When one thinks about Arizona, chances are they envision a barren wasteland of old-western cowboy towns, cacti and tumbleweeds, and scorching, painful amounts of dry, desert heat. As an Arizona resident, I would generally agree that most of the state fits that description fairly well, but my home town is a different story. Prescott, Arizona, is filled with forests of pine trees, lakes of different shapes and sizes, and an array of local flavor, yet it still holds true to having a “old-west” influence engrained into its culture.
QUARTER FINALIST 2013 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Prescott is a place of charm, a gem in a land of desert surroundings. Unlike most of Arizona, it experiences all four seasons just enough to give each time of year a unique taste filled with different activities and local events, such as the Christmas Courthouse Lighting and Winter Parade, the fall County Fair, and several Art in the Park events throughout the summer. Anyone who chooses to visit Prescott will surely find plenty of attractions to keep them entertained and wanting to return for more.
When arriving in Prescott, I would immediately recommend that a day would be spent by walking around the local “Square.” This is where the historic Prescott Courthouse is located, surrounded by high reaching trees and vibrant, green grass which make it the perfect spot for picnics, relaxation, and for children to freely be at play. Surrounding the square are streets filled with local restaurants, antique shops, and historical buildings. One could spend hours exploring the locally owned businesses that give Prescott it’s western charm. One restaurant in particular that a visitor should try is the Prescott Brewing Company, located in the Bashford Courts along The Square. This popular bar and eatery brews their own beer and serves large, taste-filled portions of classic favorites along with meals that can’t be found anywhere else.
It would be a mistake to come to Prescott and not go hiking on one of its many trails. Depending on a visitor’s preference, the local trails can go for miles along lakes, rivers, or long stretches of think forests. For a mild hike, there is a trail that takes the participant in full circle around one of Prescott’s most iconic landmarks: Thumb Butte. For a small parking fee, any visitor could easily make their way around Thumb Butte, being able to stop frequently on rest points that overlook the beautiful Prescott city and forests. The clear air and fresh scent of pines creates an atmosphere of peace and beauty that simply takes one’s breath away.
Prescott also has several lakes hidden in different areas of the town, and each of them have their own unique environment. All of Prescott’s lakes allow fishing, most notably Goldwater and Lynx, which are annually stocked with fresh fish for the sportsman’s pleasure. One of the most spectacular lakes to visit is Watson Lake, which is surrounded by massive cliffs and islands of granite boulders. In order to best enjoy the area’s rocky landscape, I would highly recommend taking part in the canoe rentals offered at the lake’s dock. Canoeing at Watson allows for thorough exploration of islands and caverns, where surprises lie around every corner.
The city of Prescott has everything that would be sought after in an ideal vacation. It has history, culture, outdoor activities, and a small-town warmth that is suitable for all types of people. There are endless opportunities to make a visit to this Arizona gem truly memorable. To best experience the life of Prescott, one doesn’t have to look far. Charm, fun, and adventure are at every turn.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.