Bisbee is a city in the Mule Mountains of southeast Arizona. Both the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum and the Bisbee Restoration Museum chronicle the city’s copper-mining past.
The vast Queen Mine offers underground tours. Homes that once belonged to miners run up Tombstone Canyon from Old Bisbee, the historic town center. The grand Muheim Heritage House has 19th-century furniture, plus gardens and mountain views.
Bisbee is a small city of 5,000 people, located in the Cochise County of the state of Arizona. It’s also the county seat.
It is located about 90 miles from Tucson and it was founded in 1880 as a mining town for gold, silver and copper.
While at first it may seem that there is not much to do around here, we will now present you the best things to do in Bisbee, Arizona:
1. See the Copper Queen Mine
Because this city is focused on mining, it is to be expected that the main attraction is related to it.
The Copper Queen Mine was actually the most productive copper mine in the county for many years. It brought lots of miners here and many of them eventually settled in Bisbee.
Even though it’s been closed for more than 30 years now, it’s a popular attraction for tourists who can go deep inside the mountain and see what it was like for the miners working there.
To have the full experience, you will get a helmet and headlight and take a small train deep into the mine. The guide worked in the mine for almost 20 years, so he is very knowledgeable.
2. Visit the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum
After seeing the actual mine and witnessing how everything happened in the past, now it’s time to visit the museum and enjoy lots of tools and objects used in that time.
You can also see many interesting photos of the mine and the people who worked there, which will help you travel back in time and learn everything about the history of this mining town.
You will find the museum in downtown Bisbee. The volunteer guides are friendly and knowledgeable and the visitors were very pleased with this museum.
3. Take the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour (if you dare)
Besides mining, Bisbee is also famous for being haunted. Get a look at the spookier side of Bisbee on this tour.
The host will take you to the streets, dark alleys and places where ghosts have been seen, and will tell you everything about the spooky apparitions.
To make things even more interesting and scary, the tour takes place at night. But don’t worry; it’s not that scary, so it’s appropriate for kids as well.
See Bisbee in an unconventional way with this ghost tour.
4. Have a Beer at the Old Bisbee Brewing Company
After a long day in the mine, the workers needed to relax and have a good beer, so Bisbee has many bars and breweries.
One of them is the Old Bisbee Brewing Company, a small yet fancy place with some amazing beer.
It offers a wide variety of drinks made in the brewery, plus various types of foods to enjoy. Have a seat, enjoy the view and try as many types of beer as you want.
The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and there is even free popcorn. Source: Old Bisbee Brewing Company
5. Be Amazed by the Lavender Pit
Yet another attraction related to mining, the Lavender Pit can be an astonishing view for those who have never seen such a sight.
This way you will also learn about the damage that mining does to a mountain.
Every day there was a blast that disrupted 75,000 tons of rock, until 1975 when the mine closed. Now there is a huge pit, with platforms from where visitors can view it.
There is also a commemorative plaque.
6. Take a Golf Cart Tour of the City
If the ghost tour at night doesn’t really suit you, then take a classic tour during the day. Or even better, take them both.
The Bisbee Tour Company offers guided tours across the city in cute golf carts or electric bikes. The carts are legal to drive on the streets and are also easy to access and insured.
Why is it better to take such a gold cart tour instead of walking? Well it’s easier and more convenient, plus you can cover a longer distance and see more of the city in a shorter period of time. The tour guides are locals and they know all there is to know about Bisbee. Source: BTC Lofts Tours & Accommodations
7. Watch Birds at the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory
First of all, let’s mention that the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO) doesn’t refer to a single place, but to multiple areas nearby Bisbee from where you can watch a wide variety of birds in their natural habitat.
SABO is a nonprofit organization that offers guided bird walks, tours and trips, hummingbird banding sessions and other activities for those who love nature.
So whether you are passionate about birds or not, this could make a nice relaxing afternoon activity for the entire family.
8. Visit the Belleza Fine Art Gallery
This beautiful art gallery exhibits the work of 26 amazing artists from all over the world. There are multiple forms of art, including oil paintings and pastels, multidimensional artworks and even some pieces made in copper.
But that’s not all. The gallery also sells handmade pieces of furniture that are made by a nonprofit center for homeless women and their children.
If you buy one of these items, not only you will have a unique piece of furniture at home, but you will also help those in need.
The Belleza Fine Art Gallery also has a computer lab where kids can learn computer skills, and they offer fresh chocolate chip cookies every day. Source: bellezagallery.org
9. Buy a cool gift
Whether you want to get an item for yourself to remind you of the time you visited Bisbee, or a nice gift for someone at home, the city has multiple gift shops that you can visit.
Among them you will find the PanTerra Gallery (fashion items and photography), Bisbee Olive Oil (a wide selection of olive oils and more), Bisbee Hot and Spicy (hot sauces), RedBone Bisbee Vintage (clothes, boots and jewelry), Bisbee Soap & Sundry (soaps and bath products) plus many others.
10. Send a Postcard at the Copper Queen Post Office
Whether you want to send a postcard to someone special or just admire the historical building, you can stop by the Copper Queen Post Office.
While not operating at full capacity as it used to back in the days, the post office is still functional.
It has more than 2000 post boxes, a reminder of the good ol’ days when the mines were in operation and thousands of workers were sending and receiving letters.
11. See the ghost town on Erie Street
And we’re not talking about the same type of ghosts as in the ghost tour. Lowell was a small mining city that was incorporated into Bisbee.
But as time went by, the buildings were destroyed to make space for the open pit of the mine, and residents moved away.
The city slowly disappeared, leaving only the Erie Street. Locals have now preserved this street in order to show visitors exactly how everything looked at that time.
You will find some amazing vintage cars (some in good shape, while others are rusty), old ads and billboard signs, a gas pump, a Greyhound bus and many more other interesting things.
12. Visit or rent the Muheim Heritage House Museum
This is a beautiful home from 1915 that was well preserved.
Now it not only offers a great view of the city and the surrounding area, but it also has a lovely interior with original furniture from that period.
You can take a tour of the home and find out more about its past, but you can also rent it for a special event or celebration. So if you pass nearby, make sure to stop in for a visit. Source: Karen Fasimpaur / Wikimedia
13. Make contact with spirits at the Bisbee Séance Room
Here’s another interesting activity for those passionate about ghosts and paranormal activities. Join the host Kenny Steward, aka Magic Kenny Bang Bang, for a one-hour theatrical séance.
This event combines history, magic and entertainment and presents various ghost stories that took place in Bisbee.
It’s a fun and unusual thing to do and it’s not that scary either, so the kids can join as well. Source: The Bisbee Seance Room
14. See the Bisbee Restoration Museum
As you can tell, the locals of Bisbee are very proud of their history and they want the whole world to know about it.
Located on the Main Street of the city, this museum has 3 stories filled with various objects, clothes, toys, pieces of furniture and so on.
All of the items were donated by locals, and it’s a great way to discover how people used to live here many years ago.
It is free to visit, but donations are welcomed, since this is how they keep the museum alive. Source: The Bisbee Restoration Association and Historical Society, lnc
15. Stop by the Bisbee Visitor Center
For more information about more beautiful places to visit as well as maps, brochures and useful tips, make sure to stop by the Bisbee Visitor Center.
A friendly person will tell you everything there is to know and will gladly answer all of your questions.
Plus, you can also get some cool souvenirs from their nice gift shop.