Historic Connor Hotel on the Main Street of Jerome, Arizona. Image credit Nick Fox via Shutterstock

7 of the Most Charming Small Towns to Visit in Arizona

Also known as “The Grand Canyon State”, Arizona is dotted with beautiful small towns for those wishing to escape from the hustle and bustle of big-city living. For this reason, it is one of the highest visited states in the country.

Small towns such as Bisbee, Clarkdale, Carefree, and Jerome, offer visitors a relaxing vacation amidst a desert backdrop, and breathtaking views of canyons and unique natural wonders.

If you plan a trip to this desert state, check out seven of Arizona's most charming small towns.


Downtown Bisbee located in the Mule Mountains, Arizona.
Downtown Bisbee located in the Mule Mountains, Arizona. Image credit Nick Fox via Shutterstock.com

A former mining town, Bisbee is now home to aspiring artists. The town has retained its Western charm, and its community is free-spirited and welcoming, perfect for visitors.

Bisbee is located in Arizona’s Mule Mountains. The town contributed greatly to World War I production through copper mining. Therefore, Copper Queen Mine is one of Bisbee’s most visited sites. Retired miners offer tours, where visitors can descend 1,500 feet into the mine.

Visitors can enjoy a golf cart tour through town with Bisbee Tour Company, grab a drink at Old Bisbee Brewing Company, or view stunning art exhibits from international artists at Belleza Fine Art Gallery.


Overlooking Jerome, nestled on a hillside in Arizona.
Jerome, nestled on a hillside in Arizona.

Located at a 5,000-foot elevation and overlooking Arizona’s Verde Valley, Jerome offers stunning views, spooky sightseeing, and insight into the town’s history. Once a mining town, Jerome sees thousands of visitors annually.

Jerome State Historic Park is a popular site, home to Douglas Mansion. The views are breathtaking, and the Mansion, which was renovated in the 1960s, is full of historic artifacts and photographs of Jerome’s past.

A visit to Jerome would be incomplete without a ghost tour. Visitors can choose from a one to four-hour-long tour (depending on the number of stops). Tours of Jerome, Jerome Ghost Tours, and Ghost Town Tours are highly rated guides.


A fall day in Prescott, Arizona.
A fall day in Prescott, Arizona.

Two hours away from Phoenix, and situated in Bradshaw Mountains is Prescott Arizona. It is a beautiful mountain town surrounded by crystal-clear lakes, pine forests, and natural granite rock formations.

With 450 miles of trails, the town is ideal for biking, hiking, and nature walks (Salida Gulch Trail is exceedingly popular). Alternatively, rock climbing, camping, and kayaking around Watson Lake are worth a try in Prescott. Visiting Constellation Park is a must to view stunning rock formations and gorgeous wildflowers.

After a day of adventuring, visitors can head downtown to Whiskey Row to grab a bite at The County Seat, Triple Creek Kitchen and Spirits, or b. simple.


Historic adobe style buildings featured in the Tubac Plaza in the historic town center of Tubac, Arizona.
Historic adobe style buildings featured in the Tubac Plaza in Tubac, Arizona. Image credit Wangkun Jia via Shutterstock.com

Dubbed the Southwest's “greatest hidden gem”, Tubac is located close to the Mexican border. The Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is home to Arizona’s oldest Spanish fort. The fort has been converted into a museum to give visitors an insight into the town’s history.

Another great stop on your Tubac visit is a hike down the Anza trail which runs along the Santa Cruz River. A 4-mile trail is marked for Tubac visitors, to enjoy a peaceful walk and catch sight of colorful birds.

End your day with great food at the Tubac Golf & Country Club Resort (filming location for the movie Tin Cup), or Stables Ranch Grille.


Historic Copper Art Museum Building Entrance Exterior in Clarkdale Arizona
Historic Copper Art Museum Building in Clarkdale, Arizona. Image credit Autumn Sky Photography via Shutterstock

A charming town, Clarkdale is one of Arizona's hidden gems. Like Jerome, it is also located in Verde Valley. Visitors can enjoy a scenic train ride through the Verde River Canyon, shop on Main Street, or tour the historic district.

Just a few miles outside Clarkdale lies the Tuzigoot National Monument. The Sinagua people once called it home, but it was reconstructed and now stands as a national monument.

Well-known for its copper mining history, the Arizona Copper Art Museum is another popular tourist spot for Clarkdale visitors. The museum is located at the old Clarkdale High School and exhibits copper-made drinkware, pots, trench art, and winery equipment.


Old fashioned imitation water tower Wickenburg, Arizona.
Old fashioned imitation water tower Wickenburg, Arizona. Image credit Rosemarie Mosteller via Shutterstock

From gorgeous desert landscapes, vibrant culture, welcoming residents, and a rich history of gold mining, Wickenburg is a must-see on any Arizona trip.

If you visit between October through April, you could catch a free music concert at the Wickenburg Community Center. For a bit of nature, head to Hassayampa River Preserve. With almost 300 species of birds, the preserve offers an easy walk along the lush banks of the river.

Vulture Peak is the place to be for a more challenging hike with jaw-dropping views at the end of the trail. Finally, for a bit of indoor fun, Desert Caballeros Western Museum houses a stunning collection of art.


Welcome to Carefree, Arizona Desert Gardens and Sundial
Welcome to Carefree, Arizona Desert Gardens and Sundial.

With a name like Carefree, who wouldn't be tempted to visit this charming small Arizona town? Nestled in the Sonoran Desert, Carefree is a unique and welcoming town.

Believe it or not, Carefree was once a 400-acre goat farm that was purchased in 1955 for $44,000. The land was purchased to create an easygoing town, hence the name Carefree.

For nature enthusiasts, the Carefree Desert Gardens are home to at least 50 species of flora and fauna. Alternatively, the Scorpion splash pad and Gila Monster playground are great for family visits. Sanderson Lincoln Pavillion is the place to be for year-round events. When visiting Carefree, be sure to visit the sundial, it is the Western Hemisphere’s third-largest sundial.

From Carefree to Bisbee, Jerome to Clarkdale, each of the small towns in Arizona offers an escape from crowded city life. These towns enable visitors to slow down and find peace in the lap of nature, delve into American history, and revel in great food and splendid company.

If you are looking for a relaxing getaway, that is equal parts beautiful and peaceful, check out these seven most charming small towns in Arizona.

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