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AMA Pro Motorcycle Racing

AMA Pro Motorcycle flat track racing returns to Yavapai Downs on October 9th. See the AMA website for tickets and schedule at

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

This annual event was held in the parking lot of Frontier Village courtesy of the main sponsor, Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe. Leading restaurants provided taste samples of their cuisine and all proceeds benefited the Yavapai Food Bank. In addition to food, there was a beer garden, a wine bar from Jazzy’s, Starbucks coffee, soda pop and entertainment. There were very large crowds at this event and it could have filled up another large tent. I had a double order of the Pan Seared Salmon with Béarnaise Sauce from the Black Canyon Grille and it was great!Copyright 2010 by Jack D. Wilson.

Taste of Prescott Video

2010 Taste of Prescott Arizona – Sept. 25, 2010 from Jack Wilson on Vimeo.

Photo & Video credits

All photographs and videos by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.


If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

Hard to believe, but the temperatures have started to drop and we will soon be transitioning into Fall. But before that happens Prescott Arizona has a roundhouse schedule of events on September 24/25/26 to keep everyone entertained. Pack your bags and book your room, this is one weekend you should spend in Prescott!

Entertainment all weekend

The weekend starting on Friday September 24 will have multiple events occurring across Prescott. There is always lots to do in Prescott, but this weekend will be truly spectacular. Come on up early and get a round or two of golf in at one of the top-rated municipal golf courses in Arizona, Antelope Hills.

Thumb Butte Festival

The entertainment starts on Friday, September 24 with the Thumb Butte Festival. Here is a description from their web site:

“Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza
5:00 – 10:00 pm
At 5pm the "Spotlight Kids" perform acts from Alice In Wonderland" followed by a fashion show by the Elks Opera Guild, "An Evening at the Opera House." Guild members model gowns and eveningwear from 1905 to 1940.
Other performers on the evening’s bill are Jonathan Best, known for his "equal parts gospel tenor, boogie-woogie piano and avant-garde sound collage"; songwriter, singer and storyteller Rita Cantu; flamenco music and dance group Rio Flamenco; classical vocalist Lecia Breen; Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering; several surprise guests including a special appearance by professional performers emulating Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe!”

To see the complete schedule, go to their website: Thumb Butte Festival

“My Way – A musical tribute to Frank Sinatra” at Elks Opera House


ABT named BEST PLAYHOUSE in the Valley of the Sun by Phoenix Magazine – Don’t miss MY WAY 9/24-25 at the Elks Opera House. Info at Elks Opera House.

Tickets on sale now! Click here to buy tickets

Western heritage Days


The 1st Annual Western Heritage Days kicks off on Saturday, September 25. This will the largest re-enactment round-up ever in Arizona and it will be on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott. It starts at 9:00AM on Whiskey Row in Downtown Prescott and runs until 5:00PM. It concludes with a Cowboy chuck wagon breakfast Sunday morning at 9:30AM at Sharlot Hall Museum. Tickets are $12.00 for the breakfast and are available at the Sharlot Hall Museum and the Prescott Convention and Visitors Bureau (corner or Cortez and Gurley).

See their website for full details and schedules: Prescott Western Heritage Days


Taste of Prescott

Taste of Prescott occurs on Saturday, September 25 from Noon-4:00PM. It is held in a large tent in the parking lot of the Frontier Village Shopping Center at 1841 E Hwy 69. Sample some of the best cuisine (and thirst quenchers) from many of the great restaurants in the quad-city area. The event will also feature beer and wine tasting. Tickets for the Taste are $1.00 each, 6 for $5.00 or 12 for $10.00. Food items are one tickets with beer and wine 3 tickets. Benefits Yavapai Food Bank.

I highly recommend this event. You spend a few bucks that benefits a very worthy cause and you get a chance to sample some of the best food in Prescott. They also will have music by Pam and Dave Swanstrom and this really is an event I look forward to each year. If you can, bring a couple of cans of food to donate to the Yavapai Food Bank – it these tough times they need a little extra help.

Toni Tennille Sings Big Band

Prescott resident Toni Tennille performs in concert at 7:30PM on Saturday September 25. This event is sold out so if you do not have tickets already you will be disappointed. See Toni Tennille’s News Gazette.

Antiques on the Square


The fall edition of Antiques on the Square will be held from 9:00AM-5:00PM on Sunday September 26 on the downtown Courthouse Plaza. This show is sponsored by the Thumb Butte Questers and features real antiques and collectibles – this is not a crafts show.

A Prescott tradition, "Antiques on the Square," has been a premier Arizona antique destination for over 22 years. It is an antique and collectibles show with 50+ dealers. Info: 928.899.6438

More information at Antiques on the Square

This show features antiques and collectibles and no craft items are allowed in the show. Several local dealers only sell at this show and there will be dealers from Tucson and Phoenix. Dealers will feature antique advertising signs, vintage clothing, antique jewelry, furniture, Victorian dresser mirrors and stereopticons, lighting fixtures, folk art, art glass and antique books. In addition to the show there are several antique shops and antique malls on Cortez Street (Antique Row).

Raw Spirits Festival – Sept 24 – 26, 2010

The Raw Spirit Festival International is being held at the spectacular Watson Lake Park in Prescott, Arizona’s gorgeous Granite Dells. See the Raw Spirits web site for full details.

Other activities

In case all of the above is not enough to keep you busy over the weekend, here are some additional options to include in your planning (click on the links to see them):

Spotlight on Prescott Arizona Museums

Insider Guide to Trails in Prescott Arizona

Antique Capital of Arizona

Of course after you sample all of the above, you may realize that Prescott is unique in may ways and come to the conclusion that many have (including me):

All Agree – Prescott Arizona – retirement haven

Photo credits

The Western Heritage Days illustrations are courtesy of that organization. All other photographs by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.


If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson 
Gazebo on Courthouse Plaza in Prescott Arizona, photo by Jack D. Wilson
Gazebo on Courthouse Plaza, photo by Jack D. Wilson

Well, the votes for Prescott Arizona as a top retirement destination continue to pile up, the latest is from the prestigious Money Magazine’s 25 Best Places to Retire. Prescott Arizona came in at number four on this top retirement list.

Prescott has been scoring high as a retirement destination since another Money Magazine article identified it as a prime retirement spot in the 1990’s. That article was the start of a migration of retirees from across the country to Prescott Arizona.

The accolades since the initial Money Magazine pick of Prescott as a top retirement destination in the 1990’s continued to pile up – that list is really lengthy, so let us just look as the last one before the current Money Magazine pick. That would be Best Boomer Towns – Prescott: Best 21 U.S. Places for Retirement.

Lifelong Learning Program at Yavapai College

ABC 15 News picked up on the Money Magazine designation of Prescott Arizona as a top retirement destination. They interviewed Dennis Garvey, Director, Lifelong Learning at Yavapai College and here is a link to the story on the ABC 15 News website: Which AZ town ranks highest for retirees? or click on the video below:


So if you are looking for a retirement destination, you may want to consider Prescott. You could repeat my story as I started coming to Prescott in 1995 while still working for a major corporation in Chicago. I moved here in 2000 and then flunked retirement in November 2007 when I was elected mayor.

We have something for almost everyone in Prescott with our mild four-seasons climate. There are a number of other articles on this blog that provide insights into why Prescott is such a great destination, so come visit for a day or two or three or a lifetime!

Photo credits

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.


If you found this guide helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

Mile Hile Trail System Image

Prescott Arizona is an outdoor adventurers paradise, an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking. This guide focuses on the many trails in Prescott. However, kayaking, rock climbing, camping and fishing opportunities abound. Many believe that Prescott is the best place to mountain bike in the entire country.

Prescott is a pleasant two-hour drive 100 miles north of Phoenix. Our mile-high elevation means we are typically 15-20 cooler than Phoenix. Prescott is surrounded by the worlds largest Ponderosa Pine forest. The US Forest Service has over 450 miles of trails in the forest around Prescott!

Prescott is working on completing the 50-mile Circle Trail. We have trails to satisfy users at any level, while being a "cool " place to hang out in the evenings with the opportunity to take  rest days and visit the museums/ theater, go kayaking on the lakes, play golf, rodeo, or even pan for gold!

A Mountain Biker’s Perspective

To give you a flavor of the exceptional trails in Prescott Arizona, here is a link to a blog post from the blog Diary of Scott Morris, sharing a mountain bikers perspective on some challenging riding on new trails in the picturesque Granite Dells area of Prescott: Play hard, get hurt. Also see Scott’s follow-up article Prescott Monster Redemption and Scott’s precursor to these two, Strategy in Prescott. With those blog posts as an introduction, I think that most would agree that Prescott Arizona is truly a mountain bikers paradise!

Whiskey Off Road Endurance Race

This is the premier mountain biking event in Prescott, check out the video:

2010 Whiskey Off Road Endurance Mountain Bike Event from Epic Rides, Inc. on Vimeo.

The 8th annual Whiskey Off Road will be held on April 30, 2011. Registration opens on January 1, 2011 (see sponsor Epic Rides website The Whiskey Off-Road). Event activities are scheduled for April 29-May 1, 2011, with the actual race on April 30, 2011. The race will have a guaranteed cash purse of $20,000 split equally between men and women racers.

Besides the race there will be a bandshell with entertainment.

Here is the opening song from last years lead entertainer, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (video by Jack D. Wilson):

Trails in Prescott

City of Prescott Office of Tourism Trails Page

City of Prescott trails page has a comprehensive listing of city trails. These range from the easy, such as the Peavine trail (on a former Santa Fe railroad bed) to extremely difficult Willow Dells Slickrock Trail Loops See the Vimeo video Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott. Are you an advanced mountain bike rider and want a technical challenge?

Mountain Biking in Prescott


Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott

Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott from Ken Bennett on Vimeo.

Prescott Area trail maps by Derek Brownlee at Sharlot Hall Museum. Derek was on my Prescott Bicycle Advisory Committee when I was mayor and he has the reputation of having ridden every trail in the area.

Bradshaw Ranger District Trails from US Forest Service.

Peavine Trail Video

Ron Smith’s Book

Description and cover picture from


Product Description

The author presents his personal trail journals for mountain hikes in the Central Highland region of Arizona. Trail descriptions include maps, trail specifications, elevation profiles, and Latitude/Longitude coordinates as convenience to GPS users. This is a guide for hikers, horseback riders, and bicyclists. Most trips can be completed in one day and average six to 12 miles in length.

About the Author

Ron Smith is semi-retired, after a 30-year career as wildlife biologist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. This career has taken him throughout Arizona’s diverse biological regions. His skills as keen observer, writer, and back country traveler have helped to make this guide more than just a technical reference. It also reflects a long cultivated sensitivity to the value of wild places and the need to protect them for ourselves and those who follow us. ”

Bike and Hiking shops in Prescott

Shop/Click for website Address/Phone Comments
Ironclad Bicycles 710 White Spar Rd, Prescott, AZ 86302
(928) 776-1755
Bicycle sales, rentals and repairs.
Bikesmith Cycle & Fitness 723 N Montezuma St
Prescott, AZ
(928) 445-0280
Oldest bike shop in Prescott.
High Gear Bicycles 505 E Sheldon St
Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 445-0636
Hike Shack 210 S Montezuma St, Prescott, AZ 86303 (928) 443-8565 M-F 10a-6p, Sat 9a-6p, Sun 10a-4p Outfitters for Day Hikers, Backpackers, Climbers, Urban Walkers, Trail Runners, Trekkers, Boaters, Hunters, and Adventure Travelers.
Granite Mountain Outfitters (no website) 320 W Gurley St, Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 776-4949
Mon-Thu 9am-5:30pm, Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9:30am-4pm, Sun 12am-12am

Biking organizations in Prescott

Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance (PMBA)


See the Facebook page for Prescott Mountain Biking – 195 members when I checked or their website at

Prescott Cycling Club:

Trail and Hiking organizations in Prescott

Yavapai Trails Association

Yavapai Trails Association is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and developing recreational, non-motorized trails.  They are an all-volunteer group that represents the interests of hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. They publish a quarterly newsletter, Trail Tracks, which you can view on their web site.

Yavapai Trails Association
P.O. Box 403
Prescott, AZ 86302
Call Membership Chair
Jim Pessin at (928) 771-2707
or go to:

Prescott Outings Club

The Prescott Outings Club was founded in 1975 and sponsors three hikes each week from September through May. See their website for details.

Prescott Hiking Club

The Prescott Hiking Club is a Prescott-based hiking club. See their website for details on the club, how to join, contacts, etc.

TrekAbout Hiking Club

Treks around the Prescott area are held year-round. The club meets every Tuesday from 8 to 9 a.m. and Thursday from 8 to 10 a.m. during the summer months and vary in length and difficulty. Walks are graded on a scale of 1-4 (with 4 being the most difficult). Hikes are lead by staff and volunteers from the Prescott Recreation Department, YMCA, and Yavapai County Health Department. For information call Prescott Parks and Recreation Dept. at 777-1122 or the YMCA at 445-7221. Membership is $12 a year and includes 2 weekly guided hikes and monthly calendar. Hiking boots required, carry water, dogs must be on a leash. Click for PDF application.

Adventure Travel Providers

Perhaps you would like an expert guide to take you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Vendor (click for website) Comments
Rubicon logo Rubicon specializes in adventure travel. Matt Brown is the owner and lead guide. From their web site
“Our year round guided tours in the mile high city now include Guided Mountain Biking and Guided Dayhikes. If you are looking for a relaxing weekend away our Self Guided Camping in Granite Basin Recreation Area is an easy way to get out and have some fun. Combine any or all of the tours above with a Guided Rock Climbing day and you will surely have a weekend to remember.”
GO! Adventure Recreation Dave provides guided mountain bike rides and guided hiking among other services.

Rest days attractions

Need something to do on a rest day? Prescott has several interesting museums, details at Spotlight on Prescott Arizona Museums. There are lots of interesting shops downtown, including antique shops, details on these at Antique Capital of Arizona.

Accommodations in Prescott

There are lots of hotel, motels and bed and breakfast establishments in Prescott. I have listed a few that are outstanding. The first two were statewide winners in their categories is the Arizona Republic’s Best Hotel reader poll.

Prescott Motor Lodge, 503 S. Montezuma St., Prescott, AZ 86303 928-717-0157. See Arizona Republic story Best Arizona Bargain Hotel. Some say this might be the coolest budget hotel in Arizona. In addition to their website they have a blog and a Facebook page.

Hassayampa Inn, 122 E. Gurley, Prescott, AZ  86301 – See Arizona Republic story Hassayampa Inn, Prescott: Best historic hotel. The Peacock Dining room has great food and I have eaten there many times.

Residence Inn Prescott, 3599 Lee Circle Prescott, Arizona 86301 USA 928-775-2232. The Residence Inn is right across from the Prescott Gateway Mall. If you are partial to Four Seasons, you will like the Residence Inn. It is the best business destination in Prescott.

Do you like Bed and Breakfast accommodations? Then click on over to the  Prescott Bed and Breakfast Association.

Food and Drink

DinnerBellCafe You will not be disappointed with breakfast at the Dinner Bell. It is located at 321 W. Gurley, (928) 445-9888. Cash only, but an ATM in front. Open until 2:00pm. Favorites include buckwheat waffles with mango and walnuts, cinnamon rolls and Huevos Rancheros. Use the creek side walkway to get to the back room/patio – it is the best place to sit (locals eat back there).

  Best Prescott Pick
Grandmas Bakery in Prescott Arizona Grandma’s Bakery is located at 207 W. Gurley just off Montezuma. It is in the lower level space of the Hotel St. Michael’s. If you like fancy baked deserts such as Napoleons and Éclairs then do not miss this.
Kendalls in Prescott Arizona Kendall‘s is located at 113 S. Cortez and features Fifties music, décor and value. Made to order burgers, fries and an old-fashioned soda fountain.
Raven Cafe in Prescott Arizona The Raven Café is located at 142 N. Cortez (web site at ). Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 35 beers on taps with 135 beers in bottles. Free wi-fi. Check out the upstairs patio area.  The owners are supporters of biking. They hosted the Ales for Trails benefit on March 24, 2010.

  Best Prescott Pick
The Palace in Prescott Arizona

  Best Prescott Pick
The Palace is located at 120 S. Montezuma on historic Whiskey Row and is a bar and restaurant. If you can’t eat there at least stick your head in to check out the décor. The movie Junior Bonner shot some of its scenes inside and there is a very large Junior Bonner wall mural in the back portion. Their food is not the attraction, it is the old western bar ambiance.Junior Bonner Wall Mural in Palace Saloon in Prescott Arizona 

Photo credits

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson unless otherwise noted. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.


I hope that you found this guide helpful, if you did please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

2009MayorsRideToWork MayorsPBACLogo

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. While he was mayor, he participated in two Mayor’s Bicycle Ride to Work on a tandem bicycle with partner Billy Broadfoot and had a Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

Prescott Western Heritage Days

The Largest Re-enactment Round-Up in Arizona Coming to Prescott

The Prescott Western Heritage Foundation, Inc. ® is kicking off its 1st Annual Prescott Western Heritage Days event on Saturday and Sunday, September 25-26.  This event will celebrate the western heritage of Prescott and Yavapai County between 1864 and 1912.  This year’s event will be hosted by the Regulators and their Shady Ladies, Inc. ®, in conjunction with the Sharlot Hall Museum.  A major attraction will be the largest historical re-enactment group gathering in Arizona.  Prescott Western Heritage Days will be held on Whiskey Row, Sharlot Hall Museum and various nearby venues beginning at 9am on Saturday.  Family activities will include unique photo opportunities, re-enactment skits, period costume contest and fashion show, cowboy, western and old-time music, cowboy poetry and children’s activities all day Saturday.  The event will conclude with a cowboy breakfast and entertainment at Sharlot Hall Museum Sunday morning. A schedule of events and venue locations can be found at

Participating organizations include the Prescott Regulators & their Shady Ladies, Inc., The Prescott Victorian Society, Inc., The Prescott Buscaderos, The Rough Riders, The Buffalo Soldiers, Bill Williams Mountain Men and Sharlot Hall Museum.

Western culture and heritage has deep roots in Prescott, as Arizona’s 1st Territorial Capitol and home to the famous and infamous Whiskey Row.  Amateur and professional artists, photographers, videographers, media and tourists will have a one of a kind opportunity to photograph dozens of re-enactment groups in period clothing in and around the historic Courthouse.  Group photo opportunities with staged backdrops will be made available.

Admission to the event is free. Tickets for  breakfast are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 and can be purchased at Prescott Convention and Visitors Bureau.   All net proceeds for Prescott Western Heritage Days to benefit Sharlot Hall Museum and Prescott’s Christmas Lighting. For more information, please visit

On Sunday, June 26 “Antiques on the Square” will take place on Courthouse Square from 9:00a.m – 5:00p.m. Information at at

Prescott Western Heritage Days Poster

Prescott Tourism Tweets

  • We're soon retiring this Twitter account--follow @visit_prescott for travel, tourism & event-related info for Prescott, Arizona 7 years ago
  • Our Twitter account is closing soon...please follow @visit_prescott for Prescott, Arizona related travel & tourism info! 7 years ago
  • City of Prescott 4th of July Extravaganza next Wed @ Pioneer Park: games, rides, music, fireworks & more! 7 years ago
  • Another edition of the Folk Sessions at the Highlands Center in Prescott this Sat: "Women in Song II", 7pm 7 years ago
  • Cowboy poets Chris Isaacs and Gail Steiger perform at Ben's Fine Art Gallery in Prescott, this Fri & Sat 7 years ago

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