Jerome, Arizona is quite the historical destination, and it is a must-see on any road trip through the Southwest. This little village is an old mining area that was founded during the late 19th century. You will find Jerome up on Cleopatra Hill, where it overlooks the Verde Valley. More than fifteen thousand people used to live there when it was a booming area and known as part of the Wild West.
The number of people living there has dwindled over the years and now you will find less than five hundred people. That’s okay though, because it really creates the ghost town feel that your family may be looking for!
One of the best ways to learn about the history of Jerome, Arizona and the people who lived in the area, is to visit the Douglas Mansion and the Jerome Historic State Park. The mansion was constructed back in 1916 and was turned into a museum in 1965. It is easy to spend a couple hours exploring the mansion and even more time wandering through the park.
If you are interested in seeing the old mining shafts, you must add the Audrey Headframe Park to your list. There is a seventeen-hundred-foot mining shaft at this park, as well as historic mining equipment. While you cannot ride down the shaft, you can stand on the plexiglass cover to pretend you are.
Since this town used to be full of saloons, brothels, and even an opium den, you know there was a jail located there too. Jerome’s sliding jail used to be on a level site until a landslide from a dynamite blast made it slide down a hill back in 1938. The jail is currently located approximately two hundred feet from where is used to stand. It has been stabilized, but you cannot enter it to see the inside.
There are so many different places to see art in Jerome, Arizona. You can easily walk through more than twenty art galleries. However, your favorite time to experience the art will be during the First Saturday Art Walk, which takes place at night on the first Saturday of every month.
Everyone in your family will become mesmerized as they watch glass being blown in front of their eyes, so make sure you add this to your list of things to do when you are in Jerome, Arizona. The owner of the studio is Tracy Weisel, and he opens his studio from noon to five every single day.
Okay, you and I both know that kids will do anything if they are promised candy at the end, so make sure you stop at one of Jerome’s candy shops during your visit! OJ’s Copper Country Fudge and Rickeldoris Candy & Popcorn Company are two of the most popular. It is so easy to find almost any flavor of fudge, as well as flavored popcorn, delicious chocolate, and novelty candies.
It is said that there are many haunted sites in Jerome, and you can see and learn about them all during a Ghost Town Tour. There are many ghost tours available. You can also choose a historic tour instead if you do not like the scary stuff.
These are the seven best things to do as you explore the history of Jerome, but they are not the only things you can do during your visit. If you are planning a road trip in or near Arizona, you must make sure that Jerome is on your list. After all, how often do you get to visit a Ghost Town when you are on vacation?!
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