Living in San Diego exposes you to “zonies” all summer long, I’m not sure that’s meant negatively, I think the locals just get annoyed with tourists coming into the beaches. Frankly, our economy is primarily tourism and folks should temper their woes. However, for me, it’s just that I’ve always thought of Arizona as a hot, dry desert with nothing really to offer me. I prefer my weather in the 75-80 degree range and a nice ocean breeze, the smell and sound of the ocean is calming to me.
However, I’ve found myself living in Central Arizona for the last two months and can definitely appreciate the appeal. At least from here north… I’m living in Prescott, AZ, which is located in Yavapai County and has about 40,000 people. Pronounced “Preskit” which took a little getting used to. There’s a little downtown area that’s built around the Courthouse with an area called “Whiskey Row”. To be completely honest, I’ve shopped on Whiskey Row, mostly at an adorable little place called Clothes Hound but I’ve popped into other shops as well. However, I’ve found my favorite restaurants are close by but not within the square. I’ve also found that my favorite shopping is at the local thrift stores and antique shops found around town.
Most evenings in the square there’s something going on, live music or a community event called, “Prescott Idol” where locals perform and compete to become that year’s “Idol”, I believe there are gift certificates and some sort of prize, all orchestrated by the local radio station. I’ve heard some great talent! And some not so, I usually can hear from my patio and gauge whether or not it’s worth the walk. Every weekend there seems to be something going on, the Mile High Festival, next weekend is the Bluegrass Festival and a few days later the RODEO STARTS!
My absolute favorite part of this town is the trail system. There are over 80+ miles of trails in the city, I’ve found a few that are well suited for running. The rest I explore with my 6 month old Double Doodle, Jovie.
I’m not sure I will be able to explore them all, I’m here for work but I’m really grateful that I spend the first few weeks building up my length strength to overcome the torn ACL and meniscus in my right knee because bouldering through the Dells to get the view of Willow Lake on a Saturday morning is just fantastic. I find myself wanting to join the locals in the effort to save the Granite Dells from developers.
In the event that you ever find yourself in Prescott, AZ here are a few of my favorite spots –
Wild Iris Coffeehouse – this is by far my favorite, open at 6am and has a dog friendly patio, perfect lattes and wonderful treats.
Black Dog Coffee – adorable and wonderful espresso.
The Porch – incredibly cute, great service and good coffee.
El Gato Azul – this is a quirky little tapas spot that I really love. Live music, outdoor patio and sangria. My only compliant is no bar to sit at so forced to sit at a when table dining solo, which is not my favorite. However, the food is really great, the service is awesome and I love quirky.
The Barley Hound – well this is my most visited establishment in Prescott, namely because of the open patio, white lights, wine and dog friendly atmosphere.
Outlaw Donuts – just yum. The perfect day starts with a hike, then a donut here and then basically anything else because you’ve set the stage for awesome.
I’m writing this from a wonderful little brewery called Coppertop Alehouse & Still Works. It’s really quite wonderful, all locals and they all seem to know each other, the decor is on point and the White IPA is perfect. They have a live music schedule and food but I will have to explore these on another day. I will definitely be back the Owner/Brewer is from San Diego and lived in OB. I feel at home here.