Road Trip: Cochise County, Ariz.

Looking for cowboy country? Take this drive through Cochise County!
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Credit: Dieter Braun

Credit: Dieter Braun

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2) Another not-to-miss event is held in Willcox. Going on for 65 years, Rex Allen Daysis held each fall and features a rodeo, concerts, and fun for the whole family. Even if you miss the event, you can still revel in the honorary cowboy’s glory at theRex Allen Museum & Willcox Cowboy Hall of Fame. Or, if you're traveling in April, be sure to check out theWillcox Wild West Fest & Chuck Wagon Cook-off.As an agricultural center of Arizona, Willcox provides residents and guests alike with no shortage of good food and drink, no matter what time of year.

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3) In fact, pick up some farm-fresh goods and wines and load up for a trip to the historic Slaughter Ranch—home of the “Meanest Good Guy in Arizona.” Sheriff John Slaughter was awarded his badge in 1886 and was known throughout the area as a soft-spoken man whose actions demanded respect. The Slaughter Ranch continues to be an Arizonan treasure and memorial to the man.

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4) Step back into the present with a stay in modern Bisbee, where shopping opportunities abound. Don’t miss visiting the museum-like Optimo Custom Hatworks for a glimpse into the step-by-step craftsmanship required to create a custom piece. If you’re a hankering craftsman yourself, consider signing up for a leathermaking workshop at the renowned Bisbee Craft School.

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5) No trip is complete without visiting Tombstone, home of the OK Corral, where daily reenactments portray the most widely known gunfight in cowboy history. Events are held throughout the year, so see if your plans lines up with Wyatt Earp Days, or even the Wyatt Earp Vendetta Ride, in which a group of riders relives the history horseback. 

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6) Conclude your wanderings in Sierra Vista, where the Buffalo Soldiers took on the famed Apache warrior, Geronimo, while they were based at Fort Huachuca in the mid-1880s. Don’t miss February’s CochiseCowboy Poetry & Music Gathering. And whether you’re there in February or not, do plan to eat at either Daisy Mae’s Stronghold, known for serving up a great steak with a healthy side of Wild West history you won’t soon forget.

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