As a native son, I have lived in AZ for over 50 years and have seen a lot of changes. Prescott was once the capital when AZ was just a teritory. The early founding of the town had a lot to do with mining. Bucky Dent, a famous Rough Rider with Teddy Roosevelt, is one its more famous heroes.
Prescott has an "old town square" with lamps, lightposts and a courthouse - just like Mayberry. It has successfully maintained a small town feel, while experiencing tremendous growth. Housing is a little less expensive in Prescott Valley, than it is in Prescott itself. A lot of Phoenicians (people from Phoenix) have summer homes there to escape the Phoenix heat in the summer months. Many also retire there. Californians began flocking there about 10-15 years ago. They found they could sell their expensive CA home, buy a better & larger home in Prescott for half the cost, and bank the difference to live on. Prescott is also promoting its "artsy" community as well. Some pretty cool bars.
Prescott sits at the 5,450 ft. elevation. Unlike Phoenix, it has four distinct seasons and you even get a dusting of snow in the winter. You can get most fruit trees to thrive in Prescott with a little green thumb. The summer days can be quite warm (90's +), but the evenings always cool down. To the north you have lots of flat, open range and BLM land around Paulden for long distance shooting.
Hunting - AZ has many great species. The good news is: the hunts and game are of very good quality. The bad news is: most hunts can be tough to draw out. Get yourself a bow as deer tags are still "over-the-counter". You will use it during the many seasons when you don't draw out. Prescott has fantastic antelope right out your back door. Varmint calling is 10 minutes away, as are the mule deer in the Bradshaw mountains. Prescott is centrally located in the state, so all big game animals are no more than 2 hours away )unless you pick some real remote areas. Snow skiing is an hour away, as is the pool and palm trees - and you can do both on the same day. So...come on in - the water's fine!