Who said small towns were boring places with nothing to do? We certainly don’t think so! These quiet communities are filled with smiling faces, beautiful views, and some pretty cool attractions that will keep you entertained for a weekend. Check out a few of our favorite small towns that are anything but boring.
This southeastern town sits along Interstate 10 and what you see in the photo is only the start of some pretty cool things you can find here (it's a statue of a velociraptor dinosaur sitting outside the local McDonalds). The biggest attraction in Benson is Kartchner Caverns State Park, a jewel of a living cave that is a must-see for every Arizonan. Also in town is Gammons Gulch, a ghost town movie set open for tours, the San Pedro Valley Arts and Historical Society, and several art galleries. And don’t forget to stop by one of their awesome restaurants, like Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant or Horseshoe Cafe.
Voted the best historical city in the country, Bisbee is one beautiful little town with plenty to do. Start by taking a mine cart tour at the old Queen Mine to learn about Bisbee’s mining history. After that, check out some of their museums, like the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum and the Bisbee Restoration Museum. If you prefer a guided tour through town, you can choose from a standard historic tour to tours of the Sky Islands surrounding Bisbee to the town’s haunted history.
This tiny mountain town sees its fair share of summer and winter visitors, so don’t be surprised if you find it teeming with people. Outdoorsy adventures are what most people arrive for, such as hiking, fishing, camping, skiing, and horseback riding. However, you can also find the Butterfly Lodge Museum, dedicated to Greer’s history and culture, plus delicious restaurants that serve hearty meals.
You won’t find a shortage of things to do in this former mining town. Jerome is considered a National Historic Landmark, so there’s plenty here to entice history buffs, including guided tours, the Mine Museum, and the Gold King Mine Museum. There are also art galleries, bars, and some mighty tasty restaurants within the small town.
This former mining town has found new life in tourism along Route 66. All the activities here take place in town during the day hours so be prepared to wander around the different shops, feeding the wild burros, eating, and learning about the town’s fascinating history.
Another cool little Route 66 town, Seligman is home to some oddball places that make it stand out to travelers. Along Route 66, you can visit some of the quirky shops, like Historic Seligman Sundries and the Route 66 Gift Shop. The other main places to visit are the restaurants, which are just as unique. Delgadillo’s Snow Cap, Road Kill Cafe, and Westside Lilo’s Cafe are favorites with unusual settings and tasty food.
Sitting near the Mogollon Rim, you’ll find these two towns are just a few minutes from each other but offer some incredible experiences in the forest. Check out the Strawberry School House and the Pine-Strawberry Museum for history or pay a visit to Fossil Creek to enjoy the great outdoors. You’ll also find a nice collection of antique shops to browse and The Honey Stand is perfect for some edible souvenirs! As for food, check out Old Country Inn and Mama Joe’s Italian Grill.
Haven’t heard of this little town? Most people haven’t but it’s a great little retreat sitting at the top of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson. In the summer, it’s perfect for hiking, camping, and escaping the heat, while in winter you’ll enjoy getting the chance to play in snow just an hour’s drive from downtown Tucson!
This mining town turned tourist town is a world famous destination for all things Wild West! One of the first stops you should make is Allen Street, home of the Bird Cage Theatre, the OK Corral, plus other historic places for food and entertainment. You can also check out the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park or the Tin Cup Mining Company for unique perspectives on the town’s history. And, before you leave, don’t forget to check out Boothill Cemetery to see how many historic names you recognize.
This small town sits in southeastern Arizona (just a short drive from Benson) and is home to cowboys and wineries. Willcox was the hometown to celebrities Rex Allen and Marty Robbins (both known for their singing and acting) and you’ll find small museums dedicated to each of them. Additionally, you’ll find a handful of wineries and tasting rooms to enjoy the flavors of the region. And, if you’re looking for a taste of the area’s agriculture, don’t forget to pay a visit to Apple Annie’s Orchard.
Conveniently located right along Route 66, this little town is home to a ton of fun opportunities! Stay in town and visit the shops along Route 66, drive through Bearizona, or make your childhood dreams come true at the Big Toy Playground. If you don't mind venturing out of town for part of the day, hop aboard the Grand Canyon Railway for a day trip to the Grand Canyon. And, just like many other Arizona towns, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy.
Those were some pretty cool places! Of course, Arizona is chock full of some really incredible small towns, so there’s no way we could include every cool small town on this list! If you want to check out more, read
10 Underrated Arizona Towns That Deserve A Second Look. You might be surprised at what you find on that list!