There is a small city built into the side of a mountain known as Jerome, Arizona. It is a very old, unique, interesting place that I would highly advise visiting! If you drive towards Cottonwood and see the large white “J” built into Cleopatra Hill, you know you’re going the right way.
A little Jerome history… It was built back in 1876 to be a residency for the workers of the booming copper-mining industry. Due to its high volume of murders and deaths, Jerome was known as the “Wickedest Town in the West”. Not only were people dying while working in the mines, but almost 100 people were shot quarreling in the streets in a single month. At it’s peak in the 1920s, the town had about 15,000 residence. When the mines closed in the 1950s, only 50-100 people remained. Jerome has since then been restored into a tourist town with local artisans, restaurants, and haunted tours. It currently has about 450 residents.
Now that you have little back story.. Here are all the best places to go and things to do!
After arrival, we went to Ghost Town Tours to reserve a spot on their walking tour. Side note: This company was very accommodating and easy to work with. Since the tour was not until later in the day, we got to explore the local shops and galleries. Taking advantage of dilapidated buildings, artists have erected 3-dimintional sculptures in the middle of the rubble. One even displayed a toilet as a wishing well. Talk about flushing your money down the toilet, HA!
With a variety of restaurants to choose from, we chose the Haunted Hamburger for lunch. It was such a beautiful day, outdoor seating was a no brainer. Couldn’t get enough of that view! We liked their deep fried pickles, twice baked potato, BBQ burger and most importantly their mudslide- a milkshake that tastes like the inside of an Oreo had a baby with a chocolate frosty. SO. GOOD.
Our walking tour guide was great! As a local born and raised, he really knew his town’s history. I recommend doing a tour, as each building has its own crazy story. Definitely worth the time and money! Jerome is one fascinating town!
For dinner, we went to The Asylum, which is the restaurant in the old Grand Hotel. We got there at 5:30 when they opened for dinner, which worked well for us as we got to sit at one of the two window seats. They have the highest view in the city, and watching the sunset over the red rock mountains as you eat dinner is a once in a lifetime experience. Casual attire is welcomed at this fine dining establishment. Their soup was great! We also enjoyed the pork tenderloin.
Ghost Town Tours also has haunted night tours in the old high school. Rumor has it they are scary and fun! I feel like we got a good scope of the town in one day; but if you want to get scared on the night tour, they have haunted hotels available for stay!