Tucked in Arizona’s southeastern corner, Cochise County, Arizona invites you to recharge your battery. The expanse of mountain and sky, from sunrise to sunset, will make flipping your phone from selfie to scenic as natural as breathing. Fill up with fresh air, brilliant stars, and clear blue skies. Relax. Rejuvenate. Revive.
Get Cool, Underground. At Kartchner Cavern’s State Park near Benson. This living cave was voted the “Best Cave in the U.S.” by USA Today readers. It is a wondrous trip into the cool earth where soda straw formations and the massive “Kublah Kahn” column—formed over millions of years—puts a pinging inbox in perspective. Turn on your headlamp as you head back in time at Bisbee’s Queen Mine Tour for a glimpse into the community’s 1800s hey-day. Ride the train deep into the mountain, search for remaining veins of copper and gold, and experience the lives of miners as they toiled in the subterranean tunnels.
Travel Back in Time. Enjoy the view under intricate architecture of Douglas’ Gadsden Hotel, one of the last “grand hotels.” Built in the early 1900s, its marble staircases and gold-leaf embellished ceilings will make your heart skip a beat. At the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, visit the John Wayne room where The Duke himself stayed quite a few times. He had custom furniture made for the room, which is now displayed in the bar. Or you can play cards on his card table and chairs in the second-floor foyer.
Hunt Down a Ghost Town or Two. The 19th century saw hundreds of towns spring up across the West, many of which died when resources dried up. Today, most are just floors and some walls, but in the ghost towns of Fairbank and Gleeson have restored historic buildings. Fairbank was built along the San Pedro River as a transport hub and supply depot close to Tombstone. Its schoolhouse has been restored as a visitor center and bookstore. Gleeson was a prosperous copper mining town from 1909 to the 1930s. The owners of its restored jailhouse hold monthly open-house events for visitors.
Work It Out. Whether you hike, bike, climb, or walk, there are plenty of ways get your 10,000 steps. Escape in the canyons near Sierra Vista – the “Hummingbird Capital of the United States.” Explore Coronado National Memorial, where cowboys and Conquistadors got in their steps long ago. Hike some of Bisbee’s hundreds of stairs, where staircases stand in for sidewalks on the hills of this old mining town. Head toward Willcox for birding, rock climbing, or hiking in Cochise Stronghold and Chiricahua National Monument.
Keep Your Head Up. Birding is one of the many reasons people come to Cochise County. Birding hot spots, events and tours offer potential sightings of more than 400 species of birds. Continue your mindfulness into the night. With comfortable temperatures and clear skies, Cochise County is ideal for stargazing. Visit an observatory or take your telescope off the beaten path and soak up star-studded skies.
Enjoy a Timeless Meal. The foodie in you will rejoice at Sierra Vista’s surprising—and authentic—international choices, like German, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Thai. Add the rich Mexican heritage of Douglas and Willcox’s cowboy fare and you have a satisfying buffet of culinary riches. Medal-winning Willcox wines and Bisbee microbrews complete any meal. The only thing you’ll stress about is whether to have a small or tall.
Your everyday grind is an echo from the past as you cuddle up under starry skies. Rise with the dawn, sleep till late—whatever you do, let the day unfold in an abundance of exploration. Begin your Cochise County, Arizona adventure at ExploreCochise.com.