Day Trip To Jerome: Arizona Ghost Town
About 2 hours north of Phoenix you can find Jerome, an old copper mining town. Jerome is located on top of Cleopatra Hill overlooking Verde Valley which is at 5,000 ft elevation. Since Jerome is cooler than Phoenix so it is a great day trip to get away from the heat. Jerome is known as a ghost town, as it had 15,000 residents at its peak in the 1920s, and in the 1950s the population dropped to less than 100. Today Jerome has a population of about 450. Jerome is an interesting day trip from Phoenix or addition to a southwest road trip. Follow this guide for the best things to do in Jerome in one day.
Best Time to Go to Jerome
You can visit Jerome any time of the year as a day trip from Phoenix or combined with Sedona or Flagstaff. The weather is the best in the spring or fall, but it’s not bad in the summer or winter either. In the summer it can get up to the 90s and in the winter the high is in the 50s.
Best Things to Do in Jerome
Jerome State Historic Park
Jerome State Historic Park should be your first stop on your day trip to Jerome. Here you can find the Douglas Mansion which is now a museum with information about the history of Jerome, mining, and the Douglas family. James Douglas built the Douglas Mansion in 1916 next to the Little Daisy Mine. The house was built for his family and as a hotel for mining officials and investors. The historic museum has old photographs, furniture, and minerals. There is also an outdoor exhibit outside the mansion with old mining equipment.
Park Hours: 8:30 am-5 pm
Museum Hours: 8:30 am-4:45 pm
Entrance Fee: $7 adults, $4 youth, $0 children 0-6 years
View of Cleopatra Hill
Outside of the Douglas Mansion at Jerome State Historic Park you can see a view of Cleopatra Hill, where the town of Jerome sits. There is a photograph where you can see what the town looked like when it was a lively mining town in 1920s and then look up and see how different the town looks like now. The difference in between the photos makes it really look like a ghost town. In the 1920s the population of Jerome was 15,000 and in the late 1950s the population dropped to less than 100.
Admire the Art Galleries
Drive into the town of Jerome and look for parking near Main Street or in one of the parking lots nearby. Jerome is small and walkable so you can leave your car here for the rest of the day. Spend time walking down Main Street and admiring the different art galleries.
Connor Hotel and the Spirit Room
As you walk down Main Street you will see Connor Hotel and the Spirit Room. The Spirit Room below the Connor Hotel is an interesting tavern with live music. The hotel was first built in 1898 but it burnt down twice and was rebuilt.
This spot was originally occupied by the Grandview hotel which was built in 1895 and was the first two story building in Jerome. In 1898 it burnt down, and in 1901 the Bartlett Hotel was built of stone in its place as a luxury hotel. The building became unstable due to the slides in the 1930s and in the 1940s it was abandoned. Portions of it were sold by the mining company, and what you see now is what is left today.
Jerome's Sliding Jail
In the mid 1930s the jail slid 225 during the slides. The road was altered to go around the jail.
Wine Tasting in Jerome
Jerome has several wineries that are worth a visit. Our favorite was Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room which has really good, unique wine. You can also wine taste or enjoy a glass of wine at The Original Jerome Winery, Passion Cellars, and Cabal Cellars.
Try Jerome's Local Restaurants
There are several restaurants in Jerome you can choose from. We ate lunch at Grapes Restaurant and Bar and I highly recommend it. Other popular restaurants are The Mine Cafe, Bobby D’s BBQ, Mile High Grill and the Haunted Hamburger. If you are looking for ice cream or fudge, check out Copper Country Fudge.
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