Fire raged through Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott (press-kit) on July 14, 1900. Quick-thinking locals managed to save the town's most prized possession: the 24ft-long Brunswick Bar that anchored the Palace Saloon. After lugging the solid oak bar across the street onto Courthouse Plaza, they grabbed their drinks and continued the party.
Prescott's cooperative spirit lives on, infusing the historic downtown and mountain-flanked surroundings with a welcoming vibe. This easy-to-explore city, which served as Arizona's first territorial capital and celebrated its 150th birthday in 2014, also charms visitors with its eye-catching Victorian buildings, breezy sidewalk cafes, tree-lined central plaza and a burgeoning arts scene. But it's not all artsy gentility and Victorian airs. Whiskey Row hasn't changed much from the 1800s, and there's always a party within its scrappy saloons.
Prescott also offers some of Arizona's best outdoor scenery. Hikers, cyclists and campers in search of memorable views don't have to travel far from downtown to find them. The boulder-strewn Granite Dells rise to the north, while in the west the landmark Thumb Butte sticks out like the tall kid in your third-grade picture. To the south, the pine-draped Bradshaw Mountains form part of the Prescott National Forest.