Strawberry, Arizona is dreamy. We had the lovely opportunity to visit this quaint little town a couple weeks ago on assignment for the magazine I write for. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know I’ve had a rough go of it lately, so this trip was everything I needed. The best cure for stress is an escape. Strawberry was a perfect little distraction from life.
The two hour drive north is so picturesque as you watch the mountains go from jagged and covered with cacti to lush, green and chilly. I was SO ready to get out of the crazy Phoenix heat.
Our first stop was Strawberry Schoolhouse. Hunter was underwhelmed with Arizona’s oldest standing schoolhouse, but I thought it was charming. I can see this being the perfect place to bring kiddos to crawl around. When the schoolhouse is open, the inside is adorable. Definitely a must see when it is open, but don’t expect to spend a lot of time there. It’s right around the corner from The Strawberry Inn, so it’s easy to pop by.
The Strawberry Inn is a gorgeous, self-hosted, eight bedroom hotel. The navy and vibrant red exterior features a clocktower, deck with porch swings and rocking chairs, and a windmill. The charm just seeps out of this beautiful lodge.
The interior is equally as lush. We stayed in room eight. It was incredibly cute and cozy from the big arm chairs and plush bed down to the chalkboard. Joanna Gaines would be SO proud of all the shiplap. I made Hunter look at the walls and figure out how they did it, so I can recreate the style. Serious style goals (Pinterest-worthy).
Every guest room has a beautiful bed, coffee bar, seating, television and super clean bathroom. Not only is the inn comfortable, affordable and practical, it is really photogenic inside and out. I loved that the owners decided to incorporate woodsy themes into the trendy interior. I enjoyed letting my mind rest among the towering trees and silence of nature.
That evening, we had dinner at Old County Inn. This place FAR exceeded my expectations. We opted to sit out on the deck even though it was a little chilly, but they made it so comfortable. There were plenty of blankets out for guests, space heaters, twinkle lights and a perfect view of the elk moseying around the grass across the street. It could not be more picture perfect. AND. THE. FOOD. This might have been the best pizza I’ve ever had. We also ordered the beer cheese and breadsticks as an appetizer. You didn’t do Strawberry right unless you went to Old County Inn. It was a beautiful memory, and I can’t wait to be back. It was so romantic and charming. I may drive two hours for that pizza right now…
The next morning we went to breakfast at The Randall House. HIGHLY recommend the creme de mint specialty coffee drink. We got our food quickly (we get hangry). My only qualm is the food was a little expensive. Keep in mind that Strawberry doesn’t have access to a lot of grocery stores down the road, so your OJ may be pricier.
After a hearty breakfast and a quick stop by the Strawberry Farmers Market, we headed to Pine Creek Fudge Ice Cream & Espresso. We had some fudge in our room when we arrived at The Strawberry Inn. Hunter loved it so much that we needed more to take on our ride home!
Our last stop of the trip was Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. Although there were some hiccups in this stop (my phone may have met the river), I’m so glad we went. I much prefer hiking in 60 degree weather surrounded by pine trees to climbing up dusty rocks in the heat of The Valley. Unfortunately, the trail down to the bridge was closed, so the rangers recommended we take the Anna Mae Trail. Although lots of fun, it was pretty challenging to get under the bridge. Dress more appropriately than I did (whoops). The view driving down to the park is super scenic, but the road is steep and curvy. Make sure you take a reliable, strong vehicle. It’s well worth the trip.
Hunter and I have been on many amazing road trips, but this one was one of my favorites. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to take this trip, experience new things, explore Arizona, and I got to press the refresh button and just relax. I really really needed this. Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope you have a chance to visit very soon! Do you have a happy place we should visit next? Let me know in the comments below!
Want to steal my happy place? GO FOR IT! I have included a tentative itinerary for a weekend trip to Strawberry/Pine. Please note, the town often runs seasonally which means somethings may not be fully open during some months/days of the week. Please check with businesses before making plans!