Payson, known as the Heart of Arizona, is a charming town nestled in the mountains and surrounded by the beautiful Tonto National Forest. It's an ideal destination for hikers and campers looking to escape the desert heat and, because of its central location, is the perfect place to take a break during an Arizona road trip.
The town and surrounding areas are full of hidden gems, but I made a list of my top 5 things to do in Payson, so whether you're visiting for a few days or just passing through, you can make the most of your experience.
1. Duza's Kitchen. Located on Main St., this is my absolute favorite place to go for brunch! They use locally sourced ingredients to make the most creative and tasty meals, and their coffee and mimosas are delicious as well. They have beautiful, cozy decor and a pet-friendly patio - which is always a plus!
2. Main St is full of thrift stores and fun shops, all in walking distance of each other. My personal favorite is the Main St Mercantile. They are a real antiques store with some really cool furniture and southwestern items. My most recent find there were some beautiful Navajo rugs.
3. Cypress/BouldersTrail. Only a 10-minute drive from Main St, this is a 5-mile, pet-friendly loop and fun way to get outside without taking up the whole day! There are actually a few different hiking and mountain bike trails at this location.
4. The Rim Country Museum and Zayne Grey Cabin are side by side and so interesting to visit! They have a cute gift shop and are located right next to Green Valley Park walking trail.
5. Common Grounds Coffee House is the perfect place to relax or get coffee to go. They have cozy indoor seating, a pet-friendly patio, and a walkup window! Their coffee beans are locally roasted, and they offer a wide range of drink options -including kid's drinks and Italian sodas (my personal favorite!).
While you're in town, come visit Rosa's and shop for genuine, southwestern jewelry. My brand new, by appointment only shop is only a few minutes away from each of my top 5 things to do in Payson. Just make sure to text ahead to schedule your visit! 928-421-1102