"My kind of Town" Top 5 Page for this destination Prescott by Jonathan_C

Prescott Travel Guide: 84 reviews and 209 photos

Every once in a while you visit a town and say to yourself: "I could live here." That was the feeling I had during an extremely brief half-day visit to Prescott. It helped, of course, that I was visiting an old housemate and his family. Even so, there is something very 'Norman Rockwell' about the capital of Yavapai county. The center of town is dominated by the lovely courthouse square and brick buildings that date back to the 1900 rebuilding of Prescott after a devastating fire. Here, underneath huge shade trees, you'll find women with strollers chatting, men playing chess and children running delightfully amok. Across the street, quaint 'Whiskey Row' storefronts retain the feel of an earlier time.

A few blocks west of the courthouse square you will find Sharlot Hall Museum (pictured above). This block long greenspace combines beautiful gardens and historic buildings to create an extremely inviting museum dedicated to the history of central Arizona from territorial days to the present. Come here for a stroll, or a tour of the old governor's masion or one of the many events -- from cowboy poets to contra dances -- that take place on this lovely spot.

students and artists

Part of what makes Prescott so inviting is the presence of students and artists. Not one, not two, but three institutes of higher education make their home here: Yavapai community college, prestigious Embry-Riddle aeronautical university and alternative but highly respected Prescott College. With students numbering in the hundreds rather than thousands, none of these insitutions is large enough to overwhelm the town but they each add a youthful dynanism to what might otherwise be another Arizona retirement community. The artists in Prescott have their own campus as well -- the McCormick Street arts district which lies directly accross from Sharlot Hall, a few blocks away from Prescott College. The west end of town certainly has that creative/funky feel that makes me feel right at home.

small town charm

To by "my kind of town", a place has to appeal to an eight year old boy as much as his 40 year old dad. I was a carefree young boy once (not that long ago according to my wife) and still remember loving places that were wild enough for adventures without pegging my parents' (or spouse's) worry meters. We found that Prescott has spots right in town where a couple of kids can forget that the adult world exists.

If you want to experience small town life as it was meant to be -- replete with bike swaps, farmers' markets, contra dances and poetry readings -- spend a long weekend in Prescott. As in any functional community, you should leave your car parked once you get here. You'll see, hear and experience more if you do this town on foot.

  • Last visit to Prescott: May 2004
  • Intro Updated Aug 20, 2004
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Reviews (8)

Comments (10)

  • rorbindo's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2008 at 6:44 PM

    Thanks for a nice page on Prescott

  • bilgeez's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2007 at 12:39 PM

    What? No Thumb Butte? No Yavapai County Court House? No Bucky O'Neill? No Whiskey Row? No Pioneer's Home? Those were fine, but is more to Prescott's History than Sharlot Hall!

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2005 at 6:51 AM

    We didn't have to time to make it to Prescott, but we should have to buy water ;o) 50 cents for a bottle! ~ Helen

  • scotlandscotour's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2004 at 5:11 AM

    Thank you for this. More than pictures and words - you provoke thought and a real sense of values ... we are all under the same stars at night.

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2004 at 10:30 AM

    Is that Tempe waterseller what the young Prescott fellow has to look forward too? ;-\ You are not on Mr Benton's side because you both share certain Show-Me roots?:-] John C is 'how the west was won!' ;-]

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Oct 20, 2004 at 6:18 AM

    Excellent work, Jonathan. You make me eager for our planned trip to Arizona this coming December. Thanks for going to the extra work of incorporating the web links into your tips.

  • diocletianvs's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2004 at 1:29 AM

    Most of your thoughts about "what should a town have" or "look like" should be in all urban planning handbooks! Excellent page!

  • KristaB's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2004 at 5:33 AM

    Prescott water boy is just that perfect metaphor for your story. Wonderful. You may be seated, excellent. You may roll away this red carpet now.

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2004 at 11:12 AM

    Interesting tidbits on John C. Fremont. I never knew he was such a rascal.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2004 at 7:57 AM

    Your page may be only half-finished but it is already a gem! The photos of wandering the creek reminded me of fun-filled boyhood days in rural New Brunswick.

Jonathan_C

“Always looking for natural beauty and real community.”

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