17 Best Things to do in Prescott, Arizona

Prescott, Arizona is a superb and implausible trip vacation spot that you could be not have thought of earlier than – however you must! 

Although Prescott is small as cities go – solely 43,000 individuals reside in Prescott and solely 130,000 reside in all the metropolitan space – there are many issues to see in Prescott and the sweetness on this space is breathtaking and unmatched.

It’s a straightforward place to get to, because it’s simply ninety minutes or much less from Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Sedona, however it’s quiet and distant and whenever you spend just a few days or per week right here, you’ll really feel such as you received away from all of it.

There’s one thing for everybody on this beautiful little southwestern city. If you’re questioning what to do in Prescott, you got here to the precise place. Read on to be taught extra about this charming and enchanting vacation spot.

Nature Attractions in and Near Prescott

If you’re a nature lover, you’ll love Prescott. At 5300’ above sea stage, Prescott’s pure, mountainous terrain is residence to distinctive fauna and flora. The Prescott National Forest surrounds the town and there are such a lot of stunning issues to see.

This space actually is the most effective of the west. Spending trip in nature close to right here is without doubt one of the perfect issues to do in Prescott.

Watson Lake

Watson Lake

One of the preferred issues to do in Prescott, Arizona is to go to Watson Lake. This lake is definitely a large reservoir – one thing that’s crucially wanted to preserve water for the individuals of Prescott and surrounding areas in such a dry setting.

However, this reservoir isn’t merely a backup water provide, as a result of it’s additionally a recreation space to be loved by all too! Whether you’re taking a day journey to Prescott or spending a for much longer time within the space, Watson Lake is one thing that you just completely shouldn’t miss.

This massive reservoir covers 70 acres and the common depth is round 50 toes. It’s a great place for fishing – the reservoir is stuffed with largemouth bass, sunfish, carp, catfish, and different species. Non-motorized boating is allowed – though swimming isn’t – and there’s a campground that’s open through the summer season months.

The look of this physique of water is putting; tall, colourful, granite rock towers encompass the lake and peek out from its floor. These rocks additionally make this a popular destination for photographers and rock climbers from across the nation (and around the globe at massive).

Visitors will probably be excited to know that this lake is simply 4 minutes from downtown Prescott! The reservoir is owned and maintained by the City of Prescott. Considering it’s a reservoir, the town does an exquisite job of sustaining the paths and the canoes and kayaks accessible for lease there. Watson Lake is a stunning place to spend a quiet afternoon.

Lynx Lake Recreation Area

Lynx Lake Recreation Area

Lynx Lake is one other reservoir within the Prescott space. It’s slightly smaller than Watson Lake at fifty-five acres, however it’s a very fashionable recreation space for each locals and guests.

Wildlife is ample at this reservoir. Like Watson Lake, it’s stuffed with quite a lot of fish and anglers will find it irresistible. Non-motorized or electrical boaters will find it irresistible too! If you like to hike, the two-mile Lakeshore Trail will take you across the lake.

For those that want to keep in a single day, there’s a stunning campground right here as properly. If you don’t really feel like tenting, the Forest Villas Hotel is a pleasing choice that’s only some minutes away.

Lynx Lake Recreation Area is a bit additional outdoors of city than Watson Lake. Unlike Watson Lake, Lynx Lake is definitely inside the confines of the Prescott National Forest. Because of that, you’re extra prone to see wild animals like mule deer, bald eagles, osprey, javelinas, and others.

You’ll really feel one million miles from all over the place when visiting Lynx Lake Recreation Area, however you’re simply fifteen minutes from downtown Prescott if it is advisable to take a break for civilization.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Phoenix, Arizona

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary

Although the animals within the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary aren’t dwelling within the wild, in case you love animals or the great thing about nature then you definitely’ll love visiting this place. This isn’t merely a zoo, however quite a wild animal sanctuary.

It was based in 1985 by a bunch of residents and since then, it has grown fairly a bit. It doesn’t breed animals nor preserve animals for examine, however quite it supplies a house for native and unique animals that may’t be launched into the wild.

There are 175 animals on the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary and this non-profit depends on public help to look after them. If you go to and like what you see, contemplate donating a bit extra whenever you return residence.

The caretakers right here actually care in regards to the well-being of the animals. In addition to seeing superb creatures throughout your go to, you’ll be taught loads about animal welfare and conservation, too. If you’re in search of children’ actions in Prescott, the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary will probably be an enormous hit that the entire household can get pleasure from.

Afterward, take time to discover Willow Lake Park which surrounds this attraction. It’s additionally fairly beautiful and an amazing place for kicking again with a picnic lunch or dinner.

Goldwater Lake

Like Lynx Lake Recreation Area, Goldwater Lake is south of city within the Prescott National Forest. This lake is smaller than Watson Lake and Lynx Lake, however many guests want it as a result of it’s additionally a bit much less busy and a bit quieter because of this.

This park has quite a few beginner-friendly hiking and biking trails and a few actually beautiful picnic areas and playgrounds to get pleasure from.

Non-motorized boats are additionally allowed on the lake, however like the opposite two reservoirs talked about right here, swimming isn’t allowed – these are reservoirs firstly, in any case. No one desires consuming water flavored with “essence of YOU”.

See Related: Best Boundary Waters Waterfalls You Need to Visit

Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail

Taking a hike on the Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail is a really Prescott factor to do since this nationwide scenic path is called for Prescott itself!

This path is six miles lengthy and was initially laid as a part of the Santa Fe Railway again in 1893. Today, you may get pleasure from it on foot, or by bike. You may even discover it on horseback, or by e-bike with this unique tour with Viator.

You can begin on the town after which stroll alongside Watson Lake for a whole morning or afternoon. Eventually, the path splits; you may proceed on the Prescott Peavine Trail or department off onto the Iron King Trail which is able to take you one other 4 miles additional.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Forest Lake, Minnesota

Prescott National Forest

Prescott National Forest

Prescott National Forest almost surrounds the town of Prescott. It’s been talked about above already in descriptions of Lynx Lake Recreation Area and Goldwater Lake, however each of those lakes are simply minuscule spots on the map of this 1.25 million-acre forest. There is a lot to discover in these woods and deserts.

Established in 1908, Prescott National Forest has over 950 miles of mountain climbing trails, eleven household campgrounds, ten dispersed campgrounds, eight designated wilderness areas, and dozens of picnic areas, lakes, creeks, and mountain peaks.

Wildlife is all over the place you look right here, and you can spend years on this forest with out attending to know each nook and cranny of it properly. This forest’s good and official tagline is “Where the desert meets the pines.” They ain’t fallacious, as you’ll discover a lot of each right here, in addition to one thing to amaze and intrigue each customer.

Seriously, don’t miss it.

You’ll love exploring this nationwide forest by yourself or in a bunch. If you’d like a information, try these Private Off-Road Adventure Tours around Prescott National Forest. If you’re in search of cabins to remain in proper within the nationwide forest itself, you may contemplate Crown Kings Cabins Bradshaw for a snug, secluded keep.

Granite Basin Recreation Area

The Granite Basin Recreation Area can be in Prescott National Forest however it’s northwest of city, not like Lynx Lake and Goldwater Lake that are to the south.

This recreation space is on the base of Granite Mountain and also you’ll discover mountain climbing trails, picnic tables, mountain climbing alternatives, nice fishing spots, and extra on this park. Horseback riding can be allowed, and there’s a campground on-site if you wish to sleep beneath the celebrities.

Again, this out of doors space is simply minutes from downtown Prescott, however you’ll really feel like you’re deep within the wilderness. The many alternatives to expertise this sense are undoubtedly an enormous draw of Prescott for therefore many guests and residents.

Historical Attractions in and Near Prescott

This small Arizona city has a storied historical past. It was named the capital of Arizona Territory in 1864 and once more in 1877, and it served as that heart of presidency till the title was handed to Phoenix in 1889. Today, it’s the county seat of Yavapai County.

Due to this thrilling previous, lots of the issues that you just’ll discover to do when visiting Prescott will show you how to be taught extra in regards to the historical past of the southwest.

Prescott Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information

Any time you go to any metropolis anyplace in our nation or the world, it’s all the time clever to cease on the native Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center to be taught a bit extra in regards to the space…if there’s one.

Well excellent news, Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center followers! Visit Prescott and see the wonders for yourselves!

The individuals who work in these locations are keen about sharing their cities with you – Prescott isn’t any totally different. You’ll have the chance to ask questions and find out about hidden gems in Prescott that you just may in any other case miss.

The Prescott Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center serves over 26,000 guests every year; it was based in 1910 and continues to be housed within the authentic constructing.

The workers will probably be more than pleased to give you metropolis maps and mountain climbing path maps. And, they’ll even let you know the place the perfect mountain climbing trails within the space are. Don’t neglect to ask about eating choices – these of us know this metropolis higher than anybody, and so they’ll direct you to their private favorites!

See Related: What Does a Tourist Look Like?

Downtown Historic Area

Downtown Historic Area, things to do in prescott

Prescott’s downtown historic space will make you’re feeling like you’ve gotten stepped again in time into the Old West. There are dozen of historic buildings on this space so that you can discover and {photograph}. And, there are many outlets, galleries, and eating places to take a look at as properly.

Courthouse Plaza is the middle of city and the middle of the motion. You can spend a whole afternoon wandering round this a part of city; that is the place many individuals who’ve relocated to this space say they first fell in love with Prescott.

If you’d like some steerage in exploring this space, you may contemplate following the Prescott Heritage Trail.

This self-guided historic tour takes about an hour and can lead you to and previous sights like the town jail, the Palace Restaurant & Saloon, the Centennial Tree, the Yavapai County Courthouse, Prescott City Hall, the Prescott War Memorial, a number of museums, and a lot extra. You can decide up the map on the Prescott Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center or you may download it online before you go.

For these touring with kids who’re in search of children’ actions in Prescott, you may contemplate approaching a tour of this space in a different way.

This Prescott Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game from Viator is interactive and full of life and will probably be a enjoyable manner for the entire household to discover and uncover downtown Prescott with out anyone getting too bored or antsy.

The Sharlot Hall Museum

The Sharlot Hall Museum is certainly one of a number of museums in Prescott. It’s truly the most important and most-visited museum on the town. This open-air museum is truthfully spectacular.

It was opened in 1928 by Sharlot M. Hall, a really spectacular and regionally well-known lady who you may be taught extra about on the museum. However, the Sharlot Hall Museum isn’t about Ms. Hall, however quite in regards to the attention-grabbing historical past of this space.

The foremost constructing of the museum grounds is the outdated governor’s mansion which was constructed on this website in 1864. Three different buildings have been later moved to the property: the Fremont House, the Bashford House, and Fort Misery – the oldest log cabin in Arizona.

There are different historic buildings to analyze as properly. Exhibits will train you a lot about the best way individuals lived in Arizona way back.

See Related: Best National Parks in the USA to Visit

Prescott Frontier Days

Man riding horse, Prescott Frontier Days

Prescott Frontier Days is marketed as “the World’s Oldest Rodeo” and it very properly could also be; this annual occasion has been occurring since 1888!

This occasion is an enormous deal for cowboys and rodeo followers and it occurs over the last week of June into the primary week of July yearly on the Prescott Rodeo Grounds.

People come from all around the state and the nation to observe and take part in rodeo occasions in one of many first locations rodeo was born. So, put in your Stetson, some worn denims, a button-down flannel shirt, and a few cowboy boots, and also you’ll really feel like a neighborhood throughout this thrilling week of cowboying and cowgirling to the max.

The Phippen Museum

The Phippen Museum of Western Art celebrates the immense fantastic thing about the American West by way of work, drawings, sculptures, and extra. You’ll see dozens if not lots of of photos of cowboys, settlers, Native Americans, animals, vegetation, and landscapes at this museum.

This a part of the nation is alluring and inspirational for artists in all mediums, and this museum is a superb setting to show their creations. It’s fairly totally different from the Sharlot Hall Museum, and it’s clever to take a look at each museums whilst you’re on the town.

This museum is called for native artist George Phippen. Phippen was additionally the primary president of Cowboy Artists of America.

Although he handed away in 1966, 20 years earlier than the Phippen Museum was constructed by his pals, household, and supporters, his spirit lives on on this implausible and spectacular gallery that any customer to Prescott will certainly get pleasure from.

See Related: Ways to Luggage-Free Travel (Yes, It’s Possible)

The Museum of Indigenous People

No go to to the southwest is full with out a while spent studying in regards to the indigenous individuals of the Americas.

Formerly often called the Smoki Museum of American Indian Art and Culture, this museum had some controversial beginnings however has come a really good distance over the previous near-century because it was first conceptualized and initiated by a bunch of native, white, Native American tradition “lovers”.

Today, the museum affords culturally delicate instructional packages to guests. You may view greater than 2,000 Native American artifacts on show right here, and the constructing itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Entertainment in Prescott

If you’re in search of a enjoyable night time out and a few memorable leisure, you’ll discover that in Prescott too. The arts scene on this small city is larger than you may assume, Whiskey Row is full of life each night time of the week, and in case you’re a gambler, you may strive your luck on the native casinos as properly. There are a number of enjoyable issues to do in Prescott if you realize the place to go.

Whiskey Row

Whiskey Row is a part of the Prescott historic downtown space; the truth is, it’s stuffed with among the city’s oldest historical past. Unfortunately, a lot of the city’s historic Gold Rush-era saloons burned down in a hearth in 1900, however lots of them have been rebuilt in the identical spots they first stood.

Today, individuals get pleasure from consuming and revelry whereas standing within the footsteps of among the most well-known figures of the legendary American West in these bars.

While you’re knocking again just a few, be sure you ask the bartenders for tales in regards to the histories of their institution. They love to inform these tales – however remember that embellishment is a part of the artwork of storytelling, and the tales they inform could or could not truly be true.

If you don’t wish to need to drive afterward, the Grand Highland Hotel is in the midst of the block and is a implausible alternative for lodging.

An evening on Whiskey Row is an journey you received’t quickly neglect – in case you can bear in mind it the following morning!

See Related: Epic Tips For Stress-Free Travel

Buckys & Yavapai Casinos

If playing is your factor, then probably the greatest issues to do in Prescott is to make a journey out to Buckys & Yavapai Casinos on the outskirts of city.

This pair of casinos are on the 1400-acre Yavapai-Prescott Indian Reservation and affords quite a lot of video games together with slots, desk video games, and extra.

There are additionally two eating places on-site and the Prescott Resort and Conference Center is close by if you wish to ebook a snug keep close by. If your companions aren’t into playing, you may set them free within the 250-acre buying heart that’s additionally on the reservation to maintain them busy whilst you play!

Elks Opera House Theatre

The Prescott Elks Opera House Theatre was inbuilt 1905 and immediately is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was certainly one of many Elks’ Opera Houses within the nation, however it’s the one one that continues to be standing immediately.

This theatre was constructed to host inventive performances for turn-of-the-century of us and it nonetheless serves that objective immediately. If you’re in search of cultural actions in Prescott, that is the place to go.

It seats slightly over 500 patrons and immediately you may get pleasure from films, performs, live shows, comedy, courses, and extra at this historic theatre.

See Related: Best Places to Visit in the US

Prescott Center for the Arts

The Prescott Center for the Arts is housed in a historic church – the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Rectory – that was inbuilt 1894.

For historic causes alone, this place is value a go to, however this arts group has rather more to supply, too. The Prescott Center for the Arts affords packages and volunteer alternatives in performing arts for all ages and its productions are extremely attended and price testing.

There’s additionally an artwork gallery on-site and between performs and musicals, you may catch different live shows right here as properly.


Why is Prescott, AZ well-known?

It’s well-known for its wild-west historical past and heritage. It’s notably well-known for the Prescott Rodeo and numerous saloons!

Does Prescott, AZ have an airport?

Yes, Prescott Regional Airport, Ernest A. Love Field, simply 10 miles from the town heart of Prescott. As of writing, the one main airline that flies out and in of Prescott Regional Airport is United Airlines.

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