Hotel at a Glance: Grand Highland Hotel
More than a century ago, Grand Highland Hotel was constructed amid roughly 40 saloons packed into a little block known as Whiskey Row. It was rebuilt and revamped in 2012 and 2013 as a second-floor boutique hotel, but it still retains its Old West charm with period decor.
- Wake up to a complimentary breakfast and refresh with a midday glass of fresh lemonade.
- Guest rooms pay homage to the hotel’s Old West roots: each is individually decorated with inspiration from an aspect of Prescott’s history, with exposed brick, historical architecture, and clawfoot tubs.
- Evening reception offers complimentary wine, beer, and cookies from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Stroll back in time along downtown Prescott’s town square to see the old courthouse and other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Ponderosa pines tower above hiking trails in the neighboring Prescott National Forest.<p>
Prescott, Arizona: Historical Mountain Town Encircled by Wilderness
Far from the metropolitan bustle of Phoenix and a mile up in the mountains of Arizona’s central highlands, Prescott maintains a small-town charm, from the old Victorian homes fronting its streets to the friendly locals hanging out on the steps of the courthouse downtown. During the winter, the courthouse plaza is the epicenter of an impressive display of colored lights strung from downtown trees, helping the city earn its designation as “Arizona’s Christmas City.”
Across the street from the courthouse plaza, live country and folk music wafts out the doors of the Wild West–style saloons on Whiskey Row, a historical block of bars once known as hangouts for some of the Old West’s notorious crooks and cowboys. At the historical Palace, travelers can push through swinging, saloon-style doors and sidle up to the bar, which survived a devastating fire in 1900. Many locals also favor Prescott Cantina for its friendly barkeeps and frequent live music performances on the back patio.
“There’s more to do here than in Vegas,” says John, a local veterinarian and former Las Vegas resident now living in Prescott. John spends a lot of his time exploring the many natural wonders of the high plains and nearby pine forests. Hikers trek up the steep paved paths of iconic Thumb Butte, pausing at the summit for panoramic views, and climbers scale the jagged rock formations of the Granite Mountain Wilderness on the outskirts of Prescott. Like a freshly polished gecko, the waters of Watson Lake Park reflect the surrounding rockscape of red boulders. The lake lures anglers and kayakers to wade into its waters and skim across its surface, respectively. Many families favor the park’s short hiking trails, which wend through rocky, high-desert landscapes.