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Who are the Experience Arizona Adventurers?

Matt Marine

Matt Marine is an Arizona resident who loves exploring Arizona's wonderful outdoor adventures. To find out more about Matt, click the link below.

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Cat-Dog is my faithful trail companion. Her real name is Cammie. Why do I call her Cat-Dog?

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Sara Harelson

I’m Sara! I’m 21, a senior in college, and a journalism major.  I love to read, write, travel, and listen to music.  I’m always on to my next adventure.


See Intern Page for previous interns

Striking Gold in Bisbee

Text and Photos by Sara Harelson

What comes to mind when you picture an old western mining town founded in 1880? Maybe a one horse town with tumbleweeds rolling down the street or an old man sitting on his porch in a rocking chair.  

In Bisbee, there is more than meets the eye.

Drive into Bisbee and the first thing you see is hundreds of colorful houses carved into the mountainside. It seems like some don’t have driveways or any sort of way to enter the home; they’ve appeared out of nowhere.  The town certainly looks quirky. Turn down any of the random one-way streets and find yourself passing galleries and studios. The miners left when the mines closed down in the 1970s and in their place came the flower children looking for a cheap spot to live and showcase their artwork.

In addition to the art galleries, Bisbee is a self-proclaimed foodie town. Ask any local and they’ll send you to The Quarry for the best grilled cheese of your life or Café Roka whose delicious menu has been tweaked to perfection since its opening in 1992. They’ll also tell you how much pride restaurants from Bisbee take in their kitchens. Any type of food you’re craving– Bisbee’s got it. Noodle shops, French bistros, Mexican cantinas, and good old fashion diners line the streets enticing tourists to come in for a bite. Not only do these local eateries have mouth-watering entrees, they also include a variety of live music just about every night of the week. Pop into any bar or pub and catch a local band playing blues, county, or rock.  The Copper Queen Hotel even hosts a variety show Sunday nights for locals and tourists alike to grab a beer and listen to the newest act that week.

If you’re looking to grab a beer and hang out, Bisbee is the place to be. Old Bisbee Brewing Company brews their beers in large stainless steel containers in-house and has an outdoor patio complete with string lights and a bar to enjoy the beer of the week. Walk into any bar in town and be welcomed by a friendly face.  If you stop by the Copper City Saloon you may even be greeted with a wet kiss, from the bar mascot Princess the puppy. Princess is a tiny pup the owner rescued and now she runs the bar. A true rags to riches story.

Bisbee’s best kept bar secret? One so small you would walk right by it if you didn’t know where it was. The Room 4 Bar inside the Silver King Hotel has branded itself the Smallest Bar in Arizona. With just three barstools, one chair and one very friendly part-time magician, part-time bartender, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Although the bar is small, it doesn’t feel too cramped and there’s enough space to be comfortable and enjoy a great drink. If you’re not too keen on small spaces, the patio outside will accommodate you as well.

If you wait until dark, you can take a tour with Bisbee’s self proclaimed ghost host. Walk the streets of Bisbee at dusk with only a flashlight and your guide.  This two hour haunted ghost tour of the town takes you down dark alleys and past hotels with guests of the supernatural sort. This will give you the opportunity to learn the history of Bisbee and meet some of its most famous residents. If you’re brave enough, you can stay at The Oliver House Bed and Breakfast. This is Bisbee’s most populated haunt. With over 15 residential ghosts floating the halls, this spot has even been featured on ghost hunting shows. Don’t worry, these ghouls are similar to the residents of Bisbee and are friendly to visitors.

At the end of a long day you’ll be longing for a comfy bed with as much character as the town itself. At the Shady Dell just three minutes down the road from Old Town Bisbee, you’ll get a bed and a 1950s experience all in one. What started out as a campground to park trailers in 1927 turned into a trip back in time. You’ll stay in a restored Air Stream trailer or even a grounded boat. Each unit comes complete with a vintage record player and black and white television. The details of this place are incredible and you truly get the 1950s feel. Skip the ghost tour if you’re staying here because there’s a haunted cemetery right next-door!

Bisbee has turned into a true renaissance town complete with anything you could possibly need for a weekend trip. Although you may not actually strike it rich, rediscovering this town is a golden opportunity. So grab your cowboy boots and ghost hunting gear and head to Bisbee for a trip full of fine dining, ghosts and spirits (the alcoholic kind of course).

In case you’re inspired...

Old Bisbee Ghost Tour: http://www.oldbisbeeghosttour.com

The Shady Dell: http://theshadydell.com

Old Bisbee Brewing Company: http://www.oldbisbeebrewingcompany.com

Cafe Roka: http://caferoka.com


Have you been on this adventure? What did you think? Comments and updates welcome by clicking here.

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