Into the West
“Just fifteen minutes from Tucson at the base of the Tucson Mountains lay a preserved slice of Americana, Old Tucson. Passing through the gates of an old frontier town, visitors from around the globe are transported back to a time when fearless men with six shooters ruled the Old West. The perfect setting for the more than 300 movies and television productions filmed at the location since 1939.”
You can ride a stagecoach, pose with a cowboy, wander the movie sets, and watch an authentic looking gun fight (much better than the ones in Tombstone, IMO). A must see!
Of course there are shops where you can buy western themed merchandise, have your photo taken as a cowboy or dance hall girl, and cafes serving wagon-wheel pizza, barbeque ribs and cowboy beans. One of the things I loved best about Old Tucson Studios is the authentic feel of it. It is located in the middle of the mountains surrounded by saquaro forests and tumbleweeds. I met real cowboys who take visitors horseback riding on trails surrounding the studio. Unfortunately, we were a bit skittish about getting on the huge horses, so we passed.
The owners of the one of the Western shops were a husband and wife who looked like they just walked out of a John Wayne movie. They live on a ranch in Montana and come down to Tuscon during the winter months to escape the bitter cold.
So if you are looking for a fun, Real West experience, head to Old Tucson.
You’ll love it!