Day trips offer history, mystery, romance, fun

By Raya Tahan

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Southeast of Tucson, four historic towns Willcox, Sierra Vista, Tombstone and Bisbee offer Southwestern heritage and mystery.

Local innkeepers recommend Cochise County as a good mini-vacation. Marjorie G. Martin, the Peppertrees Bed and Breakfast innkeeper, suggests the nearby cities as affordable trips for students.

"If you want to stay busy for a few days," Martin said, "Cochise County is an excellent vacation spot."

Each town makes for an enjoyable day trip. By staying in "bed and breakfasts," travelers can tour the area in several days.

Heading 80 miles east on Interstate 10 leads Willcox. It houses the Amerind Foundation Museum of Native American History and Culture, as well as an Apache hideout and the Chiricahua National Monument.

Sierra Vista is south from I-10 on Highway 90. There you will find Fort Huachuca, the last outpost that is still active since the days of the frontier. A history museum provides more information and relics from the frontier era. Travelers can lodge at the San Pedro Bed and Breakfast, a converted ranch house. For reservations call (800) 333-9776.

Just west of Sierra Vista is Tombstone, known as "the town too tough to die." Must-sees include the OK Corral, the Boothill Graveyard and the Crystal Palace Saloon.

Walking distance from the sights of Tombstone is the Buford House Bed and Breakfast. For reservations call (602) 457-3969.

Further south on Highway 90 is "the mile-high town" of Bisbee. The streets are lined with historic architecture. Reminders from Bisbee's mining town days are the Lavender Pit Mine and the Queen Mine. Both are open for viewing.

Bisbee boasts shops that specialize in antiques, beaded jewelry and locally tie-dyed clothing.

The Bisbee Grand Hotel is a romantic downtown inn. For reservations call (800) 421-1909.

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