Over the holidays in 2018 we drove down to Bisbee, Arizona for a quiet, small town getaway. We expected it to be tiny but packed with history – both accurate guesses for 2018. However, back in the early 1900’s it was booming! Bisbee was one of the most popular mining towns out West. In fact, it was the most populated town between St. Louis and San Francisco at the time. Their population was over 20,000 at its highest. Over the course of the century while mining there, they uncovered 8 billion pounds of copper, 102 million ounces of silver, and 2.8 million ounces of gold.
In the 1970’s the mine closed down and much of the population moved away. However, more recently some creative artists and free spirits fell in love with the town. Now it’s populated by around 6,000 people, many of which have invested time into renovating houses and opening boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, and art galleries – perfect for tourists!
We absolutely loved Bisbee and we made sure to hit all the hot spots. We want to share with you the best of the best in beautiful Bisbee!
Copper Queen Hotel
The most historic spot in the entire town is the Copper Queen Hotel. It is the longest operating hotel in Arizona and is located in the heart of downtown. Checkout the 1902 Restaurant for an elegant meal or the Saloon for some live music. We were trapped at the Saloon for awhile because the music suck is in and we literally couldn’t leave – it was so touching.
Copper Queen Mine Tour
Take an hour long tour underground into the old mine! This was the best part of the trip because it’s authentic: complete with a hard hat and a headlamp. Our tour guide was one of the actual miners who spent every day in these dark caves doing intense labor. You get to travel 1,500 feet into the mine and learn about the techniques they used – it’s fascinating! It only costs $13 and reservations are recommended so call for tour times.
Bisbee Mining Museum
This museum is in what was the original Copper Queen Mining headquarters. Now it’s home to this extraordinary museum that is two stories and filled with mining history. Part of the reason it’s so good is that it’s the first rural Smithsonian Institution partnership museum. It’s just $8 and open 10am-4pm.
Old Bisbee Ghost Tour
We booked this ghost tour on a whim and boy, are we glad we did. Even though we’re not sure if we believe in ghosts, it was a history-filled tour and we learned a lot of cool stories. As you walk around town, the tour guide points out stories at significant landmarks and you can use your flashlight to see in windows and glance at photos past tour participants have taken. It’s a nice way to get a lay of the land and see some of the haunted hotels up close. It’s held every night at 7pm for $15…
Top Three Restaurants in Bisbee
-Ana’s Seasonal Kitchen: Quaint and colorful breakfast spot.
-Bisbee’s Table: In the center of town with an awesome Reuben.
-Bisbee Breakfast Club: Walk around Lowell, the old town to checkout the classic cars!
Checkout the Letson Loft Hotel – spacious and lovely rooms.
We hope you get to checkout Bisbee someday!