Bisbee, Arizona began as a mining town and although the mines have closed, the town survives, even thrives. Its focus has moved from ore to culture, and the once-mining community has become part artist colony and part retirement community. The history remains, however, and even informs how the town looks today. Its downtown, or "Old Bisbee," preserves Victorian homes and the beautiful Art Deco-style courthouse. Also preserved is Old Bisbee's hilliness - an old high school has a ground-level entrance on each of its three floors.
This historic downtown is worth a casual walk, but there's plenty of history held in not only Bisbee's museums, but in the remains of the shut-down mines. After visiting Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, you might want to give the Queen Mine Tour a look. This tour involves a ride on a mine train through the famous mine itself. Or you might drive past the Lavender Pit, this open pit copper mine also produced Bisbee Blue, a very fine turquoise.
When you've had enough of the mines and have spent some time with Bisbee's excellent art galleries and theater, head out past the suburbs to the Coronado National Memorial, or to the impressive volcanic rock of Chiricahua National Monument.
Bisbee is 82 miles southeast of Tucson, near the intersection of Arizona Highway 80 and 92.