What to do and see in Prescott, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 17, 2017 Elouise Mccaul

Nestled in the conifer forests of the Bradshaw Mountains, Prescott is a historic city boasting much in the way of adventure and culture. Golfers flock to its six pristine courses, while outdoors enthusiasts find exciting hiking trails, secluded picnicking spots and adventure on the waters of its five lakes. Discover the history of the Old West in the city's museums, historic railways and the Pioneer Home Cemetery, where "Big Nose Kate" Elder, wife of Doc Holiday, found her final resting place.
Restaurants in Prescott

1. Downtown Historic Area

Prescott, AZ +1 928-445-2000
Excellent
67%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 863 reviews

Downtown Historic Area

Many of Prescott's buildings that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places are located downtown.

Reviewed By Stephanie R

Walk around the square, browse the shops, admire the old buildings. We found more places open after 5pm than we expected. Plenty of street parking. Lots of good restaurants. Not party city but enjoyable. Friendly atmosphere. Explore the side streets too.

2. Thumb Butte Trail 33

Prescott National Forest, Prescott, AZ +1 928-443-8000
Excellent
75%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 134 reviews

Thumb Butte Trail 33

Reviewed By AJVaughnDOTcom - Phoenix Arizona

For an arid part of the country, Prescott and it's surrounding environments can be spectacular. I had the chance to shot a Mountain Bike Race there and do some hiking.
And honestly, I could have hiked all day if I had stayed longer.
Bring good shoes, plenty of water and if you are older you might want a walking stick or two. There were people using them and the ground is rocky in places.
I recommend stopping at times to just enjoy the view.

3. Watson Lake

3101 Watson Lake Drive, Prescott, AZ 86301 +1 928-925-1410
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 756 reviews

Watson Lake

Reviewed By DOCBABE_SCOUT - Sun City, Arizona

This can be viewed from highway or walking. The granite and contrast with lake is very, very enjoyable and worth the short drive from town.

4. Sharlot Hall Museum

415 W Gurley St, Two blocks west from Courthouse Plaza and Whiskey Row, Prescott, AZ 86301-3691 +1 928-445-3122
Excellent
69%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 520 reviews

Sharlot Hall Museum

An educational and cultural center featuring the historical, social and natural aspects of Arizona, with emphasis on the Central Highlands... a heritage and historical site with 11 exhibit buildings (five historical), a research center for collections and conservation of artifacts, and a year 'round calendar of rotating and permanent exhibits, and related educational and cultural programs. Open 362 days a year, and presenting the area's culture from the Pleistocene Epoch (14,000 years ago) to the present.

Reviewed By foredeckchick - los angeles

The main museum was so interesting that we did not have the time or the stamina to view all the structures in the museum compound.

5. Lynx Lake Recreation Area

U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Bradshaw Ranger Station, 344 South Cortez Street, Prescott, AZ 86303 +1 928-443-8000
Excellent
66%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 405 reviews

Lynx Lake Recreation Area

Lynx Lake is one of the most popular recreation areas in central Arizona. Mild weather, the cool ponderosa pine forest, a serene 55-acre lake, trout fishing, boating, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, archaeological sites, and bird watching attract visitors from throughout Arizona.

Reviewed By HappyCamper20732 - Chesapeake Beach, Maryland

We took a large and small dog to hike around this beautiful lake. The trail is a little rough in spots but good shoes and a little patience will see you through. The picnic grounds are lovely and payment is honor system.

6. Yavapai County Courthouse Square

100 E Gurley St, Prescott, AZ 86301-3821
Excellent
71%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 167 reviews

Yavapai County Courthouse Square

Reviewed By iamowlright - Phoenix, Arizona

The Christmas lights at the courthouse might be a new holiday tradition for us. The whole park area is lit up with strands of lights and the courthouse itself is decorated with a different theme on each side. The gazebo has a special Christmas display as well. During the holidays they have other events but we just went for the lights. Plenty of places to eat and drink since it’s right downtown. Parking can be tricky because it’s pretty much all on the street and if you want to shop as well plan to make a day of it since most close early.

A bonus was that they had clean, heated indoor restrooms.

7. Phippen Museum

4701 Highway 89 North, Prescott, AZ 86301 +1 928-778-1385
Excellent
69%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 130 reviews

Phippen Museum

Fine arts museum that features exhibits and educational programs related to the American West.

Reviewed By John B - Santa Fe, NM

The museum features a variety of permanent and changing fine art of the American West. The building has been expanded in recent years which supports more diverse rotating exhibits, but is still small enough to see much of the artwork in a couple of hours. The art features a lot of cowboy, western, and native american work, but it is really the enthusiastic docents who bring the work to life for non-experts. The rotating exhibits featured pieces from the Phoenix Museum of Art when we visited in late December, 2017, but you should check the most current schedule.

8. Goldwater Lake

2900 S Goldwater Lake Rd, Prescott, AZ 86303-8405 +1 928-777-1122
Excellent
56%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 147 reviews

Goldwater Lake

Reviewed By Quadyak - Arizona

Scouted the lake for a future kayak visit. Looks like a good spot. Will come back for some paddling soon.

9. Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail

Hwy 89A at Side Road, Prescott, AZ
Excellent
75%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 112 reviews

Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail

Reviewed By 4JaneC123 - Prescott, Arizona

Peavine has a great walking path that goes forever; and if you'd like to really "hike" you can choose to go on another path and get your workout. The scenery is peaceful and some of the area's best; whether long or short time allowing, you can't go wrong on the Peavine.

10. Heritage Park Zoo

1403 Heritage Park Rd, Prescott, AZ 86301-6001 +1 928-778-4242
Excellent
52%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 252 reviews

Heritage Park Zoo

Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary is a non-profit wildlife sanctuary, dedicated to the conservation and protection of native and exotic animals. Located in scenic Prescott, Arizona, the sanctuary provides a source of recreation, education and entertainment for all ages. With the mission of "Conservation through Education," Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary provides a unique and up-close experience with animals visitors may see nowhere else. Animals at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary all have a story to tell and lesson to teach. We currently house more than 200 animals on our grounds - among them a Bengal Tiger, two Black Bears, two Clouded Leopard siblings, Mexican Gray Wolves, Bobcats, Lynx, Lemurs, various reptiles, and one of the largest tarantula displays in the Southwest.

Reviewed By travelwriter52 - Conyers, GA

As the name above indicates, this isn't really a zoo, it is a sanctuary. I went at opening and so didn't see all the animals. Some were still sleeping, some were being fed and some of the enclosures were empty. But that is normal anywhere you go where there are animals. Being a sanctuary, the enclosures were all metal fencing, but you can tell they made an effort to make the environment as stimulating as possible. Some of the exhibits were locked when I cam by (tarantula house) and the bathrooms were locked. Apparently people don't worry about having everything open before the public comes in. But they were all busy feeding animals and cleaning enclosures, so I didn't get too upset. I really enjoyed two young lynx's playing with each other. The tiger did not seem happy at all having people around. But since she was separated from the two brothers she had grown up with, I might understand her attitude since she was now all alone. The lemurs were fun to watch also running around their cage. For the most part they seemed to be happy in their surroundings.

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