First, I need to print a retraction. I had said all the motel rooms between Tucson and Tombstone were taken. There are still rooms available in Bisbee, Sierra Vista, and Benson for the 125th Anniversary of the Shootout at the OK Corral (October 23-29).
I did a quick check on Orbitz for Benson and came up with several properties with rooms available. Orbitz shows rooms available in Sierra Vista. Two properties in Bisbee still have rooms available.
That will teach me to listen to Internet gossip! I do apologize. Aside from the Holiday Inn Express in Benson, I cannot vouch for the properties listed. There are several three star properties, so you should be alright. I’ve noticed there appears to be an increase in prices in the motels in Sierra Vista, though.
The Best of Tombstone
I’ve been visiting Tombstone for a decade now. On my first research visit, I found this wonderful Mexican restaurant, Don Teodoros, and a remarkable musical treasure, Juan de Granada. Don T’s no longer exists, but fortunately the Tombstone Boarding House Bed & Breakfast features two dinner menus. The Lamplighter Room has a menu that pleases even my incredibly picky mother, who waxes poetic over their salmon. They also have Don T’s Mexican Menu, featuring one of the best margaritas you will ever consume.
But, more importantly, they have Juan!
Juan de Granada is simply one of the finest virtuoso classical guitarists you will ever have the honor to encounter. He is laid back with his long gray ponytail, and very long, lanky legs. It is difficult to separate Juan’s personality and charm from his music. Both are remarkable, as his is memory. He remembers his fans who have a tendency to return year after year just to spend a couple of hours sipping margaritas and listening to his dramatic Flamenco or a rendition of some Willy Nelson song.
Juan’s repertoire is eclectic, ranging from classical to cowboy and everything in between. You never know who will be in his audience. For example, one evening about a year ago, there I was having dinner when a Hollywood A-List Movie Star (this one was a star) and her husband were seated in the small dining room at a table behind us. They had ridden their Hogs from Los Angeles to Tombstone on a weekend jaunt — to listen to Juan! Her husband, the scion of a very famous musical family, remarked that Juan was one of the finest musicians he had ever encountered.
Those of us who return year after year are fortunate enough to be called ‘friend’ by Juan. The moment a friend walks in, he stops what he is playing and automatically starts playing our favorite music. For me, it is his Flamenco.
I’ve never stayed at the Tombstone Boarding House Bed & Breakfast, but I have friends who refuse to stay anywhere else. Tombstone is a funny place. We all have our favorite places to stay. Every dealing I’ve had with the B&B has been pleasant. They try to please their customers.
I’ve not stayed at the Best Western Look Out Lodge for several years now. When I did, it was clean and comfortable. They have a cactus garden that overlooks the distant mountains and provides a gorgeous sunrise view. Like the Tombstone Boarding House B&B, I know people would not stay elsewhere.
The best place to stay in Tombstone is the Larian Motel. That’s what its owner, Gordon Anderson, says. Seriously, Gordon is a friend, so I may be a bit prejudiced. The Larian is located between 4th and 5th on Fremont next door to Schieffelin Hall. It is immaculate and comfortable.
Gordon is always on call (poor thing) until ten in the evening. I refuse to stay in any room but Number Eight, called the “Luke Short Room.” My only complaint is he doesn’t have a coffee table where I can prop my feet. The rooms include coffee maker, hair dryers, and the usual modern appliances.
The older rooms, like “mine,” have great closets. His newer rooms have microwaves and small fridges, as do some of the older ones. The other thing that makes the Larian so special is its employees. Maggie is back from England. They are nice, terribly honest, and will go above and beyond.
Gordon allows well-behaved pets. I stress well-behaved because it is a running joke now about my toy poodle, Rumsfeld. My previous poodle, Clancy, was the perfect lady. She loved going to Tombstone and was always welcome. But, this little stinker, by the time he was four months old, was banned from the Larian because he literally trashed my room one morning. (He shredded every piece of paper in the trash basket and unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper). Gordon has suggested an exorcist. Rumsfeld is nearly two years old and his behavior has not improved.
The other great thing about the Larian is its location. You are a short block away from “Downtown” Tombstone. All you need to do is hoof it across Fremont and you will be in the Crystal Palace Saloon in about a minute.
When you walk into the Crystal Palace Saloon, it is like you are stepping into yesterday’s Tombstone. It can be noisy at night, full of cigar smoke, but it is a saloon. What I find fascinating is the fact that no matter the constant barrage of tourists, the people who work there are still polite. Go figure.
Big Nose Kate’s Saloon is across the street from the Crystal Palace. Thursday night’s karaoke is loud. Located in the remains of the Grand Hotel, it is a little tawdry, but fun. I would not recommend bringing anyone under eighteen on Thursday nights. Things can get a little crude, quickly.
The other watering hole I like is the Dragoon Saloon. Located at the far end of Allen Street, maybe a block and a half from Big Nose Kate’s, it is the exact opposite of the latter. It is quiet, blessedly quiet. It is a place where a group can go and move the tables around, grab something to drink, and talk until “last call.” The Dragoon Saloon now has one advantage I hesitate to mention because they are unique (thus far) in Tombstone. They have Wifi!
Next time we will discuss stores and shopping — oh my! Tombstone is a great place to shop for jewelry, books, and believe it or not, antiques. But Bisbee — it is quirky, artsy, antique, exhausting, and devastating to the bank account.