The Yavapai College Performing Arts Center (www.ycpac.com; tel. 928/776-2000) hosts a wide range of shows, from Cowboy Poet gatherings to national acts of some repute. Check the center’s schedule to see who’s in town. The Prescott Fine Arts Association, 208 N. Marina St. (www.pfaa.net; tel. 928/445-3286) puts on plays and musicals in the 1891 Sacred Heart Church, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. A block away, you’ll find the Prescott Elks Theater, 117 E. Gurley St. (www.prescottelkstheater.com; tel. 928/777-1370), a renovated theater, built in 1905, that hosts everything from jazz nights (on the second Monday of the month) to touring artists to movie nights.
Bars & Saloons
Back in the days when Prescott was the territorial capital and a booming mining town, it supported dozens of rowdy saloons, most of them along Montezuma Street on the west side of Courthouse Plaza, which became known as Whiskey Row. Legend has it there was a tunnel from the courthouse to one of the saloons so lawmakers wouldn’t be seen ducking into the saloons during business hours. On July 14, 1900, a fire consumed most of Whiskey Row, although cowboys and miners managed to drag the tremendously heavy bar of the Palace saloon to safety across the street before it was damaged.
Whiskey Row is no longer a place where respectable women shouldn’t be seen, but it still has a few noisy saloons with genuine Wild West flavor. Some feature live country music on weekends and are dark and dank enough to provide solace to a cowboy (or a construction worker) after a long day’s work. And within a few blocks of Whiskey Row, you can hear country, folk, jazz, and rock at a surprisingly diverse assortment of bars, restaurants, and clubs. In fact, Prescott has one of the densest concentrations of live-music clubs in the state.
To see what this street’s saloons looked like back in the old days, drop by the Palace, 120 S. Montezuma St. (www.historicpalace.com; tel. 928/541-1996), which still has that classic bar up front. These days, the Palace is more of a restaurant than a saloon, but there’s live music on weekends and, a couple times a month, dinner-theater performances—generally tribute bands to this or that country-rock artist, but occasionally an evening of historical tales and music. Call to find out if anything is happening while you’re in town.
If you want to drink where the ranchers drink and not where the hired hands carouse, head upstairs to the Jersey Lilly Saloon, 116 S. Montezuma St. (www.jerseylillysaloon.com; tel. 928/541-7854), which attracts a more well-heeled clientele than the street-level saloons. A block away, the Raven Café, 142 N. Cortez St. (www.ravencafe.com; tel. 928/717-0009) is the most artsy nightlife venue in town: It has the best beer list (with an emphasis on Belgian beers and American microbrews) and an entertainment lineup that ranges from Monday-night movies to live jazz and bluegrass on weekends. As the town becomes more upscale, you’ll also find joints like the Point Bar & Lounge (www.prescottbrewingcompany.com; tel. 928/237-9027), which boasts of organic ingredients in its craft cocktails and some 150 different whiskeys, and the Prescott Brewing Company, 130 W. Gurley St. (www.prescottbrewingcompany.com; tel. 928/771-2795), which brews and serves its own tasty microbrews.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.