Located in Verde Valley, the center of Arizona, Cottonwood is a charming small town situated below the high country chill and above the desert heat. Surrounded by the Mogollon Rim in the northeast and the stunning red rocks of Sedona in the west, the town’s low elevation and mild climate make it an idyllic destination year-round.
1.Dead Horse Ranch State Park
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Dead Horse Ranch State Park is situated along the Verde River just north of the small town of Cottonwood. Home to an abundance of plant and animal life, the area is filled with Willow, Cottonwood, Arizona Ash, Cattail, Netleaf Hackberry, and Mesquite trees as well as coyotes, Javelina, grey fox, jackrabbits, and cottontail rabbits. The park is also home to an extensive list of birds including several sensitive, endangered, and threatened species. There are four trailheads within the park that lead into Coconino National Forest and 20 miles of shared-use, single-track and double-track pathways. Visitors to the park can engage in several outdoor recreation activities including canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
675 Dead Horse Ranch Road, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-634-5283
2.Blazin' M Ranch
© Blazin’ M Ranch
For over 20 years Blazin’ M Ranch has been providing visitors with an Old West experience in the heart of Historic Old Town Cottonwood. A perfect replica of a Western Frontier Town, the Ranch features a boardwalk lined with Western shops, saloons, a museum, a shooting gallery and the Old-Tyme Photo Studio. Visitors can participate in various interactive adventures including a vintage tractor pull ride, ropin’ lessons, shootin’ lessons, and a critter walk; where they can interact with goats, miniature horses, donkeys, peacocks, turtles, and geese. After a day exploring the town, guests will end the day in their expansive, climate-controlled barn for a traditional chuck-wagon dinner serving baby-back ribs and chicken with all the cowboy fixin’s.
1875 Mabery Ranch Road, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-634-0334
3.Verde Valley Wine Trail
© Verde Valley Wine Trail
The Verde Valley Wine Trail is located in Northern Arizona, roughly 100 miles from Phoenix, the state’s capitol. A popular destination for wine enthusiasts it was established in 2009, the area is known for its beauty, rich history, and wine production. The Trail originally consisted of just seven tasting rooms and four wineries, but over the years this has grown exponentially to include approximately 20 cellars, wineries, tasting rooms, vineyards, and bodegas. Alcantara Vineyard & Winery, Burning Tree Cellars, Four Eight Wineworks, Pillsbury Wine Company North, and Bodega Pierce are just a few of the stops along the way. Each provide a collection of skillfully and artfully crafted wines to satisfy any palate.
849 Cove Parkway, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-634-7593
4.Alcantara Vineyards and Winery
© Alcantara Vineyards and Winery
Alcantara Vineyards is a sustainably-farmed, family-owned winery located in the foothills of the Verde Valley. Surrounded by the Verde River and Oak Creek on three of its sides, Alcantara is an expansive 87 acre property opened in 2005 by husband and wife, Barbara and Bob Predmore. There are more than 13,000 vines on the property producing 16 different varietals creating a diverse assortment of red, white, and dessert wines. They offer 1.5-hour long guided tours of their impressive grounds where they share information on the philosophy of growing grapes, irrigation, trellising, and varietals along the way. The winery also offers wine tastings in their rustically designed tasting room, they include five 1oz samples of the guest’s choice.
3445 S. Grapevine Way, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-649-8463
5.Burning Tree Cellars Tasting Room
© Burning Tree Cellars Tasting Room
Burning Tree Cellars creates small batch, boutique wines made with patience, quality oak, and only the finest fruit available. Located in the charming town of Cottonwood, Burning Tree is housed in a quaint storefront with attached patio boasting an earthy, rustic design. Their small courtyard welcomes patrons at the entrance with contemporary lounge furniture, stone and brick finishes, and futuristically designed heat warmers. Inside expansive windows bathe the tasting room in natural light highlighting the lovely wood-paneled wine bar, oversized light-brown leather sofas, and large decorative wood tables. The warm and welcoming ambiance is only elevated by their eclectic selection of rose, red, and white, wines.
1040 N Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-649-8733
6.Pillsbury Wine Company North
© Pillsbury Wine Company North
Pillsbury Wine Company North is a dream-come-true project by Sam Pillsbury, native of New Zealand and award-winning film director and wine maker. With a desire to make 100% regional Arizona boutique wines, Pillsbury established his company in 2005 and began growing red, white, and pink varietals in Cochise County. Today his unique wines can be found in several stores and restaurants in Cottonwood, Phoenix, Sedona, and Tucson as well as his tasting rooms in Cottonwood and Wilcox. The former boasts a modern elegance with red-wine painted walls, wood finishes, tile flooring, stylish area rugs, oversized leather furniture, and intricately carved barrel chairs. Tastings include five pours and a complimentary crystal wine glass.
1012 N Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-639-0646
7.Clemenceau Heritage Museum
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Managed and supported by the non-profit organization Verde Historical Society, Clemenceau Heritage Museum preserves and exhibits the heritage and artifacts of the Verde Valley. It is housed in the south end of the former Clemenceau Public School, a historic building originally built in the early 1920s. The museum’s exhibits include displays of early 20th century kitchens, bedrooms, and classrooms as well as a collection of photographs and artifacts used by European settlers in the early days of farming, ranching, and mining during the 19th century. Clemenceau is free to enter and offers guided group tours by appointment only. They also have an onsite gift shop where visitors can purchase apparel and Cottonwood souvenirs.
1 N. Willard, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-634-2868
© THAT Brewery
Owned and operated by husband and wife team Steve and Tamara Morken, THAT Brewery was created for beer enthusiasts, foodies, and nature fanatics. A hidden gem, visitors will find it located in the rear of an industrial park in Cottonwood, far removed from the bustling energy of Old Town. Housed in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse, it features both a production facility and a taproom. The industrially-chic taproom features cool design elements like and exposed beam ceiling, mixed-wood furnishings, oversized leather sofas, and chalkboard order menu. It also features a few fun games like corn hole and foosball. The brewery typically has 10 to 12 brews on tap including six mainstays, Arizona Trail Ale and Roadrash IPA, its two best-sellers among them.
300 E Cherry Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-202-3013
9.Fire Mountain Wines
© Fire Mountain Wines
Fire Mountain Wines is a Native American owned Arizona winery that utilizes southwestern grown grapes. Since ancient times, indigenous Americans have intuitively known that each of nature’s blessings have a season, at Fire Mountain they embrace regional and natural traditions to create each of their compassionately crafted wines. Located in the center of the Verde Valley Wine Trail, their tasting room boasts a casual and comfortable décor with hardwood floors, oversized dark brown leather furniture, intricate, hand-crafted wood tables, and beautiful fine art. They offer an impressive selection of bold varietals crafted from New Mexico, Central California, and Arizona grapes as well as one if the best collections of white wine in the region.
1010 N. Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-649-9135
© Winery 101
Open since 2008, Winery 101 is a family-owned-and-operated tasting room with locations in Peoria and Cottonwood. The latter is housed in an industrially chic storefront located in Historic Old Town Cottonwood. Gorgeous hardwood floors, rugged brick walls, and an exposed ceiling blend with dark wood furnishings, fine art, and plush sofas and chairs creating an urban elegance. Owners and wine makers, Gavin and Irlyn have created two lines of wine and more than 20 wine varieties. Their two lines are Gallifant Cellars, Old World-style, hand-crafted, single varietal wines and Southpaw Cellars, contemporary blends with all the fun and flare of Arizona.
1019 N. Main Street, Suite B, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-487-1555
11.Old Town Center for the Arts
© Old Town Center for the Arts
Located just 20 miles from Sedona, Old Town Center for the Arts is located in Historic Old Town Cottonwood. It is the premier live music and entertainment venue for comedy, theater, music, and the performing arts in the Verde Valley area of Northern Arizona. The space consists of two venues, the main theater and Studio B, they can comfortably accommodate up to 130 people. Equipped with a cute Marquee outside, the historic theater is a beautifully renovated with a state-of-the-art, professional lighting and audio systems. Adjacent to the theater is Studio B, a smaller indoor space boasting magnificent wood floors, a cool mirrored wall, private dressing area, and an intimate courtyard area ideal for receptions.
633 N 5th Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-634-0940
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The largest park in Cottonwood, Riverfront Park in an expansive property consisting of two sand volleyball courts, a five court horseshoe pit, a four field softball compound for adults, and a grassy area ideal for field sports. It also features an 18-tee disc golf course, a skateboard park, a four-field youth baseball compound, and an inline skating and hockey rink. Five gazebos equipped with picnic tables and a barbecue area can also be found at the park. There is also a scenic dirt pathway winding between Riverfront and the Verde River as well as the Old Town Jail Trail which connects to the park to both the river and Historic Old Town Cottonwood.
1284 E River Front Road, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-639-3200
13.Verde River Adventure Center
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For more than a decade the Verde River Adventure Center has had the honor of providing incredible Verde River adventures that are both exhilarating and educational. The once relatively unknown River is now a thriving outdoor oasis boasting 10 public access points for year-round entry to enjoy boating, tubing, fishing, and birding. Various tours are provided by the Adventure Center including tubing excursions, kayaking trips, and combination adventures like Classic Water to Wine. This tour includes a 1.5-hour Ducky kayak journey down the Verde River ending where the river meets Oak Creek. From here guests will head out on a gravel footpath to the Tuscan-inspired farmhouse of Alcantara Vineyards to enjoy some award-winning wine tasting.
849 Cove Parkway, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 877-673-3661
14.Larry’s Antiques & Things
© Larry’s Antiques & Things
Larry’s Antiques & Things was originally opened by Larry Lehie in the city of Glendale, Arizona, more than twenty year ago. He moved to Cottonwood in 2008 where he took his one building operation and expanded it into a four building property with a two-story hay barn. In 2011 Lehie sold the expansive antique shop to Larry Cohen, who of course kept the name, upgraded the look and inventory, and has been the happy owner ever since. Today, the store boasts two acres filled to the hilt with antiques, mysterious treasures, and an assortment of unusual items. More of a museum than an antique shop, visitors will find everything from arched stained glass windows to oversized replicas of union soldiers.
796 N. Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-639-1822
© Pizzeria Bocce
A trendy restaurant and lounge located in Old Town Cottonwood, Pizzeria Bocce is owned by Italian Culinary Professional, Michelle Jurisin and her husband Eric. Trained and certified by Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, Jurisin learned the art of pizza-making in Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza and the home of her familial roots. Using traditional techniques, each pizza is made with Italian imported Caputo flour and hand-kneaded before it gets fired up in the wood-burning oven. Pizza options include Pesto Chicken, Carbonara, and Pomodoro made with extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes, bocce hand-stretched mozzarella, parmigiano, fresh garlic, and basil. The menu also offers salads, Panini’s, and Antipasti’s such as fondue, Mediterranean ceviche, and Italian meat stuffed bread.
1060 N. Main Street, Historic Old Town Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-202-3597
16.Crema Craft Kitchen Bar
© Crema Craft Kitchen Bar
The sixth restaurant for restaurateurs Michelle and Eric Jurisin, Crema Craft Kitchen Bar is located in Historic Old Town Cottonwood. Housed in two historic prohibition-era buildings with an attached courtyard the eatery boasts a modern design with decorative touches that highlight its storied past. Hanging, lantern-style light fixtures, old school swivel stools, stunning hardwood floors, dark wood furniture, and modern art, create a vintage coolness with a contemporary edge. The courtyard boasts an earthy, sustainability with a bright orange shipping container turned coffee bar serving as its centerpiece. Their innovative menu consists of brunch and lunch options as well as a wide selection of freshly baked pastries, gelato, and sorbets made at their in-house creamery.
917 N. Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-649-5785
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17.Hog Wild BBQ
© Hog Wild BBQ
Owned and operated by husband and wife duo Donna and Scott Davis since 2013, Hog Wild BBQ was originally established in 2006 at the entrance to Historic Old Town Cottonwood. A local favorite, the restaurant has been serving award-winning barbecue for over a decade. All of their premier meats are slow-cooked over local pecan wood in their 100% wood-fired outdoor smoker. They specialize in pork, beef brisket, and ribs as well as a windy city staples like the Chicago-style Hot Dog made with 100% Vienna beef and topped with onion, pickle, tomato, relish, mustard and sprinkled with sport peppers and celery salt.
705 N. Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-639-3232
18.Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room
© Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room
Situated in the center of Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room boasts a fun and quirky décor with handcrafted wood furnishings and comfortable, oversized leather furniture. The relaxed atmosphere is reminiscent of a cool, corner coffee shop encouraging guests to sit down and play a game of Connect-Four while sipping one of their award-winning wines. They offer a selection of tasting flights ideal for first-timers, these are guided by their knowledgeable staff and include five samples. The Tasting Room also features a beautiful attached outdoor oak-wood patio and a full kitchen serving a small menu of tapas, skewers, cheese plates, and a decadent Brule Cheesecake.
1023 N. Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-639-2789
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19.Nic’s Italian Steak & Crab House
© Nic’s Italian Steak & Crab House
Located along Main Street in Historic Old Town Cottonwood, Nic’s Italian Steak & Crab House brings an East Coast style to the Old West. Rich dark woods, polished brass, plush green upholstered furniture, and a beautiful 40-foot long mahogany bar lend the restaurant its Hollywood movie set good looks. The regal and vibrant atmosphere is only highlighted by Chef Michelle’s incredible menu of mouthwatering steaks, juicy chicken, fresh seafood, and steamed crab options paired with a side of the guests choosing. A variety of authentic Italian dishes and a selection of savory appetizers can also be found on the menu. This includes her delicious New England-style clam chowder, a local favorite.
925 N. Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-634-9626
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20.Old Town Red Rooster Cafe
© Old Town Red Rooster Cafe
Old Town Red Rooster Café was originally opened by good friends Jet Tennant and Shane Smith in 2010. Over the next five years they turned the little café into a local staple before amicably parting ways to continue their successes independently. Today, the Red Rooster continues to be a thriving local favorite serving traditional American and Southwest style dishes for breakfast and lunch. Breakfast menu selections include options eggs benedict, buttermilk pancakes, huevos rancheros, and a build your own breakfast sandwich section. The latter is made with two eggs and gives guests the choice of bread, meat, and cheese. The lunch menu consists of salads, sandwiches, and wraps like the Southwest Steak Wrap.
901 N. Main Street, Cottonwood, AZ, Phone: 928-649-8100
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20 Best Things to Do in Cottonwood, Arizona
- Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Photo: Courtesy of NatalieJean - Fotolia.com
- Blazin' M Ranch, Photo: Blazin’ M Ranch
- Verde Valley Wine Trail, Photo: Verde Valley Wine Trail
- Alcantara Vineyards and Winery, Photo: Alcantara Vineyards and Winery
- Burning Tree Cellars Tasting Room, Photo: Burning Tree Cellars Tasting Room
- Pillsbury Wine Company North, Photo: Pillsbury Wine Company North
- Clemenceau Heritage Museum, Photo: Courtesy of kittipong33 - Fotolia.com
- THAT Brewery, Photo: THAT Brewery
- Fire Mountain Wines, Photo: Fire Mountain Wines
- Winery 101, Photo: Winery 101
- Old Town Center for the Arts, Photo: Old Town Center for the Arts
- Riverfront Park, Photo: Courtesy of Martha Marks - Fotolia.com
- Verde River Adventure Center, Photo: Courtesy of NDStock - Fotolia.com
- Larry’s Antiques & Things, Photo: Larry’s Antiques & Things
- Pizzeria Bocce, Photo: Pizzeria Bocce
- Crema Craft Kitchen Bar, Photo: Crema Craft Kitchen Bar
- Hog Wild BBQ, Photo: Hog Wild BBQ
- Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room, Photo: Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room
- Nic’s Italian Steak & Crab House, Photo: Nic’s Italian Steak & Crab House
- Old Town Red Rooster Cafe, Photo: Old Town Red Rooster Cafe
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Waldteufel - Fotolia.com