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Best Things to Do in Clarkdale, Arizona This Summer

Located in the heart of the Verde Valley, Clarkdale, Arizona, offers a delightful mix of outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, and culinary delights, making it a perfect small town summer destination. Whether you're seeking thrilling experiences, tranquil nature, or delicious food, Clarkdale has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best things to do in Clarkdale this summer.

The Verde Canyon comes alive with bright stars and the luminous glow of moon-kissed skies

1. Starlight Train Ride at Verde Canyon Railroad

Experience the magic of a Friday or Saturday night under the moon and stars with a train ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad. As the sun sets over the canyon, the air cools and the night comes alive with twinkling stars. This scenic journey offers a unique perspective of the Verde Valley, combining natural beauty with the romance of train travel. Various options are available, from luxurious first-class service to classic coach seating. This enchanting ride is perfect for families, couples, and solo adventurers alike. For more details, visit Verde Canyon Railroad's website.

Dance the night away at the Concerts in the Park summer series

2. Summer Events in Clarkdale

Downtown Historic Clarkdale comes alive in the summer with a host of exciting events put on by the Town of Clarkdale.

  • Grand Opening of the Taawaki Inn: You will be able to experience Hopi Style as never before. Taawaki Inn is the only hotel to receive the esteemed approval of the Hopi Nation to be built outside the Hopi Reservation, sumptuously set at the entrance to Tuzigoot National Monument, with sweeping vistas of the picturesque Verde River. Get the details on the ribbon cutting ceremony and book your stay here.

  • Clarkdale's Old Fashioned 4th of July: Celebrate Independence Day with a parade, games, and fireworks.

  • Concerts in the Park: Enjoy live music in the beautiful setting of Clarkdale Park. It's a great way to spend a summer evening with family and friends.

Find out more about these events on the Town of Clarkdale website and see the Concerts in the Park schedule here.

3. Live Music at 10/12 Lounge

For those who love live music, the 10/12 Lounge is the place to be. This vibrant venue hosts a variety of musical acts throughout the summer, providing the perfect backdrop for a night out in Clarkdale. Enjoy a cold drink, groove to the tunes, and soak up the local culture.

Check out the schedule at 10/12 Lounge's website.

Paddle down the Verde River with Clarkdale Kayak Co.

4. Kayaking Down the Verde River

Cool off with a kayaking adventure on the Verde River. Clarkdale Kayak Co. offers guided tours that cater to all skill levels, providing a fun and refreshing way to explore the stunning river landscape. Paddle through serene waters, spot local wildlife, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Verde Valley.

Book your adventure at Clarkdale Kayak Co.'s website.

Explore Tuzigoot's outdoor trails in the morning to beat the heat!

5. Explore Tuzigoot National Monument

Step back in time at Tuzigoot National Monument, an ancient pueblo built by the Sinagua people over 1,000 years ago. Wander through the ruins, learn about the history of the area, and enjoy panoramic views of the Verde Valley. It's a fascinating glimpse into the region's rich cultural heritage.

The impressive kitchen collection at the Arizona Copper Art Museum

6. Indoor Cultural Attractions

Stay cool on hot days by exploring Clarkdale's rich cultural attractions.

  • Arizona Copper Art Museum: Discover the history and art of copper in this unique museum. Learn more here.

  • Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum: Learn about Clarkdale's past through fascinating exhibits and displays. Learn more here.

  • Reitz Ranch Center for Ceramic Arts: Explore beautiful ceramic art and even try your hand at pottery. Learn more here.

First eat with your eyes, delicious culinary delights at Violette's Bakery Cafe

7. Wine and Dine in Clarkdale

Craving a culinary adventure? Clarkdale's food scene has you covered with a variety of dining options that cater to every palate. Supporting local eateries not only satisfies your taste buds but also helps sustain the community.

  • Violette's Bakery Cafe: Indulge in authentic French pastries and classics like Croque Monsieur in a charming outdoor setting.

  • Hermosillo Hot Dogs: Savor Sonoran-style hotdogs, tacos, and quesadillas with a view of Main Street.

  • El Toreo: Dive into Tex-Mex specialties and enjoy Taco Tuesdays with a margarita on the patio.

  • Virgin Cheese Company: Explore vegan cheese delights perfect for a picnic.

  • Yavapai College Greenhouse Café: Enjoy farm-to-table freshness with specialty sandwiches and salads.

  • The Farm at Bent River: Experience the essence of farm-to-fork dining with organically grown vegetables.

  • #1 Sandwich Shop: Grab a quick bite with sandwiches, ice cream, and pizza.

Gather with friends and enjoy hand crafted brews at Smelter Town Brewery

In addition to these fantastic eateries, Clarkdale also boasts a vibrant selection of beer and wine establishments:

  • Smelter Town Brewery: Relish craft beers brewed on-site, offering a taste of local flavors in a relaxed atmosphere in the heart of downtown Clarkdale.

  • Bodega Pierce Tasting Room: Sip on exquisite wines produced from Arizona-grown grapes, perfect for a leisurely afternoon.

  • Chateau Tumbleweed Tasting Room: Discover a variety of unique wines in a cozy tasting room setting.

  • Southwest Wine Center: Enjoy wines crafted by students in the estate vineyard and teaching winery, all available for tasting in the fully-operational tasting room.

With such a diverse array of culinary and beverage options, Clarkdale is a haven for food and drink enthusiasts. Bon appétit!

Parsons Trail No. 144 in Sycamore Canyon Wilderness

8. Venture into Sycamore Canyon Wilderness

For hiking enthusiasts, Sycamore Canyon Wilderness is a must-visit. This expansive wilderness area offers a variety of trails that wind through lush forests, along dramatic cliffs, and past hidden waterfalls. It's a perfect spot for a day hike or a weekend camping trip. Sycamore Canyon Wilderness was one of the first wilderness areas protected in Arizona. Take extra care to leave no trace of your passing and help protect this wonderful, wild place. Find more information on the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness website.

Explore trails and camping in Mingus Mountain

9. Explore Mingus Mountain Recreational Area

Mingus Mountain Recreational Area provides a cool escape from the summer heat with its higher elevation and forested trails. Enjoy hiking, picnicking, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. It's an ideal spot for a family outing or a peaceful retreat into nature. Learn more at the Mingus Mountain Recreational Area website.

Enjoy a peaceful night at Penumbra, a desert retreat in Clarkdale

10. Stay the Night in Clarkdale

After a day of exploring all that Clarkdale has to offer, rest and recharge at one of the town's charming lodging options. Whether you prefer a cozy bed and breakfast, a historic hotel, or a modern vacation rental, Clarkdale has accommodations to suit every taste and budget. Enjoy the warm hospitality and comfortable amenities that make an overnight stay in Clarkdale a delightful experience. For more information on lodging options, visit the Experience Clarkdale Lodging Page.


With so many wonderful activities and attractions, Clarkdale, Arizona, is the perfect summer destination. Plan your visit today and experience the best of what this charming town has to offer!



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