Sunday, June 16, 2024

8 Charming Small Towns in Arizona for Your Next Road Trip

You’ve been thinking about taking a road trip to explore some of the small towns in Arizona, but you don’t know where to start.

With over 30 official incorporated towns in Arizona with populations under 10,000, narrowing down your options can be tricky.

But have no fear – I’m here to provide you with a list of some of the best small towns in Arizona to help inspire your next road trip destination.

Bisbee

Small Towns in Arizona

Located in southeast Arizona about 90 miles southeast of Tucson, Bisbee is a former copper mining town turned thriving artists’ colony.

As you meander down the hilly streets, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time with the town’s century-old buildings housing trendy galleries, shops, restaurants, and bars.

Live music echoes from open-air patios, and docent-led tours take you into old mines.

With a population of just over 5,000, Bisbee provides a hip and funky vibe you won’t find anywhere else.

Jerome

Next on this list of small towns in Arizona is Jerome. About 100 miles north of Phoenix along State Route 89A, you’ll find the historic mountainside town of Jerome.

Once a prosperous and bustling copper mine town, Jerome became a virtual ghost town when the mines closed in 1953.

But over the past few decades, this funky arts enclave has undergone a rebirth.

Artists, writers, musicians, and free spirits now occupy the historic buildings that seem to cling to the side of Cleopatra Hill.

Sip wine at a local vineyard, browse the eclectic galleries, or grab a burger at a dive bar.

The sweeping valley views provide a picturesque backdrop to experience Jerome’s enduring spirit.

Prescott

Prescott

Nestled in north-central Arizona’s pine tree forests, Prescott provides an idyllic blend of Old West history and natural splendor.

As the former territorial capital of Arizona, Prescott’s Whiskey Row and Courthouse Plaza take you back to frontier times.

Saloons, eateries, and shops fill the historic buildings on Whiskey Row, while Courthouse Plaza hosts community events beneath shady trees.

Just a few blocks away, you’ll find the infamous Palace Restaurant and Saloon, Arizona’s oldest frontier saloon.

With two nearby lakes and mountain parks, Prescott offers ample opportunities for fishing, boating, and hiking.

Read More – Top 5 Florida National Parks Itinerary: Everglades, Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, Big Cypress & Gulf Islands

Wickenburg

Wickenburg

One of the best small towns in Arizona is Wickenburg. For a taste of the Old West cowboy culture, head to the town of Wickenburg about an hour northwest of Phoenix.

Wickenburg is known as the “Dude Ranch Capital of the World” and cattle still roam the dusty streets.

You can take a horseback ride at a local guest ranch, watch a rodeo, or check out the Desert Caballeros Western Museum.

Historic attractions like the Jail Tree and the old train depot hearken back to Wickenburg’s frontier founding.

And you’ll find plenty of authentic cowboy grub, cold beer, and live country music on offer too.

Sedona

Sedona

Nestled amidst stunning sandstone spires, red rock formations, and Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona is one of the most scenic small towns in Arizona.

Located about two hours north of Phoenix, Sedona attracts spiritual seekers, artists, and adventurers alike.

Though the population is only around 10,000, millions visit each year to soak up the mystical energy, admire the art galleries, or kayak the Verde River.

Whether you take a hike among the crimson boulders, shop for Southwestern art on Main Street, or get your aura to read, Sedona’s majestic setting casts a spell of serenity.

Benson

Off Interstate-10 about 45 miles east of Tucson, you’ll find the small town of Benson. Steeped in Western heritage, Benson served as an Old West railroad and ranching town in the late 1800s.

Today, locals work to preserve the town’s history and culture. Visit the acclaimed Singing Wind Bookshop featuring a massive collection of Southwestern literature.

Tour the Oasis in Time Gardens where you’ll see two acres filled with historic buildings and artifacts.

And be sure to grab a sarsaparilla at Horseshoe Cafe, housed in Benson’s oldest building, before saddling up to ride with a wrangler into the sunset.

Williams

About 35 miles west of Flagstaff, the small town of Williams provides a gateway to the Grand Canyon. But it’s also a charming mountain town filled with Route 66 history and attractions.

The town played a pivotal role in pioneering tourism to the Grand Canyon in the early 1900s, and visitors can still catch a train at the Williams Depot to the park.

Several motels and diners along Route 66 hearken back to the Mother Road’s heyday.

And the downtown area still feels like a slice of 1950s Americana, complete with an old-fashioned soda fountain shop.

Patagonia

Patagonia

Tucked amidst rolling grasslands and oak woodlands just 20 miles north of the Mexico border, Patagonia is a charming village that blends artist flair with environmental consciousness.

Creative energy pulses through this community of under 1,000 residents. Nature lovers will appreciate the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve and wildlife habitat, which attracts over 200 species of birds.

And be sure to browse the galleries and shops to appreciate local artisans while soaking up the slowed-down, peaceful pace of life in this special Arizona town.

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