Art can be anything from a photograph taken by a cell phone, a hand-blown glass vase, a classic painting from Michaelangelo, to a song you sing along with on a radio. Art is everywhere, and without it, our world would be quite dull.
Jerome, Arizona, is one of those towns that is made up of everything artsy. To help you navigate this artsy town, here are 15 unique things to experience in artsy Jerome, Arizona.
About Jerome Arizona
Jerome is a living ghost town located in central Arizona in the Black Hills of Yavapai County. Once home to more than 10,000 residents in its hey-day as a booming mining town, it is now home to only around 400 people. No longer the thriving mining town it once was, it is now well known for its wineries, art, and ghost town vibe.
Located along Arizona’s scenic Route 89A in between Sedona and Prescott, the drive alone to Jerome will heighten your senses. For those that think of Arizona as a stark desert land full of cacti, Jerome will change your view and make you fall in love with art, ghosts, and small-town mountain living.
Top 15 Unique Things To Do in Jerome, AZ
1. Jerome’s Sliding Jail
Address: Hull Ave. near Diaz St., Jerome
Due to Jerome’s mining history, the land here was continuously excavated, which resulted in a few landslides. The local jail slid 225 feet downhill in one of those landslides, where it still resides today.
In a world where history costs money, this unique Old Western site is free. It can be hard to find (maybe it keeps sliding), but it’s worth the small trek to get there. After all, it is a sliding jail.
2. Puscifer the Store
Address: 140 Main St., Jerome
It doesn’t matter if you like shopping, you must visit Puscifer the Store. At first sight, it may look like any other artsy shop in any other small mountain town.
But when you look again, you’ll notice some eclectic details, such as the Statue of Puschiva (a spinoff of the Hindu god, Shiva) at the entrance. Look closer, and you’ll notice the statue’s head has been replaced with a band’s logo.
And not just any band, Puscifer the Store is also Puscifer the band, complete with albums, videos, and tour dates. Curious as to who owns this store and how they’ve connected it with a band? Puscifer the Store is owned by the frontmen of Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer.
Not only does the store sell all types of goods, from books and music to beauty products to housewares, but it is also home to more than that. You might like shopping, but you also might enjoy the wine and beer bar, a barbershop, the art studio, and the music museum. Puscifer the Store has it all.
3. Gold King Mine Ghost Town
Address: Perkinsville Rd., Jerome
This Jerome, Arizona mine is a unique way to take a step back in time. You can try your luck at panning for gold or visit the actual 1,270-foot mine shaft.
After going through some renovations, the current owners have collected over 180 vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles for your viewing pleasure. There’s also a working blacksmith shop and sawmill along with other historic buildings.
There’s even a petting zoo. Bring your entire family for an excursion that you’ll all remember.
4. Audrey Headframe Park
Address: 55 Douglas Rd., Jerome
The Audrey Headframe Park is a museum quite like no other. While in operation, starting in 1919, the Audrey headframe lifted more than 3.6 million tons of ore out of the earth. It is also the largest wooden headframe still standing in Arizona today.
This museum is part of the Jerome Historical Society, where you can explore the region’s history and learn about mining operations that resulted in huge profits in the mining days. If you’re a history buff, this is the place to visit.
5. Jerome State Historic Park
Address: 100 Douglas Rd., Jerome
Known more for the Douglas Mansion than anything else, this state park in Jerome, Arizona, has more to explore than you think. Enjoy a historical view of the many abandoned mining operations below.
The scenic Verde Valley offers vistas of Oak Creek Canyon Sycamore Canyon and the San Francisco Peaks off in the distance. Before heading off to explore the Douglas Mansion and Museum, enjoy a picnic in the picnic area for a nourishing meal.
6. Douglas Mansion and Museum
Address: 100 Douglas Rd., Jerome
There’s quite a bit of history in Jerome, and one of the best places to understand this region is the Douglas Mansion and Museum. In 1876 three prospectors staked a claim on what is now known as Jerome. After going through several ownership changes, James Douglas entered the picture in the early 1900s, and his family has been a fixture here ever since.
The Douglas Mansion was built in 1916, overlooking the Little Daisy Mine. Made for mining officials and investors and his own family, the mansion had everything, even a central vacuum system. He also built the Little Daisy Hotel to accommodate the many miners that came to work here.
This majestic house is now home to the museum that celebrates the region and the Douglas Family. You’ll find historical artifacts, photographs, and rooms all restored to their original state. Enjoy a day here wandering through the past.
7. Stay at the Jerome Grand Hotel
Address: 200 Hill St. Jerome
Treat yourself to a luxurious getaway at Jerome, Arizona’s only full-service hotel. Overlooking Verde Valley, you’ll feel like royalty looking down upon your kingdom from the Jerome Grand Hotel.
Dine in the award-winning Asylum Restaurant. Catch a ride to all five stories in the original 1926 Otis elevator. Revel in history as you wander the historic Spanish Mission Style Building, which was once the United Verde Hospital. Your day spent in Jerome will culminate in an unforgettable evening.
8. Eat at the Haunted Hamburger
Address: 410 Clark St., Jerome
Where else can you dine with ghosts? Jerome, of course! The Haunted Hamburger is a well-known destination here. And with gourmet-style burgers that make you drool, it should be. But the real draw is that this local hamburger joint has been reported to be haunted.
Years ago, when the restaurant was first opening, and the building was being renovated, strange things were happening. The owners were a bit curious as to why their tools, more specifically, their hammers, kept disappearing.
Were they losing their minds, or were there ghosts that needed hammers to finish their own creative work? Rumored to be old craftsmen wandering the halls here, hammers do seem to disappear and reappear in the strangest places still mysteriously.
Come for the ghosts, the food, or their selection of handcrafted shakes, cocktails, and local craft beer. But as they say at the Haunted Hamburger, “Leave your hammers at home!”
9. Get Drinks at the Spirit Room
Address: 166 Main St. #155, Jerome
The Spirit Room is the center of the town. Centrally located, the Spirit Room is where it all happens. Famous for its live music six nights a week, you’ll find a great community vibe here.
This old-time tavern will whisk you away into the past, where you can play the part of a weary traveler seeking out some drink and entertainment. After you’ve danced and drunk the night away, wander upstairs to the Connor Hotel, where you can snuggle in quite comfortably for the night.
10. Take a Ghost Tour
Whether you choose Tours of Jerome, Ghost Town Tours, or another tour company, your ghost town tour will be one to remember. You may or may not believe in ghosts, but these tours are about more than that. They offer a glimpse into the secrets of the past.
You’ll learn about mining and history, yes. Still, you’ll get more than that through the stories of the people that once called this thriving mining community home, including people that are no longer physically here but have left many memories and artifacts behind.
Armed with flashlights, you can choose between walking tours, private tours, and even a shuttle tour. You’ll hear tales and visit sites of gambling excursions, murders, and the red light district in what was once known as “The Wickedest Town in the West.”
You may see a ghost, or you may conjure up one because it is the stories that bring them to life. Wander the streets with your new-found friends. You may only find them with a ghost town tour, but they’ll be with you forever.
11. Check Out Local Art at the Artists Co-Op
Address: 502 Main St., Jerome
The Jerome Artists Co-Op is run and operated by local artists. Consisting of around 35 artists, you’ll find jewelry, painting, clothing, woodworking, and so much more anytime you visit. Every two months, there is an opening night art celebration highlighting one of the local artists. This event is complete with wine, music, and food and coincides with the Jerome Art Walk.
Housed in the old Hotel Jerome, the 1917 building offers its own art. As you enjoy the art, don’t forget to catch glimpses of the past and the stories you may hear whispered in its ancient walls.
12. Shop the Unique Stores in Jerome
WIndow shopping or souvenir shopping, whatever you need and more of what you don’t, you’ll find here in Jerome, Arizona. This historical small mountain town has a variety of shops to choose from. From art galleries to music stores to jewelry shops, you’ll find traditional gifts next to quirky ones.
The stores here are just as unique and fun as the people who call this quaint town home. So loosen your purse straps, put on your best walking shoes, and head out for a day on the town. The shops here will not disappoint even if you’re simply window shopping. Which, by the way, will be thrown out the window (pun intended) because there’s something here for everyone.
13. Visit the Abandoned Post Office
Address: about ¼ mile from the town’s free parking lot
If you love old buildings and adventurous treks, then the site of the abandoned post office is a must-see for you. Be wary, though; the only way to enter is to ignore the “No Trespassing” signs. And maybe that is for the best since this abandoned building is falling apart.
Once a bustling post office back in Jerome’s mining days, the only things left to remind us of that are old lockers, a rickety staircase, and a second floor that has caved in onto the first floor. So, while you probably shouldn’t enter this decaying and dangerous building, it is worth the ¼ mile trek up the road from the town’s free parking lot, If only to catch a glimpse of this historical building.
14. Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum
Address: 200 Main St., Jerome
Located just across the street from the Spirit Room and the Connor Hotel, this mining museum fits perfectly into your explorations of Jerome. Peruse the old mining equipment, household amenities used in the 1800s, and staged gambling saloons. Learn about the many different cultures that made up Jerome’s mining population while gaining a deeper understanding of today’s current population.
Supported and run by the Jerome Historical Society, you’ll be experiencing the past while you visit the Mine Museum. But you’ll also keep history alive while doing so.
15. Wine Tasting at Caduceus Cellars
Address: 158 Main St., Jerome
This family-owned and operated winery produces small batches of wine and knows all about flavor, aging barrels, and the grapes behind the wines they create. With several vineyards and tasting room locations, the Jerome location is unique. How? It is located in Jerome, a town, as you now know, full of history, vibrancy, and flavor that match the wines at Caduceus Cellars.
Stop by for a wine flight, or maybe even an espresso drink. Enjoy relaxing in the quaint brick-lined building designed for your enjoyment of sipping on your favorite beverage. It will feel just like home.
Artsy Jerome, Arizona, will Leave Its Mark on You
You don’t have to be an art connoisseur to experience the quaint, artsy town of Jerome. You also don’t need to be a historian, a shopper, or a foodie to experience this small mountain town. What you do have to be, is interested in finding new places to explore.
And just as the many gold seekers, miners, and early explorers that came through this region, you just might leave a unique mark of your own here. But, I can almost guarantee you that Jerome will leave a mark on you.