20 Best Things to Do in Prescott, AZ

Prescott, AZ
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Formerly the territorial capital of Arizona, Prescott City is a historic downtown business district with so much for you to see and do!

Rich with a colorful past, tourists who spend their vacation in this city can learn about the history of Prescott, Arizona.

Likewise, tourists can see how its present community continues to celebrate and preserve its old traditions.

Part of the Yavapai County, Prescott is home to many lakes and outdoor recreational establishments perfect for outdoor lovers and enthusiasts looking for adventure.

You can find many scenic trails, paths, forests, and wildernesses to explore.

Leave the city's busy streets and get back in touch with nature.

Discover the best things to do in the historic city of Prescott, AZ.

Enjoy Water Activities at Watson Lake

Sunset reflecting on Watson Lake
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Watson Lake is a beautiful outdoor facility created by a dam on Granite Creek.

This lake is one of two reservoirs on Granite Dells that provide guests with amenities and activities.

Beat the Arizona heat by indulging in several sports and recreation activities at this beautiful oasis.

An old cottonwood tree near Watson Lake
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Explore the magical water of Watson Lake by kayaking, canoeing, and fishing on a sunny day.

You may also take advantage of their land activities by biking or taking a hike up the scenic trail running the side of the lake.

You can also find a vast number of species of birds flying overhead, making this destination a hotspot for birdwatching!

Watson Lake at the granite dells of Prescott
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Learn about History and Folklore at Sharlot Hall Museum

Exterior of Sharlot Hall Museum
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Sharlot Hall Museum is minutes within the city center and is dedicated to sharing with tourists and visitors the rich history of this county.

Serving the community for almost a century, this museum houses an extensive collection of preserved artifacts, souvenirs, and other memorabilia related to the past of Arizona.

Interior of Sharlot Hall Museum's transportation building
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This museum gets its name from the woman who installed these permanent exhibits and displays that detail old folk tales, intriguing guests worldwide.

There’s always something happening at this museum, whether they have a guest speaker or host an event or presentation.

Sharlot Hall Museum combines education with adventure, so schedule a tour ahead of time!

Interior of Sharlot Hall Museum's governor mansion
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Breathe in the Fresh Air at Lynx Lake Recreation Area

A picnic table near the waters of Lynx Lake Recreation Area
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Lynx Lake Recreation Area is a tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts and lovers.

Besides a lake for water activities, the area has surrounding pine trees that give guests a refreshing breeze of fresh air.

A turtle at Lynx Lake Recreation Area
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You can take advantage of their spacious land by biking, hiking, jogging, or simply walking around their trails and paths.

Likewise, you can do water activities: paddle boating, kayaking, fishing, canoeing, and more!

Their campgrounds are also open for visitors if you want to set up a tent and spend a night or two at this lovely recreational center.

Beautiful sunny day at Lynx Lake Recreation Area
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Take a Hike at Thumb Butte Trail #33

If you’re looking for a nice trail to hike and explore while visiting Prescott, check out Thumb Butte Trail #33!

One of locals' and tourists' most popular and sought-after paths, this trail stretches over 2.5 miles.

It commonly accommodates hikers from beginner to moderate skill levels due to how relatively easy this trail is.

You don’t need to worry about getting lost since this trail has clear markers, signage boards, and directions to guide you as you wander around.

Some of the activities you can do include mountain and road biking, bird watching, or simply taking in the scenic views it has to offer.

Various wildlife, such as deer, have made this ridge their home, so be on the lookout for them.

This trail attracts many people, so drop by early before other guests start to arrive!

Take a Stroll Down Prescott’s Historic District at Whiskey Row

Night scene at Whiskey Row
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Prescott City is known for its rich and colorful historical past, and you can get a taste of this at Whiskey Row!

Located in downtown Prescott, Whiskey Row is a street lined with saloons constructed circa-1900s after a fire devastated this part of the city.

Exterior of the Whiskey Row Pub
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Mostly comprising bars, this district mainly attracted cowboys, gamblers, and settlers, making it one of the liveliest areas in Prescott.

At present, you can catch several events, including shoot-outs, that celebrate its history and significance.

One stroll around Whiskey Row, and you can glimpse just how lively this town was.

Saloons at Whiskey Row
Chris English, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Admire the Wildlife at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary is the go-to destination for animal lovers and kids!

Located roughly 15 minutes north of the heart of Prescott, you can find this lovely establishment dedicated to rescuing and preserving various animal species.

Housing both native and exotic species, this facility also gives its guests the chance to get up close and personal with the harmless animals under the supervision of an experienced zoologist.

This sanctuary wants to educate young people on the importance of caring for the animals and the environment through immersive experiences.

You may even meet some of the most interesting creatures and learn about how they were rescued from captivity or saved from the wild.

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary is a hit with the kids, so call and book a tour now!

Trace Native American Culture at Phippen Museum

A sculpture on the grounds of Phippen Museum
Scottb211 from Gaylord, Michigan, U.S.A., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This cowboy-themed museum gives its visitors a glimpse into the Old West!

Found roughly eight miles up north from the city center, Phippen Museum shares the culture of Native Americans and preserves their works through displays and exhibits.

Inside, you can find studio replicas, various collections of artifacts, souvenirs, and a unique gallery dedicated to the culture and heritage of the west.

This intimate museum was inspired by the first president of the Cowboy Artists of America, George Phippen, who greatly influenced the establishment of this museum.

Their schedule comes packed with events year-round that bring Western history back to life.

Phippen Museum truly is one of a kind, so don’t miss the opportunity to explore this establishment by scheduling a tour.

Join the World’s Oldest Rodeo at Prescott Frontier Days, Inc.

Welcome sign of Prescott Frontier Days
David Quigley, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Prescott Frontier Days, also known as the World’s Oldest Rodeo, is an unforgettable event only in Prescott City.

The city has hosted annual rodeos since 1888.

Every year, thousands of tourists and locals gather to watch this iconic tradition over the 4th of July weekend.

Watch as skilled riders tackle the bull and attempt to stay on while performing various tricks.

Stay on your toes as you observe the brave riders on bull riding, wild horse races, team roping, barrel racing, and more!

Musical performers, live music, and other events also take place at this rodeo that will keep you entertained for hours.

This is literally not their first rodeo, so drop by to see your favorite events live!

Explore Prescott National Forest

Nature trail at Prescott National Forest
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Prescott National Forest is one of the most famous forests globally that regularly attracts thousands of visitors each year.

With the wide range of activities this forest offers, you won’t run out of things to see and do!

You can get back in touch with nature by exploring over 950 miles of scenic trails and well-kept land, complemented by a refreshing and relaxing atmosphere.

Goldwater lake at Prescott National Forest
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You can bring the whole family to this forest for some quality time, from fishing to hiking, picnicking to bouldering, and everything in between.

They also have several campgrounds scattered around this destination, whether you prefer to camp with a group or in more isolated areas to get some peace.

This wilderness allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the relaxing scenery and open air.

A pond at Prescott National Forest
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Indulge in Elegant Drinks at Superstition Meadery

Name sign of Superstition Meadery
Scottb211 from Gaylord, Michigan, U.S.A., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If beer isn’t your drink of choice, then head to Superstition Meadery.

This establishment is well known for its mead, wine, and other alcoholic beverages!

The winery and meadery sell a long list of fermented drinks sure to contain a beverage you’ll enjoy and appreciate.

Bottles of mead at Superstition Meadery
Scottb211 from Gaylord, Michigan, U.S.A., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

From classic recipes to more extensive and bolder flavors, this establishment prides itself on creating a wide range of drinks to accommodate all preferences and tastes.

Superstition Meadery has it whether you’re looking for something dry, sweet, or sparking.

This facility opened its doors in 2012.

Their experience makes them the best at what they do.

Barrels in Superstition Meadery
Scottb211 from Gaylord, Michigan, U.S.A., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery is a quaint little museum in historic downtown Prescott that’s perfect for an intimate date or quality time with your loved ones.

This museum is home to several unique artworks that only continue to grow over the years.

Various artists have managed and operated these art pieces with the same passion for the artistic field.

Established over 20 years ago, the gallery hosts paintings, woven baskets, ceramics, pottery, sculptures, and more that can inspire you to create an artwork of your own!

They display art covering various genres and media to house a diverse collection that can intrigue anyone who visits.

This museum hosts events year-round, so drop by and check them out.

Watch a Live Production at Elks Opera House Theatre

Entrance of Elks Opera House Theatre
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Initially built in 1905, Elks Opera House Theatre is a classically designed performance venue staging various productions for the public!

With over 500 seats, this venue is a hotspot for tourists who want to see its elegant interior and exterior design refurbished, well-kept, and maintained for the past century.

This theatre is genuinely one of a kind, landing it on the National Register of Historic Places list due to its cultural and historical significance.

Live performances and productions still play inside this opera house ranging from dramatic plays to musical ensembles.

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets before they’re all sold out!

Win a Game or Two at Bucky's Casino

Test your luck at Bucky’s Casino and see if you’ll win the jackpot!

Found right at the heart of Prescott, this entertainment complex houses traditional and classic casino games that can keep you preoccupied for the night.

Slot machines, table games, and more are open all day.

Call someone's bluff on the poker table, for example.

You can also find cafes and restaurants within this establishment to give you that caffeine boost energy you may need to keep you going until sunrise.

With over 500 gaming machines, you might be able to win a couple of hundred dollars!

Shop ‘til You Drop at Prescott Farmers Market

People shopping at Prescott Farmers Market
Pat Chuturbhuti / Shutterstock.com

There’s nothing better to do on vacation than to enjoy the open air on a sunny day at a farmer’s market.

Prescott Farmers Market is open to the public every Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., jampacked with fresh produce, home-grown and local goods, and more!

You can find hundreds of vendors lining the street, ready to sell you various items and goods.

Vendors at Prescott Farmers Market
Pat Chuturbhuti / Shutterstock.com

You may even get some items for a discounted price or on sale.

All products sold at this market come from local farmers to support and expand local agriculture, cultivating a healthy relationship between community members and visitors.

The open-air and warm atmosphere that Prescott Farmers Market provides will give you an enjoyable experience while visiting this city.

Flower shop at Prescott Farmers Market
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Join an Arts & Craft Show at Prescott's Downtown Area

Prescott's downtown district is a chief venue for various community-friendly events.

Among this event collection are Arts & Crafts Shows hosted by The Prescott Chamber of Commerce.

Held four times a year, these shows fall on a weekend.

Its first one, named Off Street Festival, brings community art to the streets of West Goodwin.

Showcasing the Courthouse Plaza is the Territorial Days Arts & Crafts Show, which offers handcrafted items and fun meals.

By September, Faire on the Square offers a good time to everyone with entertaining live shows.

And to finish the year, FallFest in the Park provides everyone with memorable stalls and activities.

When in Prescott, don't miss at least one of these Arts & Crafts Shows!

Learn More About Culture and Diversity at Smoki Museum

Smoki Museum offers a different kind of cultural discovery in Prescott.

This museum focuses on the heritage of Indian culture and Native living within the southwestern USA and northern Mexico.

Completed in 1935, the stone buildings housing the museum came to be through the efforts of the Smoki People.

When you visit, browse through art displays made by indigenous people within special exhibits.

Better yet, join art auctions centered on Navajo rugs.

Smoki Museum is the only one of its kind within the Greater Prescott Area.

You can find this historical landmark on North Arizona Avenue.

Try Your Hand at Fishing at Goldwater Lake

The waters of Goldwater Lake
Charlotte Evelyn / Shutterstock.com

Ready for some fun by the waters?

Goldwater Lake on Senator Highway may be the right attraction for you.

Boasting a 15-acre lake, this park offers fishing docks, boat ramps, and several ramadas for shade.

Rent a kayak or boat and explore the waters during a peaceful day out.

Fishing pier at Goldwater Lake
Bill Florence / Shutterstock.com

Other amenities this lakefront park has includes horseshoe pits and a playground.

If you wish to celebrate an intimate occasion at this park, there are ceremony pads onsite.

And to complete your nature-based retreat, go on a recreational hike at the site's paved trails.

Goldwater Lake has designated opening days for every season, so be sure your schedule is free then!

A duck on the waters of Goldwater Lake
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View the Stunning Rock Formations at Constellation Trails

Rock formation along Constellation Trails
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South of the Phippen Museum, Constellation Trails stands as an impressive natural attraction you shouldn't miss.

These trails drive past slick rock and flat surfaces.

These are also famous for shedding a light on native flora and fauna.

But perhaps, what makes these routes more appealing to expert and recreational hikers are their scenic vistas.

Some of the views you can expect to find along your route include rock formations and scrub oaks passageways.

To reach the Constellation Trailhead, head over to the west side of US Route 89.

Trek Prescott’s Wondrous Natural Attractions with a Llama from Arizona Backcountry Llamas

Planning to traverse Prescott but wish to spice things up?

Then, be sure to book a llama service from Arizona Backcountry Llamas.

There are various hiking and trekking packages you can choose from!

2-hour bookings provide a scenic hike around lakeshore trails with the fuzzy creature.

For more time together with the llamas, opt for half-day treks or full-day hikes.

Get going to Bandit Ridge Road for an appointment with Arizona Backcountry Llamas.

Final Thoughts

Prescott is a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts who wish to get away from the city's busy streets and enjoy the solitude and serenity that nature provides.

With the vast number of lakes, forests, and trails you can hike and explore, the open air will refresh your senses.

The rich history of Prescott also brings back its colorful past through the museums and art galleries found across the city.

There's a lot for you to see and do, from historical attractions to outdoor establishments and everything in between.

Adventure awaits, so book a ticket now!

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