Overlooking the downtown of Bisbee, Arizona.

9 Most Picturesque Small Towns in Arizona

Arizona ranks sixth in the list of the largest states in the United States of America, home to several picturesque towns. For the most part, it has had an urban population, especially since the 20th century. This is when the state witnessed tremendous growth in urban as well as suburban areas. The bordering states of Arizona include Mexico, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Though the Petrified Forest National Park and Grand Canyon are key attractions of Arizona, it is also known for containing a large portion of the tribal lands of the American Indians. For those keen on exploring the state of Arizona, discover nine of the most beautiful small towns in the state that definitely deserve a visit!


Street view in Bisbee, Arizona.
Street view in Bisbee, Arizona. Image credit Cheri Alguire via Shutterstock.com

Bisbee is an archetypal small town that does a wonderful job of blending the new and the old. Home to approximately 5,300 people, this town has some charming Victorian buildings that managed to survive demolition. Today, they serve as historic bookstores and art galleries frequented by tourists and locals alike. Among the popular lodging facilities in Bisbee is The Copper Queen Hotel, known for its stunning hillside location. The Inn at Castle Rock is another interesting place to stay at, with its Victorian-styled and nautical suites.

Shopping in Bisbee is another fun activity. The small town has amazing vintage stores that sell antiques. Miners & Merchants Antique Center is one such store, with three floors of goods, ranging from a classy leather chair to a doll house, waiting to be bought!


View of vintage station wagon and Mr D'z Diner on Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona
Vintage station wagon and Mr D'z Diner on Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona. Image credit Frank Fell Media via Shutterstock

Located along Arizona’s famous Route 66 is the town of Kingman. This town has that quintessential retro vibe, which embraces its vibrant past. One of the things that makes this town so picturesque is its cluster of walking trails. These include Camp Beale Loop, Castle Rock Trail, Badger Trail, and White Cliffs Wagon Trail, among others. Besides these trails, Kingman is also home to several scenic parks, including Centennial Park and Cecil Davis Park, that offer opportunities for family recreation.

Centennial Park, for instance, has a playground, pedestal grills, and designated picnic areas. For those who wish to (really) get up and close with nature, a visit to the Hualapai Mountain Park is highly recommended. This park offers the most majestic views and a chance to see wildlife such as mountain lions, elk, mule deer, and all kinds of birds. Tourists can also rent cabins in the park to enjoy activities like camping, biking, picnics, and hiking.


Historic Connor Hotel on the Main Street of Jerome located in the Black Hills of Yavapai County
Historic Connor Hotel on the Main Street of Jerome, Arizona. Image credit Nick Fox via Shutterstock

A stunning hillside destination, Jerome is a great tourist destination in the state of Arizona. It is the ideal vacation spot for those wanting to discover the mines of Verde Valley, spectral spirits, wines, and fine arts. Located between Flagstaff and Prescott, near Cleopatra Hill, Jerome has an intriguing history of copper mining. It was once called the "Wickedest Town in the West" when it had rich copper deposits attracting merchants and miners.

The streets of downtown Jerome are home to several bottle shops and tasting rooms showcasing Verde Valley’s viticulture. It is said that craftspeople and artists saved Jerome. Visit the Jerome Art Center, which operates as a work space for over 30 artists. The town is packed with galleries located inside former storefronts and houses, showcasing jewelry, fine art, photography, furniture, and more.


View of the mountain range in downtown Sedona.
Mountain range in downtown Sedona, Arizona. Image credit Akane Brooks via Shutterstock.com

Nestled in the famous Upper Sonoran Desert, Sedona is flocked by day-trippers and vacationers during the summer. The key attraction at this particular time of the year is witnessing the buildup of tall rock formations that look stunning orange at the time of sunrise. Some of the popular outdoor recreational activities in Sedona include hiking, biking, and enjoying hot air balloon rides. For such outdoor adventures, tourists can visit the Red Rock Crossing, Slide Rock State Park, or sit on top of Airport Mesa to see the most dreamy peach sunset!

Wine tasting is another popular outdoor activity among tourists visiting Sedona. Some of the most frequented vineyards include Page Spring Cellars, Alcantara Vineyards, and Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery. There are several art galleries in and around Sedona where one can witness some beautiful artwork. These include the Adonai Christian Fine Art Gallery, Gedion Gallery, and The DeSerio Gallery, among others.


A Fall Day In Prescott, Arizona.
A fall day In Prescott, Arizona.

Located at a height of 5,200 feet above sea level, amidst a plethora of pine forests, is the scenic town of Prescott. The town is known for its splendid weather and four distinct and beautiful seasons, making it an all-year-round vacation spot. Prescott stands out for its breathtaking landscapes that include lakes, rolling meadows, streams, and granite mountains.

The town receives sunshine for 277 days every year, which means plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Visit the Prescott National Forest, which covers an area of 1.2 million acres, for unlimited exploration. For those who love parks, The City of Prescott is home to 16 parks that offer plenty of fun and relaxing activities. The town also has a historic downtown with the stately Yavapai County Courthouse at the center. This is quite a vibrant and busy area, since it is frequented by tourists and locals alike for shopping and dining.


Afternoon sunlight shines on the historic downtown core of Patagonia.
Historic downtown core of Patagonia, Arizona. Image credit Matt Gush via Shutterstock

Patagonia is a town located in southern Arizona that has a great history behind it. Located at a height of more than 4,000 feet between the Patagonia and Santa Rita Mountains (20 miles away from northern Mexico), Patagonia is known for its mining and ranching history, as well as its rich wine culture. It has three ghost towns in close proximity, Lochiel, Duquesne, and Harshaw, located along the Patagonia Mountains. Interested in some birdwatching? The Nature Conservancy's Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve has over 300 bird species for viewing.

Another ideal spot for exploring wildlife, camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, and water-skiing is Patagonia Lake State Park. There is a huge man-made lake (265 acres) within the park where anglers can catch bluegill, catfish, crappie, and bass. For those fond of hiking, there is a beautiful trail in the park where one can view birds like the Inca dove, canyon towhee, and black vulture.


Old fashioned imitation water tower with the town name and Est 1863 is on top of a building on Tegner Street.
Old fashioned imitation water tower, Wickenburg, Arizona. Image credit Rosemarie Mosteller via Shutterstock

To experience the Wild West in its most authentic form, tourists must visit the town of Wickenburg in Arizona. The perfect blend of the past and the present, Wickenburg has that quintessential cowboy town vibe. The Desert Caballeros Western Museum is a great place to appreciate the fine arts, while the Del E. Webb Center is known for showcasing incredible performances.

For all history buffs planning a visit to Wickenburg, a historic tour through the rehabilitated downtown is highly recommended. Explore the outdoors at Hassayampa River Preserve, which reportedly houses almost 300 bird species. For something a little more challenging, hop across town to hike up the famous Vulture Peak. 


Street scene with classic car in front of souvenir shops in Williams, Arizona.
Street scene with classic car in front of souvenir shops in Williams, Arizona. Image credit Jordi C via Shutterstock.com

Route 66 in the United States was a historic route symbolizing the country’s spirit of adventure, risk, and perseverance. This road stretched for 2,500 miles and helped carry the Dust Bowl survivors to safer pastures. Located on what is currently called ‘Interstate 40,’ Williams is a small town in Arizona, about 30 minutes away from Flagstaff. This town lives on as an ode to the storied road as well as the cultural peak of the 1950s.

Tourists can look forward to seeing several Instagram-worthy sites, such as road signs and old diners, when traveling through the well-preserved segment of Route 66 in Williams. One of the key attractions of Williams is that it offers access to the Grand Canyon Railway. The ride lasts for approximately two hours and drops off tourists on the South Rim of the Canyon.


Winslow, Arizona gained prominence from the Eagle's song, "Take it Easy," which includes lyrics about standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona.
Downtown Winslow, Arizona. Image credit Michael Gordon via Shutterstock.com

One of the most picturesque stops on Route 66, Winslow, is quite popular among motorcyclists and motorists. "I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona..." are lyrics from a rock song by the band Eagles; a song that will always be closely associated with the town. Among the many elements that make Winslow so historically beautiful is the Old Trails Museum, showcasing memorabilia, mostly donated by the locals. 

For hiking enthusiasts, visiting the Homolovi State Park is a must! This park, with its scenic trails, allows hikers to view archaeological sites, in addition to the prehistoric rock carvings that belonged to the Hopi ancestors. A renowned hotel in Winslow is La Posada. Considered among the finest trackside hotels, La Posada was designed by Fred Harvey Company architect Mary Jane Colter for the Santa Fe Railroad. Stepping into this historic hacienda-style masterpiece, with its red-tiled roof, public gardens, and graceful arches, is very well preserved.

The Scenic Gems of Arizona

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Arizona is a unique state in terms of its climate, geography, weather as well as its towns and cities. Even though a majority of this scenic state’s population might reside in the metropolitan areas of Tucson and Phoenix, there are also several dozen picturesque small towns outside these heavily populated cities that are great for weekend trips and even longer vacations.

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