The southwest, where the imagery of cowboys, mining towns and outskirts of early, lawless America remain.
Three Arizona towns have maintained those historical roots, according to USA Today’s 10Best list of the best small towns in the southwest.
Ajo, Ariz., led off the list. The former copper mining town is more than a pit-stop between Phoenix and Rocky Point, Mexico. Near Organ Pipe National Monument along State Route 85, it has maintained its Spanish and Native American history, and its plaza at the center of town speaks to the architecture of years past.
Bisbee also built its economic reputation behind the copper industry. Its Victorian architecture and Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum are highlights of what is now a popular tourist destination, according to 10Best.
A run of small towns in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado fill out the list until Tubac, comes in ranked ninth. Arizona’s first European settlement, artists have opened galleries and crafts shops around the southern Arizona town, which also has a golf resort that attracts visitors.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., rounds out the top-10 list.