Prescott is one of Arizona’s old western towns. Prescott Arizona is known for it’s cowboy feel and rightfully so it is home to the world’s oldest rodeo. The rodeo has been held in Prescott every year since 1888.
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At an elevation of over 5,000 feet Prescott is cooler than Phoenix and has a nice downtown anchored by a large shaded park. Prescott was founded in 1864 on Granite Creek. Granite Creek attracted miners panning for gold. Much of the cities early development was along this creek.
How to Get to Prescott
There are two routes to Prescott from Phoenix. The quickest way is to take Interstate 17 north. This route is just under two hours. Follow the interstate to AZ-69 N/E State Route 69 in Cordes Lakes. Take exit 262 north. Follow this road for 34 miles to reach Prescott.
The more scenic route to Prescott from Phoenix is to go through Wickenburg. This route will take about 30 minutes longer than the interstate. It is a prettier drive though. From downtown Phoenix take U.S. 60 to Wickenburg. At the roundabout in Wickenburg you will take a right so you’re on State Route 93. Take 93 to 89A. State route 89A will be a winding scenic road into Prescott.
Top 10 Things to Do in Prescott Arizona
- Stroll through Prescott’s historic downtown
- Whiskey Row
- Go to the Lake
- Phippen Museum
- Sharlot Hall Museum
- The Museum of Indigenous People
- Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary
- Watch the World’s Oldest Rodeo
- Take Your Photo by the Prescott Mural
Downtown Historic Prescott Arizona
Downtown Prescott is anchored by courthouse square and grassy area. Prescott was once the territorial capital of Arizona. The downtown historic area is bordered by Victorian houses. The downtown is a gathering place for the town.
One of the most popular spots to visit here is Whiskey Row. Whiskey Row is a popular one block area downtown known for being home to 40 saloons in the 1800’s. This block burned in 1900 and the majority of the buildings seen today were constructed shortly after.
Whiskey Row is now home to several bars, specialty shops, and restaurants. When walking down Whiskey Row, don’t forget to take a walk down the cobblestone path to visit some local shops. Visitors can dress up in old west clothing and have an old time photo taken.
Prescott Arizona Lakes
Prescott is also home to several beautiful lakes and hiking trails. Some of the lakes include:
- Watson Lake
- Granite Basin Lake
- Lynx Lake
Watson Lake Park in Prescott
Watson Lake is a small, yet very scenic lake in Prescott. The Granite Dells formed the rugged granite boulder formations surrounding the lake.
Prescott Outdoors rents canoes and kayaks. You won’t want to swim in Watson Lake, but it is a gorgeous backdrop for kayaking.
Hike at Watson Lake
Hiking around the lake is about 4.8 miles. There are four hiking trails around the lake:
- Northshore Trail
- Over the Hill Trail
- Peavine Trail
- Lower Granite Creek Trail
Point of Rock campground is a short walk from the lake.
Prescott Arizona Museums
Prescott is home to three museums. Visit eight historical buildings as part of the Sharlot Hall Museum. You can see the 1864 Governor’s log cabin “mansion,” replica of Prescott’s first school, the oldest log cabin in Arizona to name a few.
Learn about Prescott’s Native culture and art at The Museum of Indigenous People.
See American Western art at the Phippen Museum.
Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary
See all the rescue animals at Prescott’s non-profit sanctuary. Some of the animals you will see here include a mountain lion, bears, wolves, birds, lemurs, hedgehogs, birds, reptiles and many more. The Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary is near Willow Creek Reservoir.
Watch the World’s Oldest Rodeo
Every summer, since 1888, Prescott hosts the world’s largest rodeo. Visit over the July 4th weekend to see this fun event. Watch the races, roping, barrel racing, and bull riding.