/ The Phoenix Traveler

Doors Wide Open in Bisbee, Arizona

Bisbee, ArizonaBisbee is a unique mining town; a picturesque getaway with charming, restored Victorian homes perched high on the outlying hillsides and a downtown center filled with gift shops, antique stores, cafes, museums, and art galleries. Once one of the richest mineral sites in the world, Bisbee is now an architectural masterpiece of historic buildings and rambling hillside streets; an ideal place to explore and step back in time.

Doors Wide Open Tour
If you’re looking for an excuse to take a day trip to this hidden gem only 90 miles south of Tucson, then consider visiting during Bisbee’s Fifth Annual Doors Wide Open Lodging Tour on Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to discover a variety of 21 historic, rustic, modern, eclectic, adventurous inns, hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts and guest houses.  Tours on both days are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For only $15 per person, each guest will receive a shuttle bus tour to all of the lodges, breakfast at the lovely Calumet & Arizona Guest House, (map) in historic Warren, live music by Train Wreck at the trendy Bisbee Coffee Shop patio and to top it off, a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning, (9 AM – 11 AM) in Goar Park in downtown Bisbee.

b&b, bisbee, arizona

A guest room at the elegant Letson Loft Hotel

All the hotels and inns are locally owned, comfortable, classic and are sure to make you feel right at home.  You’ll discover the architectural heritage of the town as well as how newer buildings add to its character today.  B & B’s such as a former school house, a guesthouse that was once a miner’s cottage with breathtaking, panoramic views and a historic hotel that played host to such notables as Theodore Roosevelt and John Wayne all make up the lodging tour.  You’ll also visit suites that were home to the local YMCA, a vintage trailer park featuring air-streams, the longest-standing brick Victorian building in Bisbee, now the Letson Loft Hotel, and the 1906 Bisbee Grand Hotel, fully restored and rumored to be haunted.

According to the Bisbee Chamber director Jeff Blankenbeckler, the annual tour offers visitors a unique, fascinating, and educational view of a historic area. “If you are interested in lodgings and surroundings that are authentic, diverse, and individualized, but with modern amenities, you’ll find our tour rewarding,” states Blankenbeckler.

Tickets for the Doors Wide Open tour are available at the Bisbee Chamber of Commerce and the Bisbee Visitor Center.  For reservations in advance, please contact the Bisbee Chamber of Commerce at 520-432-5421.

Copper Queen Hotel, Bisbee, Arizona

Copper Queen Hotel

While in Bisbee, Stay Awhile
While you’re there take advantage of the Walking Tours; the best way to enjoy Bisbee.  Walk the streets and stairways to see the majestic views of the town. A non-profit walking organization hosts a self-guided walk available from the historic Copper Queen Hotel (map) which I might add is worth a twirl around the lobby.  The tour will help you determine where you want to wander later to visit shops and galleries of your choice.

For both young and old, a trip to Bisbee is not complete without an underground tour of the Copper Queen Mine.  Don a slicker and hard hat and head on into the mine on a historic mine train. Five tours depart each day, seven days a week, from the Queen Mine Tour Building, located immediately south of Old Bisbee’s business district. They also offer a narrated van tour to learn about Bisbee’s early days when mining was in its heyday. It’s a popular tour so reservations are recommended. The cost is $13 for adults, $5.50 for ages 4-12 and children under 4 are free.  For more information call 1-866-432-2071.

Other Attractions In and Around Bisbee
If you have more time to spend in this part of Southeastern Arizona, I highly suggest that you take a tour of The Big Room at Kartchner Caverns and spend an afternoon at the OK Corral in Tombstone.  Although, I still haven’t had the chance to do so I would also picnic and hike the Chiricahuas, an amazing national monument right outside of Bisbee.

There are so many options for adventure whether you’re on the way to Bisbee or staying in town.  While in Bisbee, you’ll find the views breathtaking, the city quaint.  It’s the perfect getaway filled with old world charm and new world charisma.

Driving Directions from Tucson to Bisbee:
Bisbee is 90 miles Southeast of Tucson, and just over 200 miles from Phoenix.

The most scenic approach is to exit EASTBOUND I-10 on HIGHWAY 83 traveling south to Sonoita. From Sonoita travel east on HIGHWAY 82 to HIGHWAY 80 where you will continue east through Tombstone and on into Bisbee.

From HIGHWAY 80 take the Tombstone Canyon exit, which becomes MAIN STREET.

Photos courtesy of flickr: Copper Queen Hotel and Letson Loft Hotel.

Related places:
  1. A
    Calumet & Arizona Guest House
    608 Powell Street, Bisbee, AZ
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    Copper Queen Hotel
    11 Lowell Avenue, Bisbee, AZ
    View Details and Book

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