8 Reasons to Drive to Jerome, Arizona

It’s just a short day trip to this mining hub turned ghost town turned weekend destination.

Jerome might be known as a mining hub turned ghost town, but these days the town is anything but deserted with tens of thousands of visitors. And while ghost hunting is a must-experience activity when in town, Jerome has much more to offer than spooky sightseeing. The town is home to small shops, wineries, and lots of Arizona history—all with views of Arizona at a 5,000-foot elevation. Plus—with it being just two hours away from Phoenix—it’s perfect for a weekend getaway or easy day trip.

Here are our top reasons to make the short drive to the northern Arizona city.

The Douglas Mansion at Jerome State Historic Park
The Douglas Mansion at Jerome State Historic Park | Nick Fox/Shutterstock

See stunning views and a peek into Arizona history at Jerome State Historic Park

The Jerome State Historic Park is the perfect place to start any trip to Jerome. It’s home to The Douglas Mansion—which has roots dating back to 1916, when the city was still a booming copper mining town. Today, the mansion—which was renovated to be a museum in the 1960s—is filled with photographs of Jerome’s early days, historic artifacts as well as a model of the town and its underground mines. However, even those who don’t consider themselves history buffs will enjoy the stunning views of the Verde Valley from the mansion and nearby picnic area.

Caduceus Cellars
Caduceus Cellars

Do some local wine tasting at the Caduceus Cellars Tasting Room

A trip to Jerome isn’t complete without sipping wines made right in the Verde Valley, produced by owner and head winemaker Maynard James Keenan—known as the singer for Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer. In addition to great wines, visitors will enjoy a cozy atmosphere and a farm to table menu of pastries, pastas, bruschetta, sandwiches, and more.

Ghost Town Tours Jerome Arizona
Ghost Town Tours Jerome Arizona

Have an encounter with the supernatural on a ghost tour

There is no shortage of ghost tours to embark on when visiting Jerome. Ghost Town ToursTours of Jerome, and Jerome Ghost Tours are all top-rated options, but it’s hard to go wrong when searching for a taste of the supernatural in this ghost town. Tours range from one hour to four—depending on the number of haunted destinations and whether they’re within the town limits or also include nearby cities such as Sedona, Clarkdale, and Cottonwood.

Asylum Restaurant in Jerome Grand Hotel
Asylum Restaurant in Jerome Grand Hotel | Paul R. Jones/Shutterstock

Enjoy crème brûlée (with a side of ghost haunting) at the Asylum

The Jerome Grand Hotel—which was previously United Verde Hospital—might be known for being haunted, but its restaurant, The Asylum, is known for its upscale American dining. If you ask us, it’s worth a visit, even if you’re not feeling gutsy enough to spend the night at the hotel. Guests have their choice between specialties like the roasted maple-leaf duck and grilled pacific salmon salad or can opt for classics like the cheeseburger. Finish your meal with the Asylum Crème Brûlée for the full experience.

Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum
Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum | andysartworks/Shutterstock

Explore Arizona’s mining history at the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum

While Jerome’s past as a copper mining hotspot is rooted in nearly every aspect of the town—you can get the full history lesson at the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum, which was opened approximately 70 years ago to pay homage to the town’s roots. You’ll see guns from notorious town shootouts to mining equipment and even household goods from the late 1800s. Plus, with admission being just $2, you can’t beat the price.

Get the ultimate souvenir Jerome Olive Oil Traders

Who doesn’t love olive oil? Especially premium olive oils made right in Arizona’s Verde Valley, in flavors like chipotle chili, blood orange, and fresh basil. In addition, visitors can shop for balsamic vinegars—making It the perfect destination to shop for a gift or a souvenir to commemorate a trip to northern Arizona.

Sliding Jail
Sliding Jail | Trevor Huxham/Flickr

Visit the infamous Sliding Jail

The beloved tourist attraction is unlike any other jail you’ll find, having slid 200 feet down the town’s hillside. Back when Jerome was known as the “Wickedest Town in America,” this humble jail housed the town’s crooks and criminals. Today if you visit, you’ll have the added bonus of checking out an incredible mountain view.

Bobby D's BBQ
Bobby D's BBQ

Chow down on barbecue at the state’s oldest dining facility

While the smokehouse opened as Bobby D’s BBQ in 2011, this restaurant’s roots go back to 1899, making this structure the oldest dining facility in the state. Barbecue enthusiasts can choose between ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and brisket served traditionally with a side of cornbread, coleslaw, or barbecue beans—to name a few. And while the barbecue dishes are the star of the show, diners can also opt for hamburgers, sandwiches, or salads—making it a go-to for Jerome dining.

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Jamie Killin is a Phoenix native and Arizona State graduate who specializes in lifestyle and features writing. You can usually find her at the spin studio, a concert, or trying new restaurants across the Valley. Follow her at @jamiefayekillin.