Monday, January 12, 2015

Trail Dust Town: shopping in the 'Old West'

Town square at Trail Dust Town
Trail Dust Town is a small shopping center in east Tucson that is more than an ordinary shopping center. It’s also an entertainment center that features antique modes of transportation. It also caters to evening shoppers and diners since most shops and restaurants open between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Only a couple of restaurants are open for lunch.

Trail Dust Town recreates an Old West town, with prettily painted store and three covered wagons in the brick-paved square.  “Older” buildings can be found on the western perimeter, but the buildings really aren’t any older than the attractively decorated buildings around the square. They were just made to look old and decrepit.

Antique vehicles at Trail Dust Town
What’s neat about Trail Dust Town is that the stagecoaches, wagons and carriages are the real thing. Visitors who come in the daytime can look  over these old horse-drawn vehicles leisurely. Even though the shops and eateries are closed, visitors are free to roam the grounds. In the back is a carousel with original horses and benches; rides are offered at night. A narrow gauge railroad carries visitors around the town and through an old mining tunnel, too. Another popular nighttime activity is a stunt show and staged gunfight.

Trail Dust Town has been a fixture in Tucson since about 1962. It is located at 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. Also located at Trail Dust Town is the Museum of the Horse Soldier that contains antique saddles, weapons and uniforms.

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