A popular jumping-off point for trips to the Grand Canyon, Prescott, AZ, is a great place to experience the American Southwest. In the wilderness around Prescott, lovely mountain ranges, ponderosa pine forests, and clear lakes offer endless possibilities for outdoor sports and recreation. With excellent scenery and a temperate climate, Prescott is an ideal destination for off-road biking, horseback riding, camping, climbing, canoeing, bird watching, hiking, or any other outdoor activity. Though it is a Southwestern city through and through, Prescott is not without its taste of history. Downtown, the city has nearly 800 buildings listed on the United States' National Register of Historic Places. The downtown district is also the best place to grab a bite in Prescott, with restaurants catering to every taste.
When visiting Prescott, be sure to make time for:
-Lynx Lake Recreation Area: The wooded area around Lynx Lake is perfect for trout fishing, mountain biking, boating, horseback riding, and bird watching.
-Heritage Park Zoo: A wonderful wildlife sanctuary, animals are displayed in their natural habitats at Heritage Park Zoo. Learn about birds, mammals, and reptiles at this educational zoo.
-Goldwater Lake: Nestled amidst alpine forests, this small and pretty lake is a nice place for a day in the country and perfect for some light fishing or a relaxing picnic.
-Mile-High Trails: Covering almost 30 miles, including the Prescott Circle Trail System and the Greenways Trails System, this circuit of footpaths is a great way to explore Prescott's wilderness.
-Jerome: A former mining settlement, the town of Jerome is an easy day trip from Prescott and will give you a taste of Southwestern history.
-Watson Lake: Just outside Prescott, this lovely freshwater lake is a great place for fishing, kayaking, and boating. The scenery here is beautiful, with rocky shores surrounded by granite boulders.
Unlike most of Arizona, Prescott's climate is mild. At 5,000 feet, the city is cooler than most of the state and therefore an excellent summer destination. With light snows in the winter, Prescott is also a charming place to spend the winter holidays. In fact, Prescott has been designated Arizona's official Christmas city. Throughout November and December, there are lovely Christmas traditions staged in town, including the annual Gingerbread Village, said to be the largest gingerbread settlement in the world, and the Holiday Light Parade at the Courthouse Square.
A vacation rental is the best way to make the most of your time in Prescott. Before you head to Prescott, seek out a cozy cabin rental in the woods, a lakeside condo rental, or a Victorian vacation home in the historic downtown district. To explore the region around Prescott, an apartment rental can be the perfect alternative to a hotel, affording you more space and privacy.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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