Located in the picturesque Cochise County of Arizona, Bisbee is a charming small city that I am excited and thrilled to explore. With a population of around 5,000 residents, it exudes a unique character and holds a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1880 as a bustling mining town for precious metals like gold, silver, and copper. As I venture into this enchanting destination, I am delighted to discover that there are numerous exciting activities and attractions that await me.
Join me as I unveil the best things to do in Bisbee, Arizona that will surely make your trip worthwhile.
1. See the Copper Queen Mine
In the heart of Bisbee, Arizona, lies the iconic Copper Queen Mine, a testament to the city’s rich mining heritage. As I explored this fascinating destination, it becomes evident that mining is a central theme here, and the Copper Queen Mine stands as a prominent attraction.
Once the most productive copper mine in the county, the Copper Queen Mine attracted numerous miners who later settled in Bisbee, shaping the city’s identity. Although it ceased operations over 30 years ago, it continues to captivate tourists seeking a glimpse into the lives of the miners who toiled within its depths.
To truly immerse myself in the experience, I prepare to don a helmet and headlight as I embarked on a journey deep into the mine. A small train transports us through the winding tunnels, while a knowledgeable guide, who spent nearly two decades working in the mine, shares fascinating insights and stories along the way.
2. Visit the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum
Having just explored the depths of the Copper Queen Mine, immersing myself in the mining experience of the past, I’m eager to continue my journey into Bisbee’s rich history. The next stop on my itinerary is the museum, where a treasure trove of tools and artifacts from the mining era awaits.
Located in downtown Bisbee, the museum is a captivating repository of the town’s storied past. As I step inside, I’m greeted by friendly and knowledgeable volunteer guides, ready to share insights and stories that bring the history to life. The museum is adorned with fascinating photographs that transport me back in time, allowing me to connect with the people who once worked in these mines.
With each exhibit, I gain a deeper understanding of the challenges, triumphs, and everyday life of those who played a vital role in shaping Bisbee. From the worn tools that bore witness to the hard labor endured by the miners, to the captivating photographs that offer glimpses into their lives, the museum presents a comprehensive narrative of this mining town’s remarkable history.
3. Take the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour (if you dare)
As dusk descends upon Bisbee, I find myself intrigued by the town’s reputation for being haunted. Eager to explore the spookier side of this historic place, I embark on a ghost tour that promises an unforgettable experience.
Led by a knowledgeable and engaging host, the tour takes me through the streets, dark alleys, and notorious locations where ghostly apparitions have been sighted. As we walk, the host weaves chilling tales of the paranormal, recounting the stories of the restless spirits that are said to linger in Bisbee.
The eerie ambiance is enhanced by the fact that the tour takes place at night, adding an extra layer of mystery and intrigue. The dimly lit streets and shadows cast by the moon create a spine-tingling atmosphere that heightens the senses.
Despite the ghostly subject matter, the tour is designed to be enjoyable and suitable for all ages. Families can join in the adventure, as the host strikes a balance between providing spooky tales and ensuring that everyone feels comfortable.
This ghost tour offers a unique perspective on Bisbee, allowing visitors to delve into its haunted history and gain insight into the supernatural occurrences that have fascinated locals and visitors alike. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, this unconventional journey through Bisbee will leave you with lasting memories and a newfound appreciation for the town’s rich folklore.
4. Have a Beer at the Old Bisbee Brewing Company
After an exhausting day exploring the depths of the Copper Queen Mine, I yearn for some well-deserved relaxation and a refreshing brew. Fortunately, Bisbee boasts an array of bars and breweries that cater to this desire.
One particular gem caught my attention: the Old Bisbee Brewing Company. Tucked away in a quaint corner of town, this establishment exudes a sense of charm and sophistication.
As I stepped inside, I was greeted by a warm ambiance and the inviting aroma of freshly brewed beer. The brewery offers an impressive selection of handcrafted libations, each one a testament to the artistry of their craft. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, there is a beer to suit every palate.
Taking a seat and soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, I surveyed the menu, which boasts an enticing array of food options designed to complement the brews. With each sip and bite, I was treated to a harmonious fusion of flavors that elevate my dining experience.
The staff at the Old Bisbee Brewing Company are not only friendly but also exceptionally knowledgeable about their craft. They eagerly share their expertise and provide recommendations, enhancing my appreciation for the intricacies of the brewing process. To my delight, I discovered that the brewery even offers complimentary popcorn, a delightful accompaniment to my chosen brew.
5. Be Amazed by the Lavender Pit
As I ventured further into the mining heritage of Bisbee, I stumbled upon another captivating attraction: the Lavender Pit. This colossal excavation site offers a breathtaking spectacle that is sure to leave an indelible impression.
Standing at the edge of the Lavender Pit, I was awestruck by the sheer magnitude of this man-made marvel. It served as a poignant reminder of the toll mining exacts upon the surrounding landscape.
For decades, this site was a hotbed of mining activity, with daily blasts that shattered a staggering 75,000 tons of rock. The relentless pursuit of precious minerals continued until the closure of the mine in 1975. Now, in its wake, a colossal pit remains, a testament to the immense scale of human endeavor.
With designated platforms providing vantage points, I was able to gaze into the depths of the Lavender Pit and marvel at the vast expanse before me. The expanse stretches far and wide, its rugged walls revealing the layers of history etched into the earth.
As I take in this awe-inspiring sight, I noticed a commemorative plaque nestled nearby. It served as a poignant reminder of the countless individuals who toiled within these depths, their labor contributing to the growth and prosperity of Bisbee.
The Lavender Pit is not just a sight to behold, but also an opportunity to reflect upon the environmental impact of mining. It served as a powerful testament to the delicate balance between human progress and the preservation of our natural world.
6. Take a Golf Cart Tour of the City
If the ghost tour at night doesn’t quite align with your preferences, fear not! There’s an equally captivating option available: a classic daytime tour. Or, for the ultimate Bisbee experience, why not embark on both?
The Bisbee Tour Company offers an array of guided tours that traverse the city’s charming streets, all from the comfort of cute golf carts or electric bikes. These vehicles are not only street-legal but also easily accessible and fully insured.
But why opt for a golf cart tour instead of strolling on foot? Allow me to elucidate. The convenience and ease of a golf cart tour make it a superior choice. With the ability to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time, you’ll have the opportunity to explore a wider expanse of the city. Moreover, the tour guides themselves are locals, boasting an intimate knowledge of all things Bisbee.
As I hopped aboard my golf cart, I was filled with anticipation for the journey ahead. The expertly designed route takes us through the heart of Bisbee, unveiling its hidden gems and offering insight into its rich history. With each turn, my guide regales me with captivating tales, revealing the secrets and legends that reside within this vibrant town.
Gliding through the streets, I was able to soak in the beauty of Bisbee’s architecture, its colorful facades standing as testaments to its storied past. The golf cart allows for effortless exploration, granting me the luxury of savoring every nook and cranny, all while comfortably seated.
The tour guides themselves are the true heroes of this experience. Their wealth of local knowledge and infectious enthusiasm bring the city to life, transforming each historical anecdote into a vivid tale. Whether it’s the rise and fall of the mining industry or the quirky stories of Bisbee’s eccentric residents, their passion for the city is contagious.
7. Watch Birds at the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory
Let me start by mentioning that the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO) isn’t confined to a single location. Rather, it encompasses several areas surrounding Bisbee, each offering a unique opportunity to observe a diverse array of avian species in their natural habitats.
As a passionate lover of nature, SABO holds a special place in my heart. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to preserving and studying birds, and they go above and beyond in providing captivating experiences for nature enthusiasts like myself. Guided bird walks, immersive tours, and exciting trips are just a few of the offerings available through SABO.
One activity that particularly stands out is the hummingbird banding sessions. These intimate encounters provide a rare opportunity to witness these exquisite creatures up close, as SABO’s experts carefully capture, band, and release them. The process is not only fascinating but also contributes to important research and conservation efforts.
Even if you aren’t an avid bird enthusiast, I highly recommend partaking in a SABO activity. It promises a serene and relaxing afternoon for the entire family. Imagine strolling through picturesque landscapes, guided by knowledgeable experts who share their wisdom about the feathered inhabitants that grace the skies above. The sheer diversity of species you’ll encounter is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
With binoculars in hand, I found myself completely absorbed in this captivating world of birds. From vibrant songbirds to majestic raptors, each sighting leaves me with a newfound appreciation for the intricate beauty of nature. It’s a humbling experience, reminding me of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the importance of conservation efforts.
8. Visit the Belleza Fine Art Gallery
Let me introduce you to the enchanting Belleza Fine Art Gallery, where artistic brilliance knows no bounds. Nestled within its walls are the extraordinary creations of 26 exceptional artists hailing from different corners of the world. The gallery is a vibrant tapestry of diverse art forms, boasting a captivating collection that spans oil paintings, pastels, multidimensional artworks, and even stunning copper masterpieces.
But there’s more to this gallery than meets the eye. It serves as a beacon of hope and support for those in need. Within its sanctuary, handmade furniture crafted by a nonprofit center for homeless women and their children is proudly displayed and available for purchase. By acquiring one of these remarkable pieces, you not only acquire a unique and cherished addition to your home decor but also contribute to the upliftment and empowerment of individuals facing adversity.
Beyond the realm of art, Belleza Fine Art Gallery is committed to nurturing young minds. They house a dedicated computer lab where children can expand their horizons and acquire vital computer skills, preparing them for the digital world that lies ahead. It’s a place where creativity and technology converge, fostering an environment that sparks inspiration and growth.
In addition to the artistic wonders that await you, the gallery treats its visitors to a delightful surprise. Every day, the air is imbued with the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. It’s an invitation to indulge in the sweet pleasures of life while immersing oneself in the realm of artistic expression.
9. Buy a cool gift
When it comes to finding the perfect souvenir or gift to commemorate your Bisbee adventure, the city boasts a treasure trove of charming gift shops waiting to be explored.
One such gem is the PanTerra Gallery, where a delightful fusion of fashion items and captivating photography await. Lose yourself in a world of artistic expression as you peruse their carefully curated collection.
If culinary delights are more your style, make sure to stop by Bisbee Olive Oil. Here, you’ll discover a diverse selection of exquisite olive oils and other gourmet delights that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
For those seeking a fiery kick, Bisbee Hot and Spicy is a haven of fiery flavors. Embark on a journey through a myriad of hot sauces, each with its own distinctive personality and heat level.
Vintage enthusiasts will find themselves enthralled by RedBone Bisbee Vintage. Delve into a treasure trove of timeless fashion, boots, and jewelry, each piece embodying a story of its own.
Indulge your senses and pamper yourself at Bisbee Soap & Sundry, where you’ll find an array of artisanal soaps and luxurious bath products. Let the scents transport you to a realm of relaxation and rejuvenation.
These are just a few of the many gift shops waiting to be discovered in Bisbee. Each shop offers a unique experience and an opportunity to find that special memento that captures the essence of your journey.
10. Send a Postcard at the Copper Queen Post Office
As I strolled through the charming streets of Bisbee, I came across a historical gem that beckons me to step inside: the Copper Queen Post Office. Whether I’m seeking to send a postcard to a loved one or simply bask in the nostalgia of this bygone era, this post office holds a special allure.
Though it may not be bustling with the same fervor as in its heyday, the Copper Queen Post Office still stands as a testament to its storied past. As I entered, I was greeted by the sight of over 2000 post boxes, each a tangible reminder of the bustling activity that once filled this space. I couldn’t help but imagine the flurry of letters exchanged between loved ones, as miners and workers sought to connect with their families and friends.
Today, while the volume of mail may have diminished, the post office continues to operate, faithfully serving the community and providing a link to the town’s rich history. It stands as a living testament to the importance of communication and the enduring power of the written word.
As I take a moment to soak in the atmosphere, I can’t help but appreciate the preserved beauty of the building itself. Its historical charm radiates from every corner, reminding me of the vibrant past of this mining town.
11. See the ghost town on Erie Street
As I delved deeper into the fascinating history of Bisbee, I stumbled upon a unique gem that takes me back in time: Lowell, a once-thriving mining city that now lives on in the form of Erie Street.
Walking down this preserved street, I was transported to an era when Lowell buzzed with the vibrant energy of a bustling community. The remnants of a bygone era come alive before my eyes as I explore this carefully preserved slice of history.
As I wandered along Erie Street, I was captivated by the sights that unfold before me. Vintage cars, some impeccably maintained and others adorned with a rusty charm, stand as silent witnesses to the passage of time. Their presence evokes a sense of nostalgia, reminding me of the automotive marvels that once graced the streets of this mining town.
Adorned along the street, I discovered a tapestry of old advertisements and billboard signs, each whispering stories of a vibrant past. These relics offer glimpses into the businesses that once thrived, leaving an indelible mark on the fabric of Lowell’s history.
Among the intriguing artifacts that pepper Erie Street, I came across a gas pump, a Greyhound bus, and countless other treasures. Each item tells its own tale, adding layers to the captivating narrative that unfolds around me.
12. Visit or rent the Muheim Heritage House Museum
As I meander through the enchanting streets of Bisbee, I stumbled upon a captivating piece of history: the Muheim Heritage House Museum. This charming abode, dating back to 1915, stands proudly before me, its grandeur and elegance beckoning me to step inside.
Eager to immerse myself in the past, I ventured through the doors and find myself transported to a bygone era. The interior of the house is a treasure trove of authenticity, boasting original furniture that harkens back to the early 20th century.
The walls resonate with the whispers of generations past, while the carefully curated exhibits and displays offer glimpses into the lives and stories of those who once called this house their home.
The panoramic views from the museum’s windows are a sight to behold, granting me a breathtaking vista of the city and its surrounding beauty. I find myself lost in a moment of tranquility as I soaked in the majestic landscape that stretches beyond the horizon.
Beyond being a museum, the Muheim Heritage House offers another delightful opportunity. This historic gem can be rented for special events and celebrations, allowing visitors to create their own cherished memories within the embrace of its timeless walls. The allure of hosting a gathering in this resplendent setting is irresistible, promising an unforgettable experience for all who partake.
13. Make contact with spirits at the Bisbee Séance Room
Immerse yourself in the captivating world of the paranormal by joining Kenny Steward, also known as Magic Kenny Bang Bang, for a spellbinding one-hour theatrical séance in Bisbee.
As I stepped into the mystical ambiance of the séance, I felt a sense of anticipation and intrigue. Kenny, our expert host, seamlessly intertwined history, magic, and entertainment to create an unforgettable experience. With each flick of his wrist and every word he spoke, he transported us into a realm where ghostly tales come alive.
The séance unfolded with a mesmerizing blend of storytelling and supernatural elements, as Kenny regaled us with chilling ghost stories that unfolded within the very fabric of Bisbee’s haunted past. It was a fascinating journey through the ethereal, where legends and apparitions intertwined in a tapestry of mystery.
What truly made this experience remarkable was the way it balanced thrill and entertainment. It wasn’t overwhelmingly scary, making it suitable for visitors of all ages. Families with children could join in the excitement, as Kenny skillfully crafted an atmosphere that intrigued and enchanted without causing undue fright.
14. See the Bisbee Restoration Museum
You can truly sense the pride and passion the locals of Bisbee have for their rich history. Their desire to share it with the world is evident in the Bisbee Restoration Museum, nestled on the vibrant Main Street of the city.
Stepping into this museum, I found myself immersed in a treasure trove of history spanning three captivating stories. Each floor brimmed with a remarkable collection of objects, from vintage clothes and nostalgic toys to exquisite pieces of furniture. Every item held a tale, providing a glimpse into the lives and experiences of the people who once called Bisbee home.
What makes this museum even more special is that all the exhibits are donated by locals who hold their heritage dear. It’s a testament to the deep connection the community has with its past. Walking through the halls, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for these generous contributions, as they allow visitors like me to witness the authentic way of life that flourished here many years ago.
The Bisbee Restoration Museum warmly welcomes visitors free of charge, inviting all to explore the remarkable narratives woven within its walls. However, as I discovered during my visit, donations are graciously accepted. These contributions play a vital role in preserving and sustaining the museum, ensuring that future generations can continue to marvel at the rich heritage of Bisbee.
15. Stop by the Bisbee Visitor Center
When I arrived in Bisbee, I knew the perfect place to start my exploration was the Bisbee Visitor Center. Located in the heart of the city, it serves as a hub of information and resources for curious travelers like me.
Stepping inside, I was greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable individual who was eager to share the hidden gems of Bisbee. They provided me with a wealth of information about the most beautiful places to visit, complete with detailed maps, brochures, and insider tips that would surely enhance my experience.
I was pleasantly surprised by the level of assistance offered by the staff. They patiently listened to my questions and took the time to provide comprehensive answers. It was clear that they genuinely cared about ensuring I had the best possible visit to Bisbee.
As I wrapped up my conversation with the helpful staff member, I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the gift shop. It was filled with an array of unique and charming souvenirs, each representing the essence of Bisbee. I couldn’t resist grabbing a few items to cherish as mementos of my time in this enchanting city.
Before bidding farewell to the Bisbee Visitor Center, I expressed my gratitude to the staff for their warm welcome and invaluable assistance. With their guidance and the wealth of resources at my disposal, I felt confident and excited to embark on my Bisbee adventure.