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12 Exciting Things to Do in Prescott with the Kids and Pets

Nestled in the mountains of central Arizona, Prescott is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, this charming city offers a plethora of activities for every type of traveler. Here’s a guide to the top things to do in Prescott, AZ.

1. Adventure Awaits at Watson Lake Park

Hiking and Photography in the Granite Dells

Watson Lake Park, renowned for its stunning Granite Dells, is a paradise for hikers and nature photographers. These peculiar rock formations provide a dramatic backdrop for an array of trails, catering to all skill levels. The Peavine Trail is a local favorite, offering panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. The tranquility and natural beauty of the area make it a perfect spot for a day of exploration and relaxation.

Water Activities on Watson Lake

For water enthusiasts, Watson Lake offers opportunities for kayaking, fishing, and canoeing. Paddling through the calm waters, you’ll be captivated by the scenic vistas of the Dells reflected in the lake. Rental facilities are available, making it easy for visitors to enjoy these activities.

2. Step Back in Time in Historic Downtown Prescott

Whiskey Row and Courthouse Plaza

The heart of Prescott lies in its historic downtown area. A stroll down Whiskey Row, once lined with saloons frequented by cowboys and miners, is like walking through a living museum. The area, now bustling with shops, restaurants, and art galleries, still retains its old-world charm. Don’t miss the iconic Courthouse Plaza, a central gathering place surrounded by historic buildings and lush greenery, perfect for a leisurely walk.

Things to Do in Prescott like historic downtown

Cultural Experiences and Local Shopping

Downtown Prescott also offers a rich cultural experience with its various museums and art galleries. The Sharlot Hall Museum is a must-visit for those interested in the region’s history. For shopping enthusiasts, the area’s many boutiques and antique stores offer unique finds and local crafts.

Historic Downtown area

3. A Culinary Delight at Bosa Donuts

Indulge in Sweet Treats

No visit to Prescott is complete without tasting the delectable offerings at Bosa Donuts. This beloved local spot serves up a variety of gourmet donuts, from classic favorites to innovative flavors that change daily. Their freshly brewed coffee is the perfect accompaniment to these sweet treats.

4. Additional Must-Do Activities

Outdoor Adventures

Prescott is surrounded by the Prescott National Forest, offering countless trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The city is also home to several beautiful parks, including the peaceful Lynx Lake and the rugged Thumb Butte, both excellent for outdoor activities and picnics.

Other things worth visiting in Prescott:

  1. Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary: A great destination for animal lovers, this sanctuary offers close-up experiences with a variety of native and exotic animals. It’s both educational and entertaining for all ages.
  2. Sharlot Hall Museum: This is an open-air museum dedicated to preserving the history and folklore of Yavapai County and the Central Highlands. It’s a great place to learn about the area’s past, with well-preserved buildings and engaging exhibits.
  3. Thumb Butte Trail: Ideal for those seeking outdoor adventure, this trail offers a moderately challenging hike with rewarding views of Prescott and the surrounding forests.
  4. Prescott National Forest: Surrounding Prescott, this national forest offers miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. It’s also a popular spot for camping and picnicking.
  5. Lynx Lake Recreation Area: A beautiful and serene destination for fishing, boating, and hiking. The lake is surrounded by picturesque trails and picnic spots.
  6. Phippen Museum: Art enthusiasts will enjoy this museum focused on Western and Native American art. It features both historical and contemporary works, giving visitors a unique look at the art of the American West.
  7. Goldwater Lake: Another scenic spot for outdoor enthusiasts, Goldwater Lake is perfect for fishing, kayaking, and hiking, with picnic areas and playgrounds making it family-friendly.
  8. Prescott Farmers Market: For a taste of local life, visit the farmers market to find fresh produce, artisan goods, and connect with the community.
  9. The Elks Opera House Theatre: A beautifully restored venue offering a variety of performances, from live music to theater productions, set in a historic building.

Prescott’s blend of natural beauty, historical sites, and cultural venues makes it an appealing destination for travelers looking for a mix of relaxation, adventure, and education.

Festivals and Events

Throughout the year, Prescott hosts various events and festivals, celebrating everything from its Western heritage to contemporary arts. The Prescott Frontier Days, featuring the world’s oldest rodeo, and the vibrant Prescott Bluegrass Festival are highlights not to be missed.


Prescott, AZ, is a destination that blends adventure, history, and culinary delights. Whether you’re exploring the natural wonders of Watson Lake Park, immersing yourself in the historic downtown area, or indulging in the delicious offerings at Bosa Donuts, Prescott promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit. Contact me if you have any questions!

FAQ: Things to Do in Prescott, Arizona

Q1: What are the best outdoor activities in Prescott?
A1: Prescott is known for its stunning outdoor landscapes. Top activities include hiking at Watson Lake Park, exploring the Granite Dells, visiting the Prescott National Forest for trails and camping, and enjoying water activities at Lynx Lake and Goldwater Lake. Thumb Butte Trail is also popular for hiking and offers panoramic views of the area.

Q2: Is Prescott suitable for history enthusiasts?
A2: Absolutely! Prescott is rich in history. The Sharlot Hall Museum offers a deep dive into local history, and the historic downtown area, especially Whiskey Row, is filled with historic buildings and landmarks. The Elks Opera House Theatre also provides a glimpse into Prescott’s past.

Q3: Are there any wildlife or nature experiences in Prescott?
A3: Yes, the Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary is a great place to observe and learn about both native and exotic animals in a conservation-focused setting. The surrounding national forests and parks also offer ample opportunities for wildlife spotting and bird watching.

Q4: What are some unique activities to do in Prescott?
A4: Unique activities in Prescott include exploring the art and culture at the Phippen Museum, experiencing the world’s oldest rodeo at Prescott Frontier Days, and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of Whiskey Row. Also, the Prescott Farmers Market is a wonderful place to experience local life and produce.

Q5: Can I enjoy water sports in Prescott?
A5: Yes, Prescott offers several options for water sports. Watson Lake and Goldwater Lake provide opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Boat rentals and equipment are available at these locations for visitors.

Q6: What are the best family-friendly activities in Prescott?
A6: For families, Lynx Lake Recreation Area is ideal with its gentle hiking trails, picnic areas, and lake activities. The Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary is also a hit with children. Additionally, many of the city’s parks offer playgrounds and safe areas for children to enjoy.

Q7: Where can I find cultural experiences in Prescott?
A7: Cultural experiences can be found at the Phippen Museum, which showcases Western and Native American art. The Elks Opera House Theatre offers a variety of performances in a historic setting. Additionally, downtown Prescott often hosts art walks and cultural festivals.

Q8: What dining experiences should I not miss in Prescott?
A8: Don’t miss trying the local cuisine, especially at popular spots like Bolsa Donuts for unique sweet treats. Prescott also boasts a variety of dining options ranging from traditional American to international cuisines, often found in the historic downtown area.

Q9: Are there any good spots for photography in Prescott?
A9: Prescott is a photographer’s paradise. The Granite Dells at Watson Lake provide a stunning natural backdrop, and the historic architecture of downtown Prescott offers a charming setting. Sunrise and sunset views from Thumb Butte are also highly recommended for photographers.

Q10: Is Prescott a good destination for a weekend getaway?
A10: Yes, Prescott is perfect for a weekend getaway. With a mix of outdoor activities, historical exploration, and a charming downtown area, visitors can experience a full and varied itinerary even in a short time.

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