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These 8 Charming Towns in Arizona Are Hidden Gems That Are Perfect for a Day Trip



Big cities and big urban areas may seem like the best bet in every state. There are many travel articles that display all the fun activities you can try and wonderful attractions you can visit. However, there’s no denying that some of the smaller towns are also worth visiting. Check out the charming towns in Arizona and be in awe of the beauty and excitement each has to offer!

These 8 charming towns in Arizona are hidden gems and are perfect for a day trip:

1. Pine-Strawberry

Pine Creek Canyon Lavender Farm az

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Pine-Strawberry is just north past Payson. This charming town was originally settled during the Gold Rush. Now, it has become an underrated must-visit destination, and also has a chock full of awesome trails for hiking, backpacking, trail running, MTB, equestrian activities and gentle nature strolls. It’s practically a great place to escape the summer heat so you can check out the seasonal foliage changes in fall. Winter is also a great time to be here!

Things to do:

  • Visit the Tonto National Bridge. This is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. It’s also a testament of how nature is such a great artist. You can hike to the Tonto National Bridge, but be sure to wear your hiking shoes because the terrain will be short, steep, and uneven.
  • Visit a full-blown lavender farm. The Pine Creek Canyon Lavender Farm is located right in the heart of Pine, on the site of a historic homestead. The owners grow three distinct varieties of lavender on the farm: Royal Velvet, Provence, and Grosso. You’ll just find this place as serene as it is breath-taking.

2. Jerome

jerome az charming towns in arizona aerial view

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Now here’s a town that is still able to show off the classic Victorian-era architecture from the city’s founding. You may be used to seeing haunted stories when you search Jerome. But not a lot of people remember that one of the charming towns in Arizona is actually a site of four major fires in about five years!

Things to do:

  • Check out the Mine Museum. Jerome is a former mining town. So you better not leave without visiting the Mine Museum. It shows all the artifacts that tell the town’s past and present.
  • Go on an art walk. If you visit Jerome today, you can just roam around the streets, and discover galleries and art studios. There’s no denying that this town is filled to the brim with artistic talent.

There are also many events throughout the year, including the Jerome Historic Home And Building Tour.

3. Bisbee

bisbee charming towns in arizona

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The Queen of the Copper Mines, “Bisbee,” used to produce nearly 25 percent of the world’s copper. Imagine that! It was once the largest city in the Southwest between Saint Louis and San Francisco. Today, Bisbee is known as one of the safest towns in all of Arizona. This is why the place has become such a popular retirement destination.

Things to do:

  • Take an underground mine tour. You can take a Queen Mine Tour if you really want to learn more about Bisbee’s mining history. It’s an extremely popular tourist spot because it’s a fun underground train ride that gives you interesting insights about the mining life. The beautiful thing about that tour is that actual miners who worked at the Queen Mine before it closed are the ones telling the amazing stories.
  • Conquer Bisbee’s stairs. If you’re coming to visit, you better conquer the many stairs Bisbee is known for. The famous stairs from the 1890s were actually augmented and repaired by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. You’ll find the famous 1,000 stairs interwoven throughout Old Bisbee, with 10 stairways numbered for the Bisbee 1000.

4. Clarkdale

verde Canyon Railroad clarkdale az

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Here’s a fun fact. Clarkdale is not just one of the charming towns in Arizona. It’s also the state’s “first planned community.” It is located in the heart of the Verde Valley, and conveniently just 10 minutes away from Jerome and 30 minutes away from Sedona. The town is famous for its original historic homes that still stand today – lovingly restored, as well as summertime block parties and Clarktoberfest in the fall.

Things to do: 

  • Board the Verde Canyon Railroad. If you want to embrace a little bit of history, you can board the Verde Canyon Railroad. This historic rail line was reborn in the 1990s and also features Arizona’s Longest-Running Nature Show that allows you to spot bald eagles.
  • Visit the Arizona Copper Art Museum. Do you want to see a dazzling array of gorgeous copper artifacts? Then this museum is perfect for you!
  • Attend the Verde Valley Wine Festival. If you just want to get drunk on wine, be the town’s guest! The Verde Valley Wine Festival will excite you as it combines the finest local Arizona wine with music, arts, and culture! After all, the state is not just about cacti, sandstorms, and tumbleweeds. The climate is also surprisingly grape-friendly.

5. Cottonwood

Alcantara Vineyards cottonwood charming towns in arizona

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What’s better than exploring a place with ancient civilizations as its charm? Cottonwood has been steadily growing over the years, and it has a lot to do with the fact that it is indeed a nice place to live in, and its historic side is also worth your while. You will see many antique stores and wineries here, so if you have an old soul, you will love this place. Still, you can enjoy family activities here as there are a lot of enticing attractions that are ideal for all ages.

Things to do:

  • Go on a winery tour. Apparently, one of the charming towns in Arizona is home to Alcantara Vineyards, a vineyard that has over 20,000 vines and offers 17 different varieties! Enjoy the peaceful and serene environment while you sip your wine.
  • Play golf at Coyote Trails Golf Course. This famous golf course will let you experience a fun time for golfers of all skill levels. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the amazing views, and also see abundant wildlife at this par 33 course.
  • Enjoy a leisurely time at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Do you want to try different recreational activities? Try hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, wildlife watching at this state park. You can also stay in the spacious campgrounds if one day isn’t enough for you to explore the place. Just don’t forget to try the zip line!

6. Greer

greer az peaceful places in arizona for a daytrip

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Come to a picturesque mountain valley and know what it’s like to stay in a true paradise for outdoor lovers. No matter what season you come here, the surroundings will never change, it will be beautiful. This place is actually called “The Road to Nowhere”, as it sits at the dead-end of the 5-mile long highway 373 south of Highway 26.

Things to do:

  • Catch trophy trout at Greer Lakes. The pristine mountain lakes and streams in Greer doesn’t just provide you with a beautiful nature backdrop. You will also enjoy fishing for the place’s trophy trouts.
  • Hike the Poll Knoll trail. What’s a true paradise for outdoor lovers if it doesn’t have any gorgeous hiking trails? Try climbing the Poll Knoll trail if you want to clear your mind, commune with nature, and be in awe of beautiful lush forests. This is just a nice and easy trail.

7. Sedona

sedona az town

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The red rocks, canyon walls, and pine forests of Sedona are what make this place one of the most charming towns in Arizona. That, and its spiritual vortices that provide healing energy and enlightenment to those who visit it. Sedona has a steady population of 10,000 (and growing), and it also enjoys a lot of tourist visits because of its arts, food, as well as abundant outdoor spots. It’s almost hard to imagine that once upon a time, Sedona was just a sleepy one-stoplight town with nothing more than red rock views.

Things to do:

8. Tubac

tubac arizona charming towns in arizona

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Tubac is a place where “art and history meet.” It was established long ago as a Spanish Presidio in 1752, and was inhabited for over 11,000 years. A trip to this town will make you appreciate art, history, and the environment more. There are many farms, galleries, and museums that will make for a worthwhile trip.

Things to do:

  • Explore Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. Come to a place that preserves the history of the settlement of territory that would eventually become Arizona. Here, you can find great history, good displays, and well-kept grounds.
  • Visit the K Newby Gallery & Sculpture Garden. You will certainly appreciate this beautiful garden and gallery. It is full of high-end art selections that will delight you. Overall, this is just a wonderful gallery.

Are you looking to move into a different city sometime in the future? You should check out the 9 happiest cities in Arizona list for your reference. Also, see if the reason why you love Arizona is included in another good read: 10 Things People From Arizona Absolutely Love.