leave feeling satisfied.

Their sandwiches, hot dogs, and salads are well known. From Wednesday to Saturday, it is open from 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM, while on Sunday, it is open from 11:00 AM to 05:30 PM.

Best Time to Trip to Tombstone

Spring (March through May)

Spring is the best time to go to Tombstone. The temperature and weather are at their best during March, April, and May. Another excellent advantage of going to Arizona during this time is that, since it is spring, the flowers are in bloom. This makes visiting the Rose Tree Museum a beautiful experience. The roses are in full bloom during April, and visitors will see the largest rose tree in the world.

Summer (June through August)

It is less advisable to go to Tombstone in summer since it gets extremely hot. June is the hottest month of the year there. The hot temperatures start at around 93°F, and may not be enjoyable for some tourists. It often rains in the late afternoon during these months, making sightseeing more difficult. However, since the demand is less in summer, hotel prices are low. 

Fall (September through November)

Late October is another good time to travel to Tombstone. The weather is pleasant in October and the Helldorado Days also fall during the third weekend in October. There are many events that are held during these few days of Helldorado. It is enjoyable to be in Tombstone since there are shows with gunfights and robberies and other acting and costume events like parades and carnivals. 

Winter (December through February)

The winters in Tombstone, Arizona, are relatively cold and dry. December is the coldest month, with an average low temperature of 36°F and a high of 60°F. It snows sometimes, but very little.

While nights can be cold, the days are cool and pleasant, so it’s not a bad time to visit. Keep in mind that during the holidays, that is, Thanksgiving and Christmas, most places will be shut.

October 15, 2021No comments
Making the Most Out Of Your Family Trip

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Family Bonding: Making the Most Out of Your Trip

A trip together is a great way to unite as a family, and it can have numerous benefits for everyone. Here are some ideas to use before planning your next family vacation.

The Benefits of Family Bonding

  • Encourages children to learn lifelong interpersonal skills.
  • Creates family rituals that will serve as the basis for more bonding in the future.
  • Provides a supportive environment to help kids develop self-confidence.
  • Gives family members an opportunity to learn more about one another.
  • Enables parents to model good behavior for their children.
  • Teaches everyone the value of patience and understanding.

A recent study found that 45% of people believe spending quality time with family members is the best part about vacationing together.

Unplug Your Devices

Sharing photos on social media is great, but make sure you don’t spend the whole trip glued to your phones.

Make a Scrapbook

Collaborating on a physical keepsake from your vacation helps everyone feel closer even after the trip ends.

Sample Local Foods

Stepping outside of your family’s comfort zone and trying the area’s cuisine can be a memorable shared experience.

Let Kids Help Plan

Having every member of the family involved in planning a trip can be a good way to get it started on the right foot.

Enjoy the Outdoors

Activities such as fishing, hiking or guided tours get everyone away from distractions and create lasting memories.

Get Matching T-shirts

Making a commemorative T-shirt for your vacation gives your family an instant souvenir and helps foster camaraderie.

Do Something New

An experience that’s new to everyone is an excellent way to bond as a family.

Don’t Forget Down Time

Too many activities during your vacation can lead to everyone feeling weary, so make sure there’s enough time to recharge.

December 6, 2019No comments
Ten Reasons You Should Choose a Small Town for Your Next Vacation

We are sharing this infographic that embraces our belief that small town vacations can rival visiting a big city in terms of fun, entertainment, and most certainly relaxation. Scroll down for an accessible text version.

infographic-Reasons to Choose a Small Town for Your Next Vacation

Content Provided By Red River Real Estate

Text Version

Getting Big Time Fun Out of Your Small Town Vacation

Small towns offer numerous opportunities for fun and relaxation for your next vacation. Here are some ideas to help you plan a trip off the beaten path.

  1. Local Festivals:  There’s a good chance that the community you’ll visit has some type of seasonal event. Do research and find out if your vacation lines up with a summer concert series or a winter carnival.
  2. Antique Shopping:  Many small towns feature a plethora of resale and consignment stores filled with unique and quirky items you’re not likely to see anywhere else. This makes your trip an opportunity to find the vintage coffee table are rare collectible you’ve been seeking.
  3. Picnic in the Park: One of the great joys of the quiet countryside is that there’s plenty of room for everyone to savor the space. You can take advantage of this by planning a picnic lunch for your family in a park or forest preserve.
  4. Walking Tours: There’s no better way to experience the history and color of a city than taking a walking tour. A lot of historical societies offer guided explorations that can give you a greater appreciation of the area’s heritage.
  5. Enjoy Live Music: You  Don’t have to be in a massive civic center to attend a concert. It’s easy to find venues in the area that feature live music, whether it’s a bar or gazebo in the town center.
  6. Sample the Cuisine: Smaller communities are more likely to have diners and restaurants that are locally owned, meaning you won’t find the same chain eateries in countless places. This gives you the chance to try something different and perhaps discover a new favorite.
  7. The Great Outdoors: If  you’re interested in hiking, kayaking or another outdoorsy activity, you’re sure to find plenty of opportunities off the beaten path.
  8. Discover Museums: Local museums and history societies feature in abundance of fascinating exhibits detailing the history and culture of the area this can be an enlightening way to spend an afternoon.
  9. Experience Horseback Riding: One common activity not often found in large cities is horseback riding through the countryside. Find a ranch in the area that offers it and you’ll have an experience your family won’t soon forget.
  10. Scavenger Hunts: Create a list of sights, sounds and souvenirs and have your family members race to locate as many as they can. Having everyone take photos of items on their phones as a fun modern twist on this idea.
  11. Do Your Research: Before traveling to an unfamiliar community, look up spots of interest on the internet. There are websites dedicated to cataloging unusual and little-known places all over the country.
March 22, 2019No comments
Exploring 16 Small Towns along the Oregon Coast

Route 101 along Oregon Coast is a spectacular route that one can never grow weary of driving. So many spectacular vistas unfold as you make your way us the coastal highway, that you will find yourself stopping over and over taking it all in.

The entire route from Cresent City (which is in Northern California, just south of Oregon) all the way to Astoria can be driven in about 8 hours without stopping.

This makes it a doable day trip, but, with only enough time to jump out of the car for a few minutes at some of the more spectacular viewpoints along the way.

The problem is, many people do make it a day trip (guilty more than once), but, in so doing, they miss the opportunity to really experience the many charming small towns along the way.

I suggest allowing 2 or 3 days, even longer to really enjoy this wonderful road trip.

Below are my picks for the best towns to spend extra time exploring as you drive the Oregon Coast.

1. Brookings

We’ll start off in southern Oregon where the first town you come to is Brookings. This small town of about 6400 residents will not disappoint. One benefit of being located farther south on the Oregon Coast is a milder climate.

The main part of the town sits on the north side where the Chetco River completes its journey to the Pacific Ocean.

If you start your in the south, this will be your first introduction to the rugged Oregon coast. Be sure to check out Chetco Point, Harris Beach State Park and Azalea State Park. The downtown area is easy to walk.

2. Gold Beach

About 30 miles up the coast is Gold Beach. As the name suggests, the beach and ocean are truly spectacular. Like Brookings and several other small towns along the Oregon Coast, Gold Beach sits at the mouth of a river – in this case, the Rogue River.

Popular activities reflect the Ocean and River environment and include beach combing, tide pooling, boat tours and fishing. The town also has a nearby golf course and a museum.

3. Port Orford

Port Orford definitely has some history behind it. It’s not only the oldest town on Oregon’s coast, it is also the most westerly town of all the 48 lower states.

This is not a town where you will find shopping malls or fast food outlets, not surprising considering it is home to just over 1100 residents. What you will find are locally owned restaurants, art galleries and gift shops.

A multitude ofB&Bs, RV Parks, camping and motels to cover any accommodation needs.

4. Bandon

This little city of a little over 3100 was incorporated all the way back in 1891. There’s plenty to explore here including the the historic old town, the famous ocean beaches and sand dunes, and the world class West Coast Game Park Safari which is just 7 miles south of the city.

The Old Town is a great place to stroll and explore art galleries and boutique shops. It is also a great place to enjoy a quick bite or fine dining. Of course fresh seafood is a staple.

5. Coos Bay / North Bend

These are actually two towns, but they are only separated by a small body of water and a bridge. Coos Bay is to the south and North Bend is where its name suggests. The historic McCullough Memorial Bridge stretches 1708 feet as it crosses high about Coos Bay into North Bend. It was quite an engineering feat when it was completed in 1936. The combined population is nearly 25,000, so you will actually find plenty of amenities, shopping and dining in the area including the largest indoor shopping mall on the coast.

These towns are actually separated from the ocean by a long sandy spit. The area of sand dunes along the coast extends north about 50 miles to Florence and includes Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area by the very small town of Winchester Bay.

Renting dune buggies and exploring the dunes is a real blast.

6. Florence

Located roughly midway along the Oregon Coast on the outflow of the Siuslaw River, Florence is a small town of about 6200 residents. You can take a step back in time with a visit to the historic Old Town next to the river. The older colorful clapboard buildings house art galleries, boutique shops and quaint restaurants.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is just to the south.

You must not miss visiting the Heceta Head Lighthouse 12 miles north of the city. This is considered one of the most striking lighthouses, not only on the Oregon Coast, but anywhere in the world. It is also open to visitors. Farther north you can checkout the world famous Sea Lion Caves. They are a must-see during a visit to the Oregon Coast.

7. Yachats

One of the nicest small towns on the Oregon Coast, Yachats is a great place to relax and enjoy nature. The town is small enough that it is easy enough to just drive on through on the 101, but that would be a mistake.

Every day is a good day in this laid back little town. Be sure to see the red covered bridge on the river road. Visit the beach by the mouth of the river, especially during low tide. Enjoy fresh seafood at one of several little restaurants. Sample goods at the farmers market. It’s all good and the town folk are very friendly. Plenty of budget motels and camping can be found in and around town.

8. Winchester Bay

Winchester Bay is a very small town, better described as a village, located by a sheltered bay on the south bank of Umpqua River. The town itself is not right on the ocean, but if you make the wise choice to exit the highway you will discover incredible stretches of beach and the highest sand dunes in Oregon. The historic Umpqua Lighthouse and museum is a must see. Within the town you will find numerous gift shops and fabulous places to dine.

This town has plenty of options for RVs, camping and boating. Try your luck at crabbing, clamming or tidepooling. It’s great when the weather is good, but when it’s bad, there’s storm watching.

9. Waldport / Bayshore

Waldport and Bayshore straddle both sides of Alsea Bay and are joined by the striking concrete arch bridge the crosses the same. Classified as a city, Waldport is home to about 2000 residents. Like most small towns along the Oregon Coast, casting a line, lowering a crab trap or digging for clams are popular activities.

There’s also a 9 hole public golf course, nature walks and plain old relaxation.

9. Newport

With a population just over 10,000, Newport is one of the larger cities along the Oregon coast. It is the county seat for Lincoln County and boasts several interesting and educational attractions. Attractions include the Oregon Coast Aquaarium, the Hatfield Marine Science Center, Pacific Maritime Heritage Center and the Yaquina Head Lighthouse (Oregons tallest active lighthouse).

Popular areas to explore on foot are Nye Beach, an artsy area where you will find book stores, galleries, eateries and lodging, and the Historic Bayfront area, home to commercial fishing fleets, but also boutique shops galleries and restaurants. There are some great places to enjoy fresh seafood.

10. Depoe Bay

Depoe Bay is a small city of about 1400. Its claim to fame is the smallest navigable harbour in the world. Outside the small sheltered harbour is rugged rocky shoreline where you will enjoy watching the ceaseless pounding of the breaking waves. Windswept Rocky Creek State Viewpoint just south of the city and Boiler Bay State Viewpoint just north provide outstanding vantage points from which to view the crashing surf.

Immediately north of the harbour the OPRD Whale Watching Center operated by Oregon State Parks is a must see. Where the Oregon Coast Highway passes through town opposite the Bay there are a myriad of quaint shops and eateries to explore.

11. Lincoln City

Just north of Depoe Bay, Lincoln City stretches for a considerable distance along the Oregon Coast. It is an amalgamation of 5 smaller cities and communities that merged in 1965. Even so, the total population is still only about 8500 residents.

This coastal city features over 11 kilometres of sandy beach. The expansive beaches are endowed with a consistent ocean breeze making it a world famous venue for flying kites. Two kite festivals are held each year, one in June and one in October.

During the later part of June and the beginning of July, the Siletz Bay Music Festival features performances at different locations and venues throughout the city.

Overlooking the beach, Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City boasts 24/7 Las Vegas-style casino action, along with a hotel, arcade and several restaurants.

Lincoln city is large enough to offer plenty of options for shopping, dining and accommodations.

12. Tillamook

You’ve probably heard of the famous cheese named after this town, and boy is it good. This place is worth visiting for that alone, but there’s much more to this coastal town than its renowned cheese. Take the aircraft museum for instance, where an amazing array of vintage aircraft are on display. Well worth a few hours out of your day.

13. Manzanita

Situated just north of the Nehalem River and Bay, the picturesque village of Manzanita boasts one of Oregon’s longest stretches of sandy beach. Nehalem Bay State Park is located immediately to the south and the village of Nehalem is located a couple of kilometres inland.

Manzanita is quaint, charming and beautiful. Situated on top of a cliff at the north end of the long stretch of beach the Neahkahnie Viewpoint offers spectacular views along the coast looking back towards the town. Located right on the Oregon Coast Highway, the lookout is easy to access. For even more spectacular views, try some of the hiking trails on both sides of the highway just north from the lookout.

14. Cannon Beach

Renowned for its natural beauty, Cannon Beach is a small, artsy village best known for the gigantic Haystack Rock rising 235 feet above the surf offshore from the town’s expansive sandy beach. This is possibly one of the most photographed portions of the Oregon Coast. For one of the most spectacular views on the Oregon Coast (and that is no easy feat) be sure to drive to Ecola State Park – only a 12-minute drive north of the city center. Just Go Travel Studios has written an excellent article about activities and hiking in Ecola State Park 🗗.

In addition to its natural beauty, the walkable town features an abundance of art galleries, boutique shops, cafes and fine dining. Visitors also have the option to enjoy live theater performances. If you want to spend a night or two there are plenty of great accommodations to be found.

15. Seaside

Named after Seaside House, a resort build in the 1870s, the population of Seaside has grown to about 6500.

In addition to its long stretch of sandy beach, this picturesque town offers plenty to see and do. You can enjoy a round of golf at the golf course, play games at the arcade, try some taffy at the saltwater taffy shop, and explore many quaint shops and restaurants.

A 1.5-mile long promenade provides a great place to enjoy strolling along the waterfront. Located on the promenade, the Seaside Aquarium has been educating and entertaining visitors for 80 years.

Thanks to the large open beaches, Seaside hosts the world’s largest beach volleyball tournament each year in August.

16. Astoria

At mile zero on the Oregon Coast Highway, Astoria is a great place to begin or end your journey, depending on your direction of travel. Astoria is located at the mouth of the Columbia River, about 10 kilometres in from the Pacific Ocean.

Founded over 200 years ago, Astoria is rich in history and charm. Area attractions include High Life Adventures ziplining and the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

One attraction you simply don’t want to miss, is the Astoria Column. This 91 year old landmark is a 125 foot tall column that sits in the city park on top of 600 foot high Coxcomb Hill. The 164 step spiral staircase winding up the inside of the column is a bit of a workout, but the stunning view from the observation deck is absolutely worth the effort.

December 15, 2017No comments
Welcome to Small Town Explorer


Welcome to SmallTownExplorer.com. This is our first post and we would like to introduce you to our site and what it is about.

Lets begin by saying I love smaller cities and towns. During our travels we have always enjoyed our stops in those little places along the way, even when our final destination is a large city. I often wonder what I’m missing out on by not visiting that town thats 20 miles off my route. Is it worth the trip?

What I’ve found lacking, is that while there are varying amounts of information to be found about the smaller cities and towns in the country, nothing is organized into a map based directory using a consistent format….

January 5, 2017No comments