Prescott has a lot going for it, including outdoor recreation options -- hiking, mountain biking and kayaking -- and a great summer climate for desert visitors. Prescott's temperatures are typically 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix.
The Yavapai County courthouse square is the city's focal point. Days start with dog walkers and others circling the plaza at dawn. Weekend nights end with revelers bar-hopping on Whiskey Row across from the courthouse.
Visitors can count on a variety of festivals and music on the square virtually every summer weekend.
Prescott's Frontier Days includes an Independence Day parade and its rodeo that started in 1888, making it one of the world's oldest rodeos.
Established in 1864, Prescott was the Territorial capital and has a rich history full of tales of brawling miners and cowboys in raucous saloons.
Arizona historian Marshall Trimble wrote that Montezuma Street -- better known as Whiskey Row -- had 47 saloons at the turn of the 20th century. The frontier town lost 25 of those saloons and five hotels when the block went up in flames in July 1900.
The story goes that Palace Saloon patrons rescued the Brunswick back bar and its booze, carried it all across the street to the courthouse square where they resumed drinking while firefighters battled the blaze.
The Palace remains a mainstay of Whiskey Row and its been a movie set for several films, including Junior Bonner (1972) with Steve McQueen and directed by Sam Peckinpah, Wanda Nevada (1979) with Peter Fonda and Brooke Shields, and Billy Jack (1971) with Tom Laughlin.
Prescott's Montezuma Street has other worthy drinking establishments including Matt's Saloon, a lively cowboy bar, Jersey Lil's, and a rebuilt Bird Cage Saloon. The Bird Cage back bar was also rescued and refurbished from a 2012 fire that destroyed two buildings on the Row.
Nearby Gurley Street has the Prescott Brewing Co. brew pub and Superstition Meadery, an award-winning maker of mead, an
alcoholic beverage of honey and water. A block away on Cortez Street is Granite Mountain Brewing, another local brew pub
Mountain bike trails surround Prescott. Watson Lake is a nice paddling spot for kayakers and Thumb Butte makes a nice day hike. Campers can set up for the night at the White Spar Campground on the edge of town along State Route 89.
One of the town's cultural attractions is the Sharlot Hall Museum. It includes Arizona's original Governor's Mansion, other historic homes and displays on frontier Arizona.
Phippen Museum, north of town on SR 89, features Western art. Yavapai College and the Elks Theater attract a steady lineup of entertainment for Prescottonians.