Our city draws visitors from all over the world to enjoy our unique setting, old-west history and enjoyable climate. Throughout the year Prescott offers a variety of events and activities so that no matter when you visit, you'll get a chance to experience the many faces of Prescott and find out for yourself why Prescott is considered one of the top emerging metropolitan cities. Ask nearly anyone what it is they like about Prescott, and you are bound to hear about the historic character of downtown and the neighborhoods that help preserve the history of the city.
Prescott is considered part of North Central Arizona. It is just south of the Granite Dells. The Granite Dells area, or often called ‘The Dells’, is notorious for its large boulder outcroppings of granite that have eroded into a spectacular appearance of bumpy rock features. Within 'The Dells' are Watson and Willow Lakes, which are two small, man-made reservoirs. Here a number of hiking trails connect to the Peavine Trail. The Peavine National Recreation Trail follows what was the former rail bed of the Santa Fe. This railroad traveled from Prescott to Phoenix through the Granite Dells. The “Peavine” got its name from the winding portion of this railroad that twists and curves, resembling the vine on which peas grow. The Peavine trail connects to the Iron King Trail, which was the route of the old Prescott Railroad through the Granite Dells. Natural lakes include Lynx, Granite Basin and Goldwater, all surrounding different areas of this rustic community. Goldwater Lake, by Goldwater Park, is located four miles from downtown Prescott and is some 15 acres of water surface, and is a popular destination for park recreation and picnic facilities. Lynx Lake is another lake close to Prescott in tall Ponderosa pines, and gets some 125,000 visitors every year. This 55-acre lake offers visitors recreational activities, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking and even has a small, seasonal restaurant with a great view near the lake. Finally, there's the smallest of the natural lakes with some 5 acres of surface water at Granite Basin Lake. None of these lakes permit swimming, however all are popular recreational destinations near Prescott.
There are four golf courses within the city limits: Antelope Hills Golf Course, which consist of the City of Prescott South Course and the City of Prescott North Course, Capital Canyon Golf Club (formerly the Hassayampa Golf Club) (private), Talking Rock Golf Club (private), and Prescott Lakes Golf Club (private). More public courses are located nearby in surrounding towns.
The Frontier Village Center was Prescott's first shopping mall and it opened in 1991 offering shopping, dining, and entertainment. The Prescott Gateway Mall is an enclosed shopping mall that opened in 2002, replacing Frontier Village as Prescott's major shopping center. Downtown Prescott has dozens of independently owned and operated shops.
While Prescott is known for its western and cowboy feel, it is also the home of Prescott College, a small liberal arts college located just west of the downtown area that emphasizes environmental and social justice. In recent years Prescott College has fostered The Catalyst Infoshop (an Anarchist Free Space), Karma Farms (a community garden program), a local farmers market, as well as many other establishments. It is a non-profit organization which has an undergraduate body of roughly 800 students, and an average student to faculty ratio of 7:1 in on-campus classrooms. There are four general programs at Prescott College: the On-campus Undergraduate Program (RDP), Limited-Residency Undergraduate Degree Program (ADP), the Limited-Residency Master of Arts Program (MAP), and a Limited-Residency PhD program in Sustainability Education.
Prescott has been home to several nationally known punk bands, including Bueno, Life in Pictures, and Hour of the Wolf. Local bands often play shows alongside touring bands, who include Prescott in their tours and can be seen at Gurley Street Coffee, and many other restaurants and bars throughout town.
Prescott hosts annual events such as Frontier Days, The World's Oldest Rodeo, Easter Egg-Stravaganza, the Bluegrass Festival, Earth Day, July 4 Celebration, Tsunami on the Square, art festivals, a Cinco de Mayo celebration, Navajo Rug Auction, Pumpkin Patch Carnival, World’s Largest Gingerbread Village at the Prescott Resort & Conference center (located on the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe reservation), Prescott Film Festival, Folk Arts Fair, parades, the Acker Music Festival, The Cowboy Poets Gathering, the Prescott Highland Games, Courthouse Lighting, Whiskey Off Road and Ragnar Relay Del Sol. Also located in Prescott is the Heritage Park Zoo.
Prescott was the location of Arizona's first Elks Lodge (BPOE). "Mother Lodge of Arizona" The Prescott Elks Opera House was built by the lodge in 1905. The Prescott Elks Lodge now located in Prescott Valley and has served the community for over 116 years.