Flagstaff is a wonderful place located on the Colorado Plateau in northern Arizona at a height of 7,000 feet. And one that people typically skip on their way to the adjacent Grand Canyon since Flagstaff has so many great things to do.
Flagstaff has its own distinct personality and attitude, which each visitor is grateful to have had the chance to experience. As we discovered on our recent visit here, it is full of fantastic surprises one after the other. Flagstaff is both fascinating and memorable.
With its natural beauty, adventurous activities, and awe-inspiring national treasures, it is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Add to that Flagstaff’s intriguing history, craft beer culture, deliciously innovative restauranteurs, and dynamic downtown, and you’ve got the formula for a perfect trip. It has the best of both worlds in terms of beauty and appealing urban flair.
After all, who doesn’t fall in love with a community on Route 66, the Mother Road?
These are some of our top suggestions for things to do and see in Flagstaff. Check them out and you’ll be certain to discover the magic when you visit this historic Northern Arizona town.
Are you going to other places in Arizona? See our other guides:
- 15 Best Restaurants in Prescott, Arizona
- 7 Sedona Restaurants With a View
- 10 Fun Things To Do In Goodyear Arizona
- 6 Must-Try Glendale Restaurants
- 7 Must-Try Lake Havasau City Restaurants
- 8 Must-Try Flagstaff Restaurants
- 12 Exciting Things To Do In Cave Creek AZ
- 8 Best Cave Creek Restaurants
- 10 Best Restaurants In Salt Lake City
- 20 Best Restaurants In Tucson
- 5 Best Scottsdale AZ Restaurants
- 1 Flagstaff, Arizona’s Top Ten Things To Do
- 1.1 Hotel Little America
- 1.2 Flagstaff Welcome Center
- 1.3 Go on a Segway Tour
- 1.4 Lumberyard Brewery Tour
- 1.5 Art Walk on First Friday
- 1.6 Arizona Snowbowl
- 1.7 Lowell Space Telescope
- 1.8 Volcano Sunset Crater
- 1.9 National Park Wupatki
- 1.10 National Monument Walnut Canyon
- 1.11 Northern Arizona Museum
- 1.12 Which of these Flagstaff attractions would you want to see first? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!
Flagstaff, Arizona’s Top Ten Things To Do
Hotel Little America
2515 W. Butler Avenue (855) 516-1090
Selecting a historic hotel as your home base sets the tone for a memorable Flagstaff visit. Little America, founded in 1952 and situated on 500 acres of Ponderosa Pine Forest, is the ideal spot to unwind and take in the surrounding natural splendor.
The hotel has 247 luxuriously designed, freshly refurbished queen and king rooms, as well as two-bedroom apartment suites. My 480-square-foot king rooms comprised plush goose-down mattress, a separate sitting area, and a huge bathroom with separate vanity and shower.
Although the rooms are lovely, it is the stunning surroundings that make this a really unforgettable hotel experience. Trails leading from the resort led to a magnificent wilderness region excellent for early morning or late afternoon hikes.
The Silver Pine Restaurant within the hotel serves delicious breakfast, lunch, and supper, and we really enjoyed dining on the outside terrace with waterfalls and firepits.
Little America is the place to stay if you want to experience local culture.
Flagstaff Welcome Center
The majority of municipalities have a tourist center. Flagstaffs, on the other hand, is pretty unusual. The facility, which is located on Route 66 in the historic downtown train station, is, unsurprisingly, railroad-themed. Trains continue to come and leave at this operational Amtrack stop.
The miniature train that rounds the perimeter of the visitor center, as well as the railway and Route 66 memorabilia in the gift shop, are our favorites. Here, knowledgeable experts give maps of the town as well as sound recommendations on the must-do activities in Flagstaff and the surrounding regions. It’s a fascinating journey through time, as well as a wonderful spot to visit.
Go on a Segway Tour
928-699-1307600 North Thorpe Rd
Don’t be concerned. It’s lot simpler than it seems. That is, riding a Segway. And there is no better way to discover all the wonders of downtown Flagstaff than on a Segway bike. Besides, it’s a lot of fun!
We learnt about Flagstaff’s rich history and saw the city’s renowned landmarks with our knowledgeable guide from Arizona Segway and Pedal Tours. Arriving on the NAU campus was perhaps the most exciting and eye-opening portion of the visit (Northern Arizona University).
This lovely college campus is absolutely attractive and really simple to navigate. The encounter with the Starship robots that bring staff and student lunches with the announcement was the highlight of our tour. Hello! Here’s your package.
Our whole party enjoyed the Segway experience, and I can’t wait to do it again, maybe in a different location.
Lumberyard Brewery Tour
928-779-27395 South San Francisco St.
Nothing like a cold brew with fresh mountain air. Flagstaff is home to eight award-winning craft breweries, the most of which are within walking distance of downtown, with more on the way.
Craft beer is so popular in Flagstaff that they built a Flagstaff Brewery Trail with a passport to allow tourists to sample and enjoy a range of limited-edition beers, as well as unique IPAs and Klsche-style ales.
We had the pleasure of eating and exploring Lumberyard Brewing Company, which is situated in one of Flagstaff’s few remaining buildings from the Lumber period. Our tour guide took us through the brewing process from hops to glass, followed by a sample flight and lunch on their beautiful outdoor terrace.
We can’t wait to return to try more of Flagstaff’s excellent craft brewers.
Art Walk on First Friday
6 East Aspen Avenue, no phone number
If you chance to be in Flagstaff on the first Friday of the month (like we were), you should not miss the First Friday Artwalk.
From 6 to 9 p.m., galleries and other businesses open their doors with unique art displays, performances, live music, gastronomic delicacies, and more. This exciting event is attended by eateries as well.
Experience local art and culture in this exciting, festive atmosphere, which showcases artwork, sculptures, metalworks, ceramics, jewelry, blacksmithing, and other imaginative products. Also, the street art here is incredible!
North Snowbowl Road, (928) 779-19519300 North Snowbowl Road
The Arizona Snowbowl is THE spot to ski in Arizona! Despite winter is the most popular season to visit this extinct 11,500-foot volcano, travelers may ride the gondolas to the summit at any time of year to experience being on the state’s highest point.
The panoramic views are breathtaking. On a clear day, travelers may view both the Grand Canyon and the Sedona Red Rocks. We visited during the autumn season, when the colors were just starting to change, and were completely blown away by the breathtaking sights.
Lowell Space Telescope
West Mars Hill Road (928) 774-33581400 West Mars Hill Road
The Lowell Observatory has been enticing visitors looking to discover the marvels of the cosmos in the most stunning of dark sky settings since its inception in 1894.
It is almost unimaginable to walk in the footsteps of founder Percival Lowell, discoverer of the planet Pluto. Visitors may investigate the moon’s surface and observe Venus, Saturn, and other star formations via enormous refractor telescopes at the awe-inspiring observatory.
There’s something indescribably magical about getting up up and personal with our world. Nothing beats these sights coupled by the observatory’s dedicated, educated interpreters.
Volcano Sunset Crater
Sunset Crater-Wupatki Loop Road (928) 526-0502 x0 (FS 545)
Sunset Crater was the training ground for every US astronaut who stepped on the moon. This national monument was formed by the curtain of fire, a huge volcanic eruption that occurred in 1085. It was selected as the training site for astronauts preparing for their lunar landings because NASA considered it was the most comparable to the lunar surface.
With its loose cinders and solidified lava flows, the rugged, rocky volcanic landscape seems almost otherworldly. The 3,040-acre monument area serves as a memorial of a natural upheaval that occurred over 900 years ago.
If you do decide to go, be sure to wear excellent hiking shoes and watch your step since the volcanic surfaces may be quite sharp. As the astronauts ripped holes in their spacesuits, they found this. It’s better to find out here than than on the moon!
National Park Wupatki
Flagstaff, 928-679-236525137 N Wupatki Ln
This ancient Native American site has one of the world’s most preserved and culturally significant archeological sites. Wupatki is a 56-square-mile area of arid, rocky territory on the southern Colorado Plateau.
A self-guided tour of the Wupatki Pueblo ruins starts with a genuine Native American building only feet from the visitors center’s back door. This intriguing and lovely deep-red stone pueblo was breathtaking. It stood out against the bluebird sky above, covered with a clay-based mortar and placed on the dusty desert bottom.
And the views of the beautiful painted desert from this monument are simply breathtaking.
National Monument Walnut Canyon
928-526-33673 Walnut Canyon Rd.
The Ancient Puebloans built their houses inside this vast and beautiful canyon, drawn by the waters of Walnut Creek. While their voices have not been heard for 800 years, the history of these Native Americans lives on in the stunning remains of their cliffside residences.
Hiking is the greatest method to observe these old abodes. Visitors may explore the canyon on nine modest paths ranging in length from 0.7 to 14.5 miles.
We chose the Island Trail, a well-paved walk, on the advise of a park ranger. The walk is just a mile round-trip, but the 7,000-foot elevation and stairs that fall 185 vertical feet into the canyon make it quite hard. Being down isn’t that awful, but getting back up is a another matter. But it’s well worth it.
Archeologists think that the 25 ancient cliff houses were created by women in small caverns worn into the limestone cliffs by wind and water.
Builders collected roughly-shaped limestone boulders and mixed them with a gold-colored clay found in adjacent canyon deposits to make the home’s external walls. The doors were strengthened with wooden beams, and the inside walls were coated with layers of clay.
The scene, which was surrounded by towering cliffs and precipitous drop-offs, stole our breath away.
Northern Arizona Museum
N. Fort Valley Rd. (928) 774-52133101 N. Fort Valley Rd.
We went to the Museum of Northern Arizona to learn more about the lives and culture of the Native People who formerly lived and worked in this harsh desert climate.
The museum, which is located at the foot of the San Francisco Peaks on site holy to Native People, has an amazing collection of artwork and relics. It depicts the lives and culture of the peoples who inhabited the Colorado Plateau for almost a millennium.
The displays do an excellent job of relaying one story after another and portraying the difficult lives of folks who lived in this area.
Established in 1928, the museum’s purpose is to instill a feeling of love and responsibility for the area and its people’s beauty and variety. When we walked around the museum with one of the archeological and historical staff members, the message was loud and clear.
Everyone in our group was moved by the museum’s artifacts and exhibitions. The museum did an excellent job of merging the history of these residents with the area they loved.
You have to leave the city of your comfort and walk into the wilderness of your intuition, remarked actor Alan Alda. What you will find is fantastic: yourself.
Flagstaff is one of those beautiful locations where the natural beauty may provide calm and tranquility. But it also boasts a plethora of other fantastic features that combine to make it an outstanding getaway.