Day Trip to Jerome Arizona

day trip Jerome Arizona

day trip to Jerome, Arizona

To celebrate our three year wedding anniversary we “hit the road Jack” and went to Jerome, Arizona. Most of you probably haven’t heard of Jerome because it’s a very small town with a measly 455 inhabitants now. It’s hard to believe it was at once one of the richest cities in the USA with a population of over 15,000! 

day trip Jerome

Jerome became a town in the late 19th century. There was a booming mining business and miners specifically found a lot of copper in those parts of the valley. Built on Cleopatra Hill, Jerome is 5,000 feet above sea level so the views are stunning from up here. Speaking of being built, they weren’t the sharpest when choosing their building materials. Many of the buildings were made of wood so they burned down frequently. We bet the firefighters were working overtime fighting all those fires!

However, the mining business took a dip when the ore deposits ran out and the mines closed, leading Jerome to become a ghost town with less than fifty people remaining. We had always heard it was a ghost town and assumed that meant it was haunted. When in reality, they called themselves a ghost town due to the sharp decline in the population. Wow, can you imagine living in a town that small? Goodbye privacy.

day trip Jerome az
day trip Jerome az
day trip Jerome az

When we were there we found many of the businesses played off this ghost town theme. Like the Haunted Hamburger, the Asylum, and Wicked City Brew (which we will share more about later). When in fact, there was nothing scary or haunted about them. They were friendlier than ever!


Today we are sharing the top 5 things to do in Jerome, Arizona so you can make the most of your spooky day trip there.

day trip Jerome az

Our absolute favorite thing was visiting the Jerome State Historic Park, home of the Douglas Mansion museum (James Douglas was the mine union owner). We spent quite a bit of time here. Head to the room in the back right of the mansion to watch the half hour video first. It’s very informative on the history of the town and you’ll get a kick out of the ghost narrator. Then there’s plenty of things to walk around and see within the museum. Like models of the mining tunnels underground, photos of the old town before it was deserted, beautifully colored stones that were discovered underground, and original furniture from the Douglas family’s home.

Don’t forget to head outside for some stunning views of the town. Look for the “J” on top of the mountain and be astonished at how tiny the mining equipment was! If you walk around the property you can get different views of the town and the views are expansive. All in all, it was our favorite part of visiting Jerome because we learned so much, so don’t miss it. It’s open 8:30am-5pm and is only $7 per person. The #1 thing to do in Jerome.

If you want to learn more about the history of Jerome...

day trip Jerome az
day trip Jerome az
day trip Jerome az
day trip Jerome az
day trip Jerome az

After that we went to the Jerome Historical Society Mine museum which was downtown and only $2 per person. But to be honest, after being at the last museum, this one was extremely disappointing. The exhibits were old and poorly made, it was very tiny, and there was nothing interactive. We suggest you skip this one unless you’ve got a ton of extra time.

day trip Jerome az
day trip Jerome az

Instead make your way through the streets of downtown Jerome. You’ll notice there are a few levels to the downtown area. Meaning you’ll get your fair share of climbing the stairs today (hello leg workout). Along each level you’ll find artsy shops, candy or ice cream shops, restaurants, bars, and saloons. Here and there you’ll see some of those dilapidated buildings we mentioned earlier that likely caught fire or have simply worn down over the years. One example of those is the old Bartlett hotel where you’ll find something surprising sitting in the empty space to throw coins in: a toilet! How random, and the least bit spooky. While wandering the streets downtown, be sure to stop in Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes shop for a few minutes of fun.

We really enjoyed grabbing a beer and cocktail at the Wicked City Brew if you’re into tasting some local beverages. They had a wide assortment of local beers and a fun cocktail list! It’s a small, relaxing venue with some indie music that had Steph dancing in her seat! Some other options if you prefer wine are Jerome Winery or Bitter Creek Winery.

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Get an Airbnb while you're in Arizona! We love em!

day trip Jerome az
day trip Jerome az

FOOD IN JEROME, ARIZONA

If you’re hungry, we recommend one of two places: the Asylum or the Haunted Hamburger. They are the best reviewed restaurants in town. We chose the Haunted Hamburger which has some clever skeletons all around the building- try to find them! The hamburgers were great and the french fries were surprisingly unique! Consider the deviled eggs or a Boozy milkshake to partake in as well. This is a popular place with cleverly named menu items, so expect a wait. We recommend you put your name in (request an outdoor table with a view) and then walk around town because there’s likely going to be a long wait on the weekends.

The other restaurant the Asylum is within the Jerome Grand hotel. We didn’t eat there but it has American food and is known for having a haunted room within the hotel. That’s because the hotel used to be the United Verde Hospital so guests report noises like coughing, heavy breathing, and voices coming from empty rooms. There are also commonly reported experiences like hearing kids laughing, electronics being unplugged, or doors opening/closing on vacant rooms. Spooky!

day trip Jerome az
day trip Jerome

We enjoyed our roadtrip to Jerome, especially stopping to fly the drone around at the end of the day. Checkout a minute of our drone footage to see views of the gorgeous valley!

Don’t forget, we’re talking about Arizona here. So avoid visiting in the summertime during scorching hot temperatures. Instead, the best times to visit are October-April typically. By the way, if you want a tour while you're there, checkout this one from Viator.

Enjoy haunted Jerome, Arizona & get boozy!

destination dorworth
destination dorworth
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Jerome az

About the Author

Hello, we are Zach (@zachdorworth) and Steph (@stephdorworth). We are Mr & Mrs traveling the world one romantic city at a time while perfecting obsessively organized travel.

  • First off, Happy 3rd Anniversary lovebirds! That’s the same exact way my hubby and I would celebrate it, via a nice weekend trip! Trumps any fancy gift!

    Interesting to hear about Jerome, Arizona. Seems like a great place to visit when I’m in the area. But your photos looks so interestingly, creepy and cool all at the same time! All the preserved structures and mining props really take you back to that copper boom era. Looks like there was also a lot of history there, good to hear there that the Douglas Mansion museum was a good one that explained a lot about it.

  • Ami says:

    Ghost towns have this melancholic feel. While its interesting to see how it was in the hey days, it is also sad to see those abandoned homes. This one though does not sound that bad. And it still has plenty to do for a day trip. The mine museum to me was the most interesting of the lot.

  • Kirstie says:

    Haha! Haunted hamburger. I hope this won’t haunt us to go back to the bathroom every few minutes! I think you had a blast. And the timing is perfect if you go on October as you recommended, aside from evading the summer heat, it’s halloween month.

  • Indrani says:

    Wow ghost town with no ghosts! Deserted towns can be exciting, you never know what you will tumble upon. The museums are worth a tour to know more. Great pics.

  • Ash says:

    Now that its riches and majority of its population gone, it’s good to know that Jerome continue to survive as a town. It’s admirable that the legacies left by the erstwhile flourishing mining industry were now converted to provide income for the town. It’s rather unfortunate that it was labelled as a ghost town, when in fact there’s nothing quirky about the place as you found out.

  • Tami says:

    Fun blog post. I love exploring ghost towns. In face, I had to stop reading long enough to write myself some notes for my “Road Trips to Take” list. Another fun place to visit in Arizona is Quartzite, known as the capital of gemstones! Think quirky small desert town that expands to over 300,000 when their gemstone shows are on!

  • I just visited a place in Quebec called Val Jalbert, a deserted mining town, and it, too, had a ghostly narrator. I loved it, so I’m sure I’d love Jerome and the Douglas Mansion. I cannot believe it was so prosperous at one time. Fascinating.

  • Mags says:

    What a cool small town to explore. I haven’t heard of Jerome, AZ before but I love the American Southwest, so its definitely going on the list.

  • I love Jerome. Such a beautiful town with all those antique showrooms. I love to see the bikes and bikers that come there on weekends. Mine museum was a great place to explore.

  • Nisha says:

    You are right. I had never heard of Jerome till now. It is unbelievable that only a little over a century this was a booming rich town. I like the way the folks have preserved their legacy in the form of museums.

  • Den Ride says:

    Definitely a great addition to bucket list for everybody! One of the best destination!

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