Don’t discount Prescott, Arizona
Monday, September 18, 2017
When you think "Old West" cities, what comes to mind? Tuscon? How about Santa Fe?
Well, don't discount Prescott, Arizona. This is a city with Old West charm and modern 21st-century amenities.
We recently stayed for an extended visit to Prescott and were easily swept up in the city's charm. Every day we experienced some place new to eat and, let me tell you, there is an eatery for every taste, palate and budget. Museums, outdoor experiences, shopping — all within your reach and budget.
What makes Prescott so delightful is the downtown area. The town square is truly charming — it is bordered by Cortez and Montezuma (east and west) with Gurley and Willis (north and south).
Enjoy the shade from the large trees in the park as well as the quaint bandstand. There is even a statue commemorating a "famous" son of Prescott: William "Bucky" O’Neill, who died during the Spanish-American War.
So what do you do when visiting Prescott? First, a good idea would be to decide what it is you want to do. Are you looking for a museum? A winery? How about some place to eat? And just how hungry are you? There is every kind of eatery imaginable within the city limits of Prescott.
Prescott is a short drive from Sedona.
If shopping is your thing, you will not be disappointed. Art galleries and jewelry shops are well represented. T-shirts, wine and even hotels can be found surrounding the square and nearby streets. Whiskey Row is a pretty famous street — for a variety of reasons.
Be aware, parking is strictly enforced. Do not allow a wheel to cross one of the sides of your parking space or you will be surprised with a very expensive ticket.
Again, what do you do when visiting Prescott? Yes, you can tour a variety of museums within the city confines if short on time.
The Sharlot Hall Museum is within walking distance and is a must-see stop. The Phippen Museum is on Route 89 and gives you a "feel" for western art. And the Smoki Museum, dedicated to the Smoki People, is a few blocks away from downtown. Fort Whipple Museum is a landmark as well as the site of the former Fort Whipple.
But if time is not your enemy, take a drive. Sedona is but a couple hours southeast as is the historic town of Jerome along with the Red Rock Valley. There are a couple of historic trains worth checking out: the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Arizona, and the Verde Canyon Railroad in Clarkdale.
Want to get in some fishing? No problem, as natural areas with lakes are not far away. Bearizona (a drive-through wildlife park) in Williams is worth an afternoon visit.
Visit Williams, Arizona, for a drive through Bearizona Wildlife Park.
Prescott, Arizona, has something for everyone, including the best weather almost year round. It may be triple-digit hot a couple hours away, but visitors to Prescott need not worry about that problem.
But don't be fooled by the mild climate. At more than 5,000 feet in elevation, Prescott is closer to the sun, so sunscreen, hats and long sleeves may be needed. The air is also drier, so lotion and lip balm may also be needed.
All in all, you can bike, hike and fish all within a short distance to downtown Prescott. Now I ask you, what's not to like?
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