Updated: Jul 17
Jerome, Arizona is a mining, boom town turned ghost town turned artist colony. The combination of history and art makes it a unique destination. The vistas of the Verde Valley, shopping and mining memorabilia are so intriguing. Add some fun restaurants, great hiking trails close by and you have day trip location that has something for everyone. Jerome is easily reachable from Prescott, Phoenix and Sedona. There are several largish parking lots throughout the town. If you prefer, there is a Day Trip Tour to Jerome, where you can leave the driving to someone else.
Jerome was built on Cleopatra Hill, half way up Mingus Mountain. It is on top of the largest copper mine in Arizona. Settled by the Spanish who were looking for gold but found copper, the original miners were Native American who were hoping to find colored gem stones. In 1883, United Verde began mining operations. Jerome grew quickly from a tent city to prosperous boom town. It was once known as the wickedest town in the west.
By the 1920's Jerome had grown to about 15,000 people. Given lower demand for copper and labor unrest, Jerome's mines closed in 1953. Within 5 years the population dropped to about 50 and Jerome became Arizona's largest ghost town. You find scattered remnants of its mining history throughout the town. To learn more about mining and Jerome's colorful past, visit the Mine Museum operated by the Jerome Historical Society.
During the 60's and 70's artists discovered this decaying ghost town. The abandoned buildings, mining sites, and ruins provide interesting materials for a various art forms. Jerome became a magnet for artists. As people began slowly retuning to Jerome, a mix of artists, craftspersons, writers and musicians have made Jerome their home. Today you can see artists at work and shop in their galleries and gift shops.
Options for Foodies
There are many delicious options for meals in Jerome. We ate lunch at The Clinkscale on Main Street. It was built in 1899 and is located in the center of town. The Clinkscale is small boutique hotel with 6 guest rooms. At the street level is a bar and restaurant, serving Craft Cocktails and Modern American Cuisine. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. and offer $1.00 mimosas with any Breakfast or Brunch item before noon. I would highly recommend eating there! Everything we tried was delicious.
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Stunning Views and Hikes
The vistas from Jerome are stunning. With its close proximity to Prescott National Forest and Dead Horse Ranch State Park, there are multiple trails for day hikes at all skill levels. You can explore your hiking options on the AllTrails App. Make sure you have appropriate hiking clothes and safety gear. You can find some of my hiking favorites on LiketoKnowit. and my Amazon Store.
Ready to book your trip to the Jerome, check out the great pricing on accommodations at Booking.com.
For more information on visiting Arizona and Hiking for Beginners
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