Prescott is a popular weekend get-away for Phoenicians. With its close proximity and cooler weather, it makes for a great day trip. Last weekend my mom and I drove the 2-hours north to Prescott to explore downtown and visit Granite Creek Vineyards.
In 1864, gold was discovered in the Prescott area, thus beginning it’s status as a mining town and securing it’s place in the Wild West. The streets are lined with Victorian buildings and an endless supply of saloons, charmingly known as Whiskey Row.
In 1900, a devastating fire ripped through the historic Whiskey Row, destroying many of the buildings. The community came together and downtown was quickly rebuilt. Today, Whisky Row is a lively and popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Downtown alone has over 600 buildings on the Registry of Historic Places.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN DOWNTOWN PRESCOTT
Of course no visit to Prescott is complete without a visit to Whiskey Row! There are many great old-timey saloons and restaurants to try.
Grab breakfast at Bistro St. Michael in the historic St. Michael hotel. With traditional breakfast offerings and a full bar, this is the start of Whiskey Row, thus, the perfect place to start your morning!
For lunch (and a beer or two), head to a saloon. You can’t go wrong with any of the options on Whiskey Row, but I recommend Palace Saloon, the oldest bar in town!
Dinner already? I can’t recommend Genoveses enough! Their salad dressings (including a rosemary ranch) and pastas sauces are all homemade! A delicious Italian food awaits you, along with friendly service.
THINGS TO DO IN PRESCOTT
Prescott has a variety of things to do in and around the area. Explore Courthouse Square, the tree-lined center of downtown Prescott is the perfect place to relax before hitting Whiskey Row!
Walk along the River Walk – watch for snails! Hidden a few blocks behind Whiskey Row is a peaceful river. Along the river are public displays of art. Colorful murals and wooden sculptures greet you along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for creatures both big and small… I came across a very-well camouflaged snail. Luckily I saw him in time!
Take a short drive to Watson Lake. Just a few minutes outside of Prescott is Watson Lake. Formed in the early 1900’s when the creation of a dam took place, this reservoir is a popular spot for rock climbers and kayakers. Interestingly, there is no swimming allowed in the lake. I was drawn to the interesting shape of the granite boulders! There are many trails through the area accessible by foot and camping is allowed during the summer months.
Visit Granite Creek Vineyards, just north of Prescott in Chino Valley. Mom and I spent a few hours here and loved the local wine and the vineyard peacocks!