In Arizona's arid climate, thirst is never far away. That's why the state has an ample collection of historic, dark bars and saloons. They don't have mixologists or cocktail programs. These joints have worn-smooth bar tops, chill bartenders, cold beer and icy, strong cocktails.
You can quench your thirst and cool your eyeballs down when you walk in from the blinding sun for happy hour or duck inside at night to bathe in the reds, greens and blues of bar neon.
These are our favorite Arizona saloons, a dirty dozen of them:
Museum Club, Flagstaff (1931)
Abe's Old Tumacacori Bar, Tumacacori (1929)
Spirit Room, Jerome (1898)
Canyon Club, Williams
The Palace, Prescott (1901)
Drift Inn, Globe (1902)
Crystal Palace, Tombstone (1882)
Buffet Bar, Tucson (1934)
St. Elmo Bar, Bisbee (1902)
World Famous Sultana Bar, Williams (1912)
Paul & Jerry's Saloon, Jerome (1899)
Nellie E. Saloon (Desert Bar), Parker (1983)
*Buckskin Tavern, Fredonia (1934)
Cleator Bar, Cleator (1903)
Durant's, Phoenix (1950)
*Stock Exchange Saloon, Bisbee (1905)
*These bars are closed and for sale. Buckskin Tavern is listed at $595,000 in June 2022.
Editor's note: The dates for these saloons refers to when each building first opened but not in every case as a saloon.
See Arizona's Best Neon: