The Historic Gadsden Hotel
January 24th-25th, Thursday-Friday
$299 (Based upon Double Occupancy)
Just a few miles north of the Mexican border, Douglas, Arizona, once a remote ranching town, is home to the notorious Gadsden Hotel. Built in 1902, then destroyed by fire, the Gadsden was rebuilt in 1929 in the Art Nouveau style—offering a magnificent Tiffany stained glass window overlooking the lobby, and a sweeping Italian marble staircase up which Pancho Villa reportedly rode his horse. The hotel provided gracious hospitality to the growing business brought in by the mining industry and the settling of the Arizona Territory. The lobby of the Gadsden, “the living room” hosted cattlemen, ranchers, copper mining executives and businessmen. For all of the Gadsden’s rich history, the hotel also had a dark side—hosting gamblers, and notable lawless characters of the American West. Famously haunted, guests and staff members have reported paranormal encounters on every floor, with the third floor seeming to be the epicenter. The basement of the Gadsden is beyond fascinating—a 7,000 square foot labyrinth of twenty rooms—which secretly housed a speakeasy, bootleg whiskey tunnels, brothels, and more.
Day One: We’ll leave the Valley with a stop for coffee and goodies, on way to Tombstone—The Town Too Tough To Die. Tombstone is home to many great little restaurants where we’ll enjoy lunch on self, and later take some time to stroll the blood-soaked streets, before jumping back on the bus headed for Douglas. We’ll arrive at the Gadsden Hotel, check into our beautifully renovated hotel rooms, and after a refresh we’ll gather at the Saddle & Spur Saloon for Happy Hour—first round included! Later we’ll enjoy dinner on self at The Casa Segovia Restaurant, also located in the hotel. A great favorite with the locals, The Casa Segovia’s affordable menu runs from American favorites to traditional Mexican dishes. After dinner we’ll be joined by Anel Lopez, who along with her husband Florencio, currently owns the Gadsden. Anel will guide us on a spooky tour of the third floor, and then take us down into the basement. Anel loves to lead guests through the maze-like basement, recounting the darker history that arose from the underbelly of the hotel!
Day Two: Breakfast is on self at the hotel, then it’s bags out and we’re off to explore Slaughter Ranch, the former home of John Slaughter —Civil War veteran, Texas Ranger, trail-driver, cattle-king, sheriff, Arizona state representative and professional gambler. John Slaughter, more than anyone else, brought law and order to the Arizona Territory, with his six-shooter, repeating shotgun and Henry rifle. He was admired by Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, Billy the Kid and Pat Garret, just to name a few. To visit Slaughter Ranch is to truly take a step back in time. Originally known as San Bernardino Ranch, the atmosphere seems untouched since John Slaughter’s time. We’ll enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife, surrounding the old adobe ranch house, ice house, wash house, granary, commissary and more. Slaughter Ranch offers a glimpse of what life was like when John Slaughter rode. From here we’ll head to Bisbee, located 90 miles southeast of Tucson in the scenic Mule Mountains. Founded in 1880, Bisbee was one of the most cultured cities in the American West, the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. Downtown Bisbee still retains much of its Cosmopolitan charm, with its mining camp roots also fully on display in the notorious Brewery Gulch district, once home to 50 saloons and several brothels. We’ll explore the streets of Bisbee, now home to many interesting shops and galleries, and we’ll enjoy lunch on self with several wonderful restaurants to choose from. Midafternoon we’ll head for home, enjoying the incredibly scenic rolling hills of Southern Arizona and plenty of great stops along the way. This is a fabulous and affordable tour! Do not hesitate to call in your reservations—hotel rooms are very limited.
Depart: 8 a.m. R: 6 p.m.