25 Most Amazing Things To Do In Cottonwood (Arizona)

Most Amazing Things To Do In Cottonwood (Arizona) – Cottonwood is a charming little town in Arizona’s Verde Valley, nestled between the high country frost and the desert heat. A stroll down Main Street will provide you with a sense of history. Its elevation (3,300 feet) cools its environment, enabling it to avoid both the heat of the desert and the cold of places considerably higher in the state.

With the Mogollon Rim to the northeast, the town’s low elevation and temperate climate make it an ideal year-round getaway. You’ll be able to see remnants of ancient civilizations and cultures, as well as explore local parks.

Alternatively, the Verde River offers activities for those looking for outdoor adventures, and the migrating bird population is especially beautiful at certain times of the year. Cottonwood is recognized for its proximity to the famous red rocks, but don’t be surprised if you end up staying for the calm atmosphere and excellent restaurant and bar scene.

Cottonwood, better known as a gateway to the neighboring red rocks of Sedona, has its own set of allure. They begin in the picturesque Old Town center and stretch to the lush green banks of the Verde River, as well as the nearby historic communities of Clarkdale and Jerome.

Cottonwood is the perfect blend of small-town Arizona charm, cool river vibes, and a booming wine scene. Cottonwood, located in central Arizona, offers a temperate weather that lies halfway between the blistering heat of Phoenix and the chilly mountain air of Flagstaff.

In the winter, the average high temperature is around 60 degrees, while in the summer, the average high temperature is in the high 90s and low 100s. Spring weather is nice, with normal highs in the 70s and 80s. Fall continues to be hot and sunny through October, with average highs in the low 80s.

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Here are the best things to do in Cottonwood (Arizona) that would certainly fill up your time when you are there:

1. Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, AZ

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The Verde River flows through Dead Horse Ranch State Park, that’s just north of Cottonwood. Netleaf Hackberry,  Cottonwood, Willow, Cattail, Arizona Ash, and Mesquite trees, as well as Javelina,  grey fox, coyotes, cottontail rabbits, and jackrabbits, can be found in the area.

The park is home to a wide variety of birds, including those that are sensitive, endangered, or vulnerable. There are four trailheads that go into the Coconino National Forest within the park, as well as 20 miles of shared-use, single-track, and double-track routes. Outdoor activities offered to park visitors include canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating, mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding, making it a great addition to your list of the most amazing things to do Cottonwood (Arizona).

2. Blazin’ M Ranch, Cottonwood, Arizona

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Blazin’ M Ranch has been offering guests with an Old West experience in the midst of Historic Old Town Cottonwood for over 20 years. The Ranch, which is a precise imitation of a Western Frontier Town, has a boardwalk lined with Western shops, a museum, saloons, a shooting range, and the Old-Tyme Photo Studio.

Visitors can take part in a vintage tractor pull ride, shooting lessons, roping lessons, and a critter walk, from which they can interact with goats, miniature horses, donkeys, peacocks, turtles, and geese. After a day of exploring town, guests will return to their enormous, climate-controlled barn for a traditional chuck-wagon dinner of baby-back ribs and chicken with all the cowboy fixin’s.

3. Verde Valley Wine Trail

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The Verde Valley Wine Trail is located in Northern Arizona, about 100 miles from the state capital of Phoenix. The area is noted for its charm, rich history, and wine production and has been a favorite destination for wine enthusiasts since it was formed in 2009.

The Trail began with just seven tasting rooms and four wineries, but it has grown rapidly over the years to include nearly 20 cellars, tasting rooms, wineries, bodegas, and vineyards.

Among the destinations along the journey are Alcantara Vineyard & Winery, Four Eight Wineworks, Pillsbury Wine Company North, Burning Tree Cellars, and Bodega Pierce. Each offers a selection of skillfully and tastefully prepared wines to please every palate.

4. Alcantara Vineyards And Winery

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Alcantara Vineyards is a family-owned, sustainably-farmed winery in the Verde Valley foothills. Alcantara, a sprawling 87-acre property surrounded on three sides by the Verde River and Oak Creek, was founded in 2005 by husband and wife – Barbara and Bob Predmore.

More than 13,000 vines on the property produce 16 different varietals, resulting in a broad range of red, white, and dessert wines. They provide 1.5-hour guided tours of their impressive grounds, during which they impart information on the philosophy of cultivating grapes, trellising, irrigation, and varieties. In addition, the winery offers wine tastings in its rustically furnished tasting area, which include five 1oz samples of the guest’s choice.

5. Burning Tree Cellars Tasting Room

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Burning Tree Cellars produces small-batch, boutique wines with patience, great oak, and only the best fruit available. Burning Tree, located in the lovely hamlet of Cottonwood, is housed in a modest shop with an attached patio and an earthy, rustic décor.

Their modest courtyard welcomes guests at the door with stylish lounge furniture, stone and brick finishes, and modernly constructed heat warmers. Inside, expensive windows let in natural light, showcasing the magnificent wood-paneled wine bar, oversized light-brown leather seats, and large ornamental wood tables. The pleasant and inviting atmosphere is only enhanced by their diverse selection of rose, red, and white wines.

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6. Pillsbury Wine Company North

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Pillsbury Wine Company North is a dream project realized by Sam Pillsbury, a New Zealand native and award-winning film director and winemaker. Pillsbury founded his company in 2005 with the goal of producing 100% regional Arizona boutique wines. He began planting red, white, and pink varietals in Cochise County.

His distinctive wines may now be available in a variety of stores and restaurants in Cottonwood, Sedona, Phoenix, and Tucson, as well as his tasting centers in Cottonwood and Wilcox. With red-wine painted walls, tile flooring, wood finishes, stylish rugs, enormous leather furnishings, and finely carved barrel chairs, his unique restaurants exudes modern elegance. Tastings include five sips of wine and a complimentary crystal wine glass.

7. Clemenceau Heritage Museum

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Clemenceau Heritage Museum, managed and financed by the non-profit organization Verde Historical Society, preserves and showcases the Verde Valley’s heritage and treasures.  It is located on the south end of the former Clemenceau Public School, a historic structure constructed in the early 1920s.

Exhibits in the museum include early twentieth-century kitchens, bedrooms, and schools, as well as a collection of images and objects used by European settlers during the early days of ranching, farming, and mining in the nineteenth century.

Clemenceau is open to the public for free and provides guided group tours by reservation only. They even have an onsite gift shop wherein guests may buy Cottonwood souvenirs and gear, making it a great addition to your list of the most amazing things to do Cottonwood (Arizona).

8. THAT Brewery

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THAT Brewery, owned and maintained by husband and wife combination Steve and Tamara Morken, was designed for beer enthusiasts, nature, and foodies lovers. Visitors will find this hidden gem in the back of an industrial park in Cottonwood, far away from the bustling bustle of Old Town.

It is housed in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse and includes a production facility as well as a taproom. The taproom’s industrial-chic features include an exposed beam ceiling, mixed-wood furnishings, big leather sofas, and a chalkboard order menu.

It also includes a few enjoyable activities such as corn hole and foosball. The brewery normally has 10 to 12 brews on tap, including six staples, as well as Arizona Trail Ale and Roadrash IPA, the brewery’s two best-sellers.

9. Verde River Greenway

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The Verde River Greenway in Cottonwood is a beautiful oasis in the midst of Arizona’s desert terrain. While tourism is promoted in the area, numerous attempts are undertaken to preserve the river and its vibrant ecosystem.

As a result, tourists are encouraged to participate in soft recreation activities such as hiking, swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and picnics. Whatever the activity, animals such as black hawks, river otters, bald eagles, and many others can be seen in the region.

Visitors with a valid fishing license are welcome to fish along the river as well. Camping is not permitted on the greenway, however there are a number of neighboring campgrounds and cottages.

10. Winery 101

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Winery 101, which has had facilities in Peoria and Cottonwood since 2008, is a family-owned and managed tasting room. The latter is housed in an industrially elegant storefront in Cottonwood’s Historic Old Town. Beautiful hardwood floors, rough brick walls, and an open ceiling blend well with dark wood furnishings, beautiful paintings, and plush sofas and chairs to create an urban elegance. 

Gavin and Irlyn, the owners and winemakers, have established two wine lines and over 20 wine varietals. Their 2 lines are Gallifant Cellars, Old World-style, hand-crafted, single varietal wines, and Southpaw Cellars produces contemporary blends with all the fun and flair of Arizona.

11. Old Town Center for the Arts

The Old Town Center for the Arts is located in Historic Old Town Cottonwood, just 20 miles from Sedona. It is the leading live music and entertainment facility in Northern Arizona’s Verde Valley for music, theater, comedy, and the performing arts.

The area is divided into two venues, the main theater and Studio B, which can easily seat up to 130 people each. The historic theater, which has a cute Marquee outside, has been beautifully renovated with state-of-the-art, professional lighting and audio systems.

Studio B is a smaller interior room adjacent to the theater with wonderful wood flooring, a cool mirrored wall, a separate dressing area, and an attractive courtyard area perfect for celebrations, which makes it a great addition to your list of the most amazing things to do Cottonwood (Arizona).

12. Riverfront Park

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Riverfront Park is Cottonwood’s largest park, including two sand volleyball courts, a four field softball compound for adults, a five court horseshoe pit, and a grassy area perfect for field sports. It also has a disc golf course with 18 holes, a four-field youth baseball compound, a skateboard park, and an inline skating and hockey rink. 

There are also five gazebos with picnic tables and a grill area at the park.  A scenic dirt pathway winds between Riverfront and the Verde River, and the Old Town Jail Trail connects the park to both the river and Historic Old Town Cottonwood.

13. Verde River Adventure Center

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The Verde River Adventure Center has had the distinction of giving wonderful Verde River activities that are both exhilarating and educational for more than a decade. The once-unknown River is now a thriving outdoor wonderland with ten public access locations open year-round for fishing, boating, tubing, and birding.

The Adventure Center offers a variety of experiences, including kayaking expeditions, tubing excursions, and combined adventures like Classic Water to Wine. This tour also includes a 1.5-hour Ducky kayak trip down the Verde River, ending at the Verde River’s confluence with Oak Creek. From here, guests will follow a gravel road to Alcantara Vineyards’ Tuscan-inspired farmhouse for some award-winning wine tasting.

14. Larry’s Antiques & Things

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Larry’s Antiques & Things was founded by Larry Lehie in Glendale, Arizona, more than two decades ago. He relocated to Cottonwood in 2008, where he enlarged his one-building operation into a four-building site with a two-story hay barn.

Lehie sold the sprawling antique shop to Larry Cohen in 2011, who preserved the name, renovated the style and merchandise, and has been the proud owner ever since. The store now spans two acres and is brimming with antiques, intriguing treasures, and a variety of unusual items.

Visitors will find anything from arched stained glass windows to enormous models of union troops, making this more of a museum than an antique shop.

15. Pizzeria Bocce

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Pizzeria Bocce, a contemporary restaurant and lounge in Old Town Cottonwood, is operated by Italian Culinary expert Michelle Jurisin and her husband Eric. Jurisin discovered the skill of pizza-making in Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza and the place of her familial roots, where she was trained and certified by Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.

Each pizza is hand-kneaded and produced using imported Italian Caputo flour before being fired up in the wood-burning oven using traditional techniques. Carbonara,  Pesto Chicken, and Pomodoro pizzas are all created with extra virgin olive oil, bocce hand-stretched mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh garlic, parmigiano, and basil. Panini, Salads, and Antipasti such as fondue, Mediterranean ceviche, and Italian meat packed bread are also available on the menu.

16. Crema Craft Kitchen Bar

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Crema Craft Kitchen Bar, Michelle and Eric Jurisin’s sixth restaurant, is located in Historic Old Town Cottonwood. The cafe, which is nestled in two historic prohibition-era buildings with an adjacent courtyard, has a modern design with artistic accents that reflect its illustrious past.

Hanging lantern-style light fixtures, old-school swivel stools, dark wood furniture, magnificent hardwood floors, and modern art combine to create a classic coolness with a contemporary edge.

The courtyard has an earthy, sustainable vibe, with a bright orange shipping container turned coffee bar as the focal point.  Their inventive menu includes brunch and lunch selections, as well as a large variety of freshly baked pastries, sorbets, and gelato prepared in-house at their creamery.

17. Cottonwood Recreation Center

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Cottonwood Recreation Center, which is well-liked by the community, offers a wide range of activities and gathering areas for families and visitors of all ages. Athletes and sports lovers will appreciate the fitness training area, climbing wall, and sports gymnasium.

For visitors searching for a relaxing afternoon, the center also features an indoor leisure pool. Visitors can also participate in the center’s many exercise, and dance classes, which are available year-round from Monday to Sunday. Yoga, zumba, toning, and cycling are just a few of the group classes available.

18. Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room

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Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room, located in the heart of Old Town Cottonwood, has a fun and unique décor with handcrafted wood furnishings and comfortable, large leather couches. The laid-back ambience is reminiscent of a cool, corner coffee shop, inviting people to sit down and play Connect-Four whilst sipping one of their award-winning wines.

They have a range of tasting flights that are suitable for first-timers and include five tastes. These flights are supervised by their expert personnel and feature five tastings. The Tasting Room also has a lovely outdoor oak-wood patio and a full kitchen that serves a modest menu of tapas, cheese plates, skewers, and a delectable Brule Cheesecake, making it a great addition to your list of the most amazing things to do Cottonwood (Arizona).

19. Nic’s Italian Steak & Crab House

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Nic’s Italian Steak & Crab House, located on Main Street in Historic Old Town Cottonwood, provides an East Coast flair to the Old West. Rich dark woods, plush green velvet chairs, polished brass, and a stunning 40-foot long mahogany bar give the restaurant a Hollywood movie set appearance.

Chef Michelle’s fantastic cuisine of delectable steaks, fresh seafood, juicy chicken, and steamed crab selections mixed with a side of the guests’ choice only adds to the regal and vibrant atmosphere. The menu also includes a selection of savory appetizers and traditional Italian dishes.

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20. Old Town Red Rooster Cafe

Old Town Red Rooster Cafe
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Jet Tennant and Shane Smith, two longtime friends, opened Old Town Red Rooster Café in 2010. Over the next five years, they developed the small café into a local staple before peacefully parting ways to pursue their respective dreams independently.

Today, the Red Rooster is a thriving local favorite, serving traditional American and Southwest-style breakfast and lunch cuisine. Breakfast menu items include buttermilk pancakes, eggs benedict, huevos rancheros, and a section where you may design your own breakfast sandwich.

The latter is created with two eggs and provides visitors with the option of bread, cheese, or meat. Sandwiches, salad, and wraps like the Southwest Steak Wrap are available for lunch.

21. Historic Tour of Jerome


For a reason, it was formerly known as the Wickedest Town in the West. You’ll find out about it when you take the Historic Tour of Jerome. As the name says, it is packed with fascinating stories about the city and how the appealing tour came to be.

The Historic Tour is in the center of Jerome, Arizona’s ancient copper-mining city, a small village in the Old West. You are free to explore the hillside, also known as a ghost town, which was once home to saloons and brothels.

You’ll also learn about the history of Jerome’s sliding jailhouse, among other things. You can take a classic historical tour of Jerome, which includes stops in Jerome, Cottonwood, and Clarkdale making it a great addition to your list of the most amazing things to do Cottonwood (Arizona).

22. Hour Horseback Ride in Camp Verde

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This one has a lot of fun and cheerful moments, especially for horse enthusiasts. If you don’t know how to ride a horse and want to learn, an hour Horseback Ride in Camp Verde offers a chance to practice the desired horse riding skills.

The horses in Camp Verde are suitable for people of all ages and levels of experience. All you have to do here is enter the stable to meet and greet all the horses with a grin. Once you’re on top of your horse, you’ll be given a brief explanation on how to pull the reins to allow the horse to go in any direction you like.

You can now proceed to the trail and begin your journey. Remember to bring your camera because you will be seeing some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the Verde Valley. This adventure will leave you with a lot to think about and will make you want to come back for more.

23. Bliss Wine Tours, Sedona

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Bliss Wine Tours is widely regarded as the most opulent vineyard tour in Cottonwood, Sedona. They provide Sedona’s most premium and customer-focused wine tour company.

The bliss wine tour, with a duration of 5 hours or more, guarantees you make the most of your experience in northern Arizona, with extravagant limos for larger parties and luxurious SUVs for smaller ones. Because of its distinctiveness, you can spend nearly an hour examining each of its vineyards.

After arranging a trip, you will be able to have enjoyable times while seeing the vineyards and Sedona with a taste of its special alcoholic beverages. A trip to the bliss wine tours includes excellent wine, delicious cuisine, beautiful air-conditioned vehicles, and guides that will make you happy and have fun.

24. J-Rome Mine Escape Room

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The J-Rome Mine Escape Room offers a fascinating adventure into the thoughts of each participant, making it a potentially unforgettable encounter. This quest allows you to help deliver six stranded miners, although time is running out.

In other words, you’ll need all of your skills because you’ll be confronted with difficult challenges at the mine. These riddles will challenge your brain, but the staff is quite helpful and will provide you with important information.

25. Private Luxury Wine Tour

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Cottonwood, Arizona’s Private Luxury Wine Tour is one of the best places to visit. It includes four of the Verde Valley’s top vineyards. With a duration of 5 hours, the tour allows you to make the most of your time in Northern Arizona.

While touring around the wineries and Sedona in enormous luxury air-conditioned automobiles, you are able to have any alcoholic beverage of your choice. You are free to stay in any of the nearby hotels and relax while touring the city, making it a great addition to your list of the most amazing things to do Cottonwood (Arizona).

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Final Thoughts

Cottonwood, as previously stated, is a city in the center of Arizona. It has numerous exciting events ranging from Scenic Beauty and recreational activities to several beautiful stores and galleries in Old Town, Camp Verde, Sedona, Clarkdale, Jerome, and Cornville among others.

It is also a destination where ancient civilizations come with their unique history and culture. Cottonwood is bound to find your favorite spots or the most amazing things to do in Cottonwood (Arizona).

Cottonwood is well-known for its one-of-a-kind activities, which range from food and wine festivals to classic automobiles, demonstrations, and so on, which welcome both locals and visitors. The city is surrounded to the northeast by the red rocks of Sedona and to the southwest by Mingus Mountain.

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