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The plaza at the Prescott Courthouse is the center for annual activities, including several craft fairs during the summer, car shows, antique shows, arts & craft exhibits, and Jazz concerts. Tuesday night “Jazz at the Square” has lately become a popular evening-out affair. Young and the young-at-heart alike bring lawn chairs to sit and bask in the evening warmth while listening to live Jazz by some of the area’s top musicians. Prescott also boasts the “World’s Oldest Rodeo“, held each year at the Prescott fairgrounds. Come enjoy some good ol’-fashioned cow roping and mingle with the western culture that is Prescott, AZ.
The Phippen Museum has also recently expanded its space to accommodate more collections of western art. The Phippen Museum is proud to be Prescott’s only art museum. The centrally located Sharlot Hall Museum is just a short walk from downtown Prescott. The Sharlot Hall Museum is a collection of the original houses and lifestyle (including the first Governor’s Mansion) pieces. Set among beautiful grounds budding with roses, the site has also recently been popular for weddings! The Heritage Park Zoo is also an enjoyable day for the kids! The zoo is a great place to see local wildlife up close. Photographers should bring their cameras to get the best shots of native species that dominate the southwest like javelina (peccary), or the Pronghorn. Both can be seen running about in the forests and plains of Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley. In fact, the proliferation of the Prescott area Pronghorn have led efforts by city officials to “share the wealth”, or success, with neighboring counties. Shortages due to human habitation have caused some Pronghorn populations to dwindle in southern Arizona. Relocation of several dozen Pronghorn may have a positive impact on other herds. Locals are split in their views as many enjoy the presence of North America’s fastest land animal.
The Doce Fire, which recently ravaged the Granite Mountain Wilderness area is now the spot of fresh growth! Trails abound for the outdoor enthusiasts! Locals can find plenty to do in the hiking arena. Both front and backside trails exist at Granite Mountain. The front entrance is setup with a small lake reflecting the beauty of Granite Mountain; also home to one of the nation’s highest cougar populations. Although rarely seen by hikers in the daytime, the mountain lion is one of North America’s most formidable and majestic predators. Be sure to watch for them on any Arizona trails. The “backside” trail can be found by traveling up Iron Springs Road a few miles west of the main entrance. Locally designated as “the Little Granite Trail”, the backside trail opens hikers up to the vast expanse and full view of Granite Mountain along with the plains west.
Thumb Butte is also a popular Prescott day-hike destination. With both a 1.2 mile strenuous hike up the front, and a 3 mile hike up the “less strenuous” backside, the mountain is a panorama of Prescott’s natural beauty. With views in every direction, hiking Thumb Butte can give visitors a great perspective of what Prescott looks like from above. The trails are easily accessible and the front trail is paved all the way up! Thumb Butte is undoubtedly Prescott’s icon. The mountain rises up like a tower at the west end of town. The top of the mountain has been closed off in recent years for Peregrine falcon breeding habitat along with sections of the cliff faces on Granite Mountain. Be sure to check the local websites for information before planning your trip.
Prescott, AZ also has many lakes for the day-hiker and/or fisherman. Both Lynx Lake and Goldwater Lake have traditionally been the spots for locals to fish. Both lakes are set in the pristine forests of Prescott. Lynx Lake takes its name from the creek that forms it, Lynx Creek. Rainbow trout, and bass can be caught in both lakes, but the big attraction are the bald eagles that nest and fish in the lakes. Prescott’s eagle population has been increasing in recent years due to careful monitoring by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Bring your cameras, and maybe you’ll capture one of the amazing birds in everybody’s hometown! Watson Lake has become a recent and popular destination for locals and visitors to Prescott. Watson and Willow lake are sister lakes amid the famous Granite Dells region. It’s hard to beat the monolithic red-rock formations reflected on the blue waters. Even from the highway, visitors can take in the scene that has become an icon, associating Prescott with this landscape. Recently, new trails have been built by the city to allow easy-access from both the park and the Peavine Trail-head. Prescott also has many golf courses for the golf lovers. Although a few are private, most allow access to the public. To find out more information on Prescott’s golf courses, click here. Prescott Valley has recently added a hockey arena! Home to the championship team, the Arizona Sundogs, Tim’s Toyota Center boasts many activities all year around along with concerts, events, fairs, and of course, the CHL hockey season.
Matt White Realtor® - SRS, CMRS
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