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15 Best Things to Do in Clarkdale

Clarkdale, Arizona is a small town located in the central portion of the state referred to as the Verde Valley.


With a population of less than 6,000, the area was settled in the mid-19th century. For much of its history, it was mainly known for its ranching and copper mines, and as a transportation waypoint between Phoenix and Flagstaff.


It’s still largely a ranching community, although tourism is a big draw these days. Historic sites, amazing geology and the area’s fascinating Native American cultures and ruins are all major items on the to-do lists of those visiting the area.

Below are 15 things to do in Clarkdale, Arizona that you won’t want to miss.


1. Verde Canyon Railroad


In Spanish, verde means green; you’ll know why the name was chosen when you chug through the scenic canyon in a restored iron-horse from a bygone era. Plain and simple, trains are a lot of fun. Kids love them, and there really isn’t a more enjoyable or dramatic way to see the amazing Arizona scenery.


There are different seating options to match every budget, but no matter whether you’re going first-class or riding in coach with the rest of the commoners, you won’t miss a thing. There’s a nifty little café and gift shop at the depot too, so check them out before heading off to your next adventure.


2. Arizona Copper Art Museum


Copper has been big business in Arizona since the time it was settled.


Some of Arizona’s largest and most productive mines contained rock with among the highest percentages of copper ore in the world.


The Arizona Copper Art Museum is a great place to spend a few hours learning about this vital metal, its history, and the part it has played in not only Arizona history, but world history.


It’s conveniently located on Main Street in Clarkdale, making it an easy to reach no-brainer when you’re in the area. Even the kids will love the plentiful and colorful arts and exhibits.


3. Clarkdale Downtown Historic District


Clarkdale was once a ‘company town,’ meaning it owed its existence largely to the United Verde Copper Company, which was the area’s major employer for decades.


The town was founded in 1912 and was the site of the company’s smelter, which extracted the copper from the ore sourced from the mine in nearby Jerome.


The downtown still contains homes and buildings that were typical of the era, and the historic district was admitted to the National Register of Historical Places in the ‘90s.

In its day, Clarkdale was considered one of the world’s most modern towns, sporting utilities and communications that were cutting edge at the time.


4. Tuzigoot National Monument


Located on Tuzigoot Road in Clarkdale, the Tuzigoot National Monument is an awe-inspiring place that will give you and your travel companions a fascinating look into the lives of the Sinagua people who called the area home for thousands of years.


The site includes a pueblo – or house – which has more than 100 rooms and a tower that looms large over the desert below.


They’re impressive examples of architecture and human ingenuity, especially when you consider that they were constructed nearly 1,000 years ago with limited and primitive materials.


Guided tours are available if you’d like to learn about the site and its previous inhabitants from a professional.


5. Chateau Tumbleweed


You may be surprised to discover that the parched, rocky and mountainous state of Arizona has gained quite a reputation as a wine producing region in recent years.

Chateau Tumbleweed, as the name implies, is a little bit of France tucked into central Arizona.


The chateau was one of the first wineries and tasting rooms in the Clarkdale area; it was conceived by four friends who spent decades working for other commercial wineries in the region.


The chateau is a great change of pace from all the dusty historical sites in the area, and don’t forget to pick up a few bottles at the gift shop on your way out.


And the list continues! Read about the remaining "Things to do in Clarkdale" at the original article from The Crazy Tourist here

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