Thursday, December 31, 2015

Prescott, AZ Christmas And More!

Earlier this week we decided to drive over to Prescott to take in the Christmas lights.  Rather than drive the expedient highway around Mingus Mountain, we decided to meander up to an elevation of 7,000 feet and enjoy the winding scenic route down to Prescott Valley!  We highly recommend it for a daylight drive.  

At an elevation of 5,066 feet you go through the copper mining ghost town of Jerome.  It is a tourist attraction today with a population of around 500.  The gold building is the Grand Hotel and it is open for business.  It is said to be haunted and even feels spooky passing by in the light of day!    
When we arrived in Prescott, we decided to explore the local geological attraction called Granite Dells.  Granite Dells are these weathered rock formations to the north side of Prescott.  Granite Dells itself is not a park, but you can drive amongst some of the boulders by driving the Granite Dells Loop off of Hwy. 89A.  There are homes built along the loop.  You can get this scenic view at Watson Lake State Park.  Watson Lake is a man-made reservoir.  Swimming is not allowed, but there are boat rentals.  The lake as a whole is a no-wake zone and therefore is for peaceful exploring.  Willow Lake is nearby, but is also a reservoir with the same restrictions.  It has some trails near it.
This is the courthouse square.
This view is walking towards the front of the courthouse.
This view catches the side of the courthouse and the front near the red lights. 
This is the front facing the street called Whiskey Row.  Whiskey Row was reported at one time to have 40 bars!!!  It is now a combination of restaurants, art galleries, and gift shops.
This is the back of the courthouse.  It is so pretty, I was undecided for awhile, as to whether is was possibly the main entrance! 
This is Whiskey Row.  We enjoyed a stroll through the shops and around the rest of the square, as well.  Including the beautiful drive over the mountain, exploring the Granite Dells, our tour of lights and shops, plus the expedient route home, our adventure only took 5 hours!  A very reasonable and fun outing from Cottonwood, through Jerome, to Prescott, and home again!