Located southeast of Tucson, the town of Bisbee stands as reminder of Southern Arizona's mining past. This was once Phelps Dodge country, but when the land dried up and the mines began to close in the 1960s, Bisbee was starting to become a ghost town. Fortunately, a few enterprising artists saw potential in the town's picturesque setting and historic buildings, and today Bisbee is a thriving arts colony and tourist destination. From Tucson, go east on Interstate 10, then take historic Route 80, where you'll traverse rollings grasslands and twisting highway roads all the way to Bisbee. Here are some must-see highlights of this high-desert day trip.
Go Back in Time with Queen Mine Tours
For a fascinating glimpse into Bisbee's mining past, take a Queen Mine Tour. You'll be given a mining lantern, hat and slicker, and the ride the mine train deep into the mine. You'll get to experience what miners felt as the worked long hours in the underground tunnels. Tours last a little more than an hour, and are fun and educational for children of all ages. Reservations are suggested.
Antique Shopping in the Bisbee Alleyways
Bisbee has some of the best antique shopping in all Southern Arizona, perhaps the entire state. If sifting through boxes and racks in musty old basements appeals to you, you'll find plenty to love at many of Bisbee's oldest antique shops. For high quality antiques and collectibles with a special emphasis on pottery, vintage jewelry, and paper collectibles, try Finders Keepers Antiques & Collectibles.
Explore Your Wild Side with a Visit to the Bisbee Mini Museum of the Bizarre
This confounding museum celebrates the odd, bizarre, and unusual with flair and fun. Here you'll see a shrunken head named Fred, the death mask of John Dillinger, and the mold of a Yeti foot print. The museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
Take an Old Bisbee Ghost Tour
There's no denying the fact that Bisbee can be a bit creepy at times.The dark and winding alleyways and old buildings offer the perfect setting for conjuring up the long-forgotten spirits of this historic mining town. The Old Bisbee Ghost Tour is the perfect diversion for ghost hunters of all stripes. You'll walk down streets, alleyways, and stairways of Bisbee, with tour guides telling scary tales of Bisbee tales past.