Top Ten Things to Do and See in Prescott, Arizona
Prescott, AZ β Fun and adventure await in Prescott, Arizona. The following is a listing of popular you-won't-want-to-miss explorations in Arizona's territorial capital.
10. GO TO THE LAKE: There are five lakes in the Prescott area. Goldwater, Granite Basin and Lynx lakes are all located in the forested areas in and around Prescott. Watson and Willow Lakes are located in northern Prescott and surrounded by majestic and striking granite rock formations.
Watson Lake: 3101 Watson Lake Rd. (928) 777-1122. http://www.cityofprescott.net/services/parks/. Amenities Include: Two boat launches, courtesy dock, fishing, fish cleaning stations, picnic ramadas and tables, showers for campers, horseshoe pits, barbecue grills, playground equipment, hiking trails, overnight camping (summer months only).
Willow Lake: 1497 Heritage Park Rd. (928) 777-1122 http://www.cityofprescott.net/services/parks/. Amenities include: Boat launch (no gasoline motors), courtesy dock, picnic ramadas, fishing, multi-use trail around the lake, "Important birding area" designated by the Audubon Society, Willow Lake Archaeological Site A.D. 900-1100.
Goldwater Lake: 2900 Goldwater Lake Rd. (928) 777-1122. http://www.cityofprescott.net/services/parks/ Amenities include: 15-acre lake with fishing docks, Boat launch ramp (no gasoline motors, electric only), outstanding for canoeing/kayaking, Ramada, picnic tables, handicapped access picnic sites, playground, sand volleyball court, hiking trails, and horseshoe pits.
Lynx Lake: 4505 E. Forest Service Rd. (928) 443-8001. www.fs.usda.gov/Prescott/. Lynx Lake is one of the most popular recreation spots in central Arizona on the Bradshaw Ranger District. More than 90,000 people visit each year. Mild weather, the cool ponderosa pine forest, a serene 55-acre lake, trout fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, gold panning, archaeological sites, and bird watching attract visitors from throughout Arizona, and bring them back again and again.
Granite Basin Lake: Prescott, AZ 86301 (928) 443-8001. www.fs.usda.gov/Prescott/. Granite Basin Lake is a small (5 acre) lake. It is not stocked with fish, but patient anglers may catch bluegill, largemouth bass and catfish. Non-motorized boats allowed.
9. WILDLIFE VIEWING: Prescott is home to a variety of wildlife, from antelope and bald eagles to great blue herons and javelina. Suggested viewing locations include:
Watson Woods Riparian Preserves: 1626 Sundog Ranch Rd. (928) 445-5669 www.prescottcreeks.org. The 126-acre Watson Woods Riparian Preserve is the remaining portion of what was once a 1,000-acre riparian (streamside) forest of cottonwood and willow trees. Cottonwoods and willows that create a cathedral-like atmosphere over Granite Creek and the edge of a perennial pond provide habitat for a wide variety of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Since establishment of the Preserve in 1995, the City of Prescott has grown to the north and east, and Watson Woods Riparian Preserve has become a sort of oasis for wildlife and humans alike.
Willow and Watson Lakes: (see addresses above) These ecosystems are recognized as Important Bird Areas by the Audubon Society.
Highlands Center for Natural History: 1375 Walker Rd. (928) 776-9550. www.highlandscenter.org. The Highlands Center for Natural History is a non-profit science and ecological education organization located in Prescott, Arizona. The Highlands Center helps children and adults discover the wonders of nature and become wise caretakers of the land. We believe that everyone has a fundamental need to connect with the natural world. This connection is fostered by the Center through outdoor-science education based on observation and discovery of the Central Arizona Highlands
Prescott National Forest: www.fs.usda.gov/prescott/. The Prescott National Forest is guardian of more than 100,000 acres of wilderness represented by 8 wilderness areas. Of these, Granite Mountain Wilderness is the most popular because it is only 20 minutes from Prescott by paved road. Travel is limited to foot or horseback in wilderness areas.
8. ANTIQUE SHOPPING: Everything old is new again! Prescott has a multitude of antique shops throughout the city. Be sure to visit north Cortez Street, aptly nicknamed βAntiques Rowβ due to the high concentration of shops in this area.
7. DOWNTOWN WALKING TOUR: Prescott Chamber of Commerce hosts free walking tours of the historic downtown area at 10:00 every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning from April to October. Tours begin from the Chamber building, 117 W. Goodwin St. (928) 445-2000. www.prescott.org.
Adding to the cultural experience are over 800 buildings on the National Register of Historic Buildings including the recently restored 500-seat Elks Opera House, which hosts live performances. Mount Vernon Street characterizes Prescott's numerous Historic Districts. It's one of those dreamy, tree-lined thoroughfares bordered by meticulously restored Victorian homes. A walk or drive along this street is a must.
6. HERITAGE PARK ZOOLOGICAL SANCTUARY: 1403 Heritage Park Rd. (928) 778-4242 www.heritageparkzoo.org. Situated on ten acres north of Prescott and overlooking Willow Lake, the sanctuary has many opportunities for visitors including a covered picnic pavilion; a children's playground; interactive animal experiences; and large, naturally landscaped enclosures for the animals with paths that allow visitors the opportunity to get an up-close and personal view of them. View black bears, coyotes, lemurs, boa constrictors and more. Special events year-round, including Zoo Camp.
5. SMOKI MUSEUM: 147 N. Arizona Ave. (928) 445-1230 www.smokimuseum.org.
Designed to resemble an Indian pueblo, the Smoki (pronounced βsmoke-eyeβ) Museum was built in 1935 of native stone and wood. The Smoki people were a group of Prescott citizens organized in 1921 and dedicated to the perpetuation of American Indian ceremonies and dances. They became a large social organization focused on developing appreciation for Southwest Indian tribes through the museum and their annual program. The mission of the Smoki Museum of American Indian Art & Culture is to instill an understanding and respect for the indigenous cultures of the Southwest.
4. PHIPPEN MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART: 4701 Highway 89 North. (928) 778-1385. www.phippenartmuseum.org. The Phippen Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit with the mission to preserve and exhibit museum quality western art, and educate the public about the unique heritage, history, legends, and influence of art of the American West. The Museum opened in 1984 and was named after Arizona resident and founding member of the Cowboy Artists of America, George Phippen.
3. SHARLOT HALL MUSEUM: 415 W. Gurley St. (928) 445-3122. www.sharlot.org. Sharlot Hall Museum is named after its founder, Sharlot Mabridth Hall (1870-1943), who became well known as a poet, activist, politician, and Arizona's first territorial historian. Sharlot Hall was one of the West's most remarkable women. As early as 1907, Ms. Hall saw the need to save Arizona's history and planned to develop a museum. She began to collect both Native American and pioneer material. In 1927, she began restoring the First Territorial Governor's residence and offices and moved her extensive collection of artifacts and documents opening it as a museum in 1928. Today, the museum features seven historic buildings, compelling exhibits and beautiful gardens, which serve as the setting for numerous public festivals. The library and archives, open to the public, hold a vast collection of rare books, original documents, historical photographs, maps and oral history.
2. TRAILS: Prescott is home to over 450 miles of groomed trails for a variety of users, including OHV, biking, hiking and horseback riding. http://cityofprescott.net/services/parks/trails/ or http://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/prescott/recreation.
Peavine Trail: 1626 Sundog Ranch Rd. http://cityofprescott.net/services/parks/trails/. By far, the most popular trail is The Peavine Trail, one of the few Rails-to-Trails projects in Arizona. There are outstanding views of Watson Lake and Granite Dells, as well as wildlife viewing. Walk, hike, bike or horseback along this four-mile trail that was originally built by the Santa Fe Railway in 1893. The Peavine connects with the Iron King Trail for another four-mile trek along more railroad bed.
1. COURTHOUSE PLAZA AND WHISKEY ROW: Located in the center of downtown Prescott, the Courthouse Plaza is the proverbial heart of Prescott. During the summer months, the elm shrouded venue beats to five nights of free, live entertainment. The plaza also hosts community events, arts, crafts, and car showsβand is a prime location for some of the best people watching around. For a calendar of events, please go to www.visit-prescott.com.
The plaza is so special, it's been honored as one of the Top Ten Public Spaces in the United States by the prestigious APA (American Planning Association).Once upon a time, Whiskey Row (the 100 block of South Montezuma Street in Prescott) was a hotbed of social activity where dusty cowboys could enjoy a drink, some amiable company or a card game. Indeed, Whiskey Row was so named for the more than 40 saloons that populated that area of downtown.
On July 14, 1900, a fire destroyed much of Prescott's business district, including the Burke Hotel, whose claim to fame was "the only fire-proof hotel in Arizona." An effort to rebuild was underway in only a matter of days, and the newly constructed buildings--most of which were completed between 1900 and 1905--utilized brick and masonry.
Today, Whiskey Row is still a vibrant center of activity in downtown Prescott, and while the number of saloons has decreased greatly from a century ago, you'll be at no loss to find a great place to eat or view exemplary works of art.Naturally, there are more than ten fun things to do and see in Prescott. For a listing of events and adventures in store for you in Prescott, call the Prescott Chamber of Commerce at 800-266-7534, or visit our website www.visit-prescott.com. Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/visitprescott and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/visit_prescott.
- Documents and/or Photos available for this release:
Press release in PDF
Live music on Prescott Courthouse Plaza
Biking the Peavine Trail
Granite Dells at Watson Lake
Group kayaking on Watson Lake
Highlands Center for Natural History
New Year's Eve Boot Drop on Whiskey Row
Whiskey Row Street Dance
To view supporting documents and/or photos, go to www.enr-corp.com/pressroom and enter Release ID: 340578