Cooler temperatures, ponderosa pine trees, and a glimpse at the rich and storied history
When one thinks of Arizona, heat and desert landscape are usually common first thoughts. While this can be true, especially when discussing the greater Phoenix area, a two-hour drive to Prescott can bring cooler temperatures, ponderosa pine trees, and a glimpse at the rich and storied history of this great state. With historical museums, scenic lakes and parks, numerous dining options, events, antique shops, and boutiques, Prescott is a great day trip for anyone looking to get away for a few hours or even longer!
Incorporated in 1881, Prescott served as a twice territorial capital of Arizona and was home to many colorful characters such as Virgil Earp (of OK Corral fame) and William Owen “Bucky” O’Neill. Its town square and courthouse hearken back to the early 1900’s, while the buildings to the west of town square on Montezuma Street make up Prescott’s “Whisky Row,” including the (according to legend) haunted Hotel St. Michael . Further west on Gurley Street, Sharlot Hall Museum houses the territorial governor’s mansion, six other historical buildings, artifacts owned by Sharlot Hall (territorial historian and political activist), and beautiful gardens used for public festivals throughout the year.
For those looking to shop and find unique treasures, the streets of old town Prescott are lined with antique stores, boutiques, and many other one-of-a-kind shops. Looking for a drink or a bite to eat? Prescott Brewing Company on Gurley Street offers great pub selections and excellent craft beer. Further down Gurley, Gurley Street Grill offers a menu of burgers, pizza, and pasta, and a kids’ menu that features a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich that’s a hit with the younger crowd!
On the outskirts of town, both Goldwater and Lynx Lakes offer opportunities to take in the cooler temperatures while fishing, kayaking (available for rental during select times at both lakes), or going for a nature walk. Hikers can get a great panoramic view of the Prescott area, including the Bradshaw Mountains and Granite Mountain by traversing Thumb Butte Trail to Groom Creek Vista. The Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary , just north of Prescott is a favorite of families wanting to visit wildlife and learn more about the conservation and protection of both native and exotic animals.
In winter, Prescott becomes Arizona’s “Christmas City,” making the season even more merry and bright! The Prescott Resort and Convention Center plays yearly host to a large display of gingerbread houses, built by organizations and groups from across Arizona. Prescott Valley hosts the “Valley of Lights,” a free drive through Christmas light display. The town square courthouse is lit up with festive decorations, and the annual Christmas parade through town is a yuletide treat for children of all ages!
Whether visiting for a day, a weekend, or longer, Prescott is a wonderful destination with activities and sights to see for young and old alike! Visit https://www.prescott.com for more information on this wonderful city.