Arizona is a state of abundant natural resources, with diverse elevations and microclimates all within some of the best-known national parks, metropolitan cities and various historic towns.
In the North Central part of Arizona, the stunning landscapes are made up of pine trees and red rocks, in addition to pioneer towns that define the region.
With year-round warmth, the adventurous outdoor options are limitless, but other options like shopping and wellness opportunities are always available. Or simply experience the history that comes with Arizona and the smaller cities and towns that are always revealing new experiences.
Keep the following destinations in mind for your next getaway to North Central Arizona and embrace the state's surroundings and infamous Wild West history in its own unique way.
Globe's downtown has an old-time vibe with a historic courthouse, county jail, and stately churches, all with incredible architecture that is photo-worthy. Antiquing is a common way to spend an afternoon around these parts. Historic homes and cottages can also be seen on the hillsides, further providing the feel of life as it was more than a century ago.
In the shadows of the Mingus Mountains and in the heart of the Verde Valley, Cottonwood offers a distinctive historic district lined with shops and restaurants on its Main Street. Four specialized museums in the immediate area focus on American Indian cultures, international copper art, and local railroad and town history.
Page Springs Cellars vineyard and tasting room / Credit: Todd Brenneman for AOT
Cornville/Page Springs, just a short drive from Cottonwood, offers wineries, tasting rooms and a laid-back atmosphere on some of Arizona's most pristine high-desert scenery. And a trip to Verde Valley wouldn't be complete without a visit to the revitalized mining town of Jerome, which has been restored and now has artsy boutiques as well as epic panoramic views.
The majestic red-rock formations and the widely talked about energies of Sedona, a city offering everything from transcendent outdoors to fine dining and world-class art galleries, is a place for personal enrichment and wellness. There are many different paths you can take to not only tour the area but also enrich your mind and body.
Start your exploration with these destinations within a destination that amplify the Sedona experience. Offering a truly unique way to see Sedona, Adventures Out West has various year-round Segway tours. First timers can enjoy the Jordan Road Tour, a short one-hour loop that includes the neighborhood streets of Uptown, Jordan Road and the Sedona Heritage Park. Or for the golfers, Oakcreek Country Club is open to the public and is home to the Sedona Open each June and has courses for all levels of golfers. The course has five sets of tees and stunning surroundings that make for a truly epic golf experience.
Sedona Arts Center
The oldest nonprofit organization in the state of Arizona, the Sedona Arts Center has been a refuge for artists since the early 1960s. Today, it's an educational institution that is dedicated to nurturing the creative process through arts education and artistic development. The Center's Fine Art Gallery showcases the largest selection of local art in Sedona. And don't miss the second-most visited canyon in Arizona, Oak Creek Canyon's 24-kilometer (nearly 15 miles) scenic drive takes visitors past endless vistas and rock formations that include Kaibab limestone, Toroweap sandstone, and Coconino sandstone—the same as in the Grand Canyon.
But what everyone really wants to experience while in Sedona are the vortex sites. Thought to be centers of energy that are conducive to spiritual healing, meditation, and self-exploration, even if you are not part of this movement, the sites are some of the most gorgeous spots around town.
Prescott's Whiskey Row
Just an hour away from Camp Verde is Prescott, a city located within the Ponderosa Pines of Prescott National Forest. The charming city has more than 700 homes and businesses listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the national forest has more than 643 kilometers of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.
But beyond the natural beauty, Whiskey Row is one of the most visited streets in the area, gaining its name because a large number of saloons are located on the street. Whiskey Row developed after a fire in July of 1900 destroyed the entire block. When reconstructed, there was an inordinate amount of bars rebuilt in the area. At one point the block hosted a total of 40 saloons! Nowadays, Whiskey Row is known for its art galleries and candy shops. Don't worry, its famous saloons are still there!
Out of Africa Wildlife Park
It's not a zoo, it's a wildlife park. More specifically, it's a 100-acre preserve where exotic animals from all over the world roam. Just 30 minutes south of Sedona, you'll experience Africa in the heart of Arizona at Out of Africa Wildlife Park. There are incredible shows like Tiger Splash, Predator Feed, and Wonders of Wildlife that bring nature up-close for a look at what these incredible animals can really do. Guests can also enjoy safari tours, hands-on interaction, and the Predator Zip Line, as well as a food court and gift shop.
Where to Stay
With several hotel options throughout North Central Arizona, BEST WESTERN® International is a trusted brand, offering one of a kind properties like the Prescottonian—an Arizona landmark that offers "down home hospitality" in an unbeatable locationArroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas is an award-winning hotel located in the heart of Sedona with 183 meters of private Oak Creek frontage and gorgeous red-rock views. Or try the Sky Rock Inn of Sedona, another award-winning property with promenade terraces offering views of the red rocks as well as panoramic views from their hilltop location.
Author: David Duran
About the Author
The Arizona Office of Tourism occasionally features articles and content by tourism partners, including local travel organizations and businesses.