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8 Small Towns In Arizona That Feel So Far Removed From Phoenix

Arizona is a land of stunning desert landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant cities. While Phoenix stands as the bustling heart of the state, there are numerous small towns scattered across Arizona that offer a serene escape and a glimpse into the past. These charming locales provide a stark contrast to urban life, making them perfect for a peaceful retreat. Here are eight small towns in Arizona that feel worlds away from Phoenix.

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Chloride is the oldest continually inhabited mining town in Arizona, nestled in the Cerbat Mountains. This historic town offers a unique glimpse into the past with its well-preserved buildings and mining relics. Wandering through the streets lined with vintage storefronts, you can almost hear the echoes of the old mining days. The artistic murals painted on the rocks outside of town, created by Roy Purcell in the 1960s, add a vibrant touch to the rugged landscape, making Chloride a living history museum.


Duncan is a tiny village close to the New Mexico border that provides an authentic experience of the rural Southwest. Its serene environment and historical charm make it a perfect getaway. Duncan’s quaint streets and historic buildings transport you back in time, offering a glimpse into the simpler, quieter life of the past. The lush surroundings along the Gila River provide great opportunities for outdoor activities like fishing and bird-watching, making it a nature lover’s paradise.

Ash Fork

Ash Fork, situated along the historic Route 66, is a small town rich in railroad history. Known as the Flagstone Capital of the World, Ash Fork is surrounded by quarries that produce the distinctive stone used in construction nationwide. The Ash Fork Route 66 Museum offers a fascinating look into the town’s railroad and highway heritage. The scenic landscapes surrounding Ash Fork are perfect for exploring Arizona’s natural beauty, with trails and vistas that showcase the state’s rugged charm.


Seligman, affectionately known as the “Mother Town of the Mother Road,” is a nostalgic stop along Route 66. This charming town is a living tribute to the heyday of America’s iconic highway. Main Street in Seligman is lined with retro diners and classic cars, transporting visitors back to the 1950s. The Route 66 Gift Shop and the Historic Seligman Sundries are brimming with memorabilia and local charm, making Seligman a must-visit for those looking to relive the golden age of road travel.

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Yarnell is a testament to resilience, having rebuilt itself after the devastating Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013. This small town, perched in the Weaver Mountains, offers a close-knit community vibe and a peaceful retreat. The Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park is dedicated to the brave firefighters who lost their lives in the fire and is a poignant place to visit. Yarnell’s local shops and cafes provide a welcoming atmosphere for visitors looking to unwind and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.


Tombstone, known as the “Town Too Tough to Die,” is famous for its wild west history and notorious gunfights. This town is a living museum, with historic buildings and reenactments bringing the old west to life. Walking the wooden sidewalks of Tombstone, you can visit the O.K. Corral, site of the infamous gunfight, as well as the Bird Cage Theatre and Boot Hill Graveyard. Tombstone’s storied past and lively reenactments make it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.


Miami is a small town with a rich mining history, boasting a downtown area that offers great insights into the Wild West days. Its vintage architecture and historical landmarks provide a picturesque setting for exploration. Strolling through the historic downtown, you’ll find antique shops and art galleries occupying old saloons and storefronts. The Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum is a great place to learn about the town’s mining heritage and local culture, making Miami a hidden gem in Arizona’s mining history.


Springerville serves as a gateway to the stunning Arizona White Mountains. This town is perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers, offering a range of outdoor activities amidst breathtaking landscapes. Discover the nearby Petrified Forest National Park, go hiking in the White Mountains, or enjoy fishing and boating in the numerous lakes and rivers. The Casa Malpais Archaeological Park provides a fascinating look at the ancient cultures that once inhabited the region. Springerville’s natural beauty and rich history make it an ideal destination for those looking to explore the great outdoors.