Jerome & Cottonwood, Quaint Arizona Towns

with 28 Comments
Print Friendly

Going to Arizona? Don’t miss visiting the quaint towns of Jerome & Cottonwood

It’s been thirty years since I went to the small town (population 400) of Jerome. This little artisan’s town impressed me then—and still does. It’s full of tourists passing through and yet the residents and shop owners maintain their friendliness and welcome you into their stores with a familiar, casual approach.

During my last trip, I toured the Douglas Mansion, built in 1916 by miner, James S. “Rawhide” Douglas. It’s impressive with a wine cellar, billiard room, marble shower, steam heat and an odd choice, a central vacuum system. The nearby Daisy Hotel served as a dormitory for the miners. Sad to see it in total disrepair, but nice that the Spanish Mission style Jerome Grand Hotel is ready for visitors.

Nearby is Tuzigoot National Monument, the first Indian ruins I saw. Built by the Sinagua people between 1100 and 1400 AD, it received the name Tuzigoot by one of the Apache members of the crew excavating the site in the 1930s and means “crooked water.” There’s a great virtual tour available. A third-mile trail leads you through the 100 rooms of this pueblo. It’s self-guided, but rangers are on hand.

Within easy driving distance in the Verde Valley is the Montezuma Castle National Monument. Excavated in 1933, it’s a 45-50 room pueblo left by the Sinagua people 600 years ago. This sort of continuity of history is remarkable.

When you’re tired of historic sites…well, there’s more. Between Jerome and Cottonwood, stop in the little town (population 2,000) of Clarkdale. It might have started as a company town by William A. Clark, the owner of the Jerome copper mine, but now it’s a thriving independent community with antique shops, a variety of restaurants and even a wine tasting bar. We popped into Four Eight Wineworks and enjoyed some samples. It’s located in a former bank, complete with vault. Besides the delightful wines, pay attention to the photographs.

Last on our stop in the Anthem-Jerome-Anthem journey was Historic Old Town Cottonwood. This town of 6,000 boasts multiple restaurants from Mexican, burgers, multiple Italian joints, as well as Asian and burgers. I’d break one of my own rules about trying new places and opt for a repeat at Pizzeria Bocce Patio Bar. The salad served with ravioli and a creamy pesto dressing was delectable. The other adults opted for Margherita and Funghi pizzas and side salads while the self-entertaining kids chose plain cheese pizza. This is a town that calls for strolling and savoring with places to stay, hiking nearby and again, so many food choices!

Don’t let yourself stayed tied to metropolitan Phoenix, get out into the small towns and see what the wild west looks like in the 21st century.

Don’t tie yourself to metropolitan #Phoenix, visit the small towns & see what the 21st… Click To Tweet

Also published on Medium.

28 Responses

  1. Sushmita
    | Reply

    Even though I might be born and brought up in a metropolitan city however my parents are from small towns, hence we always used to be fascinated by the small town as we visited them every year.
    These small towns you have shared seems to be interesting to visit, thanks for sharing dear
    Sushmita recently posted..How to not let your dreams and ideas slip away like sand!My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      My husband grew up in Pittsburgh and I in the country–big time different views!

  2. William Rusho
    | Reply

    Montezuma Castle National Monument seems to be awesome. I definitely would like to see that.
    I like to visit the little places that are off the beaten trail. It seems to me, smaller towns and attractions treat you more like a person, then just a temporary audience member.
    thanks for sharing.

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Yes, William, the small towns sure do. When my sister and I traveled in Italy, we stayed in Manarola–I think it’s under 300 residents. We went to the same cafe a few times for lunch and when the proprietor found out it was Jackie’s birthday, he sang to her and brought her cake!

  3. Ken Dowell
    | Reply

    I probably would have opted for the pizza at Pizeria Bocce as well. Both Jerome and Cottonwood look really interesting and full of character.

  4. GP Cox
    | Reply

    Who could get tired of historic sites?

  5. Doreen Pendgracs
    | Reply

    Great post, Rose. As you know, I live in a small community and love getting off the beaten path. Small town Arizona is just my speed! 🙂
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..a journey to the highland cacao of Hacienda de SPAGnVOLAMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I adore the small towns so much more than the big cities. Even with big city museums and cathedrals and…

  6. William Rusho
    | Reply

    I love reading your blog posts. It is like I am taking the trip with you.
    The history of that area sounds fascination, we often think there would not be castles in such a place.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Cheryl
    | Reply

    I love the history of small towns. Your photos are great. I make it a point to take photos of anything I think is unique or memorable when I visit small towns.
    Cheryl recently posted..#Tenaz: A Message from the FounderMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      We can always find those special things, can’t we, Cheryl? Tucked away down the street most tourists avoid.

  8. Erica
    | Reply

    Jerome and Cottonwood seem like great places to visit. Love the pics you took. Yes, you can go see the big city. But the small towns really tell you about a place. I love living in a big city. But I’m always fascinated to go into small towns and really explore.
    Erica recently posted..My Top Picks! On The Lookout For A Protein Bar That Isn’t Candy!My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I enjoyed it when I lived in SoCal, Erica–it was such a different experience for me. But I think it comes down to me always being a small town gal!

  9. Phoenicia
    | Reply

    What a pretty town. I cannot quite believe it has a population of 400 – how tiny. The view of the Douglas Mansion is truly breathtaking.
    Phoenicia recently posted..Do you see failure as the end or the beginning?My Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Phoenicia, 400 is tiny even for me! I’d like to live in a place of 5-10,000 people. That’s more than big enough.

  10. Jeri
    | Reply

    I have no doubt I would enjoy Tuzigoot National Monument. When I was in New Mexico, I had a blast crawling around Bandelier National Monument.
    Jeri recently posted..#PubTip: How to Write a Mystery Thriller in the Style of Alfred Hitchcock by Tony Lee MoralMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Bandelier brings back another of those 30 year-ago memories, Jeri. I think it’s fun how many of the same places we’ve been to.

  11. Marquita Herald
    | Reply

    It’s been years since I last visited Arizona! It looks like you really had a great time seeing the sights while you were there. I love historic towns and the wine tasting opportunity is a bonus!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Maybe We Shouldn’t Be So Quick to Reveal Our DreamsMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I so agree, Marquita…add a bit of wine into (anything) and I love it even more!

  12. Susan Cooper
    | Reply

    I’ve been to many of these charming towns and I do enjoy them. It’s been a while so this encourages me to make a trip back.

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      Glad to hear it, Susan. I will always gravitate to the small towns for so many reasons.

  13. Donna Janke
    | Reply

    The Jerome-Cottonwood area is scenic and interesting area. It’s been about 3-4 years since I’ve been there. I had fun exploring Jerome, the city of ghost and artists.
    Donna Janke recently posted..Garden of Sculptures in Saint BonifaceMy Profile

    • Rose Mary Griffith
      | Reply

      I’d like to spend a weekend in Jerome & Cottonwood, Donna. Not to mention Clarkdale–so much more exploring to be done than one afternoon! Glad to hear you know what I’m talking about.

  14. Jackie
    | Reply

    The Montezuma Castle is quite amazing! I can’t imagine being the one to find such a place!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge