Just 20 miles from Sedona, the ghost town of Jerome Arizona is our new favorite place to stay while taking in all that the Sedona area has to offer. If you haven’t visited Jerome, it’s a unique and fun town that’s just down the road from Sedona.
While Sedona IS the spot for mountain biking, hiking, and charging your crystals. Sedona has never been a fun place to crush an evening with friends.
If Jerome Is A Ghost Town Then Sedona Is A Cemetery
Dubbed “America’s most vertical city” and “largest ghost town in America,” Jerome is a unique and fun destination.
The first time we stumbled upon Jerome I kept thinking holy crap this place is sick. The one thing I love most about Arizona is how quickly the landscape can change.
In just minutes you can go from high dessert coniferous forests to red rock as far as the eye can see.
While driving through Jerome it was as if we’d been transported to some Mediterranean hillside town like Positano Italy. The old buildings, sidewalks, stairs, and switch-back roads felt out of this world.
Alright, I suppose that’s a bit of a stretch but
Jerome was alive with people, art, and culture – as
Jerome Arizona History
Perched up high on top of Cleopatra hill (5,200 feet) between Prescott and Flagstaff sits the historic town of Jerome. Founded in 1876 the once booming copper mining town and the fourth largest city in Arizona, has now been dubbed the “largest ghost town in America.”
Americans, Mexicans, Italians, Croatians, Irish, Spaniards, and Chinese made the mining camp a rich and diverse culture. Jerome was a mining boom town and the talk of the west as billions of dollars worth of copper was brought to the surface.
Jerome was plagued by massive fires that ripped through over 80 miles of tunnels under the town eventually leading to the demise of the mine.
The mine used dynamite which rattled the hills and cracked buildings. So much so that the sliding jail moved 225 ft. and now rests across the road from it’s original site.
In the 1920’s the mine closed and the population dropped from 15,000 to just 50 persons in the late 50’s. These hardy souls remained and kept the history alive making Jerome what it is today.
Today Jerome is rich with artists, musicians, writers, and families that make up this thriving hillside community.
What To See And Do In Jerome Arizona
1. Jerome State Historic Park
The best place to start is at the Jerome State Historic Park located inside the old Douglas Mansion. The museum is the perfect starting point
The Douglas Mansion was built in 1916 beside the Little Daisy Mine. Views of the mine can be had from the Mansion viewpoint. The museum features artifacts, photographs, and 3-D models of the town that show the elaborate mine tunnels that sit beneath.
Just outside the mansion be sure to visit the Audrey Headframe Park. Open from 8-5, you can stand on a glass floor above the massive 1,900 foot shaft where miners descended daily for their day of work.
2. Cleopatra Hill Lookout
The town of Jerome is situated on Cleopatra Hill and after a short
3. Bartlett Hotel
Jerome is best seen on foot and the Bartlett Hotel in the heart of downtown is the perfect starting point. There is plenty of parking just across the street to leave the car for the rest of the day.
The original hotel that occupied this spot was the Grandview Hotel which was built in 1895. This high-society club and dancehall was destroyed in a massive city fire of 1898.
The Bartlett Hotel was rebuilt in 1901 and was Jerome’s premier luxury hotel. The building became unstable in the
Within the hollowed grounds of the abandoned hotel are remnants of what once was. A little ghostly, spooky, or perhaps even haunted. You’ll have to see for yourself.
4. Spirit Room At Hotel Connor
Just down the
Hotel Connor was fortunate enough to have insurance so it was one of the first buildings to be rebuilt. As the mines began to run dry Hotel Connor closed its doors in 1931.
In the late
When we arrived to Jerome the Spirit Room was overflowing with people as a live band churned out some country western music. We couldn’t help ourselves and ended up closing out the night there. It was a blast.
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5. Window Shopping
Jerome is the perfect place to just get out and walk. There’s no shortage of window shopping opportunities. From artwork and crafts to Jerome’s very own hot sauce shop. They even have a kaleidoscope store that is a must see.
6. Wicked City Tap House
We had a great time here. The bar tender was great and happy to talk about his story and history of Jerome. They have a plethora of local beers on tap as well as wine and sangria.
They have a ton of board games and we highly recommend playing Disturbed Friends, especially with a table full of strangers.
We enjoyed the vibe and easily met some fellow travelers to hang out with for the rest of the night. This is the kind of place that Sedona lacks and why we prefer to stay in Jerome when mountain biking Sedona’s trails.
7. Asylum Restaurant
As you’re facing the Wicked City pub, to your left you’ll see the narrow cobble stone Hill Street that takes you up to the Jerome Grand Hotel.
Inside you’ll find the
On your way up the hill you’ll pass by the Jerome Surgeons House. Built in 1916 for Jerome’s Chief Surgeon, this nurse’s residence supported the dangerous work of mining.
8. Gold King Mine and Ghost Town
Right in the heart of town next to the Jerome Fire Station you’ll notice a road that is well signed for Gold King Mine. About a mile down the road you’ll find the historic ghost town of this once active mine.
The town is littered with old machinery, cars, and tons of other antiques making this a must-see destination. Hours are 9-5 daily.
9. Jerome’s Sliding Jail
The Sliding Jail got its name from the simple fact that it slid down the hill. As the ground was
When Jerome was booming with over 15,000 people, mixed with booze and the rough crowd of miners, this jail was a busy spot.
Jerome Arizona Restaurants
There are many terrific restaurants in Jerome but here are just a few that won’t disappoint.
Haunted Hamburger is a fun and good place to grab a bite to eat. With plenty of outdoor seating and tremendous views, you won’t be disappointed. If you need a Jerome souvenir they have a large gift shop as well.
Grapes Restaurant and Bar
Grapes Restaurant is a favorite in town and serves up healthy Mediterranean style foods. They have a plentiful selection of local wines that will pair perfectly with any one of their cheese and meat plates.
Mile High Grill and Inn
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at the Mile High Grill. Their menu has one of the best selections in town so you should have no trouble finding the right meal for a big group.
Bobby D’s BBQ
All I can say is yum. Bobby D’s serves up some terrific BBQ with some fun variations I’ve never seen. You can’t go wrong here.
Favorite Jerome Arizona Hotels
Like I mentioned earlier, Jerome is our new favorite place to stay when visiting the Sedona area. We found town more lively and interesting here. In addition the cost of hotels is a lot more affordable than Sedona.
Airbnb In Jerome
An absolute classic, take a step back in time with this iconic Jerome hotel.
Mile High Inn
Elegantly decorated and air-conditioned rooms all with a restaurant and bar below, Mile High Inn is a solid choice.
Ghost City Inn
Enjoy the terrific view from your deck at the classic western style Ghost City Inn. Each room is uniquely decorated so be sure to have a look and snag the room style of your choice.
Jerome Grand Hotel
Sitting above all others is the massive Jerome Grand Hotel. It’s large and in charge all while serving up just the right amount of style, history, and oh I almost forgot, it’s haunted!
The Haunted City of Jerome Arizona