Looking for Historic buildings and businesses . . . quaint shops and diners . . . top-shelf wineries on both sides of the street . . . all are yours to enjoy in a two block stroll on Main Street in Historic Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona.
With its mild climate, friendly people and wide variety of attractions, the area from Jerome to Page Springs has become a favorite of ours in Arizona. Last night we were seen Riding the Verde Canyon Railroad. Today we tramp the streets of Historic Old Town Cottonwood.
I look at my watch and see the big hand is on 10 and the small pointing to 23. We’re traveling northwest on Main Street, past Blowout Creek, around a bend to the right, we break over the hill and run smack into Old Town.
The first revelation comes in the fact that, unlike Phoenix, it’s free parking right on Main Street. Take that first open spot and walk with me down Main Street as I point out some of the remarkable building and business that make up this eccentric center. Lock the car, turn around and face Crema Café.
It looks like a hole-in-the-wall, but hold your taste buds. This is our breakfast spot for today. While Shelli studies the menu at the sidewalk counter, two pictures are in need of taking. The immaculately kept store front of Son of Silver West Gallery is south, and across the street is the popular Tavern Grille. Photos taken, into Crema we go to find a delight for both eyes and stomach. Espresso and coffee, gelato and sorbet, fresh breads, signature salads, savory sandwiches and specialty dishes, choices, choices, so many choices. What a country!
Decisions made, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy delicious fresh-baked quiche while allowing our eyes to peruse the treasures in this historic eatery. “Fresh, Simple & Local Deliciousness” is their motto, and their fares live up to it.
Little more than a hop, skip, and jump north on Main Street is the local favorite bar and eatery, Kactus Kate’s. It appears this establishment is as prickly as the spines on its namesake, no reference to Kate as I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her.
GREEK FOOD AND OLIVE OIL
North across Pinal Street is the charming Ancient Pillars Greek Restaurant. Said to be “an easy 5 star decision, at a two star price,” the casual atmosphere coupled with high quality authentic Greek food keeps the locals coming back. A quick slide across Main Street from Pillars is the famous
Verde Valley Olive Oil Traders. Specializing in ultra-premium olive oil & aged vinegars, this intriguing shop is a one stop education in the art of Olive Oil and fine Vinegars. Here you can taste the olive oil and aged vinegars fresh and on-tap. Be sure to pick up some Truffle Oil (Liquid Gold) or Black Truffle Sea Salt to impress your dinner guests. Oh La De Da!
COME WINE WITH ME
A few steps north of Verde Valley Olive Oil Traders is where we will spend much of the afternoon, Pillsbury Wine Company, however, before we tip our glasses lets walk to the end of the street and return. I’ll save Pillsbury for a follow up article. From Pillsbury, it’s north passing by the Old Town Frame Company and Iron Horse Hotel, a glance east, across the street reveals the Paradise Point Café, Ledbetters Law Office, and Arizona Stronghold Tasting Room. Distinctly Arizona, Stronghold is out to prove that the soils and climate in Arizona stand up to the finest wine growing regions in the world. Their Wine Credo is: “Great wine doesn’t have to be expensive; it doesn’t have to be pretentious; and it shouldn’t be hard to find. It just has to be great and it has to be made by people that care.” Tip a glass in their Cottonwood tasting room and you will become a believer.
Two-thirds of the way through Old Town we are in front of Burning Tree Cellars. Burning Tree is one of five tasting rooms located on this short two block strip of activity in Old Town. It has a reputation for small batch wines produced from quality California fruit in a family oriented atmosphere. I love the interesting names given and labels placed on their wines; link to their wine page. From The Abbot (Cab-Franc – Merlot – Cab-Sauvignon) to The Seraph (100% Grenache Blanc) their wines are both interesting and enjoyable.
TEA IS BETTER THAN DETENTION
If you are tired of walking, you can cross the street and enter the doors of Spirit Rising Yoga and Massage. There you can work out the kinks in a Yoga session or have someone work out your kinks on the massage table. Since we are feeling a spring in our step and have no time for a massage, its north to the quaint, quirky, and cool, Wild Rose of Historic Old Town Tea House. Now that’s a mouthful, and a delicious one at that. Wild Rose is located on the north end of historic Main Street in a rock building which once housed the Cottonwood Police Department and Jail. Today you can enjoy exotic teas and handmade cupcakes while relaxing in their parlor. Or, step outside and enjoy tea while basking in the Secret Rose Garden. For the more adventurous, the Secret Rose Garden opens to the beginning of the Jail Trail. This one-mile, easy hike, leads to the Verde River and Verde Greenway known for its tall cottonwoods and thick willows. This trail affords an opportunity to indulge in abundant wildlife and wildflowers.
Go west young man, across the street where we will bump into the last building on this historic stretch of Main Street, Pizzeria BOCCE Patio Bar. Bocce is owned by Verde Valley residents Eric and Michelle Jurisin who provide patrons with memorable food and personal service. Michelle says, “It all starts with the bread,” she is certified in the art of pizza by Verace Pizza Napoletana, VPN. Whether you are hankering for a pizza, salad, panini or a drink and antipasti, Bocce’s inviting atmosphere, courteous staff, and mouthwatering offerings are sure to satisfy.
If You Go:
Enjoy the links I have provided throughout this article and the web site: Historic Old Town Cottonwood
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