When it comes to historic towns in Arizona, it’s hard to beat Douglas. This border community has both mining and military roots, and it’s home to a number of old houses and buildings that offer insight into its rich, fascinating past. See the best things to do in Douglas, AZ, and why it makes the perfect day trip destination. It’s a treat – we promise!

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Have you ever visited Douglas AZ? If so, we’d love to hear all about your experience in the comments! Don’t forget to check out our previous article for a nearby small town that’s hiding one of the nicest restaurants in America.

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Douglas AZ

Where is Douglas, AZ?  

Douglas is a small city in Cochise County, Arizona. It’s in the far southern region of the state, and part of the town shares an international border with Mexico. It’s a beautiful place, surrounded by mountains and hills that turn a brilliant green in the summer. As of the 2020 census, its population was just over 16,500.  

What is a brief overview of Douglas, Arizona history?  

Once upon a time, Douglas – like many older towns in Arizona – was a mining boom town. The area was originally settled by the Spanish in the 1700s, and eventually, Camp Douglas would be built in 1910. This would eventually become the Douglas we now know and love; from 1904 until 1931, the Copper Queen Mine operated in town and provided jobs for hundreds of miners. In 1916, Pancho Villa himself threatened to attack the town of Douglas as retaliation for his defeat at the 2nd Battle of Agua Prieta. It’s been a colorful time here, to say the least, with periods of unrest and periods of peace. Learn more about the Copper Queen Mine.   

What are some fun things to do in Douglas, AZ? 

Of course, just because Douglas is a small town doesn’t mean it’s boring. Lovers of mining towns and history will find it immensely intriguing; others will love the shops, galleries, and other things to do around Douglas. Some of the best things to do in Douglas, Arizona are:  

  • Tour the Copper Queen Mine. It’s way more interesting than you think, we promise.  
  • Stay at the Gadsden Hotel – This gorgeous historic hotel opened in 1907 and is a stunning place to stay to this very day. Oh... and it might be haunted.  
  • Wander to Bisbee – Not terribly far at all from Douglas is Bisbee, another old-school mining town turned artist haven worthy of a day trip.  

Learn more about the nearby town of Bisbee and why it makes for an amazing Arizona vacation destination.