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Museum Mosey - A Cultural Expedition in Clarkdale, Arizona

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Clarkdale, Arizona is a haven for history enthusiasts and culture seekers, offering a rich tapestry of museums and attractions that unveil the unique story of this region, the state of Arizona and the story of copper. Today, join us on a delightful journey with our "Museum Mosey" itinerary, unraveling the fascinating history and artistry that make Clarkdale truly one-of-a-kind.




Morning Delight at Violette’s Bakery Cafe

To kick off your Museum Mosey, start your day with a hearty breakfast at Violette’s Bakery Cafe. Indulge in the best French pastries outside of Europe, artisanal coffee, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere setting the perfect tone for a day of exploration. Violette's offers beautiful daily breakfast, brunch and lunch specials served all day in an outdoor cafe (now offering a heated patio section). Serving up classics such as Croque Monsieur, crepes, baguettes and Belgian waffle sandwiches. There is something to delight every palette here.




All Aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad

Next, head over to the Verde Canyon Railroad for a scenic train ride through the breathtaking Verde Canyon. Traverse rugged landscapes along the Verde River, captivated by the awe-inspiring beauty of the Arizona wilderness. Savor a delicious lunch with a stunning panoramic landscape from the comfort of your seat.


The four-hour ride on Verde Canyon Railroad’s historic route from Clarkdale to Perkinsville and back – into Arizona’s other “grand canyon” – is an unforgettable adventure. Captivating panoramic views are revealed in every direction, exclusively from the relaxed atmosphere of the train. As far as the eye can see, wildlife, high-desert foliage and rugged terrain are visible on this year-round adventure into a lush riparian habitat.




Verde Canyon Railroad Bell Museum

Following the train ride, take a leisurely stroll to the John Bell Museum at the Verde Canyon Railroad.


The John Bell Museum is open daily, free of charge, and welcomes depot visitors to explore its colorful and educational storyboards at any time. Named after John Bell, the original car attendant and a longtime resident of Clarkdale, the museum relocated in 2008 to its current home—a restored boxcar situated on the patio grounds. Visitors can peruse captivating storyboards filled with details about the Verde Canyon experience, the pioneer spirit, and railroad history. Despite its small size, this intriguing stop adds a nostalgic layer to your journey





Arizona Copper Art Museum - A Fusion of Art and Industry

Transition to the Copper Art Museum, where art and industry collide in a mesmerizing display of copper creations. Marvel at the craftsmanship transforming this humble metal into exquisite works of art and gain insight into the role copper played in shaping the region's identity.


Featuring exhibits of copper art and collections for study, which were made by coppersmiths, soldier artists and braziers; many of whom were masters in their trade. Artifacts displayed have an emphasis on American and European works-of-art from the 16th - 21st century. The affinities and history of copper is also featured and is very fascinating, bringing forth forgotten stories, legends and mysteries. The museum’s collection is the largest return of copper back to both Clarkdale and the Copper State.




Step Back in Time at the Clarkdale Historical Society Museum

Mosey down the street to the Clarkdale Historical Society Museum, a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits chronicling the town's rich history. Wander through carefully preserved rooms, each telling a different chapter of Clarkdale's past. From the mining boom to the establishment of the town, this museum is a fascinating journey through time.


Through its collections, public programs, and preservation activities, the mission of Clarkdale Historical Society & Museum is to foster a deep understanding and appreciation of Clarkdale and the region's rich history, as well as to support economic development, and quality of life.




Tuzigoot National Monument Visitor Center and Museum

Conclude your Museum Mosey at the Tuzigoot National Monument Visitor Center and Museum. Explore the remnants of a Sinagua Indian pueblo and discover the ancient architecture that thrived in the Verde Valley. The museum provides a comprehensive overview of the archaeological significance of the site, connecting you to the indigenous people who once called this area home.


Built in 1936, the architecture of the museum is part of the exhibit - the construction techniques used for the building are modern-day versions of traditional Sinagua construction. The collections consist of archeological artifacts removed from Tuzigoot and nearby archeological sites.




As the day comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the cultural richness and historical depth experienced on this Museum Mosey in Clarkdale. This town, with its blend of natural beauty and human history, is sure to leave an indelible mark on your travel memories. So, lace up your walking shoes, embrace the spirit of exploration, and let Clarkdale's museums weave their tales just for you.

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