Pine and Strawberry, two quaint communities which lay just below the Mogollon Rim, are the perfect stop for travelers on Highway 87.
At about 7,000 feet in elevation, the air is cool and the pines are thick -- perfect for a hike or a visit to one of the many art studios and antique shops in the area.
Strawberry School House, built in 1895, is a registered historic site and the oldest schoolhouse in the state. The one-room schoolhouse, located on Fossil Creek Road, three miles west of Highway 87, has been fully restored and outfitted with period desks, chalkboards and school books. The schoolhouse is open weekends from mid-May to mid-September and admission is free. To check on hours or events, call (928) 476-3547.
To get some history on the area, visit the Pine-Strawberry Museum in Pine. The museum is loaded with information on the archeology and cultural history of the region. Displays and artifacts date back to the 1800s when Mormon pioneers first settled the two communities. Inside the museum, there is a branch of the Arizona Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce where visitors can obtain maps of the area and activities calenders.
The Fossil Creek Llama Ranch offers an authentic way to experience ranch living. While staying in a tepee or yurt, guests can milk goats, groom llamas and enjoy delicious campfire cooking. For more information, call John or Joyce Bittner at (928) 476-5178.
June 10 -12
Pine hosts the Strawberry Patchers' Annual Quilt Show at the Pine Cultural Center. For $1 admission, visitors can view and purchase the incredible handiwork of local quilters. For more information, call (928) 476-3623.
June 11 - 12
The 15th Annual Strawberry Festival is a wonderful time to peruse the streets of Strawberry and visit artisans' booths and food vendors. For more information, call (928) 474-4515.
July 2 - 3
Pine and Strawberry Arts and Crafts Fair. This is another opportunity to enjoy and purchase exquisite items handmade by local artists. For more information, call (928) 476-4480. If you want to come back for more, another fair is scheduled for Sept. 3 and Sept. 4.
For those who want to stay a few days and soak up the small town flavor, both communities have accommodations. They include the Pine Crest Bed and Breakfast (928-476-4265), Pine Haven Bed and Breakfast (928-476-3809), Strawberry Lodge (928-476-3333), the Cabins on Strawberry Hill (928-476-4252) and the Windmill Corner Inn (928-476-3064).
Several restaurants line Highway 87 or are just off the main drag, including Cool Pines Cafe, Giuseppe's, Nifty 50's Diner, Pine Deli, Pine Verde Mexican restaurant, the Randall House and the Rimside Grill.
Whether you are escaping the heat of Phoenix or just passing through, a visit to the communities of Pine and Strawberry is sure to be an enjoyable experience.