A Weekend in Jerome

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.

Perched in the hills surrounding the picturesque Verde Valley, Jerome is a quaint and quirky destination around 100 miles north of Phoenix that offers plenty of personality and charm, not to mention more than its fair share of colorful characters (and maybe even some spirits) lurking about.

An old copper boomtown dating back to the 1880s, Jerome is a town with a notorious past, where ornery miners and wicked varmints walked its streets and stalked its alleyways in search of brothels, speakeasies, and other illicit thrills.

More than a century later, the town still bustles with life. It's become a vibrant and artsy landscape and a popular daytrip destination where visitors can explore historic structures, partake in funky art galleries and unique boutiques, and get an eyeful of panoramic views. A number of buildings are also supposedly haunted, so you might just spy a ghost or two.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.