Taylor is a quaint little town in east-central Arizona with the beautiful and scenic Mogollon Rim to its west and the majestic White Mountains to its south. These mountains form a natural barrier protecting Taylor from severe winters and generating a semi-arid climate.
This town was settled in 1878 by James Pearce, a Mormon settler, who found a beautiful spot along the Silver Creek. It’s named after John Taylor who was the third president of the Mormon Church. It was later incorporated in 1996.
The town of Taylor is a pleasant three-hour drive from Phoenix. It enjoys a colorful and pleasant four-season climate with abundant sunshine and mild year-round temperatures. Although it is mostly clear all year round, the best time of year to visit Taylor is from early June to mid-September.
During recent years the population of Taylor has risen drastically along with commercial expansion, prosperous industry, and modern infrastructure.
Today, Taylor is a town full of country charm and rich in history. There are many things to do in Taylor, so get ready for a memorable vacation.
1. The Taylor Museum
Opened in 2005, the Taylor Museum is a timeline museum that showcases the growth and development in Taylor over the years. It is housed in the recently restored A.Z. Palmer/Hatch Brothers store that is situated in the center of Taylor.
The Palmer & Son store was a community gathering place back in the old days. You could find everything there from food supplies to gas to insurance, anything a local rancher could need.
The site was bought in 2000 by the town of Taylor and became the town’s main museum. Take a guided tour of the museum and learn all about the town’s history through narrations that accompany the exhibits.
Don’t forget to offer a prayer for all war veterans that left Taylor to fight in foreign wars at the Veteran’s Monument at the side of the Museum.
2. Black Mesa
The word ‘Mesa’ refers to an elevated area of land that has a flat top and sides that are typically steep hills. Black Mesa or Big Mountain is an upland, mountainous mesa in the White Mountains of the Navajo County.
You can enjoy hiking in the numerous trails that bring you closer to nature. These trails are both scenic and challenging so be sure to pick one that suits you.
Make sure that you have sufficient water and food and wear proper footwear. This will allow you to have an adventure that you will remember for years to come.
3. Margaret McCleve Hancock Log Cabin
Originally this log cabin was the home of Margaret McCleve Hancock, a midwife for the area. It was built in 1838 and Margaret raised her thirteen children here. This cabin was restored and moved to its present location after it was donated to the Taylor/Shumway Heritage Foundation.
This cabin will transport you back in history and will make you appreciate the harsh living conditions that the pioneers had to withstand to make a life for themselves in 19th-century Arizona.
4. White Mountain Lake
The stunningly beautiful area of White Mountain Lake is the perfect place to spend a day relaxing with a good book. Or you can indulge in fishing, as the White Mountain Lake holds some of the most diverse species found in Arizona.
If you are an avid angler, be sure to pack your fishing rod. You might catch a trout worthy of state record or hook a native Apache trout.
You can enjoy boating with your family on the calm, blue waters of the lake among other recreational facilities such as swimming and skiing.
5. Shumway School House
Another building of historical importance that should not be missed is the Shumway School. It is one of the few remaining one-room brick schoolhouses in Arizona that has the names of its students from yesteryear etched into the soft red brick.
It was built in the 1900s and served as a school for grade one to grade eight. For 50 years this school also served as a social hub for the Shumway community by serving as a church and social center for weddings and funerals.
A few years ago it was donated to the Taylor Heritage Foundation and now serves as a great tourist attraction.
6. Freeman Park
The recently remodeled and renovated Freeman Park is the perfect place for many outdoor activities such as racquetball, basketball, and soccer. Furthermore, kids love this park because it has swing sets, slides, jungle gym and much more.
The recent addition of a zip-line in the park has become very popular among the children who are more adventurous. The playroom has some brand new toys for toddlers and young kids.
Freeman Park is a must-visit place if you are in Taylor. It is a great way to spend a day while the kids enjoy the various outdoor activities.
7. Windrose Armoury
Another place that is sure to interest all those history buffs is the Windrose Armoury near Taylor. This armory produces armor and other accessories such as shields and helmets for medieval enactment.
If you want to purchase an exclusive gift for the medieval enthusiast in your life, then a visit to the Windrose Armoury is not to be missed.
8. Stinson Pioneer Museum
The Stinson Pioneer Museum in nearby Snowflake is a hub for history lovers. This museum houses artifacts and pictures of prehistoric Indians and 19th-century pioneers.
Another unusual exhibit that amazes the visitors is the original loom used by one of the pioneers to weave rag rugs and cloth.
Two rooms of this museum have been restored to portray the living conditions of the early pioneer families. If you want to see an authentic enactment of history, then be sure to visit the Stinson Pioneer museum.
9. Etac Airsoft
Taylor has something for everyone. It provides various attractions for different visitors. One such attraction is the Etac Airsoft Supply Company, where you will find the best quality Airsoft weapons and supplies.
If you want to blow some steam, then be sure to visit the 2-acre battlefield in Taylor and let the bullets fly. You take part in Nurf wars and buy some of the best airsoft pistols and AEG rifles for Airsoft sports.
The technicians at Etac Airsoft are also happy to provide repairs as well as upgrade services. You can visit their store if you need any help with your airsoft weapons.
10. Ranch House Saloon
In the mood for a good steak? Or want to have a few drinks to relax? Then the Ranch House Saloon in Snowflake is the best place for it.
A culinary gem, this highly rated restaurant offers some amazing pub food and mouth-watering steaks. You can order some cool drinks to accompany your delicious meal, and before long you will be hooked on the taste.
The Ranch House Saloon has been around for nearly 25 years so make sure to include this fantastic spot in your list.
11. The Snowflake Municipal Golf Course
If your golf skills need practice or you want to refine your swing, then a visit to the Snowflake Municipal Golf Course should be next on your list.
This picturesque golf course provides a scenic backdrop to various homes in the area. You can play multiple rounds while enjoying economical rates and well-manicured gardens.
12. Trapper’s Café
While you are in Taylor, don’t forget to sample some of the local cuisines that are surely a delight for your taste buds.
When you are travelling, it is hard to find good quality food that tastes like home or reminds you of your Grandma’s cooking.
Trapper’s offer a meal that is delicious without pretention. No matter what you choose as your dinner entrees, you will surely enjoy an honest, scrumptious meal. Furthermore, the service and ambiance are also excellent.
Important note: keep some room for pies as they are not to be missed.
Another restaurant that is not to be missed is Aliberto’s. It has great food, friendly staff, and amazing atmosphere.
The food is prepared according to your preference and served with generous helpings. Don’t forget to try the carne asada, chile rellenos, and green chile.
Another thing that makes this restaurant fantastic is the chip and salsa bar which is an absolute delight. Make sure that you visit Aliberto’s for a memorable time.
14. Snarky Posh Spa
After spending your day shopping and traveling, pamper yourself at the Snarky Posh Spa. Relax, unwind and get rid of all the stress with the help of their amazing beauty products. Rejuvenate your skin and pamper yourself because you deserve it.
The services at the spa are sure to uplift your feelings as well as your face.