Everyone likes a good comeback, and there are few cities in Arizona that have had a comeback like Jerome, which is located 5,200 above sea level atop Cleopatra Hill and between Prescott and Flagstaff.
More than 100 years ago, Jerome was not only the third largest town in Arizona and the state’s largest producer of copper, gold and silver, but also among its naughtiest. Given its ratio of bordellos and bars to churches, it was even nicknamed the Wickedest City in the West.
The party died, however, when the mines closed in 1953 and the city became a ghost town.
In the past 20 years, however, it’s come back to life, this time as a thriving arts and tourist community with dozens of restored historic buildings, specialty stores, galleries and restaurants. Thanks to Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes, Jerome also boasts the largest collection of kaleidoscopes in the world.
Just some of the galleries to visit while “up the hill” include Cody DeLong, featuring fine oil paintings of the Southwest; Pura Vida Gallery, home to crafts and jewelry from over 100 local artisans; and the Jerome Artists Cooperative Gallery, which features 30 to 40 local artists’ works at any given time.
Jerome is also home to Maynard James Keenan, both the front man of Tool and a local winemaker. One of his tasting rooms, Caduceus Cellars, is located in the heart of Jerome nearby most of the best spots for cocktails and food, notably Haunted Hamburger, Grapes Restaurant and Bar and the soon-to-open Clinkscale, a hotel, bar and grill being developed by the award-winning and locally owned Haunted Group.
– The Arizona 100 reports