When I was invited to the Verde Valley Wine Festival in Central Arizona, I was excited to have the chance to explore more of Arizona. I knew right away that I wanted to stay in neighboring Jerome. So last week we headed north for the festival making sure to fit in extra time to explore Jerome. Thanks to Mitsubishi, I got to test drive the Outlander SEL-AWC – the trip was the perfect adventure to experience the SUV. The drive is pretty easy with some twisty roads and hills as you get closer to the town. Living in north Phoenix, the trip was less than 2 hours.
Jerome is known as “America’s Most Vertical City” and there’s no mistaking where it got its nickname. The town is built on the top of a mountain and walking around the streets very much reminded me of my time traveling in Europe. Definitely, not a trip to pack the stilettos.
Weekends, in general, are quite popular and add in the wine festival, many of the hotels were booked but I found the most adorable historic place on Airbnb. The Minor’s Cottage is a duplex available for rent directly through their website or Airbnb. I rented the upstairs unit which was just perfect. Spacious inside with a mini kitchen, sitting area, multiple patios and decks (with amazing views of the valley!) and this bed – though it does take a step stool to get into it. Also, there is no shower which may not work for some (but I didn’t mind for my short stay)
The town is filled with art galleries, wine tasting rooms, and restaurants. I’d heard so much about the Jerome Grand Hotel and its restaurant, The Asylum. The hotel is at the very top of the mountain and has incredible views. Next time I will book earlier so I experience the hotel (though I loved my cottage rental).
The food and drinks were amazing and the restaurant is rated one of the best in town. Add in those views, and it was just a perfect evening. For dinner, I went with the Achiote Glazed Pork Tenderloin and a Prickly Pear Margarita.
I tried out another popular restaurant in town, Grapes. Small place with a delightful patio. After a few days of dining out and the festival, I was craving a salad. The salad with chicken, berries and goat cheese was just perfect.
The town is also famous as a Ghost Town but I didn’t have enough time for a ghost tour…next time. Have you visited? Any must sees and dos for my next visit?
The Outlander was a delight to drive and perfect for a road trip. The SUV handled well and has so many cool safety and fuel economy features. Love the warning signals when you cross out of a lane – really makes you aware of your driving. Roomy interior and plenty of room for my bags.
disclosure: I was invited to the Verde Valley Wine Festival as media. Mistubishi loaned me the car for a few days so that I could experience their vehicles.