Bisbee was originally a mining town in southeast Arizona. After the local mining industry collapsed, people began leaving in droves and it almost became a ghost town. However, the town held strong, has experienced a resurgence of visitors, and is thriving today.
In this post, we’re going to show you why we think Bisbee is a place you’re going to love!
Things to Do
Even though it’s a small town, you won’t run out of interesting things to do and see in Bisbee.
Back in the early 1900s, Lowell, Arizona was incorporated into Bisbee after much of the area was demolished to open up more mining pits. So as residents left the area, shops, gas stations, and even the police station were abandoned.
Local Bisbee residents now maintain these ‘abandoned’ spots on Erie Street. A walk down here will make you feel like you’ve turned back time.
Copper Queen Library
Did you know the first public library opened in Arizona was in Bisbee? You can still visit the Copper Queen Library today and not only check out the original architecture (from 1905) but some historic books and documents too.
Bisbee has over 350 different staircases built into the canyon surrounding the city. The tradition started in the late 1800s in order for residents and miners to get around town. Then during the Depression era, the Works Progress Administration commissioned men to build hundreds of concrete staircases all over the town.
If you want a good workout, climb up and down a few of these during your visit!
For much of its existence, Bisbee was a mining town. While the mines might be closed now, you can still experience what it was like to be a miner back in the day. Done your hard hat and yellow slicker and take a tour of the Queen Mine going 1500 feet underground.
Lots of people who visit the West are interested in ghost tours too. Thankfully, Bisbee doesn’t disappoint. Visitors love the variety of tours the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour Company offer.
Back in the heyday of Bisbee, the area around Ok Street and Brewery Ave was known as Brewery Gulch and it was home to many area “Wild West” saloons. Today, while it’s a bit tamer, there’s still plenty of fun to be had.
Bisbee is only a few miles from the US and Mexico border. From Interstate 10, which runs through much of the Southwestern US, Bisbee can be reached via Route 80.
It’s under two hours driving from both Tuscon and Nogales. The drive from both spots is relatively scenic as you will pass through Coronado National Forest on the way.
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