It's summertime, which means it's the perfect chance to make an exodus from the Valley, either by hitting the open road or jetting off to somewhere cool. Over the next few weeks, Jackalope Ranch will profile a few unique destinations around Arizona and the southwest that are perfect places for a daytrip or a weekend getaway.
If the local lore of Globe is to be believed, the tiny mining town located northeast of the Valley got its name almost by accident.
Hardscrabble prospectors of the 1870s came to the areas with dreams of digging up gold, only to find globe-like deposits of silver instead. More than 130 years later, both Globe and the neighboring community of Miami still offer plenty of hidden treasures, and we ain't talking about the massive amounts of copper that's still mined here.
While not as kitschy or hippie-friendly as other former Arizona boomtowns like Tombstone, Jerome, or Bisbee, the two towns (which are collectively known as the Cobre Valley) feature a quirky and quaint mix of art and antiques, as well as historic buildings, an old-timey vibe and a slew of spectacular sights that make for an interesting daytrip.
Drive Time: Situated 85 miles away from Phoenix, you can get to the Globe/Miami area by car in around 90 minutes.
See: Like many rural Arizona communities, the Globe/Miami has a rich and vast history tied in with the Native Americans who once populated the area. The meticulously maintained Besh-Ba-Gowah Ruins and Museum (1324 Jesse Hayes Road, Globe, 928-425-0320) serves as a monument to said past and chronicles the life and times of the ancient tribes that predates the Apaches by centuries. The archeological site and its adjacent museum are open weekdays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and admission is $3.
For another take on the history of the Cobre Valley, visit the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center (150 North Plaza Circle, Miami, 928-473-3700). The fortunes of both Globe and Miami has ebbed and flowed with the price and demand for copper for more than a 100 years, which is documented in detail inside this combination museum and gallery housed in a renovated high school on the edge of town. Open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays afternoons from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., it also features the various art works created by local and a wealth of vintage photographs.
The nearby downtown section of Miami has experienced a major renaissance over the past few years, going from mostly deserted ghost town littered with empty storefronts to a haven for artistic goods and antiques. For instance, some of the creative types that occupy The Firehouse in Phoenix have launched a satellite gallery and space called Miami Art Works (509 West Sullivan Street, Miami, 602-300-7575) where they show off works that aren't ordinarily featured at First Friday.
Shop: Don't be dissuaded by the eclectic array of artsy junk piled outside of the entrance to the Pickle Barrel Trading Post (404 South Broad Street, Globe, 928-425-9282, www.picklebarreltradingpost.com) as there's much better shopping to be had inside of this cavernous secondhand store and antique outpost. Within its rectangular slump block building (which was originally a 1900s-era general store) is a pickers paradise of vintage wares, throwbacks to times past, and other hand-me-downs, as well as a host of Native American art, handmade jewelry, and leather goods.
Gemstones and minerals twinkle and shine throughout the Copper City Rock Shop (566 East Ash Street, Globe, 928-425-7885) where rockhounds can spy shelf after shelf of various sparkling substances and specimens that were hewn from the earth. In addition to the titular copper, patrons can peruse such flashy minerals as turquoise, peralta, quartzite, and agates.
Eat: Globe and Miami are renowned around the state for its Mexican food, particularly the scrumptious recipes created by the late Salustia Reynoso, a local resident who served up enchiladas and other eats for more than 40 years. Her descendants went on to launch numerous Mexican restaurants in the area - as well as around Arizona - using the very same menu that's satisfied many a rumbling belly for decades. One of best eatery run by the Reynoso clan is Chalo's (902 East Ash Street, 928-425-0515), where the buttery tortillas and mouth-watering burritos are the highlight of the menu.
Another eatery of local lore is Joe's Broad Street Grill (247 South Broad Street, 928-425-4707), which has been dishing out mealtime favorites since 1950s. The restaurant has been used in movies (including the 1988 Robert De Niro buddy comedy Midnight Run) and has been a go-to dining spot for Globe residents seeking fresh-cut bacon, crispy hash browns, towering sammies, or other breakfast and lunch standards done right.
Just down the road a bit is the Drift Inn (636 North Broad Street, 928-425-9573, driftinnsaloon.com), which is not only the city's longest-running bar, but also one of the oldest drinkeries in Arizona, period. Originally opened in 1902, it's currently run by saloon keepers Lisa Brazil and Eileen Townsend, who kept the original tin ceiling tiles but spiced things up by adorning the walls with tastefully nude oil paintings.
Sleep: Standing atop the many hills dominating Globe's oldest neighborhoods is the Noftsger Hill Inn (425 North Street, 928-425-2260, noftsgerhillinn.com). This one-time elementary school that dates to the 1900s now functions as a quaint bed and breakfast run by affable married couple Dom and Rosalie Ayala boasts killer views of the surrounding area, as well as spacious rooms stocked with turn-of-the-century furnishings, antique fixtures, and soft beds. Room rates start at $90 per night.
Go There: -- Because the trip to Globe/Miami winds through some picturesque sun-drenched scenery, including gorgeous canyons, towering mountains, and a few epic-looking bridges along the way.
-- Quaint, vintage buildings dating back to the 1900s dot the numerous hills and winding road of the area, which should make for some cool photographs.
-- You can treat your taste buds to some of the best Mexican food in Arizona.