Ninety miles northwest of Phoenix is one of the Southwest's true golf secrets. At an elevation of 5,400 feet, Prescott (population 40,000) is a four-season destination; so while your group may find it chilly in March, it's sensational from May through September, when temperatures are fifteen to twenty degrees cooler than down in the Valley of the Sun. Prescott's classically designed town square and streets lined with preserved Victorian homes highlight its status as the original state capital. Great value and laid-back atmosphere.
800-322-1927; hassayampainn.com; $129/night. A couple of short blocks from Prescott's historic Courthouse Square and Whiskey Row, the Hassayampa is the town's most historic, character-laden hotel, with a bustling, elegant lounge with jazz music, as well as a sports bar.
Antelope Hills, North Course
928-776-7888; antelopehillsgolf.com; $40/$55 cart. Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2006, the North course toots its horn with multiple doglegs framed by AARP-worthy elms in its 6,844-yard high-country journey.
Antelope Hills, South Course
928-776-7888; antelopehillsgolf.com; $40/$55 cart. The longer, more wide-open South course, set amid the scenic splendor of the Granite Dells, was crafted by Gary Panks, who also did Arizona favorites Grayhawk (Talon), Sedona Golf Resort and Whirlwind. Watch for huge, fast greens and a bit more breeze than the North receives.
Prescott Golf & Country Club
800-717-7274; prescottgolf.net; $45. If you can't talk your way into the nominally private but somewhat accessible Prescott Lakes, Talking Rock or Hassayampa clubs, try this friendly, tree-lined, thirty-five-year-old layout in Dewey, part of the Prescott Valley.
928-772-6500; stoneridgegolf.com; $47. At 5,000 refreshing feet above sea level, this three-year-old roller-coaster ride in Prescott Valley calls for accuracy and uphill high-desert approaches. StoneRidge also features a couple of postcard par threes that spice up play on the back nine.
Murphy's (Steak): 928-445-4044. Old Victorian decor (the
building dates to 1890) with a wonderful bar. Slow-roasted
prime rib is a house specialty, as is the irresistible
freshly baked bread made on the premises.
The Rose Restaurant (Continental): 928-777-8308. Veal marsala and other Italian entrées are the chef's specialties here. The Rose recently began serving Sunday brunch—hard to come by in the area.
Courthouse Square/Whiskey Row: visit-prescott.com.
Saloons such as the Bird Cage; dinner theater at the
Palace, Arizona's oldest bar and restaurant.
Frontier Days and World's Oldest Rodeo: 800-358-1888, worldsoldestrodeo.com. The June/July rodeo is the highlight of this Old West ruckus, which dates to 1888.
Prescott Conference Center & Casino: 800- 967-4637, prescottresort.com. Casino gaming and entertainment with a down-home flair.