Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Benson, Arizona

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Benson, Arizona: Where Fun and Adventure Collide – Check Out the Best Places to Visit and Things to Do!

You’re in Benson, Arizona, and you’re wondering what to do. You’re in luck because Benson has a lot to offer! From natural wonders to family fun, you’re sure to find something that will pique your interest.

Take a historical journey through Benson by visiting the Benson Historical Museum. You’ll be transported back in time to the early days of Benson and learn about the town’s rich history. If you’re a fan of film and TV, you’ll be delighted to know that Benson has been the location for many productions, including “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” and “The High Chaparral.” You can visit the sites where these productions were filmed and relive some of your favorite moments.

If you’re looking for outdoor activities, Benson has plenty to offer. Kartchner Caverns State Park is a must-visit for anyone who loves nature. You can explore the stunning caverns and learn about the unique formations that make them so special. If you’re into astro-tourism, Benson is the perfect place for stargazing. The clear skies provide an excellent view of the stars, and you can even attend a star party at the nearby observatory.

Key Takeaways

  • Benson offers a variety of activities for all interests, from historical museums to outdoor adventures.
  • You can explore natural wonders, enjoy family fun, and experience cultural events in Benson.
  • Benson is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a unique and memorable vacation.

Historical Journey

If you’re a history buff, then Benson, Arizona, is the perfect place for you. With its rich local history and proximity to other historic sites like Tombstone, Benson is a treasure trove of historical gems waiting to be discovered. Here are a few places you should definitely visit to get your history fix:

Benson Historical Museum

First on your list should be the Benson Historical Museum. Located in the heart of downtown Benson, the museum is housed in the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Station ruins. Here, you’ll learn about the town’s fascinating history, from its early days as a railroad stop to its role in the Old West. The museum features exhibits on local history, including the Earp brothers and their infamous shoot-out in Tombstone. You’ll also get a glimpse into the daily lives of early settlers and the challenges they faced in this rugged frontier town.


Speaking of the Earp brothers and their shoot-out, you can’t visit Benson without taking a trip to Tombstone. Just a short drive away, this historic town is famous for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp. You can visit the site of the shoot-out and even take a tour of the town on a horse-drawn carriage. Don’t forget to stop by the Bird Cage Theatre, where you can see the original fixtures and furnishings from Tombstone’s most infamous saloon.

Old West

Of course, Benson itself has its own Old West charm. You can take a stroll down Main Street and imagine what it was like in the town’s early days. You’ll see historic buildings like the Benson Hotel and the Cochise County Courthouse, which was built in 1929. You can also visit the nearby Double R Ranch, where you can experience life on a working ranch and learn about the history of the Old West.

So, there you have it – a brief overview of Benson’s rich history and the places you should visit to experience it for yourself. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun and educational day trip, Benson has something for everyone.

Natural Wonders

Are you ready to explore the natural wonders of Benson, Arizona? From stunning limestone caves to majestic mountain ranges, Benson has it all. Here are some must-visit natural wonders that you shouldn’t miss:

Kartchner Caverns State Park

If you’re a fan of caves, then Kartchner Caverns State Park is a must-visit attraction. This limestone cave is home to some of the most impressive stalactite formations you’ll ever see. You can take a guided tour of the cave and learn about the delicate ecosystem that exists within. Don’t forget to bring a jacket, as the cave stays a cool 68 degrees year-round.

Whetstone Mountains

Looking for a scenic drive? Look no further than the Whetstone Mountains. This mountain range is home to some of the most breathtaking views in Benson. Take a drive up to Mescal Lookout and take in the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. You might even spot some wildlife along the way!

The Thing

If you’re looking for a quirky roadside attraction, then The Thing is the place for you. This mysterious exhibit is housed in a roadside museum and promises to show you “The Thing”. What is it? You’ll have to visit to find out! Some say it’s a mummified alien, others say it’s a fake. Regardless, it’s a fun and unique stop on your Benson adventure.

So there you have it, some of the best natural wonders to explore in Benson. Whether you’re a cave enthusiast or just looking for a scenic drive, Benson has something for everyone.

Family Fun

Looking for some family-friendly activities in Benson, Arizona? Look no further than these fun and unique attractions!

Forever Home Donkey Rescue

If you’re an animal lover, you won’t want to miss a visit to the Forever Home Donkey Rescue. This rescue is dedicated to providing a safe and loving home for donkeys in need, and they offer tours and educational programs for visitors of all ages. You’ll get to meet some of the adorable resident donkeys, and learn about the important work that goes into caring for these gentle creatures.

San Pedro Golf Course

If you’re looking for a more traditional family activity, head to the San Pedro Golf Course. This beautiful course offers 18 holes of challenging golf, as well as a driving range and practice greens. Plus, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and desert landscape, you’ll be able to enjoy the natural beauty of Benson while you play.

Double R Guest Ranch

For a true taste of the Wild West, head to the Double R Guest Ranch. This ranch offers a variety of horseback riding and trail ride options, as well as a petting zoo and other fun activities for kids. And if you’re traveling with your furry friends, you’ll be happy to know that the Double R is dog-friendly, so you can bring your pups along for the adventure.

So whether you’re looking to hang out with some adorable donkeys, perfect your golf swing, or channel your inner cowboy, Benson has something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Cultural Experience

If you’re looking for a cultural experience in Benson, you won’t be disappointed. Here are some must-visit places to satisfy your cultural cravings.

Quarles Art Gallery is a hidden gem in Benson. It features a wide variety of artwork from local and regional artists. You’ll find everything from paintings to sculptures to pottery. The best part? You can take some of the art home with you! The gallery offers pieces for sale, so you can support local artists and add something unique to your home decor.

Benson Public Library

The Benson Public Library is not your average library. It’s a community center that hosts events, workshops, and classes for all ages. You can attend a book club meeting, learn a new skill, or participate in a craft fair. And of course, you can check out books, movies, and music. Don’t miss the children’s section, which is a great place to introduce your little ones to the joy of reading.


The theater scene in Benson is alive and well. You can catch a movie at the historic Ocotillo Theater, which has been around since the 1940s. Or, if you’re in the mood for live theater, check out the performances at the Benson Center for the Arts. They offer a variety of shows throughout the year, from musicals to dramas to comedies. You might even discover a new favorite play or actor.

Whether you’re an art lover, a bookworm, or a theater buff, Benson has something for you. Don’t miss out on these cultural hotspots!


Looking for a unique and out-of-this-world experience in Benson, Arizona? Look no further than Astro-Tourism! Benson is a great place to stargaze, and there are plenty of places to do it.

Butterfield RV Resort Observatory

If you’re looking for an observatory that’s both convenient and fun, check out the Butterfield RV Resort Observatory. This observatory is located right on the grounds of the RV resort, so you don’t have to travel far to get a good look at the stars. The observatory is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights, so you can enjoy a star show with your friends and family.

Observatories & Planetariums

If you’re looking for more options, Benson has plenty of observatories and planetariums to choose from. Check out the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, which is located just outside of town. This observatory is home to several telescopes, including the MMT Observatory, which is one of the largest telescopes in the world. You can take a tour of the observatory and learn about the stars and the universe.

Another great option is the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, which is located in Tucson, about an hour’s drive from Benson. This planetarium has a state-of-the-art digital projection system, which allows you to see the stars and planets up close and personal. You can also check out the exhibits and learn about the history of astronomy.

So, whether you’re a seasoned astronomer or just looking for a fun and unique activity, Benson has plenty of options for you. So grab your telescope and head out to Benson for a starry night you won’t forget!

Culinary Delights

When it comes to culinary delights, Benson has a lot to offer. From classic American diners to Mexican restaurants, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds. Here are some of the best places to eat in Benson.

Arena Bar

If you’re looking for a saloon-style experience, head over to Arena Bar. This place has a classic Wild West vibe, complete with swinging doors and a wooden bar. You can enjoy a cold beer or a whiskey while chatting with the friendly locals. Plus, they have live music on weekends, so you can dance the night away.


Benson has a variety of restaurants to choose from, whether you’re in the mood for pizza, burgers, or tacos. Here are some of the best options:

  • Mi Casa Restaurant: This family-owned Mexican restaurant serves up delicious dishes like carne asada and chile rellenos. Plus, their margaritas are some of the best in town.
  • Horseshoe Cafe: This classic diner has been serving up breakfast and lunch since 1946. Try their famous biscuits and gravy or their juicy burgers.
  • Crossroads Cafe: This cozy cafe serves up homemade soups, sandwiches, and salads. Don’t miss their daily specials, which are always delicious.


If you need a caffeine fix, Benson has a few great coffee shops to choose from. Here are some of the best:

  • Benson Coffee Company: This local coffee shop roasts their own beans and serves up delicious espresso drinks. Plus, they have a variety of pastries and sandwiches to choose from.
  • Dutch Bros Coffee: This drive-thru coffee chain is known for their friendly service and delicious drinks. Try their signature Rebel energy drink for a pick-me-up.
  • Starbucks: If you’re a fan of the classic coffee chain, you’ll be happy to know that Benson has a Starbucks. Stop in for your favorite latte or frappuccino.

No matter what you’re in the mood for, Benson has something to offer. So grab a bite to eat and enjoy all that this charming town has to offer.

Shopping Spree

Looking for some retail therapy? Benson has got you covered with its unique shopping destinations. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, gifts, or antiques, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

Gift Shops

Benson has a variety of gift shops that offer a range of items, from quirky souvenirs to handmade treasures. Check out some of the best gift shops in Benson:

  • The Benson Visitor Center Gift Shop: Located in the heart of downtown Benson, this gift shop offers a wide variety of souvenirs and gifts that are perfect for remembering your trip to Benson.
  • The Rusty Bolt: This gift shop is a treasure trove of unique items, from vintage signs to handmade jewelry. You’re sure to find something special here.
  • The Little House of Funk: If you’re looking for something a little offbeat, this gift shop is for you. They offer a variety of eclectic items, from funky home decor to handmade clothing.

Antique Shops

Benson is also home to some great antique shops, where you can find everything from vintage furniture to rare collectibles. Here are some of the best antique shops in Benson:

  • The Antique Station: This antique shop is a must-visit for any antique lover. They offer a wide variety of items, from vintage clothing to antique furniture.
  • The Pickin’ Parlor: If you’re looking for unique vintage finds, this antique shop is for you. They specialize in vintage clothing and accessories, as well as antique toys and collectibles.
  • The Rusty Bolt: In addition to their gift shop, The Rusty Bolt also offers a great selection of antiques. You never know what treasures you’ll find here!

So, whether you’re looking for a quirky gift or a rare antique, Benson has something for everyone. Happy shopping!

Film and TV Locations

If you’re a movie buff, Benson has some exciting places to visit that will transport you right into the world of your favorite films and TV shows. Here are two must-visit locations:

Gammons Gulch

Gammons Gulch is a movie set and museum that has been featured in several films and TV shows. It’s a perfect place to visit if you want to experience the Wild West, as it features a town square, saloon, jail, and even a train station. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you stroll through the dusty streets of this Old West town.

The museum at Gammons Gulch is also worth a visit, as it’s filled with memorabilia from classic Westerns. You’ll see costumes, props, and even a collection of antique guns. It’s a fascinating look at the history of the Western genre and the films that made it famous.

Movie Set

Another must-visit location for film and TV fans is the Mescal Movie Set. This location has been used in several Westerns, including “Tombstone” and “The Quick and the Dead.” You’ll feel like you’re on a real movie set as you explore the streets and buildings of this Old West town.

If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a film being made during your visit. The set is still used for commercials, TV shows, and movies, so keep your eyes peeled for any signs of activity. It’s a thrilling experience to see the magic of filmmaking happening right in front of you.

Benson is a great place to visit if you’re a fan of Western films and TV shows. Whether you’re exploring a movie set or strolling through an Old West town, you’ll feel like you’re part of the action. So grab your cowboy hat and boots and get ready for an adventure!

Outdoor Activities

When it comes to outdoor activities in Benson, you’re spoiled for choice. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast or just looking for a fun day out with the family, Benson has something for everyone. Here are some of the best outdoor activities to check out during your visit.

Hiking Trails

If you’re looking for a scenic hike in Benson, you’re in luck. The town is home to a variety of hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Here are some of the best trails to check out:

  • Dragoon Mountains: The Dragoon Mountains offer some of the best hiking trails in the area. With trails ranging from easy to difficult, there’s something for hikers of all skill levels. The best part? The views are absolutely breathtaking.
  • San Pedro River Trail: If you’re looking for a leisurely hike, the San Pedro River Trail is a great option. The trail follows the San Pedro River and offers plenty of opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
  • Empire Ranch Trail: The Empire Ranch Trail is a great option for those looking for a longer hike. The trail is 6.5 miles long and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

State Parks

Benson is home to some of the best state parks in Arizona. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out with the family or an adventure-filled weekend, Benson’s state parks have you covered. Here are some of the top state parks to check out:

  • Kartchner Caverns State Park: Kartchner Caverns State Park is a must-see for anyone visiting Benson. The park is home to stunning limestone caves that are sure to take your breath away. In addition to the caves, the park offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and more.
  • Catalina State Park: Catalina State Park is a great option for those looking for a day out in nature. The park offers hiking trails, camping sites, and stunning views of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
  • Picacho Peak State Park: If you’re looking for a challenging hike, Picacho Peak State Park is the place to go. The park is home to a steep, rocky trail that offers stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.

No matter what your outdoor interests are, Benson has something for everyone. So grab your hiking boots and get ready to explore the great outdoors!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the deal with Gammons Gulch? Is it worth a visit?

Well, partner, if you’re a fan of old western movies and TV shows, Gammons Gulch is the place for you! This movie set and museum is just a short drive from Benson and is a must-see for any cowboy or cowgirl at heart. Take a guided tour, snap some photos, and maybe even make your own western masterpiece.

Are there any cool ghost towns to explore near Benson?

You bet your boots there are! Head on over to Tombstone, just a short drive away, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the days of the Wild West. Check out the famous OK Corral, grab a drink at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon, and keep an eye out for any ghosts that might be lingering around.

What’s the most unique attraction in Benson?

Well, pardner, that’s a tough one. But we reckon the Singing Wind Bookshop is definitely a contender. This cozy little bookstore is packed to the brim with rare and unique books, and the owner, Winn Bundy, is a real hoot to chat with. Plus, the views of the surrounding mountains ain’t too shabby either.

Any recommendations for a great local restaurant in Benson?

If you’re in the mood for some down-home cooking, head on over to the Horseshoe Cafe & Bakery. This joint has been serving up classic home-style dishes and desserts since 1936, and they’re still going strong. And don’t forget to snap a photo of that iconic neon sign out front.

Is Benson a good place to retire and spend my golden years?

Well, partner, we might be a bit biased, but we reckon Benson is a darn good place to retire. With its mild climate, friendly folks, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy, what’s not to love? Plus, the cost of living is pretty darn reasonable, so you won’t break the bank.

What’s the wildest adventure you’ve had in Benson?

Now that’s a story for the ages! Let’s just say it involved a cactus, a rattlesnake, and a whole lot of sunscreen. But we reckon you’ll have to come on down to Benson and make some wild adventures of your own. Who knows what kind of trouble you’ll get into?

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