Jerome, Arizona is a mountain-side “ghost” town, a 90 minute drive from Phoenix, is a fun daytrip for families and for ghost hunters looking to get out of city to explore. Jerome is really an old mining town, once the 4th most populous city in Arizona prior to statehood in the 1920s. Once the copper mines closed down the population dwindled from 15,000 down to 50 before rising back to 450 people- the current population of artists and business owners.
Situated high atop Cleopatra Hill at 5200 feet, the houses, businesses, and hotels are built into the side of the hill providing amazing views of the valley below.
Jerome experienced quite a few landslides and fires which periodically destroyed most of the town. These days, fire codes and not mining the hillside have prevented these tragedies in the present-day.
At the Douglas Mansion, a museum part of the Jerome State Historical Park, has some amazing views, antiques from the Jerome’s hey day as well as a comprehensive history exhibits. We watched the movie, narrated by one of the town’s ghosts which the kids mostly found interesting for the first 10 minutes. Mostly the movie was fire, landslide, fire, fire. Not sure if I would have built a house here.
Outside the museum were mining tools, awesome rocks found in the area and the actual mine. It was 2 Empire State Buildings down the hole. You can walk across the plexi-glass if you dare. I did not dare but BC and the kids did.
My nieces in the elevator:
After all that learning we were staving (or maybe that was just me). The Haunted Hamburger was highly rated and great for the kids so we went and put in our name (35 minute wait).
(Photo by Megan)
During the wait the troops and I climbed up the hill to the haunted hotel, the Jerome Grand Hotel, which was cool on the outside but nothing special on the inside. Later a friend of mine reported she stayed there and that creepy stuff definitely happens!
Back at the Haunted Hamburger, it was burgers for the adults and mac and cheese bites for the kids. My burger looks weird because I had to special order so it was Whole 30 compliant. BC and I are both doing Whole 30 this month and we were on Day 15 in Jerome. (Ignore the beer in back, I’m on vacation!)
My sister had one of the burger melts and jalapeno coleslaw that was spicy and delicious (she said- I couldn’t try it- sad).
Haunted Hamburger– 2 thumbs up!
After lunch we walked around Jerome and figured out the Jerome Indie Film and Music Festival was happening so we stopped for some tunes. The kids loved it and I thought it was pretty great. Someone offered BC tickets to a film screening but we had to get back to Phoenix for some Sunday Night Football. Maybe next time!
If you are looking for a daytrip out of Phoenix and have done all the “normal” daytrips- check out Jerome for a good 4 hours of fun!
Reader Question: Have you seen a ghost? Been to a ghost town? Completed a Whole 30?