Howdy partner, if ya’ll are in the vicinity of Jerome, you must visit and be sure to take the historic & hairy (158 crazy switchbacks) scenic route 89A.
Jerome is just a 35-mile drive from Prescott (27 miles from Sedona, 71 miles from Flagstaff). You might want to make it an overnighter from Phoenix (110 miles). You’ll want to take Historic State Route 89A to Jerome, it’s one of Arizona’s most beautiful drives. You’ll know when you get to the 12-mile scenic portion as you climb up Mingus Mountain, navigating the 158 switchbacks and curves as epic panoramas stretch before you. It’s definitely challenging to keep your eyes on the road so use those pullouts and gawk to your heart’s content. The spellbinding views stretch across the broad Verde River Valley with Flagstaff, the San Francisco Peaks, and the iconic red buttes of Sedona in the distance.
Located upon Cleopatra Hill, the historic copper and gold mining town of Jerome was founded in 1876 and, at its boom, was the fourth largest town in the Arizona Territory with a raucous (known for its saloons & brothels), wild west population of ~15k. The mines here produced over a billion dollars’ worth of gold, copper, silver and zinc during a period of over 70 years When the last mines closed in 1953, the town became more of ghost town. In the 60s and 70s, artistic types began to populate Jerome.
Today, Jerome draws visitors from around the world who take in the town’s dramatic views of the Verde Valley, explore the historic buildings, visit the galleries and shops, and enjoy the wine bars, saloons and restaurants.
When in Jerome, there is plenty to do, including visiting the Jerome State Park Mining Museum, getting bedazzled at Nelly Bly Kaleidoscopes, the world’s largest kaleidoscope store, getting spooked at the haunted Grand Hotel, or simply sitting back and enjoying the spectacular views over lunch or dinner.
Two interesting and somewhat destabilizing facts about Jerome: Jerome is located on the Verde Valley fault and over 88 miles of excavated tunnels lie beneath the one square mile of town.
Attractions near Jerome
With its 7 wineries and 8 tasting rooms, the Verde Valley Wine Trail through Cottonwood, Jerome, Sedona, Clarkdale and Cornville is a must do for oenophiles.
The Verde Valley Canyon Railroad (Clarkdale and Perkinsville, AZ) transports passengers to a simpler time as it takes them on a 20-mile excursion through quintessential Southwestern back country.