We were more than happy to include Bisbee in our itinerary. As much as we love the beauty and serenity of nature, we also enjoy exploring interesting small towns. And of all of the places we’ve visited in our travels, Bisbee still reigns as the Queen of Quirky.
A Snapshot Of Scenic Bisbee
Tucked into a narrow gorge in the Mule Mountains, Bisbee overlooks an enormous pit mine. One would not imagine this to be scenic, and yet, it is. The streets are too narrow, many of the houses ramshackle, the steep stairways crumbling.
A Town Of Artistic Freedom
In any other town, the street art would be considered graffiti. Mosaics of broken pottery and toilet fixtures adorn retaining walls and homes, vehicles are encrusted with plastic figurines and baubles. In Bisbee, anything goes—and the result is a feeling of gleeful freedom that spills over to everyone who visits. Residents and visitors alike love Bisbee—or perhaps it’s simply that those who don’t, move along.
Adventures In Bisbee
We spent ten days in Bisbee in our favorite RV park perched on the edge of the mine, within easy walking distance to downtown Bisbee.
We walked the streets and hillsides every day, soaking in the creative spirit of the town. And we took every opportunity to immerse ourselves in the unique culture of this vibrant community—the music, the art, the food, and the people.
We hiked all of the stairs in Bisbee numerous times (the Bisbee 1000) and admired the street art.
And we hiked to the shrines on Chihuahua Hill overlooking the town.
We wandered the picturesque main street of nearby Lowell—a step back in time.
We went to the Saturday Farmer’s Market and stocked up on fresh local fare.
We visited the fine Bisbee Museum of Mining.
We lunched at The High Desert Cafe and Ana’s Seasonal Kitchen, an excellent new cafe. We celebrated with a special evening out at Cafe Roka. Much to our delight, our favorite Bisbee musicians, The Tin Can Tourists, were in town, and we enjoyed a couple of evenings of live music with them. We even attended Bingorama, an event to support the local art center.
We toasted the moonrise over the mountains from our cozy sites at the Queen Mine RV Park. As always, we had a blast in Bisbee, made even better by sharing it with good friends.
For more information about Bisbee, here’s our post from our visit last spring: Colorful Bisbee. Enjoy!
It’s been quite a few years since we visited Bisbee but we met artist Gretchen at her shop/studio and ate at Cafe Roka…brings back memories!
This place has got to be on our itinerary in the next year or two!
Oh yes, artist Gretchen is wonderful! We enjoyed her colorful art show opening last spring (she wore butterfly wings). And Cafe Roka is always delicious.
Wow, ten days? Perhaps we didn’t stay there long enough to immerse ourselves into the Bisbee culture as one day was plenty for me. Your photos make it very intriguing :-)
Haha, we planned on a week, but extended by a couple of days. There were a lot of fun things happening.
I agree that Bisbee is high on the list, and I think at least ten days is needed to really embrace the quirky. Any place where you look forward to camping by a pit mine is special :-) Your photos really capture the color. Love the derby dude in the door.
I agree, Jodee — it does take time to really get a “feel” for the culture of a town. The local folks are warm and welcoming and it was fun to be temporary locals.
I certainly hope you picked up a pair of those boots in the last picture and a nice hat like the one in the picture before. Love the retro gas pump and car and the retro station with the back of the babe picture. Your photographs always tell the story so well. What a great place! My envy is showing especially since I absolutely LOVE to play bingo. You guys are having way more fun than we are for sure.
Sherry, I’m so glad you noticed the retro gas station photo with the couple that just happened to be there when I was taking the photo — it’s my favorite! I can always count on you to notice the details. :-) You and David will love Bisbee.
I think you captured more of Bisbee than we ever saw in our numerous visits. Probably because we didn’t hike up as many stairs as you did. lol. Loved all your photos.
A lot of the quirky art is definitely up some mighty steep stairs. :-) So glad you enjoyed the photos, Jo. It’s a fun place, as you know!
Hey, I have a few Alaska friends that live there!
Well, next time we’re in Bisbee you need to meet us there! We can play a gig at the Quarry. ;-)
Thanks for taking us back to Bisbee. It is such a fun town and we really enjoyed our two weeks. Sure looks like you and Eric and your friends didn’t leave anything out either:)
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed Bisbee. We certainly didn’t run out of things to do! Pretty funny that we ended up with some similar photos without knowing it.
It has been too many years since we have been to Bisbee and it seems that much has changed. We love her quirkiness! It reminds me somewhat of Jerome but with more color. Love your photos Laurel!
Thanks, LuAnn — it’s the quirkiness and the warmth of the people that draws us. I haven’t been to Jerome in more than 20 years, but I remember those narrow winding streets!
Love it!! Will check this out for sure in our travels for the future. The full moon was amazing this time around.
Brenda, the Casita is just perfect for a trip to Bisbee. You’ll have a great time there.
one of our absolute fav towns in AZ. I could easily spend a month there. You captured it beautifully!
Thanks, Nina — we’ve been to Bisbee three times in the past few years and never tire of it. I was thinking this trip how fun it would be to just hang there for a month.
Bisbee must really worth a third visit! and ten days ! We were there only for a couple of hours, as we had a broken window that day. This quirky town that you have toured us will just have to be on our list again. Love your photos always, Laurel!
It’s a fun, colorful town and definitely worth a revisit, ML. Glad you enjoyed the photo tour!
Thanks for sharing your time and photos from Bisbee. It’s become one of our must-get-to places, thanks to the blogs our various friends have written. We’re thinking it could become our funky Cedar Key of the southwest. We’ve been hoping to change it up a bit in the next year, and we’re thinking some extended time in Bisbee is the answer. Just don’t know how our pup will manage all of the steps. though. ;)
I think you’re right, Karen — Bisbee is the southwestern counterpart to Cedar Key! We’re hoping to get back to Cedar Key this winter. Another quirky little town that we love. :-)