Bucolic Camp Verde gives visitors a taste of the frontier lifestyle, but with modern essentials like coffee shops and wineries. It’s home to antiques shops galore, quirky eateries and historical landmarks that tell the tale of the area’s unique history: It served as a military fort in the 1860s. Visit the old jailhouse from 1933, or marvel at ancient cliff dwellings made by the Sinagua people.
Photography and text by Emily M. Dean
3 Places To Eat
Salvatore Moscato and his wife, Jenny Robbins, make everything from scratch at their traditional Italian restaurant: spaghetti Bolognese with house-ground rib-eye and burrata caprese with mozzarella and sweet balsamic reduction. Pair each course with Sicilian wine from the on-site tasting room.
396 S. Main St.
B Clear Creek Vineyard and Winery
This quaint winery will make you feel right at home. Stop by in April as the vineyard begins to bloom, or get cozy on the “wine party bus.” It has an electric fireplace and a sound system for guests to choose their own soundtrack. Pair triple chocolate brownies with velvety red blend Tercio Pelo.
4053 E. Hwy. 260
C Thanks a Latte Espresso Cafe
Get a history lesson, a dose of art and a red eye or chai at Thanks a Latte, a cute coffee shop with a drive-thru window and a mural, “Camp Verde Grows,” that details the town’s agricultural history. Thanks a Latte also offers breakfast and lunch, from chorizo bagel sandwiches to quesadillas.
348 S. Main St.
3 Things To Do
D Sweet Pea Vintage
An antiques store for the eclectic at heart, at any given time Sweet Pea hosts 30-40 vendors. A wedding dress from 1984 is displayed next to vintage men’s kilts and an old record collection. Old spice tins and hunting gear line the walls of one room, while 1920s ladies’ garb hangs in the next.
437 Hwy. 260
E Montezuma Castle
The paved trail to Montezuma Castle runs one-third of a mile along Beaver Creek. The historic dwelling was built by Sinagua farmers nearly 800 years ago. The visitor center offers a museum tour where you can view artifacts and learn more.
2800 Montezuma Castle Rd.
F Fort Verde
This Apache Wars-era fort served as a base for General George Crook’s frontier soldiers in the 1870s and 1880s. The buildings that housed doctors, soldiers, scouts and families have been preserved to provide a glimpse into the American Indian Wars.
125 E. Hollamon St.
Cowboy Corner takes up a city block of Camp Verde’s compact Main Street. Western antiques and equipment for the modern-day cowboy are bought, sold and traded with owner James “Trader Jim” LaCount. If he’s feeling generous, he’ll let you in the yard where handcrafted Western saloons are lined with cowboy paraphernalia. Hop on an antique tractor or pose in front of a saloon for a Southwest selfie.
573 S. Main St.
Cliff Castle Casino Hotel
Cliff Castle is home to a bowling alley and an outdoor pool, along with a casino and hotel rooms. On-site eateries range from a quick-stop sandwich shop to Storytellers, the hotel’s cave-like steakhouse with an indoor waterfall.
555 Middle Verde Rd.