By Jeremy Zachary
Why You Must Go: A town with more asses than people (200 to 150) is reason enough. A lonely cowboy-western style blip that plays host to a large gaggle of local burros is the only one of its kind in the country. This modern tourist attraction nestles itself on historic Route 66, just outside the California/Arizona boarder. Founded in the local desert mountains, miners settled in Oatman looking for a pinch of the millions in paydirt discovered annually. Oatman now plays host to tourists, bikers and rockhounds looking for a glimpse of that Wild West lifestyle. Oatman is much today as it was in 1904, with few modern reconstructions and wooden-plank sidewalks. It’s a real living old western style town.
Where To Eat: The Oatman Hotel is the place to saddle up that grumbling stomach. Don’t let the name fool ya, there’s no staying at this hotel, only eating, drinking or listening to the local band twang into the night. Susie, with the classic diner look, will serve ya up the best eatin‘ within 50 miles in any direction. Inside this old wooden hotel/saloon/restaurant you’ll find thousands and thousands of dollar bills (I was told about 60,000 to be exact) hanging about with names and dates scrawled upon them for a cheap leave-behind. The burgers, salads and oversized drinks are a great reason to settle here for a bite before meandering the town or visit to the ice-cream parlor.
What Else To Check Out: When in Oatman, the place to stay is Mr. Jim Pitts’ Miners House. This isn’t a name of a fancy hotel or even seedy motel; it’s exactly as the name implies. The miners house is far from fancy, but exactly what you’d expect in Oatman. A great inexpensive way to spend the weekend enjoying the simple life, complete with a million dollar view of the stars you forgot were there! Daily duels and “shotgun” weddings are held in town daily to entertain onlookers. Local delights from jerky to cactus jam and custom leather goods can be found on the boardwalk.
Miners House, Oatman, (928) 303-5919, $60 per night.