12 Best Things to do in Prescott, AZ: Exploring the Hidden Gems of the Wild West

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Discover the top 12 best things to do in Prescott, AZ, and embark on a journey through the Wild West. From historic landmarks to outdoor adventures, this comprehensive guide covers the must-visit attractions in Prescott, AZ.


Prescott, AZ, nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Arizona, offers a perfect blend of rich history, scenic beauty, and exciting activities. Known as “Everybody’s Hometown,” this charming city boasts a unique combination of old-west charm and modern amenities. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or a nature lover, Prescott has something to offer for everyone. In this article, we’ll delve into the 12 best things to do in Prescott, AZ, providing you with an insider’s perspective and recommendations.

1. Historic Whiskey Row: Immerse Yourself in the Wild West Era

Head down to Historic Whiskey Row, a vibrant street in downtown Prescott, steeped in history and brimming with shops, restaurants, and saloons. This iconic street got its name from the numerous saloons that lined the road during the frontier days. Today, you can explore the same buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1900, giving you a sense of the city’s past. Enjoy live music, shop for unique souvenirs, and savor delicious meals at the restaurants that still exude the Wild West atmosphere.

2. Prescott National Forest: Embrace Nature’s Beauty

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life by venturing into Prescott National Forest. This vast wilderness offers a myriad of recreational opportunities, including hiking, camping, and picnicking. Embark on the Thumb Butte Trail for a rewarding hike with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. If you’re a photography enthusiast, you’ll find countless opportunities to capture the beauty of nature in its purest form.

3. Watson Lake: Kayak Amidst Granite Boulders

A visit to Prescott is incomplete without experiencing the tranquility of Watson Lake. This reservoir, surrounded by impressive granite boulders, provides a serene setting for kayaking and canoeing. Paddle your way through the crystal-clear waters, explore hidden coves, and marvel at the diverse birdlife that calls this lake home. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as you’ll want to capture the breathtaking rock formations reflected in the water.

4. Sharlot Hall Museum: Step Back in Time

For history buffs, the Sharlot Hall Museum is a must-visit attraction. Dedicated to preserving the heritage of Central Arizona, this museum showcases exhibits on Native American culture, territorial life, and the region’s mining history. The Victorian-style buildings and well-maintained gardens add to the allure of the museum, transporting visitors to a bygone era.

5. Heritage Park Zoo: Connect with Wildlife

Families and animal enthusiasts will love a trip to Heritage Park Zoo. This small yet charming zoo is home to a variety of native and exotic animals, providing an educational and interactive experience for visitors of all ages. Learn about the conservation efforts of endangered species, watch engaging animal presentations, and even participate in feeding some of the animals.

6. Thumb Butte Distillery: Sip on Handcrafted Spirits

Indulge in a unique experience by visiting the Thumb Butte Distillery, where you can taste handcrafted spirits made with locally sourced ingredients. Take a guided tour to learn about the distillation process, and then treat your taste buds to a sampling of their finest spirits, including whiskey, vodka, and gin. The rustic ambiance and friendly staff make this a memorable stop during your Prescott adventure.

7. Lynx Lake Recreation Area: Relax and Reconnect

Nestled in the cool pines of the Bradshaw Mountains, the Lynx Lake Recreation Area offers a peaceful retreat for relaxation and recreation. Engage in fishing, boating, or hiking along the tranquil lake shores. If you prefer a more laid-back experience, find a cozy spot for a picnic and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings.

8. Prescott Center for the Arts: Unleash Your Creative Side

If you have a flair for the arts or appreciate performing arts, the Prescott Center for the Arts is the place to be. Catch a live theater performance, musical, or art exhibition that showcases the talents of local artists and performers. Supporting the arts in this intimate community setting is an enriching experience.

9. Phippen Museum: Celebrate Western Art

Delve into the beauty of Western art at the Phippen Museum. This art museum features an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures depicting the spirit of the American West. Admire the masterpieces that celebrate the region’s history, culture, and landscapes, as well as the works of contemporary Western artists.

10. Goldwater Lake: A Serene Getaway

For a relaxing escape surrounded by nature, head to Goldwater Lake. This serene reservoir offers opportunities for fishing, hiking, and enjoying scenic picnics. Nature lovers will appreciate the lush surroundings and the chance to spot local wildlife. Capture stunning photos of the lake and its surroundings as you bask in the tranquility of this hidden gem.

11. Antelope Hills Golf Course: Tee Off with a View

Golf enthusiasts will be delighted to play a round at the Antelope Hills Golf Course. With two 18-hole championship courses, this golf course offers challenging play while boasting breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Perfect your swing and enjoy a day of leisurely golf in the midst of Arizona’s beauty.

12. Lynx Creek Ruin: Explore Ancient History

Discover the intriguing past of the region by visiting the Lynx Creek Ruin. This archaeological site provides a glimpse into the lives of ancient inhabitants, showcasing their dwellings and artifacts. Take a guided tour to learn about the fascinating history and the significance of this remarkable site.


Q: What is the best time to visit Prescott, AZ?

A: The best time to visit Prescott is during the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) seasons when the weather is mild, and the city hosts various festivals and events.

Q: Are there any camping sites near Prescott, AZ?

A: Yes, Prescott offers numerous camping sites within Prescott National Forest, such as Lynx Lake Campground and White Spar Campground, providing an excellent opportunity to connect with nature.

Q: Are pets allowed on hiking trails in Prescott, AZ?

A: Yes, leashed pets are generally allowed on most hiking trails in Prescott, AZ, but it’s essential to check individual trail regulations for specific rules.

Q: Can I swim in Watson Lake?

A: Swimming is not allowed in Watson Lake due to safety and water quality concerns. However, you can enjoy kayaking and other non-motorized water activities.

Q: Is Prescott a dog-friendly city?

A: Yes, Prescott is known for its dog-friendly atmosphere, with many pet-friendly restaurants, parks, and even pet-friendly events.

Q: What is the Prescott Courthouse Plaza famous for?

A: The Prescott Courthouse Plaza is famous for hosting various events and festivals throughout the year, including arts and crafts shows, concerts, and holiday celebrations.


Prescott, AZ, invites visitors to experience the Wild West in all its glory. From immersing yourself in the historic charm of Whiskey Row to exploring the beauty of Prescott National Forest and its surrounding lakes, the city offers a diverse range of activities for every traveler. Whether you’re seeking adventure, history, or simply a relaxing getaway, Prescott has it all. So, pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey through this captivating destination.

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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.