The morning after a good snow storm in Jerome, Arizona.

10 Best Towns in Arizona for a Winter Getaway

Arizona, also known as the Grand Canyon State, is best known for its deep canyons, low and high-elevation deserts, and perpetual sunshine. Landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Colorado River shine, attracting visitors from all over. Unbeknownst to many, this prairie and desert landscape of natural charm is flush with many great towns for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This is especially true during winter, as Arizona rarely sees snow, creating a wonderful environment. From Sedona and Cathedral Rock in central Arizona to Tombstone and the Boothill Cemetary at the bottom, these ten towns are some of the best to get away during the wintertime, whether from stress or snow.


Courthouse Butte in Sedona, Arizona after heavy snow storm
Courthouse Butte in Sedona, Arizona after heavy snow storm.

Sedona is a great place to escape during a hectic winter season, whether just for the weekend or an entire week. Located below Flagstaff in the Coconino National Forest, Sedona is home to an array of natural landmarks that cater to the outdoor enthusiast, like Cathedral Rock, Red Rock State Park, and Bell Rock. Hiking is one of the best ways to experience the sights, and several trails are available during the winter, including the Broken Arrow Trail, Oak Creek Canyon, and the Devil’s Bridge Trail. Each of these trails and the ones within the three hundred acres of land that make up Red Rock State Park offer visitors various difficulties and lengths while still providing fun and excitement.

After some outdoor exploration, visitors can retreat to one of many comfortable hotels in the region, such as Sky Rock Sedona and the Inn Above Oak Creek. Both options offer complimentary breakfast, comfortable rooms, and a convenient location to make any trip exciting.


Holbrook, Arizona after a dump of snow.
Holbrook, Arizona after a dump of snow. Image credit Anne Richard via Shutterstock

Further to the east, between Flagstaff and the Petrified Forest National Park, the quaint town of Holbrook is a haven for winter travelers. The town boasts many historical and natural attractions, including the Puerco River, which flows through the Petrified Forest National Park. Here, people can spend hours taking in the lush forests and flowing river via hiking, biking, or sightseeing. There are several other activities to be enjoyed in Holbrook, like visiting the Crystal Forest Museum on Hwy. 180 or stopping by the Navajo County Historical Society on Arizona Street.

Along with interesting exhibits, these sites provide shelter from the cold, making them ideal spots for a winter evening. In terms of lodging, Holbrook has visitors covered with an array of choices. The Wigwam Hotel and Brad’s Desert Inn are on Hopi Drive, offering free parking and free wi-fi for a relaxing stay in Arizona.


Horseshoe Bend near Page, Arizona in winter
The stunning Horseshoe Bend and Colorado River near Page, Arizona in winter.

Along the border between Utah and Arizona, Page is known best for its awe-inspiring landscapes, especially for Horseshoe Bend. Horseshoe Bend, a natural phenomenon caused by the time-encompassing winding and meandering of the Colorado River, is accessible best through the town of Page. Visiting in winter is ideal as there is much more space, making hiking, sightseeing, and biking much more comfortable. Apart from this, the Upper-Antelope Canyon and Lower-Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, and the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument are a range of breathtaking sights that also call the area around Page home. There are even several great attractions in Page, including various excellent lodging choices. The Bear’s Den B&B on Driftwood Avenue and Grandview Inn B&B on Grandview Street offer free breakfast, wi-fi, and parking.

Grand Canyon Village

Historic Hopi House at Grand Canyon, in the winter
Historic Hopi House at Grand Canyon, in the winter. Image credit Cavan-Images via Shutterstock

The importance of Grand Canyon Village is missed by most people who visit the Grand Canyon National Park for the first time. Yet this quaint town of two thousand permanent residents is a central cog to seeing the Grand Canyon in its vast grandeur and a haven for several other natural geological features, like the Vishnu schist. This famous schist should be right after the Grand Canyon on anyone’s list, located on the “Trail of Time” and claimed to be 1,745 million years old. Getting here is also simple as the “Trail of Time” runs along the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and is just under three miles long.

Along with this, the town boasts immense heritage, perfect for indoor winter fun. For example, the Grand Canyon Railway and Kolb Studio stand out, showcasing the town’s past as a prominent stop on the historic railroad. Grand Canyon Village also has several dining and lodging options during the winter season to better pamper visitors, including El Tovar Hotel and the Bright Angel Lodge.


Hikers climb rock pinnacles which afford grand views of snow covered peaks and the valley below in Chiricahua National Monument in Southeastern Arizona.
Hikers climb rock pinnacles in March in the Chiricahua National Monument, near Willcox, Arizona. Image credit Phyllis Peterson via Shutterstock

The town of Willcox, situated just north of Willcox Playa, has a variety of activities that cater especially well to the winter season. This town of cowboys and outlaws of the past is home to a riveting history through venues like the Rex Allen Cowboy Museum and the Chiricahua Regional Museum. Willcox also has great lodging options within an hour’s drive, like the Nature Conservancy’s Muleshoe Ranch Preserve and Dos Cabeza’s B&B, offering a secluded environment with natural sights.

Several outdoor attractions beckon travelers, like the Doz Cabezas Peaks, a collection of magnificent mountains, and Fort Bowie National Historic Site, which was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960. Thus, opportunities like hiking, sightseeing, and camping are plentiful, depending on the temperature.


The morning after a good snow storm in Jerome Arizona.
Winter scene in Jerome, Arizona.

Located in Yavapai County, by the Verde River, the town of Jerome possesses an individuality that is entirely its own. The town has several attractions that would be great to experience on a winter getaway with friends, family, or alone. Notably, Jerome claims to be “the largest Ghost Town in all of America” and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1967. Those interested in the haunted side of town can opt for Jerome Ghost Tours, a guided tour of spots like the local cemetery with chilling stories for company. Add on the cold breeze during winter for a truly thrilling experience in Arizona.

Another great spot is the Gold King Mine & Ghost Town, a combination of local mining history and occult sightings, for a blast to the past that visitors adore. Yet, with all this history, Jerome also offers modern amenities, like the Jerome Grand Hotel and the Surgeon’s House, both located on Hill Street, and Ghost City Inn on Main Street. All three offer excellent amenities, like wi-fi, free parking, and complimentary breakfast.


Holiday lights in the fresh snow around decorated gazebo at the Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott, Arizona
Holiday lights in the fresh snow around decorated gazebo at the Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott, Arizona.

The town of Prescott, a haven for outdoor recreation the year round, is especially worth visiting during the winter season due to its mild temperatures and great climate. Sitting along the edge of the Prescott National Forest, Watson and Goldwater Lakes, and the Lynx Lake Recreational Area, Prescott offers several attractions that showcase Arizona’s natural appeal. Bolstered by the great weather, outdoor activities are a blast while maintaining a pleasant charm at the same time. Back in town, there are various cultural attractions, such as the Museum of Indigenous People and the Sharlot Hall Museum, each with a new story to share. After a day of fun, visitors can retreat to one of many excellent lodgings, like Prescott Pines on White Spar Road and Hotel Saint Michael on W. Gurley Street.


Afternoon sunny view of the Grand National Park train at Williams, Arizona
Grand National Park train at Williams, Arizona in December. Image credit Kit Leong via

Several miles north of Prescott lies the quaint town of Williams in Coconino County. With a population of less than 3,500, it is an excellent place to plan a great winter getaway with the family. Along with the Bearizona Wildlife Park, which features several exotic animals like wolves and bears living in their natural habitats, Williams is home to the 1908 Williams Depot, the southern terminus of the Grand Canyon Railway. Williams also has several other sights to see in the winter season, like the Grand Canyon Deer Farm, Pete’s Rt 66 Gas Station Museum, and Wild West Junction, along Rt 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway. The best part is that hotels like the Lodge on Route 66 and the Sheridan House Inn offer amazing rooms right next to the attractions, so there is never a dull moment in Williams.


Afternoon traffic flows through Main Street in the historic downtown quarter, Cottonwood, Arizona.
Historic downtown quarter, Cottonwood, Arizona in January. Image credit Matt Gush via Shutterstock

The town of Cottonwood, in Yavapai County between Prescott and Sedona, is a hub for all kinds of tourists. Most people head straight to the Dead Horse Ranch State Park, which, name withstanding, offers visitors bird-watching, canoeing, horseback riding, and fishing opportunities. There are even options at the state park for hiking and camping overnight in a cabin or at a campsite. Several winter attractions are also riddled in and around downtown Cottonwood, such as the Clemenceau Heritage Museum.

This historic establishment showcases the origins of the town, as well as the person who founded it. Similarly, Old Town Cottonwood, the town’s historic district, seems straight out of a history book, with plenty of tours to learn about the past while you get away from the chilly breeze. No matter what one does in Cottonwood, the day should end near E. Cottonwood Street, where several lodging options like the SpringHill Suites by Marriot and Lux Verde Hotel await.


Horse drawn carriage with tourists travels down historic Allen Street
Historic buildings and a horse drawn coach in Tombstone, Arizona. Image credit melissamn via Shutterstock

The town of Tombstone is best known because of the Wild West gunslinger story of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the O.K. Corral gunfight. Yet, this quaint, historic town possesses more than just a great past. Along with the Gunfighter Hall of Fame, the Tin Cup Mining Company, and Boothill Cemetery, Tombstone is relatively close to a variety of natural attractions. For example, the Texas Canyon, which is known for its geological granite formations, the Dragoon Mountains, and Karchner Caverns State Park.

There are also several natural attractions southwest of Tombstone worth checking out all year around, and especially during the winter season when temperatures are lower, including Parker Canyon Lake and Miller Canyon. Those interested in an immersive experience can stay at the Tombstone RV Park & Campground, which offers free wifi and parking for a comfortable time. Or, book a room at the Sagebrush Inn for a more secluded environment.


In conclusion, remember the quaint towns amid Arizona's majestic canyons, mountains, and mesas when planning to get away for a winter retreat. Whether it is hiking in the Coconino National Forest outside of Sedona, spending the night in the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, or checking out Pete’s Rt 66 Gas Station Museum in Williams, there is something for everyone in these ten amazing towns. Moreover, Arizona’s amazing climate makes both outdoor and indoor activities a blast during winter.

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