DescriptionThe area around Prescott was first settled in 1864 by miners prospecting for gold. It was the presence of gold that prompted the cash-poor Union to designate Arizona as a territory in 1863. In 1867 the capitol was moved south to Tucson. However, Prescott briefly became capital again in 1877, a title it lost to Phoenix in 1889.
Named to honor historian William Hickling Prescott, the town was incorporated in 1883. Because of the surrounding pine forests, wooden structures rather than the typical adobe buildings were built. Fire devastated Prescott in 1900, but determined townsfolk rebuilt and developed a water system utilizing Del Rio Springs.
Surrounded by mountain ranges and nearly encircled by the 1.2-million-acre Prescott National Forest, the mile-high town is now a resort community. Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in more than 450 miles of multiuse groomed trails, four lakes and five golf courses. Camping, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, rockhounding and picnicking are popular activities. A robust arts community helps facilitate year-round activities, events and festivals, many of which are held on Prescott's charming, tree-lined Courthouse Plaza.
Visitor InfoPrescott Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center 117 W. Goodwin St. PRESCOTT, AZ 86303. Phone:(928)445-2000 or (800)266-7534
ShoppingDillard's, JCPenney and Sears anchor the Prescott Gateway Mall, 3250 Gateway Blvd. near SR 69 and Lee Boulevard. Whiskey Row/Courthouse Square, downtown off SR 89 and Cortez Street, offers antique, souvenir and clothes shopping opportunities as well as several eateries.
Self-guiding toursMaps of mountain biking areas along with a leaflet outlining a self-guiding walking tour of Prescott's Victorian-era neighborhoods can be obtained at the chamber of commerce and visitor information center.
Things to SeeBucky O'Neill Monument