15 Best Things To Do In Cottonwood, Arizona

things to do in cottonwood arizona

During the late 19th-century, Cottonwood, Arizona appealed to the more venturesome and there was a certain reputation for lawlessness. At this time, Cottonwood was known to have the best illegal liquor for hundreds of miles, drawing residents from Phoenix, Los Angeles, and locally to buy the illicit booze. By the 1920s, there wasn’t another town in the US that could boast of so many companies for such a small population and it reaped the nickname of the “Biggest Little Town in Arizona.”

Today, Cottonwood is a peaceful community with easily accessible restaurants, hotels, shopping, and a charming historic old town, complete with tall sidewalks and buildings with false fronts that accommodate the old West character. Cottonwood has evolved from a modest farming district to the Verde Valley’s population core. Cottonwood is the perfect spot to jump-start your tour of the best things to do in the area.

Still wondering what to do in Cottonwood? Then, just read on to find out about the best things to do in Cottonwood, AZ.

1. Clemenceau Heritage Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Clemenceau Heritage Museum on Monday, February 27, 2017

One of Cottonwood’s attractions is The Clemenceau Heritage Museum concentrates on the history of the city and other local area towns like Clemenceau, Jerome, and Clarkdale. The museum’s vibrant history includes copper mining, farming, businesses, copper smelters, ranching, local schools, and railroads. Perpetual displays include elaborate working model trains representing the seven railroads that served here from the 1920s to the 1950s, a pioneer ranch kitchen and bedroom, an elementary classroom circa 1950, and copper mines and smelters. Non-permanent displays and exhibits are changed frequently. This is a visit that you and your entire family will enjoy immensely - drop in for your tour.

Clemenceau Heritage Museum

Address: 1 N Willard St, 86326 Cottonwood, AZ

Website: Clemenceau Heritage Museum

2. Blazin' M Ranch

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If you had a superpower what would it be? The ability to fly maybe? What an amazing perspective!

Posted by Blazin' M Ranch on Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Are you looking for an old West pioneer adventure and hospitality? Well, look no further than the Blazin’ M Ranch Wild West Adventure in Cottonwood! Visitors from all around the world have come to the Blazin’ M Ranch for a Western adventure of a lifetime. The entire family can move back in time for a great excursion that’s sure to be savored by explorers of all ages. The Blazin’ M Ranch adventure is fun for groups, couples, families or anyone who is young at heart.

Blazin' M Ranch

Address: 1875 Mabery Ranch Rd, 86326 Cottonwood, AZ

Website: Blazin’ M Ranch

3. Larry's Antiques & Things

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Larry's is prepared for floods now that we've acquired this fine boat. Good thing with the monsoons we been having lately!

Posted by Larry's Antiques and Things on Thursday, August 27, 2015

Larry’s Antiques and Things was the first commercial building in Cottonwood. It dates back to 1895 and is a destination for folks from all over the world. It was once the first Ford Model T dealership in Arizona. A visit to Larry’s Antiques and Things is a true aesthetic encounter based on the amount of Native American arts and crafts, cowboy and old West related items, antique paintings and lithographs, antique tools and antique farm equipment that overflow in its halls, on its walls and all around the land outside. Whether you’re a history aficionado or not, it’s a captivating place to visit in Arizona. Larry’s Antiques & Things is well worth a visit, whether you are young or old!

Larry's Antiques & Things

Address: 796 N Main St, 86326 Cottonwood, AZ

Website: Larry’s Antiques & Things

4. Historic Old Town Cottonwood

Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona
Source: Photo by Flickr user Scottb211 used under CC BY 2.0

Historic Old Town Cottonwood’s beautifully well-preserved architectural heritage has won it a place on the National Register of Historic Places, making it a top Cottonwood tourist attraction. It is a town within a town with a pictorial 20th century-old West past. Old Town Cottonwood is a year-round destination, where one can go back in history and enjoy many shops and art galleries along the main street of Old Town, which has Prohibition-era buildings featuring jewelry, gift items, art, Southwestern decor, antiques, and clothing, as well as a variety of services, including an athletic club and a yoga studio.

Historic Old Town Cottonwood

Address: 86326 Cottonwood, AZ

Website: Historic Old Town Cottonwood

5. The Aperture Gallery

Among the eclectic mixture of shops on the main street of Old Town Cottonwood, you can find The Aperture Gallery where photographer Larry Coleman bestows his unparalleled glimpse of the world through his graphic pictures. The Aperture Gallery not only showcases over 40 years of his photographs but it also introduces to the public his enormous private collection of amazing late 1800s and early 1900s black and white photographs of the old West including many that showcase the landscape of the local area.

The Aperture Gallery

Address: 907 N Main St, 86326 Cottonwood, AZ

Website: The Aperture Gallery

6. Verde Valley Wine Trail

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

During the prohibition period in the United States, grape juice concentrate manufacturers took advantage of the big...

Posted by Verde Valley Wine Trail on Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Verde Valley Wine Trail beckons wine lovers to experience a destination of exquisite beauty, deep in history, and the production of stunning Arizona wines. Located in gorgeous Northern Arizona, there are six tasting rooms at four Arizona wineries on the Verde Valley Wine Trail that offer a variety of expertly crafted wines to delight any wine taster’s pallet. Every winery has its own incomparable personality and distinguished wines for visitors to explore at each stop along the trail. Take the time to visit these great wineries and tasting rooms snuggled in the lush canyons and red rock countryside surrounding Cornville, Jerome, Clarkdale, Sedona and Cottonwood.

Verde Valley Wine Trail

Address: Verde Valley, AZ

Website: Verde Valley Wine Trail

7. Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Dead Horse Ranch
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Benjamin Cody used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Dead Horse Ranch State Park is located across the Verde River from the historic community of Cottonwood and is centrally located near several major population centers such as Prescott, Phoenix and Flagstaff. Once you have completed your stay at this park, you can use it as a jumping off point to visit several other nearby attractions including Oak Creek Canyon, Tuzigoot National Monument, Jerome State Historic Park, Slide Rock State Park, Prescott National Forest, Montezuma Castle, Fort Verde State Historic Park, Coconino National Forest, Red Rock State Park and the popular towns of Jerome and Sedona.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Address: 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, 86326 Cottonwood, AZ

Website: Dead Horse Ranch State Park

8. Old Town Center for the Arts

Posted by Old Town Center for the Arts Cottonwood, AZ on Friday, 23 March 2012

In the 1930s, the Old Town Center for the Arts was constructed from concrete and local river stone. Since opening in 2007, the Old Town Center for the Arts has presented various community events that provide education and awareness of regionally sustainable enterprises. The annual Celebrate the River concert draws together organizations committed to protecting the Verde River Water Basin and the Backyard Gardening Expo provides knowledge about local farming, seed preservation, and gardening. The Water to Wine Festival commemorates local wineries and agriculture enterprises that promote low water use. This elegant and informal theater is dedicated to bringing the best in cultural and community events, entertainment, and arts to the Sedona/Verde Valley area.

Old Town Center for the Arts

Address: 633 N 5th St, 86326 Cottonwood, AZ

Website: Old Town Center for the Arts

9. Arizona Copper Art Museum

Arizona Copper Art Museum
Source: Photo by Flickr user Verde Canyon Rail... used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Apart from the many Cottonwood tourist places, this is one is for travelers who are close by Clarkdale (an eight-minute drive away from Cottonwood). Those who enjoyed doing so will have quite the time when touring Arizona Copper Art Museum. Get the chance to learn about how Arizonian mines produce large amounts of copper daily. Visitors will also be able to see several parts of the museum, as well as their featured exhibit: Historical Collection which boasts interesting fun facts, artifacts, and structures from the golden age of American history. Copper Art Museum also presents how copper was used during the war and how it’s still used by the US military to date. Copper’s role in art, architecture, and household goods are also showcased in the museum, a great shot for your travel feed on Instagram.

Arizona Copper Art Museum

Address: Arizona Copper Art Museum, 849 Main St., PO Box 474, Clarkdale, Arizona 86324

Website: Arizona Copper Art Museum

Opening hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sundays to Mondays

Price: 9.75 USD

10. Hike Mingus Mountain

Mighty Mingus Mountain
Source: Photo by Flickr user Terry Donaghe used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Mingus Mountain is a destination for travelers who love outdoor adventures. With 7,500 feet (2,286 meters) in elevation, this scenic mountain is a must to check off your hiking bucket list when in Cottonwood. Mingus Mountain also has a campground near its top where those who wish to stay the night and go stargazing can do so. It’s best for beginners and nature lovers who wish to challenge themselves a little bit while traveling. It is 7,726 ft (2,354.88 sqm) tall and is the highest point in the Black Hills mountain range. Those who wish to camp out for a night will be charged a fee and will take comfort in knowing that basic amenities are provided like picnic tables, garbage service, drinking water, toilets, and electric hookups among others.

Hike Mingus Mountains

Address: Forest 104 Route, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, United States

Website: Mingus Mountain Campground

Opening hours: open season: May 1st to October 31st

Price: 5 USD, entrance fee, 14 USD for campsite with electricity, 10 USD for tent campsite, and 5 USD extra vehicle

11. Tuzigoot National Monument

Tuzigoot National Monument 7
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Burley Packwood used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Are you curious about the life of Native Americans? Just 6 km (about 4 mi) northwest of Cottonwood, Arizona, lies Tuzigoot National Monument, where one of the largest and best-preserved Sinagua pueblo ruins stands. It dates as far back as 1100 A.D. and sits atop the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge 120 ft (36 m) above Verde River. The ruin is a 2 to 3 story complex of 110 rooms, the centremost part of which is believed to serve public functions. Guests are highly encouraged to start their tour at Pueblo Revival-style Museum and Visitor Center, where artifacts and informative displays are on exhibit. The path leading to the ruin is impressively well-maintained and easy to walk through. The tour may last from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Tuzigoot National Monument

Address: 25 Tuzigoot Rd, Clarkdale, AZ 86324, United States

Website: Tuzigoot National Monument

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

12. Jerome State Historic Park

Jerome State Historic Park, Jerome, Arizona
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

A quick 18 minutes of driving west of Cottonwood will bring you to the town of Jerome, a ‘ghost town’ of 50 to 100 residents where the Jerome State Historic Park is located. One of the most striking details that will catch your attention upon your arrival is the Douglas Mansion, a lone structure atop the Little Daisy Mine. The home, now a museum, was built in 1916 by James Douglas, the sole owner of the largest and most bountiful mine during his time. Now, various historical and informative exhibits are on display in the museum. There is also a picnic area where you can eat and have fun with your family while taking in the panoramic view of the Verde Valley.

Jerome State Historic Park

Address: 100 Douglas Rd, Jerome, AZ 86331, United States

Website: Jerome State Historic Park

Opening hours: 10am - 4pm (daily)

13. Gold King Mine Museum and Ghost Town

Jerome-Ghost Town
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marine 69-71 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Have you ever been to a ghost town? If not, then this is your chance to visit Gold King Mine Museum and Ghost Town, a funky stop about 1 mi (1.6 km) north of Jerome featuring dilapidated buildings and other remnants of the mining camp that was a part of the industrial revolution. Once you arrive on the site, you’ll see over 180 vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles, including Studebakers and Harleys. See up close old mining equipment, historic buildings, and a stamp mill that was used for crushing the ore. Enter the blacksmith shop and watch William Weathersby demonstrate his homestead-style blacksmith skills as he shares stories of the place’s history. You’ll find plenty of photo opportunities, and there’s a petting zoo for the children, too!

Gold King Mine Museum and Ghost Town

Address: Perkinsville Rd, Jerome, AZ 86331, United States

Website: Gold King Mine Museum and Ghost Town

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

14. Alcantara Vineyard

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Who knew there would be vineyards in Valley Verde? Alcantara Vineyards is a small, eco-conscious, and rustic winery in Cottonwood offering wine tasting, vineyard tours, and even a venue for weddings. You will be greeted warmly by the staff upon your arrival and will be led to the stunning vineyards to start your tour. Get a chance to taste Merlot grapes, learn about the growing process of the vines, and see the barrels of wine in the production center, all within the first 20 minutes of the tour. Your next stop will be the beautiful and well-organized tasting room where you will be served different types of wine depending on the package you picked. After the tasting, you get to take home your wine glass as a souvenir for such an amazing tour.

Alcantara Vineyard

Address: 3445 S. Grapevine Way · Cottonwood, Arizona, 86322, United States

Website: Alcantara Vineyard

Opening hours: 11am - 5pm (daily)

15. Arizona Stronghold Vineyards Tasting Room

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The historic Old Town Cottonwood, with its loamy soil and a warmer climate, serves as a perfect home for Arizona Stronghold Vineyards Tasting Room. With prices starting from 9 USD, you can enjoy a quirky and fun wine tasting flight. Try the fines varieties of Arizona wines in a comfortable living room setting or on the garden patio paired with delicious skewers and tapas. Live music is available on Fridays. If you have a well-behaved dog that stays off the furniture, then you may bring him along. If you are new to wine tasting, then this is a good start. If you are an enthusiast, enjoy discounts and VIP access when you join the Archive Club.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards Tasting Room

Address: 1023 N Main St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, United States

Website: Arizona Stronghold Vineyards Tasting Room

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 12pm - 7pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 9pm

Price: from 9 USD

The old West in your sight and at your fingertips

Cottonwood, Arizona is an unforgettable part of the old West that has to be part of your travel itinerary and these attractions are some of the best places for you to visit.

Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Cottonwood, AZ

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Cottonwood, AZ?

Make sure to visit some of these top attractions in Cottonwood, AZ like the historic Clemenceau Heritage Museum, the fun-filled great outdoors of Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Alcantara Vineyard, and Mingus Mountain.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Cottonwood, AZ?

Take in the scenic nature of Cottonwood and enjoy some of its best outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and fishing in Dead Horse Ranch State Park. You can even have a go at hang-gliding at Mingus Mountain.

3. What are the most popular things to do with kids and family in Cottonwood, AZ?

If you’re visiting Cottonwood with the whole family, visit Dead Horse Ranch State Park, tour and shop at Historic Old Town Cottonwood, and spend the day at Blazin’ M Ranch. These are just some of Cottonwood’s top attractions where kids and parents alike can enjoy a fun-filled day.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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