5 Things to do in Jerome and Cottonwood, AZ

Jerome is known as one of the most haunted towns that exists built on the side of a mountain. My fiancé and I recently stayed in Cottonwood to explore Jerome. The town of Jerome itself is such a cool spectacle. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until we got home from the trip that I realized I didn’t get any photos of the town! I found one landscape photo of the desert taken from a parking lot in Jerome. 

However, below I am listing out at least 5 things that you can do in either Jerome or Cottonwood as they are about 15 minutes away from each other. Most of these will have to do with food, wine or beer.

View from the parking area in Jerome

The Haunted Hamburger

This burger joint is located near the top of the mountain near the Ghost Town Tours. The menu gives you a brief history on how the restaurant came to be and how the restaurant itself is known as one of the local haunts. The burgers themselves are incredible. You can also find beer from local breweries as well as breweries in Flagstaff, AZ and Phoenix.

The restaurant features indoor and outdoor seating. If it’s available I absolutely recommend going for the outdoor seating as you get to have an amazing view of the rest of the town as well as the desert landscape beyond.

Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes

After eating such a tasty burger the best way to work it off is to walk it off. Jerome is amazing because if you start at the top you can walk your way down the sidewalk and stumble upon all of the shops they have to offer. Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes is bar far one of the more interesting and fun shops there. As you can guess it’s a shop full of kaleidoscopes. They have kaleidoscopes ranging for the fun toys we remember as kids to elaborate and beautiful kaleidoscopes that are too large to hold and cost around $1000. Even if you don’t buy one of the kaleidoscopes they have it’s a shop you can get lost and mesmerized in for quite a while. 

Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room

If you’re a fan of the band Tool and love wine then look no further than these tasting rooms. The lead singer of Tool, Maynard James Keenan, has a vineyard in the Jerome/Cottonwood area where he curates wine that you are able to taste, and if you choose, buy a bottle of wine. 

We stopped into the tasting room in Jerome and it has a rustic and cozy feeling. We did not stay to try the wine as we needed to drive back down to Cottonwood to check into our hotel. However, we had already decided that we would be going to the Merkin Vineyards tasting room that is located in old town Cottonwood. Here, it has a more modern industrial look. You can try a flight of wine and get some amazing in season food that comes from Maynards farm. 

The State Bar

After we had gotten a quick appetizer of bruschetta and a flight of wine at the tasting room we walked down to this beer and wine bar. As we got there it started to lightly rain and lightening started to light up the 5 o’clock night sky. The amazing thing about this bar, other than the local beers and wines you can find, is it has three large garage doors that the owner opened up so everyone could enjoy the weather. 

The rain had calmed down so we sat down outside on their large patio and watched the lightening and enjoyed the fresh 70 degree weather outside. When the rain picked up we headed back inside right next to one of the open garage doors and sat down on one of the homey couches available. 

The State Bar Interior

Pizzaria Bocce

As the storm was going on and we were a few beers in we started to get pretty hungry. We noticed that some of the local regulars at the state bar had gone next door to Pizzeria Bocce and picked up some food and brought it back to The State Bar. We were inspired and pizza sounded like the perfect pairing to our beverages. 

We got ourselves a mini feast with a Prosciutto and Arugula pizza and fondue with bread and veggies. We sat at the bar, enjoyed our food and drink, and also got to meet some fun people who seemed to be regulars at the bar. The entire ambiance created an amazing experience and provided for the perfect quick getaway we had needed from living in the city.

The 5 Best (and Cheap) Places to Eat in Flagstaff, AZ

Living in Flagstaff for over 7 years I have tried several different places to eat. Flagstaff is full of breweries, dives, upscale, and mom-and-pop shops that are all so very tasty and noteworthy. However, to keep this blog post simple and help with finding out the best food for a cost of $15 or under I am going with these five places to eat. You will be able to enjoy a mountain town eateries without over-spending. These have been some of the tried and true places that I’ve eaten at repeatedly since being in college and after graduating.

Mama Burger

Located on N Humphry’s and W Columbus Ave. on your way to the mountain to ski or snowboard sits one of (in my humble opinion) the best burger joints to this day. Their burgers range from $3.75 to $7.50 and you can make it a combo with their amazing fries and a drink for only $3 extra. They have indoor and outdoor seating, both at which you can view the beautiful mountain in the distance. It’s the best place to grab a quick bite before hitting the slopes or just to sit and enjoy the food and ambiance of a mom-and-pop shop restaurant.

My all-time favorite is the Bacon Guacamole Burger and my Fiancé’s being the Kahuna Burger

Historic Barrel + Bottle House

Historic offers a menu ranging in price from $8 – $17 and has some tasty brews on tap. One of my favorites is the Undercover Cucumber American Lager. It’s light and crisp with a hint of cucumber and makes you feel like you’re laying poolside on a warm summer day. Paired with a burger or sandwich from their menu makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

They have a very rustic and modern vibe that makes you feel cozy and caters to a fun day or night out with friends. With outdoor seating you are able to enjoy the fresh air while still getting the same cozy feeling of sitting inside. Located on San Francisco St. you will find yourself a half a mile down the street from downtown Flagstaff.

Primo’s Deli

Right across the way from Historic you will find a little hole-in-the-wall deli. This is no ordinary deli though. Primo’s is known for their amazing hot dogs. You can only catch this deli being open from 6 PM to 3 AM and closed on Sunday and Monday. This is the perfect place to grab a quick hot dog on the go before or after going to the bars.

Primo’s is a tiny store painted yellow and red and has a blue trimming. There is nowhere to sit inside or outside but it is everything you could hope for in a hot dog. Their dogs range from $3 – $5.35. You can also find other quick bites there but the main event would be one of their creatively made hot dogs. With a hot dog like the “Drunk Uncle” how could you not try it?

Macy’s European Coffeehouse and Bakery

I absolutely could not write this post without mentioning Macy’s. For anyone who has lived in Flagstaff or passed through and tried this place it would be almost a sin not to talk about it. Macy’s offers comfort in sight, smell, taste, and feel of what you would want in a coffee shop. My favorite part of the menu, other than the coffee, is the breakfast menu. I’m not a vegetarian but their vegetarian biscuit and gravy is the shining star in my eyes. When my fiancé and I go he loves to get their waffles with fresh fruit. And of course we always get their coffee. The baristas are masters at the coffee craft and are very artistic with the foam and other toppings.

While their breakfast food is my absolute favorite they also offer lunch and other entree’s to try that are worth the visit. Their menu from breakfast to their entree’s are priced from $3 – $8. They offer a variety of food that caters to people who may have a gluten allergy to vegan and vegetarian options.

With this being one of the more popular food destinations I always recommend getting there earlier to make sure you’re able to grab a seat if you would like to dine-in.

Vegetarian Biscuit and Gravy paired with a cappuccino – my go to every time

NiMarco’s Pizza

A hometown favorite of Flagstaff, NiMarco’s currently has two locations and soon there will be a third. When arriving in town from the west side there is a NiMarco’s located right before the target. However, my favorite spot is the one in downtown just right up the street from Macy’s. Both locations have indoor and outdoor seating, of course. However, the downtown location has more of a rustic pizza vibe to it that I absolutely love.

Whether you’re looking to grab a quick slice or sit down with friends and devour an entire pizza together NiMarco’s offers a variety of pizzas to choose from. If you are looking to order an entire pizza they will range from $10 – $20. If you just want a slice or two that can range from $2.50 – $5.

Always More…

Flagstaff, though it may be a small town, has a lot to offer in nature and, of course, in food. There are so many more restaurants I would love to add to this list but I wanted to keep it quick and in budget. If you are in Flagstaff for more than just a day or two take some time to walk around and explore! After trying some of the amazing food that Flagstaff has to offer I expect that you will leave with your belly full and your heart warm and happy.

The (quick) Story from Pines to a Concrete Jungle

In the 27 short years I’ve been alive I have come to realize that there are so many things in this world I have yet to experience. It’s created this spark of wanderlust in my life that I have been, unfortunately, procrastinating on. I think many people in life can relate to this. There’s so much to do and it often times can feel so overwhelming that staying at home, relaxing on the couch under the comfort of your favorite cozy blanket and watching a Netflix drama series is the easier choice. Recently, however, everywhere I’ve turned I’ve come face-to-face with the tough question, “What are you doing with your life and why aren’t you actually living it?”

I grew up in a small (ish) desert town in Arizona. Born in 1992 I got to experience the big bang of the internet and a new technological age that ever changed our way of interacting with other human beings. I was lucky enough to experience life with and without too much technology. My parents often took my sister and I on camping trips around the western part of the United States to make sure we got to experience life in nature while still living in a small city.

Flagstaff, AZ 2014

After 18 years living in the small town I moved to Flagstaff, AZ to go to college. It was perfect. Because I grew up camping this was a place I could experience nature and the comfort of a town all in one. I lived there for seven years and I loved every moment of it – highs and lows alike. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to meet new people, experience nature right outside my apartment and learn the struggles of finding a job right out of college.

Aspen, CO 2017

This took me to my first job in Flagstaff where I met my now Fiancé. A year into working at the company, our job offered for a few of us to open up a new location in Denver, CO. We were 24 and beyond excited to move to a city and be part of something that was important to “Corporate America”. After living there for about a year and a half we decided to move back to Arizona to be closer to family. This time we moved to the Capitol of heat, Phoenix. We’ve now lived here for just under two years and to tell you the truth it’s been a hard adjustment for me. After three years of living in cities I’ve come to realize the concrete jungle isn’t the scenery I love looking at outside my window every morning. And within those three years I’ve also been sweeping that pesky question under the rug. The only thing is, you sweep it under the rug enough you end up tripping over it.

So, long story short, here I am! Facing that question, learning along the way and living life to the absolute fullest. It’s time to satisfy that wanderlust and everything that comes a long with it.