Known for slow, charming aesthetics and welcoming locals, small towns are the unsung heroes of the travel world. Nothing quite says culture like the preservation of a town dedicated to keeping the tradition alive. And nothing says adventure culture quite like the ability to share that.
Small towns are some of the most intriguing and immersive dives into history, the arts, architecture, nature, and so much more. And with Arizona’s claim to natural beauty fame, it should come as no surprise that this copper state is chock full of options. However, options are only as good as the chart toppers.
Check out this list of the top ten most beautiful small towns in Arizona to see what all the love is about.
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Nestled in all the warmth of a small town in Arizona, Tombstone is the perfect destination for a fun and fascinating getaway. Tombstone’s title attraction is the wild west aesthetic they have preserved through the years. This is a town that makes history come alive through several activities that invite all ages to share the fun. A great many of the buildings in this town have been preserved through the years, and still hold the old town essence so essential to a Western theme. There are numerous restaurants, stores, museums, and more that take what history gave us and enhance the experience to those who venture into it.
Even more enticing, maybe, is that Tombstone is still considered a relatively ‘small town’. The rustic red-yellow glow of Arizona enchants the scene to make this one of the most beautiful stops in the West. Visitors don’t have to worry about battling crowds, or that excessive headache that comes from dealing with big cities and can simply enjoy all that Tombstone has to offer. Be sure to check out title attractions like OK Corral (the site of a famous 1881 shoot-out), Allen Street (where horse drawn carriages are the norm), and the haunting Boothill Graveyard.
Address: Tombstone, AZ
High on the list of most beautiful small towns in Arizona comes the ethereal and historical Bisbee. Bisbee is a town known for some of the best year-round weather, and that cozy, dusty Arizona comfort. Standing at just about 6000 people, Bisbee is a comfortable medium between small town comforts and enough attractions and utilities to keep visitors satisfied. One of the best things to do here is just to walk. More specifically, the acclaimed Bisbee walking tour that takes you from iconic site to iconic site and showcases all that Bisbee has to offer.
Address: Bisbee, AZ
Affectionately coined the “Biggest Little Town in the State of Arizona”, Cottonwood is a true gem! This cozy little AZ treasure is famously known a couple of great things. Activities for the whole family, like outdoor events on the Verde River. Kayaking, canoeing, viewing, and so much more that makes a day on the lake a lifelong memory. Or, things for adults to find the true meaning of a little R&R. Cottonwood is known as one of the spirit capitals of Arizona, and features all the best in tasting, tours, and taps.
And if that’s not enough, Cottonwood has all the draws of a small town with all the comforts of a tourist destination. Cozy, mom and pop restaurants line the streets, and comfortable, affordable hotels and RV Parks dot the downtown. Families, couples, students, honeymoons, vacations, and so much more are proud to call Cottonwood a dream destination.
Address: Cottonwood, AZ
Join the culture in Jerome! This little town in Arizona comes with a big personality. Founded all the way back in 1876, Jerome has been a one-of-a-kind town for years. The history here is rich, with all the stories of booms and busts to make it into the charming hub it is today. Around the early 1900s, this little town was one of the biggest in all of Arizona. It was particularly known for its mines. So popular, that when the mines closed in 1953, Jerome became a famed ghost town.
Fast forward a few years, and Jerome is back on the incline. Restored back to its natural beauty and preserving most of its original landmarks, today Jerome is nothing short of an adventure. Nowadays, Jerome is a cultural hub--- not just from its history, but with its modernity too. There are art walks, galleries, showcases, restaurants, events, spirit tours, and so much more. Jerome makes a name for itself.
Address: Jerome, AZ
Cradled by some of the best preserves in the state, Prescott is an outdoor explorer’s haven. With near perfect weather year-round, and pristine trails to trek, Prescott is one stop you’ll never want to leave. It is considered one of Arizona’s most beautiful small towns and with good reason. Come any season, and you’re sure to see something different, and breathtaking in its own unique way. Be sure to check out some of the towering mountains, sprawling meadows, and glistening lakes to see what makes Prescott such an Arizona treasure.
Address: Prescott, AZ
Wind down in Wickenburg! This charming little Arizona town makes vacationing relaxing again. With a wide variety of options catered to the tourist, Wickenburg is proud to offer something for everyone. It is specifically known for some of its unique and immersive Western experiences. So much so that Wickenburg is considered the Dude Ranch Capital of Arizona. That means you can gallop on your noble stead and learn to line dance all in the comforts of the wild, wild West. It’s even modernized to include some luxury items like spas or world class golf courses.
Address: Wickenburg, AZ
Travel the globe! Well, the city at least. Globe is a lovely town in Southern Arizona that is brimming with opportunities for adventure. The mountains here slope and spread for miles on magnificent miles, and the scenery is nothing short of breathtaking. For those looking for a little nature 1-on-1, try the Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive. This will take you to a spectacular view of a true geological wonder. Tourists and locals alike make this trek to see some of Mother Nature’s best work.
If that’s not enough, Globe is also known for some detailed, rich, and featured history. One of its title attractions lies with the Besh Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park. This includes the iconic Salado pueblo that dates back hundreds of years ago and is still available for viewing today. This is even an interactive attraction, which makes learning fun for the whole family. And for those looking for a little bit of inspiration, check out the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts. The scenery isn’t the only thing that makes Globe beautiful.
Address: Globe, AZ
Carefree and loving it! Carefree is one of the best small communities in all of Arizona to spend some relaxing fun in the sun. With a downtown that’s just the right side of stocked, architecture to die for, and that famed Arizona skyline… Carefree is the place to be. Some of the number one draws to this wonderful little city include some of their title events. Things like art and culture festivals, foodie tours, art galleries and so much more. What’s so spectacular about Carefree is that everything is kept fresh.
And all this happens within the numbers of a ‘small town’ attraction. Here you won’t feel that downtown headache, or multi-hour-long lines just to get a seat at lunch. Instead, carefree does all the stressing for you. Take a nice stroll down Easy Street (literally!) and check out some of the one of a kind boutiques that call Carefree home. Live your life Carefree!
Address: Carefree, AZ
The call of the wild, in Williams! Williams, Arizona is found nestled in the throes of the Kaibab National Forest. Featuring lush greens, browns, and golds this is truly a sight like no other. Stand at the base of trees with the canopy hanging over you--- creating that soft harmony only nature can. And do it all by the heart and soul small town named Williams. This town is an absolute essential stop for anybody who prides themselves on embracing the outdoorsy spirit. There is fishing, cross-country skiing, hiking, bird watching, and so much more that makes Williams such a landmark stop. Feel the whisper of the wind as you trek up these paths and take the kind of pictures you’ll want to frame. Williams is one charming town you’ll never forget.
Address: Williams, AZ
Camp Verde is the kind of camp everybody wants to attend. With it’s sunny but not stifling temperatures, lush wildlife, and abundance of activities, Camp Verde makes a true name for itself in the small-town game. This city is especially great for those who want to spend their time partaking in some true Arizona fun. Things like wilderness hikes, cultural heritage events, and wine tasting are just some of the featured specialties that Camp Verde is known for. And all of that is not even considering the classy, comfortable, and affordable hotel and overnight stay options that make Camp Verde your home away from home. Enjoy your time at Camp.
Address: Camp Verde, AZ