Credit: Dan Shewmaker

48 Hours in Bisbee

By: Michelle Jacoby

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March 31, 2019

How is it that a once-raucous, 1880s mining camp morphed into—according to Sunset magazine—"the best small town to live in in the West"? Easy. Bisbee embraced its rich historic identity and built a reputation as an eclectic enclave that's the envy of small towns everywhere.

About the author

Michelle Jacoby

Michelle Jacoby

Michelle Jacoby is a James Beard Award-nominated writer and content producer. An almost-Arizona native (she's lived here for 30 years), she is a former editor at The Arizona Republic and has written for several local and national publications. Michelle is also the publisher of BITE Magazine, an online publication that celebrates Arizona's food, drink and maker communities.

Arrive

Mid-afternoon

You've just rolled into town and you're looking for a place to call home for the next few days. Book a room at the charming Letson Loft Hotel, an eight-room boutique hotel housed in the longest-standing Victorian brick building in Bisbee.

Evening

Celebrate your first night in town at Café Roka, where chef Rod Kass uses locally sourced ingredients to create seasonal dishes. Pair your meal with an Arizona vintage from Sand Reckoner Vineyards, Dos Cabezas WineWorks or Callaghan Vineyards.

After dinner, take a stroll to the Bisbee Grand Saloon, located inside the historic Bisbee Grand Hotel. Enjoy a nightcap (or two) while you take in the saloon's 100-year history—best reflected in the antique back bar, which dates to the 1880s.

Day 1

Morning

Get your day off to a delicious start at the Bisbee Breakfast Club, located in the Lowell district, a mile-and-a-half southeast of town, at the end of the Lavender Pit mine. Breakfast staples abound, from eggs, bacon and home fries to fluffy biscuits swimming in gravy.

It's time to go underground—1,500 feet underground to be exact—to see the inner workings of the historic Queen Mine. Donning a hardhat and headlamp, you'll take a tram along the dark tunnels of the mine. Book your tour in advance and make note of appropriate dress.


Afternoon

Who knew learning about copper mining could work up such an appetite? Make your way to Screaming Banshee Pizza, a cozy-cool pizza joint housed in a former gas station, and try the Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down, made with mango chutney, satay chicken, mozzarella, red onion, black sesame seeds, shredded carrots and crushed peanuts.

Evening

Old Bisbee Ghost Tour hosts a variety of tours that tell the haunted tales of the town's history. Go on a family-friendly walking tour through Old Bisbee's Main Street, or hunt for ghosts using EMF detectors on a paranormal-experience tour. There's even a haunted pub crawl where you'll sip your way through Bisbee's spookiest bars.

Late night


ArizonaSeats not guaranteed at "Arizona's smallest bar," Room 4 Bar. / Credit: AOT

Cap a fun-filled day with a cocktail at Room 4 Bar, located at the Silver King Hotel. The hotel room-turned-bar has only four seats, making it "Arizona's smallest bar." Order a drink, then enjoy live entertainment performed by local musicians.

Day 2

Morning

Rise and shine to breakfast at Ana's Seasonal Kitchen, where chef-owner Ana Borrajo fuses Mediterranean flavors with ingredients of the Southwest. The small menu packs a big punch with offerings such as eggs with tomato, poblano chile and chorizo, or breakfast tacos—a trio of corn tortillas filled with potato hash, chorizo and scrambled eggs.

Midday

Work off breakfast with a little shopping. Main Street in Old Bisbee is peppered with charming stores and boutiques, including Acacia Art & Antiques for antique finds, Tumbleweed Gypsy for vintage clothing and Sam Poe Gallery for the newest piece to add to your art collection.

Imported world goods like blankets, dolls, and baskets line the walls near the cashier at High Desert Market and Cafe. Handcrafted world goods can be bought alongside fresh-baked pastries and grocery staples at High Desert Market and Café / Credit: An Pham

Don't leave town without fueling up at High Desert Market and Café. Enjoy European-inspired cuisine, such as hummus with feta and kalamata olives or smoked chicken with blue cheese and sliced apple on focaccia. Before you hit the road, stop at the Jonquil Motel for a selfie at the highly photographed "Sleepwalking" mural by artist Rose Johnson.

 


IF YOU GO

 

Acacia Art & Antiques
69 Main St.
(520) 432-2752

Ana's Seasonal Kitchen
105 Main St.
(520) 353-4015
anasseasonalkitchen.com

Bisbee Breakfast Club
75A Erie St.
(520) 432-5885
bisbeebreakfastclub.com

Bisbee Grand Hotel B&B
61 Main St.
(520) 432-5900
bisbeegrandhotel.com

Café Roka
35 Main St.
(520) 432-5153
caferoka.com

High Desert Market and Café
203 Tombstone Canyon
(520) 432-6775
highdesertmarket.net

Jonquil Motel
317 Tombstone Canyon
(520) 432-7371
thejonquil.com

Letson Loft Hotel
26 Main St.
(520) 432-3210
letsonlofthotel.com

Old Bisbee Ghost Tour
(520) 432-3308
oldbisbeeghosttour.com

Queen Mine
478 N. Dart Road
(520) 432-2071
queenminetour.com

Room 4 Bar
43 Brewery Ave.
(520) 432-3723
silverkinghotel-bisbee.com

Sam Poe Gallery
33 Subway St.
(520) 432-5338
sampoegallery.com

Screaming Banshee Pizza
200 Tombstone Canyon
(520) 432-1300
screamingbansheepizza.net

Tumbleweed Gypsy
31 Subway St.
(520) 732-9359
facebook.com/shoptumbleweedgypsy

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