Our team recently headed to the southwestern United States to take a look at one of the region's fastest growing tourism destinations. About an hour and a half drive north of Phoenix, the Verde River Valley of Arizona is home to a collection of communities with a rich art scene, fantastic local wines, and an incredible amount of outdoor recreation opportunities.
The Verde River (pronounced ver-DEE, make sure you get it right) is a surprising splash of green and wet in the middle of one America's driest places. Residents often wade in to the river to cool off from the triple digit heat or toss in a fishing line to catch the walleye and carp that call the river home. Paddling in inflatable "ducky" kayaks is popular when the river is at its peak flows in spring and early summer.
Old Town Cottonwood has been the source of much rejuvination and rennovation in the Verde River Valley. This small strip packs a big punch wih antique shops, tasting rooms, restaurants, and bookstores. There's an "old west" feel that's still casual and hip.
Wine is big in the Verde Valley. And while cactus may trump grapevines as the typical flora that comes to mind when you think about Arizona - vineyards across the state produce amazing wine that's featured in tasting rooms in Cottonwood and Jerome.
Jerome is perched on a hillside high above the Verde River, about 15 minutes outside of Old Town Cottonwood. With over 20 galleries, art is the heartbeat of this small town.
What Jerome lacks in size, it makes up in quirk.
Just north of the Verde River Valley is the popular Arizona resort town of Sedona, famous for the brilliant red rocks.
Stay tuned for more about our tourism development and destination marketing work in this amazing location.
Training & Education