If there is one stop from any of my trips that I wish I could re-do, it would be Jerome, Arizona. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved Jerome. And that is precisely why I want to re-do that day in that cute little town. I screwed up, didn’t look into the town at all and did it a severe injustice when we arrived.
One year (+ 2 days) ago, I rolled into Jerome with my travel companions. Jerome was on our radar simply for Caduceus Cellars as I touched on in A Toast to Food Week. We did not look into the town at all, aside from scoping out a camp site in the area, and the directions to the tasting room. We instantly regretted this decision.
When we first discussed the idea of going to Jerome, my boyfriend and I both imagined a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere Arizona. Nothing to do, nothing to see. We figured that a day stop in the town would be sufficient to poke around a bit, get the wine and get out. Yeah, we screwed up. If I could have a re-do, I would without a doubt spend at least 3 days in the bustling little town.
Jerome is an incredible little town built into the side of a mountain along Verde Valley. In the early 1900s, it was a thriving copper mining community. Jerome is also notable for its sheer stubbornness. It essentially burned to the ground 4 times between 1884 and 1889. Despite these major setbacks, the town kept rebuilding in the same spot.
Now, Jerome is filled to the brim with arts and culture. Many old structures have been refurbished into art studios and art galleries. Artists from across the country flock to the area. Our server at Caduceus moved to Jerome to pursue his art and wound up picking up a job in the tourist industry to help support his passion. He told us about how the old schoolhouse has been transformed into art studios for the artists to work in. It’s quite incredible. Unique little shops line the streets. The people are friendly, the town is eccentric and the wine is delightful. It is an absolute no brainer.
The rest of Verde Valley is just as beautiful as Jerome. We took a wander through Cottonwood on our way back to our campsite and fell in love. Same vibe as Jerome, just an entirely different town, with so many different nooks and crannies to check out. We wandered down the deserted main drag in Cottonwood that night, and wound up bumping into a wine maker closing up shop for the night. He welcome us to the town and gave us tips on where the locals like to go on Sunday nights. His directions steered us to an incredible bar with delicious sangria. Heaven.
We were only able to spend about 4 hours wandering through Jerome, and as such we missed a lot of the different sites and notable points in town. I can’t really give you an idea of what exactly to check out, but just from wandering the streets of the town I can tell you that Jerome is definitely worth the stop.
The culture in Jerome and Verde Valley absolutely blew us away. We went for the wine, and wound up feeling like we missed out on a lot as we breezed through in just a few hours.