Payson is surrounded by National Forest with breathtaking mountain vistas. Creeks and trout streams flow from the Mogollon Rim. A 35-mile drive encompassing 7 lakes provides numerous trails (hiking, biking, and Equestrian), camping,hunting, and fishing. This natural beauty and rugged landscape is what attracted the late American Western Novelist Zane Greyto this area.  Payson also holds the distinction of being one of only three pure air ozone belts in the world and offers star gazersa perfect environment for searching the stars.


Local attractions include the Tonto Natural Bridge, Shoofly Indian ruins(an archaeological site), Rim Country Musuem, the Tonto Fish Hatchery, the Electric Light Parade, and a 45-acre Green Valley Park lake system. The Payson Airport has a recreational fly-in campground, a unique facility in the State of Arizona.


For over 125 years, Payson has hosted the "World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo" as well as many other rodeo events including the Spring Rodeo in May. As the "Festival Capital of Arizona" Payson showcases a classic Auto Show in April, the Payson Arizona Mountain High Games in June, a State Fiddlers Contest in September and many other festivals and events in between.  To view upcoming events please visit the Activities & Event Calendar.  Below you will find links to attractions that are simply "must do's" while visiting Payson, Arizona.

Antique and Art Shopping

In all, there are over 24 antique, art, and gift shops scattered throughout Payson, Pine, and Strawberry. From cowboy collectibles to vintage Victorian to unique gifts and just about everything in between, the Rim Country is a treasure trove for avid shoppers. 

Fine Dining

If fine dining is your draw, then Payson, Arizona delivers in a big way.  Each restaurant has a unique personality.  For example, the Main Street Grille has been known to have visitors of the paranormal type, the Beeline Café is as home town as you will find in America and Gerardo's Italian Bistro is a place you may expect to visit in Tuscany, Italy. Whatever your palate requires, Payson can provide.


Rich in history, Payson and Rim Country Museum's offer visitors a glimpse of the past: the people, their lives, and how they tamed this rugged land. 


The Payson Parks and Recreation Department manages and maintains over 150 acres of parkland for the benefit and enjoyment of its citizens and visitors alike. Complete with year-round softball fields, covered picnic ramadas, tennis courts, horse shoe pits, skate park, dog park, and urban fishing lakes – Payson’s parks are built for your enjoyment.  Please stop by and spend some time at our facilities – we know you’ll like what you find. 

Mountain Recreation

The Mogollon Rim is nestled within the Tonto National Forest and offers all the outdoor amenities a person could possibly hope for. Seven majestic mountain lakes, small streams stocked with trout, hundreds of miles of trails, and the world's largest stand of ponderosa pine are all found in Rim Country. 

Golf Courses

Not every travel destination has as much surrounding nature and beauty as Payson, Arizona. Even playing a round of golf in Payson, can lead golfers to experience this beautiful nature first hand.  In fact “Birdies” and “Eagles” are usually terms used to score your round but on a Payson golf course those terms take on a whole new meaning.

Historic Main Street

To truly understand the history behind Payson’s Historic Main Street, one must first understand that Payson started out as nothing more than a rough and tumble cow town. Full of characters that would shape this country; they left their mark on a community and made history for the books. Main Street is currently under revitalization and a visit to Payson would not be complete without experiencing this 1.1 mile historic gathering place. Lined with antique shops, restaurants, and art galleries it is a place to behold.. 

Mazatzal Casino Activities

Looking for some evening entertainment? Mazatzal Casino has everything you need, including live entertainment, fine dining, gaming, and so much more. The casino has over 400 slots, blackjack tables, players club, video poker, poker room, bingo, and video arcade (Tigers Gaming Lounge). If you looking for 5-Star accommodations the Casino Hotel and Cedar Ridge Restaurant delivers!

Sawmill Movie Theaters

After a day of exploring the trails and antique shopping, taking in a movie at the Sawmill Theatres, is a perfect end to a great day in Payson! 

Airport & Fly-In Campground

The Payson Municipal Airport is owned and run by the Town of Payson. The Crosswinds Restaurant boasts of fantastic views of the Rim Country and flights as the land and take off. 

Houston Mesa Horse Camp

What better way to escape the summer heat than relaxing under the shade of pine trees or beneath a clear, starry night's sky in one of the Rim Country's best campgrounds.  Houston Mesa Horse Camp is located off Highway 87, north of Payson. The site offers the feel of being right in the wilderness when technically you're within town limits. 

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© 2020 - Town of Payson 
Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department
1000 W. Country Club Dr.

Payson, AZ 85541  |  928-472-5110

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