True West. Real Adventure / Northern Arizona
MILE-HIGH PRESCOTT the Arizona archetype with four mild seasons, an average annual daytime temperature of about 70 degrees, and more than 300 days of sunshine. Just 90 miles north of Phoenix, Prescott is situated comfortably against the Prescott National Forest. Great Lakes Airlines serves LAX, and Denver with regular flights. From art to artifacts, Prescott’s history is well documented. Prescott was the Arizona Territory’s original capital and is now home to the World’s Oldest Rodeo. Prescott’s four museums bear witness to this area’s Native American, military and Western pioneer history and heritage. Downtown’s Whiskey Row still houses saloons patronized by Old West legends like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Courthouse Plaza, in the heart of downtown, is bustling with activity in Prescott. During the summer months, the elmshrouded venue beats to five nights of free, live entertainment. The plaza also hosts community events, arts, crafts and car shows. Courthouse Plaza was named one of the Top Ten Public Spaces in the United States by the prestigious APA (American Planning Association). One might think that Arizona is an arid moonscape dotted with cacti and other prickly plant life, but Prescott is a mile above sea level and enjoys four mild seasons and blooming flora. The city boasts 16 parks and three lakes, with kayak and canoe rentals available at Watson, Goldwater and Lynx Lakes. Bike rentals are available at Watson Lake. Prescott also caters to those in the mood for an outdoor odyssey of trail trekking, with more than 450 miles of groomed trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The Mile-High Trail System contains approximately 28 miles of trails, including Rails-to-Trails projects along the former Santa Fe Railroad, Prescott Circle Trail System and Greenways Trails System. The Prescott Circle Trail is a network of trails that continues to expand in and around Prescott. The Greenways Trails are urban trails along Granite and Miller Creeks that run through downtown Prescott. Performing and visual arts play a large part in the fiber of this high desert mountain community. In addition to the many area galleries, the Prescott Center for the Arts, the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, the Sharlot Hall Museum Theater and the historic Elks Opera House provide artistic sustenance to this entertainment savvy locale. Recently, Prescott was named the Top Destination in Arizona for Nature Lovers, by Expedia, the city was also named in the Top 13 Happiest and Healthiest Communities in the country by Time Magazine. More recently, Prescott was named one of the “coolest” downtowns in North America by Expedia, and was nominated by USA Today to be one of the “Top 10 Arizona Travel Destinations”. The American Lung Association consistently ranks Prescott’s air quality to be the best in the continental United States. Throughout the year, Prescott plays host to many events that celebrate the history, culture and art of the West. The summer season heats up with Prescott Frontier Days and World’s Oldest Rodeo (celebrating 130 years this summer), the Prescott Indian Art Market, Prescott Jazz Summit and the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering.