Whenever I travel (both locally and nationally), one of the attractions I seek most are historical sites. If you, too, are a fan of learning about cultures and seeing examples of them for yourself, you won’t want to miss any of these historical towns and villages found right here in Arizona.
1. Castle Dome Mines Museum
Located about one hour north of Yuma, Castle Dome is a ghost town and former mining town that saw its first residents set up camp in 1863. The museum hosts 50 buildings on its premises—including seven original and restored buildings from Castle Dome Landing—and a tour through them and their artifacts will give you an idea of what life once looked like.
2. Goldfield Ghost Town
A reconstructed vision of what the original town may have looked like, Goldfield offers a family friendly ghost town experience. It straddles the line between the historical and romanticized versions of the Old West, especially with its cast of actors helping to make the town seem more alive.
3. Heritage Square
Located in the heart of Phoenix, Heritage Square is a collection of original Victorian structures from the city's early days. It also really hits you in the gut when you think about how many similar buildings have been torn down over the years in favor of new construction, erasing decades of history. The most popular of these is the Rosson House (pictured above), a fully restored 1895 house that is stunning inside and out.
Tours are open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays
The oldest continuously inhabited village in the country, Oraibi is a prime example of a historic village in Arizona. Not only do Hopi families still live in the village but, compared to some nearby villages that have adopted modern lifestyles, the folks here are more resistant to adopting American culture.
If you do visit
, please keep in mind that while visitors are allowed, photography and videography are probihibited, especially during ceremonies.
5. Pioneer Living History Museum
A collection of reconstructed and preserved buildings from Arizona's Old West days, this museum gives an educational view of settler life. Among the buildings you will find here are a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and plenty of houses that show the differences in lifestyles among Arizonans during that time period.
6. Sharlot Hall Museum
Prescott is a beautiful town with lots of history, but one of the major sites to see here is Sharlot Hall Museum, which has several on-site historic buildings, including the Governor's Mansion (shown above) and a replica of the town's first one-room schoolhouse.
7. Rawhide Western Town
This small theme park near Wild Horse Pass offers a fun experience of the Old West with a few modern attractions. Just keep in mind that this place focuses more on fun than history, so expect to leave with a feeling of the West rather than facts about Arizona living as a settler.
This town is famous for a reason and part of that is its historic status. A walk through the historical district will give you an idea of what the town was like when it was known as a wild boomtown as well as the history of the town.
Have you visited any of these sites before? Let us know your thoughts and other places you suggest history lovers visit!