One perfect day in Jerome, AZ

Get to know this reinvented historic mining town
Teresa Bitler

Why go in summer: A bubbling art scene breathes new life into this scrappy old mining town.

Vertical city: Just 1 square mile, Jerome's terrain varies 2,000 feet in elevation.

Which means: To get from one street to the next, you walk a series of staircases.

No sweat: At 5,200 feet, the town is 15° to 20° cooler than Phoenix.

Bone up: Settle into the red crushed velvet seats at the 1918 Liberty Theatre ($2; 110 Jerome Ave.; 928/649-9016), for a 28-minute black-and-white movie on Jerome's mining past.

Clay makers: At Made in Jerome Pottery (103 Main St.; 928/634-2962), local artists mix, shape, fire, and glaze clay from nearby Mingus Mountain into vases, plates, and other stoneware.

Soda stop: Belly up to the 100-year-old Italian-tiled counter at the Miner's Pick Rock Shop (302 Hull Ave.; 928/301-9858) for ice-cold sarsaparilla or cane-sugar Coca-Cola.

Revisit the days of ore: Between 1918 and 1938, smudge-faced miners pulled nearly 400,000 tons of copper from the dusty hills that make up the new Audrey Headframe Park. A narrow glass walkway is all that separates you from the bottom of the Audrey Mine Shaft. Special lights and mirrors let you peer 1,500 feet down the shaft--650 feet deeper than the Empire State Building at its highest point. Beside Jerome State Historic Park; 928/634-1066.

Trick your eye: Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes calls itself the largest kaleidoscope dealer in the world, and after peeking through the hundreds on display you'll be too dizzy to argue. 136 Main St.; 928/634-0255. 

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