11 Interesting and Beautiful Places to Visit in Prescott, Arizona

Pronounced PRESS-KIT, the charming town of Prescott, Arizona lays claim to the world’s oldest rodeo… a fact that might help you with painting a picture of the town’s unique vibe.

Now, you may be imagining a grizzled cowboy kicking through some saloon doors with tumbleweed rolling behind him as patrons line and swing dance inside… And that would be a start, but there’s a lot more to Prescott than just cowboy charisma.

With rich history, delightful cuisine, gorgeous nature, and a close proximity to some of Arizona’s most famous attractions, Prescott makes a perfect place to visit in Arizona.

Here are some places to visit in Prescott that you can’t miss.

Watson Lake

If you only had one day to visit Prescott, you’d have to fit in a visit to Watson Lake.

Only 4 miles from downtown Prescott, Watson Lake offers a surreal landscape full of incredible granite formations and giant boulders. In much of Arizona, you can feel like you’re on another planet. However, Watson Lake is a unique Arizona experience, different than the desert and red rock locations you might expect from the state.

You can easily spend a full day here hiking the dozens of trails, fishing, canoeing, kayaking. Follow that up with a picnic overlooking the bizarre landscape dotted with granite formations. This picturesque place is a must see for anyone visiting Prescott.

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Whiskey Row

While Watson Lake is up there, Prescott is likely most identifiable by the boisterous Whiskey Row, which gets its name from the numerous saloons on Montezuma Street right in the town square.

You can walk down the street, hopping from place to place, enjoying drinks and the music and dancing buzzing throughout each establishment.

It’s the place to wander if you’re in the mood for some live music. Don’t miss the Sunday performances at Back Alley Wine Bar and give yourself a great view of the square below on the balcony of Jersey Lilly Saloon.

One of the best thing about these saloons is how old the buildings can be and all the history that took place there. It’s easy to imagine all the old western characters that sat at the same beautifully handcrafted bar you’re sitting at today.

You can also find some great souvenirs and western gear before you head out! 

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Thumb Butte

During my month in Prescott, Thumb Butte felt like a beacon. No doubt on most Prescott, AZ postcards you’ll find, It’s always overlooking the town like some sort of protector. I don’t know what it’ll protect you from, but I do know that it will give you some outstanding views if you go and visit.

Thumb Butte is a great area to hike, picnic, and explore. Located in the transition zone from Sonoran desert to coniferous forest, it makes it feel like you escaped the desert and entered a forest oasis.

A visit to Thumb Butte is a must for anyone traveling to Prescott, so be sure to take the popular Trail 33 for a leisurely stroll and enjoy the beautiful views.

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Prescott National Forest

“Where the Desert meets the Pines.” Continuing the outdoors-y theme, outdoor enthusiasts have to put Prescott National Forest on their list of things to do.

Soothe your soul and get back in touch with nature by camping, fishing, or hiking. Vast and refreshing, this forest is calling. 

One of the highlights is Lynx Lake, a massive 55 acre reservoir stocked with fish. Unfortunately, there’s no swimming, but you can still get out on a boat! Visiting Prescott National Forest is a perfect way to spend a day while based in Prescott, AZ, so don’t miss it

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary

For some good ‘ol family fun, Heritage Park Zoo is a great place to visit in Prescott.

To be honest, I’m usually a bit wary of zoos. However, Heritage Park Zoo is non-profit and offers a home to the animals that have nowhere else to go. For example, the resident black bear who lost his mother when she was hit by a car. 

Not only will you get the chance to see amazing animals up close, your money could help animals in need. It was the first time I’ve ever seen a clouded leopard and my mind exploded.

Yavapai Courthouse Square

If you’re looking for somewhere to take a load off for a minute in the fresh air, take in the sounds of Whiskey Row, and do some wonderful people watching, Courthouse Square is the place.

People lounging, music playing, students studying, and kids playing is the typical scene at Courthouse Square where you can also marvel at the architecture of the Yavapai Courthouse.

It’s also a place where fun events are sometimes held, such as farmers markets or street fairs. Grab yourself a soda and some pizza from Bill’s Pizza and watch life happen for a moment. This is definitely one of my favorite places to visit in Prescott for doing just that.

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Sharlot Hall Museum

The lovely Sharlot Hall Museum and heritage site is a fun and awesome place in Prescott to step back in time.

Ideal for kids and adults, you walk though exquisitely maintained buildings and structures all staged to appear just as they might have when they were originally used.

While here, you can walk the beautiful grounds and flip through some fascinating archival photos of life in Arizona happening in the late 1800s and early 1900s, making it a perfect Prescott attraction for history buffs of all ages!

Elks Theatre Opera House

Hard to miss thanks to the large Elk on the top of it, the Elks Theater and Opera House is an iconic Prescott building found just outside Courthouse Square.

Built in 1905, it’s easy to imagine belles and gentlemen alike enjoying a singer here with those little binoculars on a stick that people had back then. 

Today, you can still enjoy plays, musical acts, and movie screenings at this beautiful theater. Or, if you’re looking for some extra behind the scenes info, you can even enjoy a tour from a person dressed as one of those theater goers from a distant past. So much history to enjoy, made better by someone in a costume!

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Montezuma Castle

For a great day trip from Prescott, Montezuma Castle is a fascinating experience.

Less than hour drive from Prescott, you can visit cave dwellings that the Native Americans used to inhabit. Way up on the face of a cliff, you can admire the extremely well-preserved “castle” that was used as the living spaces for the Sinagua Indians.

With a small museum displaying artifacts, a gift shop, and video rendering of what life might have been like living there, visiting Montezuma Castle is a fascinating experience, and definitely one of the top places near Prescott you need to put on your list.

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)


Another perfect day trip from Prescott is the small ghost town of Jerome. About 45 minutes from Prescott is the old copper mining town that was once referred to as the “wickedest town in the west.” Nestled near the top of Cleopatra Hill, you’ll find fun tourist shops, museums, bars and restaurants, and some incredible views of the surrounding area.

Be sure to visit the Sliding Jail, which over time has slid over 200 feet from where it started. After that, go to the Jerome State Historic Park for incredible photographs and artifacts that depict what life was like for miners in the day. Hint: it wasn’t pleasant.

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)


Last but not least, one more thing to do that requires a little more of a drive — visiting Sedona.

While it is a little bit of a drive to get to this awe-inspiring region (about 1 hour), Prescott makes a great base for visiting Sedona. It’s close enough to easily get to some of the spectacular hikes and off-roading Sedona has to offer, but you can get away from the massive crowds of tourists at the end of the day and return back to a more low-key experience. 

Being so close to Prescott, it would be a mistake not to go take in a sunset or a sunrise in Sedona, or possibly exert your energy on one of the world-class hiking trails.

Photo by Daniel Hayes (IG: indecisive_travels)

Did we miss any of your favorite places in Prescott, Arizona?

Let us know in the comments if there are anymore places in Prescott, AZ you’d like to see on our list!

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