Just 27 miles from Sedona, the ghostly town of Jerome is our new favorite place to stay while taking in all that the Sedona area has to offer. If you haven’t visited this haunted town, 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.  

Here we are tackling this ghostly town

We were stoked to stumble upon this fun town and ended up meeting some really great people.

IF Jerome IS A GHOST TOWN THEN SEDONA IS A CEMETERY

Dubbed “America’s most vertical city” and “largest ghost town in America,” this hilly city is a unique and fun destination. The first time we stumbled upon this hillside gem I kept thinking holy crap this place is sick. The one thing I love most about this area 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 cruising the hilly country side 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.
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Positano Italy

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Jerome Arizona

Haha alright, I suppose that’s a bit of a stretch but nonetheless, this is a fun town and definitely worth a stop on your next trip.  Despite the ghostly reputation, the town was alive with people, art, and culture – as well as live music, restaurants, and taverns that felt like they had stopped in time.  The relics from the earlier days were everywhere and you can’t help but feel like you went back in time.
This scary ghost town is a perfect stop on your next U.S. Road Trip, parked along one of America’s greatest scenic highways, HWY 89.

Jerome Arizona HISTORY

Perched up high on top of Cleopatra hill (5,200 feet) between Prescott and Flagstaff sits this historic town. 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. This mining boom town was the talk of the west as billions of dollars worth of copper was brought to the surface. As people flocked to the area to get a piece of the pie an incredibly diverse and rich culture was planted on this desolate hillside.
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The city 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 its original site.
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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 rich history alive that we enjoy today. Today the city is booming once again.  Rich with artists, musicians, writers, and families that make up this thriving hillside community.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

1. HISTORIC state PARK

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Google Map Directions The best place to start is at the Historic State Park located inside the old Douglas Mansion. The museum is the perfect starting point to discovering the rich and complex history of the once booming mining town. Be sure to take in the tremendous views of the city as well as Verde Valley that the park offers.
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.
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The 1900 foot mine shaft

2. CLEOPATRA HILL LOOKOUT

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The town is situated on Cleopatra Hill and after a short hike up you’ll be rewarded with some amazing views of Verde Valley. The lookout point is right next to the State Park so be sure to check this out before heading over to the other side.

3. BARTLETT HOTEL

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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.
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The Bartlett Hotel was rebuilt in 1901 and was town’s premier luxury hotel. The building became unstable in the 1940’s and was shut down. Today all that stands is the skeleton of the once mighty Bartlett Hotel. 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

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Just down the roadyou’ll find the iconic Hotel Connor and its lively Spirit Room. Like most places in town, Hotel Connor also fell victim to one of the city’s many fires. 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.
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In the late 1960’s with the aid of the tourism boom the hotel was able to open its doors once again. When we got to town 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.
Don’t miss these other must-see Small Towns of The West

5. WINDOW SHOPPING

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The city begs to be explored and is the perfect place to just get out and walk. There’s no shortage of window shopping opportunities or hole in the wall shops. From artwork and crafts to their very own hot sauce shop. They even have a kaleidoscope store that is like nothing we’ve ever seen.
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6. WICKED CITY TAP HOUSE

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Wicked City was a solid watering hole with good people and good drinks.  The atmosphere and decor were spot on. The bar tender was great and happy to talk about his family history here. They have a plethora of local beers on tap as well as wine and sangria.
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There’s a good assortment of board games and we highly recommend playing Disturbed Friends, especially with a table full of strangers.
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All sorts of ghosts here

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.
On a road trip?  Don’t miss our comprehensive guide to Arches National Park and Grand Canyon National Park

7. ASYLUM RESTAURANT

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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 award winning Asylum Restaurant and bar that serve up tasty cocktails and delicious food. And the view is amazing. On your way up the hill you’ll pass by the 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

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Right in the heart of town next to the 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.
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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. The SLIDING JAIL

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The Sliding Jail got its name from the simple fact that it slid down the hill. As the ground was literally shaking daily from the dynamite being used below the city, the Jail crept its way down the hill over 200 feet from where it once stood. When town was booming with over 15,000 people, mixed with booze and the rough crowd of miners, this jail was a busy spot.

The best RESTAURANTS

Terrific food has become the norm here.  From quick bites to fine dinning you won’t be dissapointed.

HAUNTED HAMBURGER

Haunted Hamburger is a fun and good place to grab a bite to eat. With plenty of outdoor seating and tremendous views, it’s a fun place anytime of the day. If you’re in the market for a seuvenir they have all sorts of popular haunted burger apparel.
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GRAPES RESTAURANT AND BAR

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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.
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MILE HIGH GRILL AND INN

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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.  Perfect for a family with picky eaters.

BOBBY D’S BBQ

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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.  Do yourself a favor and at the very least grab a small bite for a snack.

FAVORITE 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.  Here are some fun options to add even more character to this funky hillside town.

AIRBNB options

Airbnb has some great options in town so be sure to check them out. Very reasonably priced and in some really cool homes that just might be a little haunted. Be sure to check out Airbnb.

CONNOR HOTEL

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The classy yet antique feel of the Hotel Connor is a great way to immerse yourself in the rich history this hotel and town have to offer.  As you walk the narrow hallways you’ll be thinking, “if only these walls could talk.” Hotel Connor – Check Prices

MILE HIGH INN

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For a less haunted option, the elegantly decorated and air-conditioned rooms of Mile High are a solid choice.  There’s also a great bar/restaurant below that I believe even serves breakfast. Check Prices

GHOST CITY INN

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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.

Check Prices

JEROME GRAND HOTEL

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Sitting above all others is the massive 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!

Check Prices

Van Parking

We visited in the off-season, dead of winter, and were able to park right in town in the public parking area.  While there were “no overnight parking” signs, the locals said not to worry in the off-season. I can only imagine how cramped this town must get come peak season and there’s no doubt you couldn’t get away with it like we did.  Towards the Gold King Mine they advertise tour bus parking which might be a viable option for a van.  But don’t quote me on that one.  
Well I hope we’ve tempted you to visit this great city. Whether just for the day or an overnight, I promise you it’s worth your time. Happy travels!

Jerome Arizona FAQ

 
How far is Jerome Arizona from Sedona? Jerome is 27 miles from Sedona along one of Americas most scenic drives, HWY 89A What did they mine in Jerome Arizona? The 80 miles of mine tunnels that sit under Jerome were for mining copper.  The mine produced over 3 million pounds per month worth billions of dollars. What’s the history of Jerome Arizona? Founded in 1876, Jerome was Arizona’s 4th largest city.  At its peak in the 1920s over 15,000 people called Jerome home.
The lively and historic Ghost Town of Jerome Arizona is an absolute must see on your next road trip.  Just miles from Sedona and the National Parks of Arizona this once booming mining town will not disappoint.  Terrific food, art, culture, and affordable accommodations make Jerome Arizona a great destination when visiting Arizona.