15 Things to Do in Kingman (AZ)

Written by Sofia Jones
Updated on
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As you journey along the iconic Route 66, spanning from Chicago to LA, you’ll come across the historic city of Kingman in Northwest Arizona. This city holds a significant place in the route’s history. As Bobby Troup’s famous song from 1946 reminds us, Kingman is one of the cities you’ll pass through, offering a glimpse into the charm and allure of Route 66. Notably, Kingman is also the closest city to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, making it an ideal stop on your journey.

One of the things that make Kingman particularly appealing is its pleasant climate, thanks to its elevation of 3,300 feet. Nestled in Mohave County and with a population of nearly 30,000, Kingman flourished in the late 1800s when the railway arrived. Since then, it has evolved into an important hub for mining and ranching, encapsulating the spirit of the Wild West. While strolling through its streets may not reveal the city’s rich history, you can delve into it by exploring the numerous museums that Kingman has to offer.

Kingman has an abundance of attractions and activities to keep you engaged during your visit. From immersing yourself in its captivating history to indulging in local cuisine, there’s something for everyone. As your time in Kingman draws to a close, you may find yourself feeling a touch of melancholy, cherishing the memories you’ve made.

To help you make the most of your time in Kingman, here’s a list of 15 things to do that will ensure an unforgettable experience I can recommend.

1. Mohave Museum of History & Arts

Mohave Museum of History & ArtsSource: pikappa51 / shutterstock
Mohave Museum Of History & Arts

In 1961, the Mohave Museum of History & Arts was established by the Daughters of the Pioneers. Initially, it occupied a modest room within the Chamber of Commerce. However, driven by a passion to preserve local history, the museum gradually expanded its exhibits under the guidance of Roy Purcell, a talented local artist who served as its first director. After six years, the museum relocated to a new building adjacent to the Chamber’s parking lot, providing more space to showcase its growing collection.

Over the years, the museum continued to evolve. A decade later, thanks to the dedicated efforts of its team, the floor space was expanded to accommodate additional exhibits. Then, in 2000, an opportunity arose when the Chamber of Commerce moved, granting the museum yet another chance to expand its facilities and offerings.

Among the museum’s highlights are the captivating Hualapai Indian Room and the informative Mohave History Room. These exhibits provide a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region. Furthermore, the library, established in 2005, serves as a valuable resource, housing a wealth of information for those eager to delve deeper into the area’s history. Notably, the museum pays homage to local film star Andy Devine, showcasing his contributions to the entertainment industry.

In addition to these captivating displays, visitors can explore a range of other intriguing exhibits, including a ranching exhibit that sheds light on the region’s agricultural heritage. For those intrigued by the mining industry, the museum also features a collection of mining machinery that offers insight into the area’s rich mining history.

2. Lake Mohave

Lake MohaveSource: Jason Patrick Ross / shutterstock
Lake Mohave

Lake Mohave, a remarkable manmade reservoir stretching 67 miles between Hoover and Davis Dams, has always fascinated me. Despite the challenges posed by decreasing rainfall and its impact on water quality, this picturesque lake continues to offer a wealth of recreational opportunities for all to enjoy.

One of the main attractions on Lake Mohave is fishing. Whether you’re an avid angler seeking native species or someone who enjoys the thrill of catching sports fish, this lake provides a diverse and abundant aquatic habitat. With over 200 miles of shoreline, there are numerous spots to cast your line and try your luck.

Camping enthusiasts will also find Lake Mohave to be a paradise. The vast shoreline offers plenty of camping areas, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and spend peaceful nights under the starry sky. Waking up to the gentle lapping of waves against the shore is a serene experience that rejuvenates the soul.

For those seeking more adventurous activities, the northern end of the lake serves as a gateway to exciting boat trips up the majestic Colorado River, leading to the renowned Lake Mead. The crystal-clear waters of Lake Mohave provide the perfect backdrop for exhilarating water sports like jet skiing, water skiing, and kayaking. Exploring the lake by kayak, gliding through the calm waters while admiring the surrounding cliffs and canyons, is an experience that never fails to leave me in awe.

The scenic beauty of Lake Mohave also beckons hikers to explore its surroundings. With its diverse landscapes and breathtaking vistas, hiking along the lake’s trails offers a chance to connect with nature and appreciate the tranquil ambiance that permeates the area.

3. Historic Route 66 Museum

Historic Route 66 MuseumSource: jared422_80 / Flickr
Historic Route 66 Museum

I have always been fascinated by the iconic Route 66, and visiting the Arizona Route 66 Museum in Kingman was a dream come true. The museum, located in the Historic Powerhouse, has been a significant addition to the city’s attractions since its opening in 2001.

Stepping into the museum, I was immediately captivated by the exhibits that beautifully showcased the history of this famous road and the various forms of transport that have traversed its path over the years. As I wandered through the museum, I was surrounded by stunning photographs and vibrant murals that brought the stories of Route 66 to life.

One of the highlights of the museum was the opportunity to delve into the fascinating routes used by Native Americans and the expeditions undertaken by the US Army. Learning about the significant role that Route 66 played in shaping the region’s history was both enlightening and inspiring. From the early days of settler migration towards California to the later years of migrants seeking a better life, the museum provided a comprehensive narrative of the area’s rich and diverse heritage.

The Arizona Route 66 Museum truly offers a glimpse into the past and allows visitors to connect with the spirit of this legendary road. The well-curated exhibits and informative displays paint a vivid picture of the challenges, triumphs, and stories of the people who traveled this iconic route. It’s a journey through time that not only educates but also evokes a sense of nostalgia for the golden era of American road trips.

As I left the museum, I couldn’t help but appreciate the immense significance of Route 66 and its enduring legacy. It’s a testament to the pioneering spirit, the pursuit of adventure, and the everlasting allure of the open road. For anyone with a passion for history, travel, or simply a curiosity about this renowned highway, a visit to the Arizona Route 66 Museum in Kingman is an absolute must.

4. Kingman Visitor Center

Kingman Visitor CenterSource: www.gokingman.com
Kingman Visitor Center

When I arrived in Downtown Kingman, I made sure to visit the Kingman Visitor Center, conveniently located in the Historic Powerhouse. This information hub turned out to be a valuable resource for everything I needed to know about the area, its attractions, and travel tips.

As I stepped inside the center, I was warmly greeted by the friendly staff who were eager to assist me in making the most of my time in Kingman. The center offered a wealth of free information, brochures, and maps that proved essential in planning my stay. Whether I wanted to explore the historical landmarks, embark on scenic drives, or indulge in outdoor activities, the knowledgeable staff provided me with insightful recommendations tailored to my interests.

One aspect that particularly caught my attention was the gift shop within the visitor center. It was a treasure trove of Route 66 memorabilia and souvenirs. I spent some time browsing through the collection, and I must admit, I couldn’t resist purchasing a few items to commemorate my visit. From nostalgic postcards and vintage-inspired signage to locally crafted keepsakes, the gift shop was a haven for Route 66 enthusiasts and a fantastic place to find unique mementos.

If you find yourself in Kingman and plan to stay in the area for more than just a passing visit, I highly recommend stopping by the Kingman Visitor Center. It’s the perfect starting point to gather valuable information, discover hidden gems, and connect with the vibrant spirit of this iconic stretch of Route 66.

5. Kingman Railroad Museum

Kingman Railroad MuseumSource: facebook.com
Kingman Railroad Museum

As a history enthusiast and curious traveler, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Kingman Railroad Museum, a fascinating tribute to the city’s deep-rooted connection with the railroad. Housed in the historic Amtrak Depot, the museum spans an impressive 14,500 square feet and is lovingly maintained by the Whistle Stop Railroad Club.

Stepping inside, I was immediately transported back in time, surrounded by an array of captivating relics that showcased the golden era of railroading. One notable highlight was the display of two antique carts, each with its own unique story to tell. The first cart, used for transporting ice, evoked images of the past when the railroad played a crucial role in delivering perishable goods across the region. The second cart, dedicated to luggage, offered a glimpse into the elegance and sophistication of train travel during a bygone era.

What truly captured my imagination, however, were the mesmerizing model trains that graced the museum. These intricately crafted miniature replicas were a delight for both adults and children alike. The models showcased three different gauges: Lionel, N gauge, and HO gauge, offering a diverse and captivating experience for railway enthusiasts of all ages. As I watched the trains glide along their meticulously designed tracks, I couldn’t help but marvel at the level of detail and craftsmanship that went into creating these miniature masterpieces.

The Kingman Railroad Museum is undoubtedly a must-visit attraction for anyone with an interest in railroading and the captivating history of Kingman. From its rich collection of artifacts to the enchanting model trains, the museum provides an immersive and educational experience that will leave visitors with a newfound appreciation for the role of the railroad in shaping the city’s past.

6. Bonelli House

Bonelli House, KingmanSource: joshuallenoble / Flickr
Bonelli House

Allow me to share the captivating story of the renowned Bonelli family, one of Kingman’s most prominent and influential families. It all began with George Bonelli, a Swiss Mormon immigrant who arrived in Kingman during the late 19th century. Fate intervened when he fell in love with Effie, the daughter of the esteemed Kingman Santa Fe Railroad Station Master. Together, they forged a remarkable legacy that would shape the city’s history.

George and Effie Bonelli were not only successful entrepreneurs, but they also managed a sprawling 250,000-acre ranch, which solidified their place in the local community. The couple was blessed with nine children, and in 1895, they built their first family home—a symbol of their prosperity and growing influence in the region. Unfortunately, tragedy struck in 1915 when a devastating fire reduced their cherished home to ashes. However, the resilient Bonelli family wasted no time and promptly rebuilt their residence, ensuring that their remarkable story continued to unfold.

As the years went by, the Bonelli children gradually pursued their own paths, leaving behind the family home. Nevertheless, the property remained under the ownership of the Bonelli family until 1973, when the city recognized its historical significance and acquired it with the vision of transforming it into a museum. In 1978, the doors of the Bonelli House Museum opened to the public, thanks to the efforts of the Mohave Pioneers Historical Society.

Today, visitors have the incredible opportunity to step into the past and explore the Bonelli House Museum, lovingly preserved by the Mohave Pioneers Historical Society. As you wander through the rooms of this magnificent residence, you’ll be transported to a bygone era, gaining insight into the lives of a prosperous family of the time. The museum not only showcases the unique architectural style of the period but also boasts an array of artifacts and possessions that provide a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by the Bonelli family.

7. Black Bridge Brewery

Black Bridge BrewerySource: blackbridgebrewery.com
Black Bridge Brewery

Let me introduce you to Tim Schritter, the passionate owner of Black Bridge Brewery, who embodies the perfect blend of craftsmanship, brewing expertise, and community spirit. As a native of Kingman, Tim’s roots run deep, and his love for his hometown fuels his endeavors.

Tim’s journey began at a young age when he discovered his talent and passion for welding and fabrication. He honed his skills and craftsmanship, laying the foundation for what was to come. At the age of 23, driven by a desire to offer unique and flavorful alternatives to the local beer scene, Tim built his very first brewing system.

Inspired by the exceptional brews he had savored, Tim embarked on a brewing adventure. In his garage, he tirelessly brewed 130 batches of 45 gallons each in his first year alone. Word quickly spread throughout the community about Tim’s exceptional brews, and locals eagerly sought opportunities to sample his creations. It wasn’t long before his “garage” transformed into a vibrant gathering place, where private tastings turned into lively celebrations.

Fueled by the growing demand for his exceptional brews, Tim made the bold decision to expand his operation. Black Bridge Brewery, named after the iconic railroad bridge on the outskirts of Kingman, where generations of young locals had gathered for parties since the 1960s, found its home in the heart of the city. Today, it stands as a testament to Tim’s unwavering commitment to crafting outstanding beers and creating a welcoming space for the community.

When you step into Black Bridge Brewery, you’ll be greeted by a warm and inviting atmosphere. It’s a place where locals and visitors alike gather to savor Tim’s expertly crafted brews, indulge in delightful coffee creations, or enjoy the refreshing taste of ginger beer. As you sip on your beverage of choice, the sound of live music will serenade your senses, enhancing the overall experience.

8. Cella Winery

Cella WinerySource: facebook.com
Cella Winery

Carlos Cella, a visionary winemaker who brought his passion for wine all the way from California to Kingman in 2006. After retiring from his previous business, Carlos embarked on a new adventure—an endeavor to establish his own winery. With his Argentinian heritage and experience assisting his family’s winery back home, he was well-prepared to dive into the world of winemaking.

In 2008, Carlos began planting vineyards, carefully selecting the ideal location and varietals to cultivate. With dedication and patience, he nurtured his vineyards, eagerly awaiting the day he could harvest his grapes and transform them into exquisite wines. In 2010, that moment arrived, marking the birth of the first wines under the Cella Winery label.

Carlos chose to cultivate four distinct grape varieties—Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Syrah—each offering its unique character and flavors. As the wines matured and developed their distinct personalities, Carlos was ready to share his passion with the world. In 2014, he proudly opened the doors of Cella Winery to the public, inviting wine enthusiasts to experience the fruits of his labor.

It didn’t take long for Cella Winery to gain recognition and accolades in the competitive world of winemaking. Within just a few years of its establishment, the winery proudly earned three awards, surpassing expectations and competing with some of the finest wineries in the state. These accolades serve as a testament to Carlos’ dedication, expertise, and unwavering commitment to producing exceptional wines.

If you’re seeking a delightful wine-tasting experience, I encourage you to visit Cella Winery and sample their award-winning creations for yourself. Allow Carlos and his team to guide you through the tasting, sharing their expertise and passion along the way. With each sip, you’ll embark on a sensory journey, discovering the unique flavors, aromas, and craftsmanship that make Cella wines truly remarkable.

9. Stetson Winery

Stetson WinerySource: facebook.com
Stetson Winery

Eric Glomski’s Stetson Winery offers visitors a chance to sample the grapes and hospitality of North West Arizona. His skills have been developed over a number of years, ever since he started making hard cider from apples.

He liked what he produced but did not start his winery until the quality of the soil had been thoroughly tested.

The subsequent success resulted in his wine being selected as the Official Wine that Arizona chose for the 2012 State Centennial Celebrations.

The setting is lovely and suitable for everything from a couple’s day trip to a major celebration with fine wines.

10. Desert Diamond Distillery

Desert Diamond DistillerySource: facebook.com
Desert Diamond Distillery

This family-owned and operated distillery is situated just off Highway 66 near the Kingman Airport. Few distilleries in Arizona are open to the public, so this is a chance for you to see the operation.

Naturally, there is a sampling bar and the chance to purchase the product. The bar was brought there from an old restaurant on the Strip in Las Vegas. Word is that the ‘’Rat Pack’’ drank there on many occasions.

The four rums and a single vodka have all been certified by the American Distilling Institute (ADI). Each is 100% distilled in Kingman and if you want to sample cocktails, this is the place in Kingman to do it. Fancy a Mohito? You just need to ask.

11. A Game of Golf

GolfingSource: photogolfer / shutterstock

If you’re looking to play a round of golf during your time in Kingman, you’ll find two conveniently located courses that offer great playing conditions. Checking online for availability and fees will give you all the necessary information.

First up is Cerbat Hills, a charming course that opened its doors in 1973. Designed by Milton Coggins, this municipal course spans a friendly 6,500 yards, offering a Par 72 experience from the back tees. Beyond the enjoyable layout, Cerbat Hills boasts excellent facilities including a restaurant, bar, and grill. Whether you’re taking a break between holes or celebrating a great round, you’ll find everything you need to relax and refuel.

Another appealing option is the Valle Vista Country Club, which is a semi-private course that warmly welcomes guests. Designed by Fred Bolton and opening its fairways two years after Cerbat Hills, Valle Vista offers a range of playing options. With three tee choices available, the longest course measures 6,266 yards. It’s an opportunity to test your skills while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.

12. Arizona’s Ghost Town Getaways

Tombstone, ArizonaSource: CrackerClips Stock Media / shutterstock

Exploring the remnants of mining boom towns from the 19th century is a fascinating journey into Arizona’s past. Witnessing these towns that once thrived but now stand as ghostly echoes of a bygone era is a unique experience.

A day trip to one of these towns is an adventure worth taking, and perhaps the most renowned among them is Tombstone. Known for its wild and storied history, Tombstone offers a glimpse into the rugged days of the Wild West.

While some ghost towns are completely deserted and abandoned, others have found a new lease on life. These towns have attracted individuals who are passionate about preserving the history and showcasing the allure of these forgotten places. Some of these enthusiasts have their own creative pursuits, whether it’s painting the haunting landscapes or capturing the town’s essence through the written word.

Exploring these ghost towns allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history of Arizona’s mining past. It’s an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the pioneers, envision the bustling streets that were once filled with hopeful miners, and imagine the lives that were lived in these now-desolate places. So, pack your curiosity and a sense of adventure, and embark on a journey through time to witness the allure of Arizona’s ghost towns.

13. Hualapai Mountain Park

Hualapai Mountain ParkSource: B_Zuber / shutterstock
Hualapai Mountain Park

If you’re seeking a refreshing escape from the scorching summer heat or a snowy wonderland during winter, Hualapai Mountain Park beckons with its cool mountain air and breathtaking scenery. The park spans elevations ranging from approximately 5,000 feet to a stunning 8,400 feet, where a lush landscape of juniper and pine trees thrives, presenting a striking contrast to the arid Mohave Desert.

The name “Hualapai” holds deep meaning as it originates from the Native American language, translating to “People of the Tall Pines.” It’s a fitting name for a place blessed with the majestic presence of these towering trees.

Venturing into the park, you may be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of elk, a sight you wouldn’t expect in the scorching desert. Mountain lions and mule deer also inhabit the higher regions, adding to the park’s vibrant wildlife.

Hualapai Mountain Park offers an abundance of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The extensive network of trails welcomes hikers and bikers, inviting them to explore the natural wonders and stunning vistas. For those who wish to extend their stay, the park provides camping facilities and cozy cabins available for rent. Imagine waking up to the crisp mountain air and embarking on an invigorating hike right from your doorstep.

The park also caters to leisurely outings, with designated picnic areas where you can savor a delightful meal amidst the serene surroundings. Sports enthusiasts will find volleyball and softball courts to engage in friendly matches, adding an extra touch of fun to their visit.

14. Cerbat Foothills Recreational Area

Cerbat Foothills Recreation AreaSource: Joshua Noble / Wikimedia
Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area

In the heart of the Mohave Desert lies the Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area (CFRA), a sprawling expanse encompassing over 11,300 acres. Within this vast desert playground, a network of 35 miles of hiking trails awaits adventurers like myself. Whether I preferred to hike, cycle, jog, or even ride horseback, the CFRA offers a variety of trails to cater to my outdoor pursuits.

As I set foot on these desert trails, I was greeted by a fascinating array of desert flora. Yucca plants, beavertail cacti, prickly pears, creosote bushes, and mesquite trees dot the landscape, showcasing the resilience and unique beauty of desert vegetation. While exploring the CFRA, I kept my eyes peeled for the diverse wildlife that calls this arid terrain home. Majestic mule deer gracefully traverse the desert, while cunning foxes and coyotes stealthily maneuver through their natural habitat. I was also lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the iconic Sonoran Desert Tortoise, a fascinating reptile that thrives in these harsh conditions. Although reptiles often remain hidden, their presence adds an air of mystery to my desert adventure. Additionally, the skies above the CFRA come alive with several raptors soaring overhead, diligently searching for their next meal among the small desert creatures.

While some trails in the CFRA lead me through its captivating desert landscapes, others present exciting inclines that reward me with stunning vantage points. These elevated positions grant me panoramic views of the surrounding region, and I was particularly captivated by the breathtaking sights overlooking the Sacramento Valley. The vast expanse stretches before me, a testament to the sheer beauty of nature and a reminder of the remarkable landscapes that Arizona has to offer.

15. Lewis Kingman Park

Lewis Kingman ParkSource: Luxury Fred Sherman / shutterstock
Lewis Kingman Park

Kingman bears the name of an esteemed Massachusetts civil engineer and surveyor whose legacy encompasses thousands of miles of railroad tracks that crisscross the United States.

Nestled along the vibrant Andy Devine Avenue, there lies a serene oasis known as City Park. Encompassing nine sprawling acres, this park offers a tranquil retreat within the bustling cityscape. One of its most endearing qualities is that it is the sole pet-friendly park in the area, allowing me to share precious moments of relaxation with my furry companions.

As I entered the park, I was greeted by well-maintained picnic facilities that invite me to unwind and indulge in outdoor dining. The presence of conveniently placed grills ensures that I savored delicious barbecued treats while enjoying the fresh air. In addition, the park provides well-maintained restrooms, ensuring utmost comfort and convenience during my visit.

Within the park’s verdant expanse, I found myself surrounded by the beauty of nature, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Here, I basked in the warmth of the sun, find solace beneath the shade of towering trees, and relish in the simple pleasures of life.

15 Things to Do in Kingman (AZ):

  • Mohave Museum of History & Arts
  • Lake Mohave
  • Historic Route 66 Museum
  • Kingman Visitor Center
  • Kingman Railroad Museum
  • Bonelli House
  • Black Bridge Brewery
  • Cella Winery
  • Stetson Winery
  • Desert Diamond Distillery
  • A Game of Golf
  • Arizona’s Ghost Town Getaways
  • Hualapai Mountain Park
  • Cerbat Foothills Recreational Area
  • Lewis Kingman Park