The Bisbee AZ Road Trip Guide

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The Bisbee AZ Road Trip Guide

The Wild West.  Those words bring about feelings of nostalgia, gun fights, mining towns and ghosts that wander the streets at night.  That is Bisbee, Arizona.

Bisbee is an old copper mining town full of secrets and ghost stories, Wild West Saloons and eclectic art galleries, exquisite dining and down home meals.

You’ll need more than a day to really get to know the inner workings of Bisbee, but if you’ve only got one, here’s how to spend it!

About Bisbee, Arizona

Located about 90 miles southeast of Tucson, and just five miles north of the Mexican border, Bisbee is the county seat of Cochise County in Southeastern Arizona.

It was originally a mining town, but has resurrected itself as more of an arts community. This is thanks in large part to an influx of hippies in the 1960s. Bisbee is also a popular stop for tourists interested in historical towns, including popular mine tours and ghost towns.

Founded in 1880, Bisbee has found success as a mining town focused on copper, gold, and silver. Because of the varied demand over the years, Bisbee’s population ebbed and flowed between 3,000 and 10,000 people over the years, reaching its peak population of 9,914 in 1960. Currently, Bisbee is estimated to have a population of a little over 5,000 people.

A bastion of the “old Southwest,” Bisbee’s moderate climate makes it a popular destination for road trips and RVers. Though dry and desertlike, the average high temperatures during the winter vary from the mid-50s to mid-60s up to around 90 or so in the peak months of June and July.

The low temperature generally averages in the low to mid 30s in the winter time and the low 60s during the summer months. Bisbee does have a monsoon season, which drops about 10 inches of rain July to September.

Morning

Breakfast at Bisbee Breakfast Club

Address: 75A Erie St., Bisbee, AZ

With names such as Eggs Zorba and Eggs Popeye, along with other great menu items like corned beef hash and chicken fried steak, the Bisbee Breakfast Club offers so many choices, you’ll just have to come back to eat here again. How about some Blue Granola Cakes or baked oatmeal or anything South of the Border? They’ve got all that and more.

Located in the historic Rexall Drug Building, you’ll get a fantastic meal, homemade pies and a history lesson all in one place. Well known to both tourists and locals alike, this is not just a restaurant, it is a destination and an experience, and a true home away from home.

Tour the Copper Queen Mine

No one should visit Bisbee without visiting the Copper Queen Mine. This mine is in the far southeast corner of Bisbee, a true mining town.

Closing in 1975, Bisbee is known as the one of the greatest copper camps the world has ever known. You can tour a few of these mines experiencing first hand the hard work that takes place in the mining industry. Head back into time and underground as you don a headlamp, hard hat and yellow slicker to head 1500 feet into the famous Queen Mine. Prices are $14 for adults and $6.50 for kids.

Image Source: Trevor Huxham on Flickr

Afternoon

Eat lunch at Bisbee’s Table

Address: 2 Copper Queen Plaza, Bisbee, AZ

Bisbees Table is renowned for having the best burgers in Bisbee. But, this place brings a lot more to the table than just burgers. You’ll find cajun calamari, mussels and drunken mushrooms to name a few.

Add into your nibbles a basket of flavorful fries or maybe an artisan pizza or two, and you can’t go wrong.  But their burgers…those are what people come here for. Burgers with names like the Austin Burger and the Twisted Sister, well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.

The way they prepare food –  local, organic, light, fresh, and always changing – is the way they prepare for life and their customers, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

This Bisbee restaurant also offers a special menu just for gluten free diets, including their famous burgers. Complete with fresh roasted coffee and handcrafted cocktails, your lunch date might last a little longer than planned.

Stroll the Art Galleries in Downtown

Bisbee is surrounded by the beauty of the Arizona mountains and stark desert. But within its old mining city streets, you’ll find an eclectic array of art galleries. 

Take your time strolling through Old Bisbee. You can window shop and wander into the many stores that each have their own unique stories.

Artemizia Gallery specializes in Andy Warhol, Judy Chicago and more. And then there’s Panterra Gallery specializing in fine art photography. Or, Art Home known for things that cannot be found anywhere else!

Visit the Bisbee Séance Room

Yes, Bisbee is known for its mining history. But it’s also known for its chills and thrills of haunted tales! There’s no better place to connect with the other world than the Bisbee Séance Room.

Upon entering Magic Kenny Bang Bang’s (you gotta love the name) Victorian Parlor, you will automatically be whisked away into the secrets of spirits long gone. Maybe you will experience an actual ghost sighting. Maybe you will think it’s all just a show.

Whatever you decide happened while visiting is up to you. However, you’ll always wonder if it was really real. Was it? Don’t miss out on the curiosity, reserve your seats now.  Tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for kids.

Evening

Dinner at Cafe Roka

Address: 35 Main St., Bisbee, AZ

If you don’t eat dinner at Cafe Roka, you won’t experience a true day in Bisbee, Arizona. The menu starts off with a small bite collection of artichokes wrapped in prosciutto, dates with blue cheese and bacon and more to get your taste buds salivating.

Short ribs, lasagna, grilled duck, and salmon are just a few of the mouth-watering entrees to choose from. And don’t forget a handcrafted cocktail or a bottle of wine to pair perfectly with your evening meal. 

Cafe Roka offers a culinary experience in the heart of Old Bisbee that you won’t forget.

Chef Rod Kass has a passion for quality and locally sourced ingredients. He creates meals that are meant to be experienced, not just consumed. Live music every Friday and drool-worthy food make this rural Arizona restaurant stand out from the crowd.

Image Source: Jacqueline Poggi on Flickr

Drinks at St Elmo Bar

Address: 36 Brewery Ave., Bisbee, AZ

Fancy is not the game here; fun is. And that’s the way they play when it comes to their drinks. 

Order what you’d like from the bar, be it a cocktail, a glass of wine, or some beer. You’ll get what you ordered, dive bar style. Simple and fun with all the attitude, flair and laughter of a true bar. While they may not be fancy, with Bisbee’s own craft brewery right across the street, they even have a few craft beers on tap.

There’s no better way to end your day exploring Bisbee than stopping for a drink at a true dive bar in a true mining town.  Except maybe having a drink here, and then embarking upon a ghost tour.

But before seeking out the ghosts, cozy on up to the bar! Either way, your time spent here will elicit great conversations from the locals while enjoying a local craft beer or a dive bar drink that will make your upcoming ghost tour even freakier.

Take a Ghost Tour

Bisbee is haunted.  Or is it?  You get to decide when you embark upon The Old Bisbee Ghost Tour.

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, you’ll get a fascinating history lesson while wandering the streets of Bisbee with people that know how to entertain.

There are ghost tours, haunted pub crawls, and more! You’ll be chilled to the bones while reveling in Bisbee, Arizona’s historical events. With prices starting around $20/person, this is the perfect – or should we say, creepiest – way to end your day in Bisbee, Arizona.

Where to stay?

Queen Mine RV Park

Address: 473 N. Dart Rd., Bisbee, AZ

This is the only RV park in Bisbee. And, with its close proximity to this Wild West town, you’ll be set up and wandering the streets here in no time.

Big rig friendly, full hookups, and basic amenities you expect and need from an RV park, your stay here may not be chock full of fancy amenities, but that’s what Old Bisbee is for. They offer nightly, weekly and monthly rates with nightly rates starting at $35/night.

Located within walking distance to Old Bisbee, Queen Mine RV Park is the perfect place to stay while exploring Bisbee.

Queen Mine RV Park is dedicated to a well-known local man by the name of Stan, and this small family owned and operated park continues that welcoming feel into everything they do.  Come as a tourist, feel like a local. 

A Day in Bisbee, Arizona

It’s the simplicity of the Wild West Days that brings back that nostalgic feeling.  And spending a day in Bisbee, Arizona, definitely makes one nostalgic.

From touring mines to seeking out ghosts and all the food and drinks in between, life is simple when that’s all you need to do.

So, in your re-creation of the Wild West, may you find a new piece of art or two, work the hard life for only a moment in the copper mines of the Arizona mountains and cheers a drink or two to the ghosts that made your day in Bisbee, Arizona, possible.

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1 comment

  1. My roommate and I love Bisbee. Have been there many times, usually during the 3rd weekend in October for the “Bisbee 1000 stair climb”. Yes, we’ve participated AND we’re from Sun City, AZ! Thuy’s Noodle Shop is a great place to eat with piping hot Thai food. We’ve made it a point to have dinner there the last two times we were in town. Hiking up to the cross is quite an adventure and the bird’s eye view of the town can take your breath away (or it could be the climb … but what an excellent way to prepare for the race). Also, we find just strolling up and down the roads to take in all the colors of the houses and businesses is fun. Oh my! After reading your article, there looks to be another trip to Bisbee in the future … along with visiting the Chiricahua Mountains.

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