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What To See And Do In Flagstaff, Arizona

Updated on June 9, 2017

A Small City At 7,000 Feet On Historic Route 66

I first visited Flagstaff in 1994, on my way to a river trip through the Grand Canyon. A year and a half later, in the middle of winter, I was back again, en route to the Canyon's north rim to work at a snowbound retreat called the Kaibab Lodge. There I met the man I eventually married, who was born and raised in Flagstaff. And that secured my permanent connection to northern Arizona.

At the time, I felt like a tourist in "Flag," but, after a seven-year absence while my husband and I lived in my native New England and then on a Pennsylvania farm, we returned to Flagstaff, which is now very much my home, too.

Here, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite things to see and do in this city of about 65,000 (counting NAU college students), as well as my picks for places to eat, shop and stay if you're passing through, coming for an extended visit, or maybe even moving in. This certainly isn't an exhaustive list, but I hope it'll be a good start.

Photo (above) the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff was taken from Aspen Corner along Snowbowl Rd. Unless otherwise noted, the photos below were taken by me. All rights reserved.

Sample The History Of Flagstaff & Northern Arizona

Museums and Historical Sites

Flagstaff's museums and historical sites span hundreds, even thousands, millions and billions of years if you count the dinosaur bones and geology displays. Learn about the indigenous people who lived in the area well before the Europeans arrived and the early pioneers who started the little town along the railroad tracks.

Museum of Northern Arizona

The "MNA" is a wonderful place to visit, both inside and out. The museum's exhibits cover four main disciplines -- anthropology, biology, geology, and fine art -- with permanent exhibits in five galleries and changing exhibits in three others. After exploring the galleries, you can head outdoors and take a walk along the nature trail and check out the amphibian pond. The Old Courtyard features a Life Zone Exhibit, where museum-goers are introduced to the amazing diversity of the Colorado Plateau.

3101 N Fort Valley Rd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-5213

Website: www.musnaz.org

The Pioneer Museum

This museum is housed in the historic Coconino County Hospital for the Indigent, with exhibits featuring the history of Northern Arizona, including areas of interest such as ranching, logging, and transportation. Admission is just $3 for adults, $2 for ages 12 thru 18 and those over 60, and kids 11 and under get in free. There's free admission for all the first Saturday of each month.

2340 N Fort Valley Rd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-6272

Website: ArizonaHistoricalSociety.org

Riordan Mansion

I really enjoyed this tour and will do it again sometime. Riordan Mansion, built in 1904 for two Riordan families, is a wonderful example of the Arts & Crafts style of the times. The home has forty rooms, over 13,000 square-feet of living area, and servants' quarters, and was designed by the creator of Grand Canyon's El Tovar Hotel, Charles Whittlesey. Riordan Mansion and its beautiful grounds are an Arizona State Historic Park, right in the middle of the city.

409 W. Riordan Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928)779-4395

Website: AZStateParks.com

Wapatki National Monument

If you love wide open spaces and archaeology, I encourage you to take a drive through Wapatki, stopping along the way to see the sites and museum. The many ruins scattered throughout the Monument were built by the Ancient Pueblo People, soon after the eruption of nearby Sunset Crater in the 11th century. In total, there are more than 2,700 documented archaeological sites within Wupatki, but five of the largest ruins are close to the main road. The visitor center is located 33 miles northeast of Flagstaff. You can make a big loop through the area, meeting up with Highway 89 again near Cameron.

89 Historic US Highway 66
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 679-2365

Website: NPS.gov

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Source

Hike the .9-mile, well-maintained loop-trail into this 600-foot deep canyon and check out all the cliff dwellings along the way. These residences were constructed by the Sinagua Indians during the 12th and 13th centuries. Looking cross-canyon, a number of the dwellings can be viewed from the visitor center, perched on the edge of a cliff, where you can learn more about these long-ago inhabitants of Walnut Canyon. The Monument is located 10 miles from Flagstaff -- 7 miles east along I-40 and another 3 miles south on a spur road.

3 E Walnut Canyon Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ
(928) 526-3367

Website: NPS.gov

Read About the Grand Canyon - Flagstaff Stage Coach

I don't know about you, but I enjoy learning about the history of the places where I live or visit, and Flagstaff and northern Arizona in general (including nearby Grand Canyon) really do have a fascinating history. We're lucky that both our public library and the university library here in Flagstaff have extensive local collections, including this book....

Grand Canyon-Flagstaff Stage Coach Line : A History & Exploration Guide (Arizona and the Southwest)
Grand Canyon-Flagstaff Stage Coach Line : A History & Exploration Guide (Arizona and the Southwest)

This is the story of the stagecoach line that opened the Grand Canyon to the world and made Flagstaff the "Gateway to the Grand Canyon."

 

Flagstaff Then And Now - A really nice coffee table book and a good read too

This book about Flagstaff, past and present, is not only interesting and entertaining but also great to look at.

We got this book from our real estate agent when we bought our first home. (Gee, spend nearly $200k and get a free book! What a deal.) But it's actually a really interesting read with very good photography and makes a nice coffeetable book, keepsake or gift.

Sample Some Science In Flagstaff, Too

Did you know that Flagstaff is an international dark sky city? If not, just look up on a clear night -- which are most nights around here -- and you'll see why that's such a special designation, not to mention why Flagstaff is the home of Lowell Observatory, the Naval Observatory and the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI). And if you're a science buff, astronomy isn't the only discipline you can learn more about in Flag.

Lowell Observatory

Located at the top of Mars Hill, overlooking Flagstaff and the vast forest beyond, Lowell Observatory offers daytime guided tours, and tours, exhibits and telescope viewing in the evenings. There are also wide-screen, cinematic multimedia shows in the 6500-foot Steele Visitor Center.

1400 W. Mars Hill Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-3358

Website: www.Lowell.edu

The Arboretum

Source

Like wildflowers? The Flagstaff Arboretum has more than 2,500 species of the high-altitude beauties, along with a myriad of other native plants, bugs aplenty on display, a raptor program, several miles of hiking trails, greenhouses, and classes and workshops on gardening and natural history. Originally The Arboretum was the year-round home of philanthropist Frances McAllister, and its 200 acres were a working ranch with cattle and full-time staff. In 1981, she donated the land and created an endowment for an arboretum. I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. McAllister at several Lowell Observatory functions before her death. She was a lovely woman who left Flagstaff a real treasure.

4001 S Woody Mountain Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-1442

Website: www.TheArb.org

Festival of Science

This is an annual ten-day event with open houses, lectures, presentations, hikes and excursions for the whole family. The festival is held in September, a beautiful time of year in northern Arizona, and features some very accomplished and well-known featured speakers.

For More Information: www.SciFest.org

Enjoy The Great Outdoors Around Flagstaff

Surrounded by the Coconino National Forest

If you can't stand to be cooped up for too long, Flagstaff is a perfect place to be. And we're just an hour and a half from the South Rim of Grand Canyon and forty-five minutes from red rock country down in Sedona, not to mention in the middle of a National Forest.

Source

Coconino National Forest

Flagstaff is literally surrounded by the Coconino National Forest, part of largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world. Encompassing 1.8 million acres with an elevation span of 10,000 feet, the Coconino is one of the most diverse National Forests in the country, with vistas ranging from cactus-filled canyons to rolling grassland and snow-capped peaks. Recreational opportunities abound--hiking, camping, snowshoeing, rock climbing, skiing and more.

U.S. Forest Service Office
1824 S. Thompson St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
928-527-3600

Website: www.fs.fed.us

Hiking

This is my favorite form of exercise and relaxation, and there's no shortage of options in and around Flagstaff for hikes long and short, from leisurely walks in the woods to heart-pounding climbs and knee-pounding descents. One thing to be aware of, if you're not used to hiking at elevation, you're definitely going to feel it, fit or not.

Some of my favorite local trails include:

Campbell Mesa Loop Trails (easy)

Kachina Trail (moderate)

Elden Lookout Trail (strenuous)

Sandy's Canyon/Fisher Point (easy to moderate)

Inner Basin to Weatherford Trail (moderate to strenuous)

Red Mountain Trail (easy)

O'Leary Lookout Trail (moderate to strenuous)

See also: The Best Short Day Hikes in Flagstaff

Lake Mary

We do have some water here in Northern Arizona, including Upper (and, when there's enough water, Lower) Lake Mary. Upper Lake Mary begins twelve miles southeast of Flagstaff on Lake Mary Rd. The lakes are stocked with a variety of fish including trout, bass and channel catfish. Upper Lake Mary is popular with boaters, both motorized and non, and currently there's no motor size limit. (Most other lakes in the area have an 8 hp max.) When full, Upper Lake Mary covers about 450 acres at a maximum depth of 38 feet.

More information: www.FS.fed.us

Find Flagstaff Day Hikes

A great local guidebook

The Mangums are like local celebrities. For years, the tall twosome led guided walking tours around downtown Flagstaff, dressed in vintage clothing from pioneer times. They know the area, its history and its trails as well as anyone and better than most.

Open The Flagstaff Trails Map

If you want to hike around Flagstaff, I'd say this is a must-have map (along with the applicable USGS topo). We use ours all the time, in part to decide which trail to explore or revisit next.

Flagstaff Trails Map
Flagstaff Trails Map

This map is printed in full color on waterproof, tear-resistant synthetic paper. Mine has held up over a decade of frequent use.

 

ExperienceThe San Francisco Peaks

As high as 12,633 feet

These six peaks, the remnants of an eroded volcano, are sacred to many local American Indian tribes. And they're very special to me as well.

Mt. Humphreys

At 12,633 feet, Mt. Humphreys is the highest point in Arizona and is a mountain with many personalities, from mild-mannered to downright mean, but all of them beautiful. From Route 180, you can drive the 7-mile Snowbowl Rd. up to 9,200 feet at the ski lodge. From there, you can take in the view from your car, do an easy loop hike on the nature trail, play 18 "holes" of disc golf, or hike 9 miles, round trip, to the summit and back. But don't attempt the latter without first checking the weather forecast and being fully prepared for the often drastically different conditions at the top. When there's no snow on the peaks, this isn't a technically difficult hike, but it definitely is challenging and will probably take longer than you'd expect.

More information: AllHikes.com

Arizona Snowbowl

Located on Mt. Agassiz, Mt. Humphrey's neighbor, the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort offers 32 trails serviced by 4 chair lifts with a vertical drop of 2,300 feet from its highest point. There's also a cafe, where you can warm up and have a bite to eat, while watching the activity on the slopes. For those who want some additional exercise, Snowbowl allows snowshoers like myself to huff-and-puff our way up the slopes and lift lines, as long we stay off to the side and out of the way of those speedy downhillers.

Highway 180 & Snowbowl Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-1951

Website: ArizonaSnowbowl.com

The Scenic Skyride

Snowbowl isn't all about winter fun. During the later spring and summer months, you can take a half-hour ride aboard the chair lift to 11,500 feet. On a clear day, the view extends more than 70 miles, all the way to the Grand Canyon. At the top, a Forest Service interpretative specialist will answer any questions about the biology and geology of the area. Snowbowl Ranger Talks are held every Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10am to 4pm at the top of the Skyride, which runs daily from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, weather permitting.

Highway 180 & Snowbowl Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-1951

Website: ArizonaSnowbowl.com

Locket Meadow and the Inner Basin

If you don't mind a one-lane dirt road with some "breathtaking" drop-offs, then definitely make a trip up to Lockett Meadow. The meadow, surrounded by aspens and high peaks, has a day use area and over-night camping. From here, you can hike a mile and a half to the Inner Basin, the heart of the old volcano that became the San Francisco Peaks. Temperatures at Lockett Meadow are generally about 10 degrees colder than in the city, so go prepared for chilly nights, even in the summer.

More Information: www.FS.fed.us

Fitness In Flagstaff

Flagstaff is a pretty fit town. You'll always see folks out running, hiking, walking, biking. Until recently, this was also the site of the High-Altitude Training Center for Olympic athletes (which was the victim of budget cuts, unfortunately, though we hope it will return). Here are a handful of exercise facilities and opportunities within the city.

The Flagstaff Urban Trail System
The Flagstaff Urban Trail System | Source

Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS)

From PineCanyon.net: "The Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS) is designed for interconnecting residential areas to commercial centers, cultural centers, schools, recreational areas, public lands and other points of interest within and beyond the city limits." This combination of asphalt and dirt, non-motorized routes, comprising over 50 miles of trail with a total of 130 miles in the grand plan, provides lots of space for runners, cyclists, walkers, and inline skaters to do their thing without having to worry about traffic. The FUTS is also wheelchair accessible with many trailheads around the city.

Website: Flagstaff.AZ.gov


Flagstaff Athletic Club

The "FAC" is made up of two locations, one on the east side of town, the other on the west, with 110,000 square feet of indoor facitlities. Even visitors can make use of the state-of-the-art equipment, swimming pools, courts, saunas, indoor climbing walls and instructor-led classes for a daily fee. FAC is a member of the International Health & Racquet Sports Association and The Association of Quality Clubs, and participates in their reciprocal play program.

West Side:
1200 W. Route 66
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-4593

East Side:
3200 N. Country Club Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
(928) 526-8652

Website: FlagstaffAthleticClub.com

Aquaplex

This is truly one of the nicest municipal fitness facilities I've ever seen, with a cardio and muscle-toning area, an indoor track, volleyball and basketball courts, a fitness floor with classes of all kinds for all ages, a climbing wall and game room, a hot tub, and a large pool with lap lanes and organically-shaped free-swim area. You can pay daily admission or buy passes of various lengths. Certain discounts and childcare are available.

1702 N Fourth Street
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
(928) 213-2300

Website: Flagstaff.AZ.gov

Flagstaff YMCA

The Flagstaff YMCA offers cardio and strength-training equipment, circuit training, a gymnasium, an aerobics studio, rock climbing wall, outdoor play area, teen center, college resource center, locker rooms, preschool care and after school care, and personal training.

1001 N. Turquoise Road
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928)556-9622

Website: FlagstaffYMCA.org

Flagstaff Festivals & Other Free Fun

This is only a snapshot of the many fun and often free activities available in Flagstaff, some once a year, others on an ongoing or seasonal basis. There are art and craft fairs in Wheeler Park, a weekly summer farmers market, the annual county fair at Fort Tuthill, free movies and dancing lessons at Heritage Square, races short and long by road and trail, and a variety of parades, concerts and special events. One such event is Flagstaff Route 66 Days, when the streets of downtown are lined with vintage vehicles even a non-car-lover like me can appreciate.

Dancing on the Square, Heritage Square, Flagstaff
Dancing on the Square, Heritage Square, Flagstaff | Source

Dancing on the Square

Wanna learn how tango? What about some salsa dancing and a little swing? Well, then show up at 7pm in Heritage Square in downtown Flagstaff on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer and take some free lessons. Don't have a partner? That's fine, there's plenty of other people who don't either. And after the lesson is over, let the "social dancing" begin. Flagstaff's Social Dance club also offers lessons at other locations around the city on different nights.

Heritage Square:
6 E. Aspen Ave
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-7685

More information: Groups.Google.com/group/Flagstaff_Dance

Fourth of July Parade

The July 4th parade is a big event here in Flagstaff, with more than 10,000 people attending in years past. Like most cities and towns across the country, it's a day of games, music, bar-b-ques, energy and fun in Flagstaff.

Beaver, Aspen & San Francisco Streets

Flagstaff Festival of Science

Launch into Science during a 10-day family event at the beginning of the Fall season with star parties, open houses at observatories, interferometer tours, interactive talks, hikes and exhibits, Science in the Park, Mountain Campus Science and Engineering Day, the Fantastic Voyage and other popular activities.

Various locations around Flagstaff

More information: www.SciFest.org

Free Concerts

Other events at Wheeler Park include free summer concerts on Wednesdays throughout June, July and August, beginning at 5:30pm. Bring your blanket or folding chairs, a picnic, kids and dogs.

212 W. Aspen Ave
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-7690

Art in the Park

Wheeler Park, bordered by City Hall and the public library downtown, is the site of a whole slew of festivals and events throughout the year, including the juried Art in the Park festival, with live music, food vendors and activities for the kids. This event is held the first weekend of September, but white tents fill the park on many other weekends throughout the summer.

212 W. Aspen Ave
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-7690

Movies on the Square

There's a free show every Friday night at sundown from May to September (weather permitting) in downtown's Heritage Square, with live entertainment starting at 6pm before the movie. These events are sponsored by the Flagstaff Business Alliance. You can call the Movie Hotline for information on films and weather at (877)MOVIE-19 (877-668-4319). All movies are rated G or PG.

6 E. Aspen Ave

Flagstaff, AZ 86001

(928) 779-7685

More Information: FlagDBA.com

Explore Downtown Flagstaff

There's always something going on downtown, even in the middle of winter. And it sure gets cold and windy here at 7,000 feet. Still, pay a visit to our historic downtown, and I know you'll find something to do, see, eat and/or buy. Choose a sidewalk seat and just people-watch perhaps or grab a book and pull up a piece of grass in Wheeler Park. Here are a few suggestions:

Shopping

In addition to galleries and restaurants serving cuisine of many kinds and countries, downtown Flagstaff has lots of cool shops for just browsing or spending some serious cash. From outdoor stores to fashion boutiques and emporiums, here's a sampling of what you'll find:

Babbitt's Backcountry Outfitters

Aspen Sports

Seasoned Kitchen

Old Towne Shops

Animas Trading Company

Mountain Sports


Heritage Square

Heritage Square has been called Flagstaff's "living room," and for good reason. Built as part of downtown's transformation beginning in 1992, the square is a great place to hang out on a sunny afternoon, where you'll see people playing hacky sack and strumming guitars, having picnics or eating at one of the cafes that overlook the square. This is the site of many free afternoon and evening concerts and dance performances, the "movies on the square" summer events and free social dance lessons. Heritage Square features a flagpole base made up of the layers of the Grand Canyon and handmade benches that depict the different economies of the area.

6 E. Aspen Ave
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-7685

Website: HeritageSquareTrust.org

Flagstaff Public Library

Flagstaff has an excellent public library, in my opinion, with locations on both the west and east sides. The main branch is located downtown, next to Wheeler Park and City Hall. One thing the library doesn't have, though, are comfortable chairs, so if in-house reading or research is what you'll be doing, it might be a good idea to bring a pad. There is, however, a good-sized collection of computers if you'll be wanting to surf the net.

300 West Aspen Ave.
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
(928)774-8434

Website: FlagstaffPublicLibrary.org

Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour Around Downtown Flagstaff

Another local resource from the Mangums

This is a 3/4-mile walking tour of historic downtown Flagstaff, with two pages for each significant building (34 total), with historic and modern photos. Stories for each building combine to tell the early history of the town.





Take In The Arts in Flagstaff

Both visual and performance

Nearby Sedona may be an artist's mecca, but Flagstaff definitely holds its own in that area as well, with a growing number of galleries and cultural activities. Being the home of Northern Arizona University, we also have the opportunity to enjoy the wide range of performances that usually comes along with being a college town.

Coconino Center for the Arts

The Center for the Arts, with its 4,000 square-foot main gallery and 200-seat theater, is managed by Flagstaff Cultural Partners. The Center hosts concerts, festivals, art markets, workshops and other activities, including the annual Recycled Art Exhibition in April, the Flagstaff Folk Music Festival in mid-June, and the It's Elemental craft exhibition in December. You can also attend youth performances presented by local schools and through the Youth Celebrate Art & Culture exhibition in March. Next to the Center for the Arts is the Art Barn, featuring Native American art and jewelry.

2300 N. Fort Valley Road
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928)779-2300

Website: CulturalPartners.org

Flagstaff Artists Gallery

Located downtown below the Wine Loft (a really nice place to take five and have some sips and hors d'ouveres), the Artists Gallery features works by many local artists, from paintings and ceramics to metalwork, fabric art, decorative gourds and jewelry. And you'll always find an artist manning the shop if you have any questions or want to make a purchase.

17 N San Francisco St #1
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 773-0958

Website: FlagstaffArtistsGallery.com

Other Galleries

There's an ever-growing number of galleries in downtown Flagstaff and beyond. Here is just a sampling:

West of the Moon

Arizona Handmade Gallery

Arizona Piano, Clock & Fine Art Gallery

Old Adobe Traders

Beaver Street Gallery

First Friday Art Walk

My husband really hates to miss an Art Walk, and I enjoy them, too. Beginning at or before 6pm on the first Friday of each month, rain or shine, snow or hail, downtown comes alive with art-enthusiasts and others who just love to socialize. The downtown galleries (and other businesses that display local art) keep their doors open late for your viewing pleasure and often serve munchies, drinks and desserts to nibble and sip on while you peruse the talent on display. Indoor and outdoor entertainment often accompanies the artwork, especially in the warmer months.

Website: FlagstaffArtWalk.com

Flagstaff Open Studios

Held in September each year, more than 60 local artists open their studios all over the city to visitors. This is a self-guided tour featuring painters, sculptors, ceramicists, iron-forgers, glass blowers, jewelers, photographers, stained glass, weavers and hands-on art for children. Just pick up a map and pick the artists you'd like to visit. Drop in and see their work and works in progress. There's often hors d'ouvres to sample as well.

Website: Flagstaff-Arts.org

Theatrikos

This community theater company began in 1972 in the basement of the Weatherford Hotel, and nowadays puts on five major productions each year. In 2002, the group moved into the Doris-Harper White Community Playhouse, a downtown building constructed in 1923 as an Elks Lodge and later became the Flagstaff library. (Source: Wikipedia). The theater area is quite small, so all seats are good ones. I attended a talk there by author Diana Gabaldon but have yet to see a show.

11 W Cherry Ave
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-1662

Website: Theatrikos.com

Flagstaff Symphony

The symphony made its debut in Babbitt's Opera House, located in what today is the second floor of the Babbitt Building in downtown Flagstaff. Now the orchestra's home is Northern Arizona University's 1,400-seat Ardrey Auditorium. In 2009, the Flagstaff Symphony celebrates its 60th anniversary.

113 E Aspen Ave #A
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-5107

Website: FlagstaffSymphony.org

Enjoy The Flagstaff Nightlife & Entertainment

Here are some suggestions for what to do when the sun goes down (or before) in Flagstaff:

The Museum Club

Do you like to two-step? Or maybe just watch other people dance to some good ol' (and new) country music? This is a really fun place to do it. The historic Museum Club, also known as "The Zoo," started out as a taxidermy museum in 1931 as evidenced by the creatures that stare down at you from above. In 1936, the building was purchased by a Flagstaff saddlemaker, Doc Williams, who transformed the museum into a nightclub. The property has changed hands a number of times since then, sometimes barely surviving as a recording studio and rough and tumble roadhouse, but today it's a popular country western dance club, with live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. You can also stop in for afternoon off-track betting and play a round of pool before the foot-stompin' begins.

3404 E Route 66
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
(928) 526-9434

Website: TheMuseumClub.com

Charly's at the Hotel Weatherford
Charly's at the Hotel Weatherford | Source

Charly's Pub at Hotel Weatherford

This is a good place to eat and hang out, and a great place to listen to live music and dance. Some of the regular performers include The Tommy Dukes Band (blues), Tony Norris (storyteller, folksinger, and cowboy historian) and the Cadillac Angels (Americana, rockabilly and surf music). And if you arrive early, you can often beat the cover charge.

23 North Leroux St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928)779-1919

Website: WeatherfordHotel.com

The Orpheum

First constructed in 1911 by John Weatherford (of the nearby Weatherford Hotel) and fully renovated in 2002, the Orpheum Theater in downtown Flagstaff is the city's best indoor venue for live performances by local, regional, and nationally- and internationally-known artists. The facility, which was once a movie house and is still occasionally used as such, can also be rented out for private functions, large and small.

15 W. Aspen Avenue
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928)556-1580

Website: OrpheumPresents.com

The Amphitheater at Ft. Tuthill County Park

This is Northern Arizona's newest and largest outdoor amphitheater, which opened its gates in 2006. Shows have included performances by Willie Nelson, Queensryche, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, the Indigo Girls and the Neville Brothers, Garrison Keillor, as well as 3-day bluegrass festivals. In 2011, the lineup will include Cheryl Crow, Chris Isaak, and Steve Martin.

Office:
504 N Leroux St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-0899

Website: FlagstaffAmp.wordpress.com

The Green Room

You'll find all kinds of music at the Green Room, along with films, dance parties, karaoke and dance lessons on their big dance floor and two stages.

In addition to providing great live entertainment and fun, the Green Room is dedicated to being just that: green. They recycle glass, paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum cans/bottles, building supplies and anything else they can think of. Their soaps and cleaning supplies are earth friendly and the napkins they use are made from recycled materials. You can visit the Green Room's web site to see the new environmental efforts they're making and their schedule of events.

15 N Agassiz St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 226-8669

Website: FlagstaffGreenRoom.com

Harkins Movie Theater

At the moment, this is Flagstaff's only movie theater, ever since the mom-and-pop place, Movies at the Mall, shut down. So if it's a big-screen movie night or matinee you want, you'll need to choose from what's playing on one of Harkins' 11 screens.

1959 S Woodlands Village Blvd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-4700

Website: MovieTickets.com

My Favorite Flagstaff Eateries

My husband and I try not to eat out too much, but still we break down at least two or three times a week, for one meal or another. And we make the rounds amongst a pretty big list of restaurants. These are some of our favorites (not including our cheap stand-by, Taco Bell).

Dara Thai

We eat here every few weeks. Best Thai food I've ever had, especially the Jungle Tofu and Thai pasta with ground pork. If you don't like to set your mouth on fire, though, I'd recommend going with no more than a 2 on the 1-to-5 spicy scale. (You can even ask for a zero.) Don't worry, though, the staff is very prompt with the water pitcher. Dinner for two usually costs us no more than $26 with tax and tip.

14 S San Francisco St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-0047

Super Mandarin (aka Lu) Buffet

Too hungry to wait? Just walk in, grab a plate and visit any or all of the eight buffet stations as many times as you'd like. There's a wide variety of both Chinese and American dishes and desserts, and the price won't bust your budget. Lunch hour prices are a little less, but we can have dinner for two, plus drinks, tax and tip, for right around $25.

702 S Milton Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 773-0380

Hiro Sushi

Hands down our favorite sushi spot, and not just in Flagstaff. We've tried all five sushi-serving restaurants in town but always go back to Hiro's. The prices have gone up some in the past year, but the quality and quantity still beats the competition. We usually go for a combination of Maki rolls, but the sushi and sashimi specials are excellent too. And for those who don't like sushi, there's a whole menu full of Japanese dishes and some American choices as well.

1312 S Plaza Way (across from Safeway/Bed, Bath & Beyond)
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 226-8030

Website: HiroFlag.com

Mountain Oasis

Featuring delicious Mediterranean and American dishes, tasty soups and lip-smackin' desserts, Mountain Oasis is a bit on the pricey side but the quality of food and service is definitely up to par. At dinner time, the white tablecloths and candles come out, along with some live, soft guitar-playing in the corner. Mountain Oasis is located across from Heritage Square in downtown Flagstaff.

11 E Aspen Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 214-9270

Nimarco's Pizza

This is a family-owned business that's been around since my husband was a kid. We sometimes go to Nimarco's just to sit at a booth in a sunny window, sip on some sodas and talk. Or not. And the pizza is great, too, and the tax is included in the very reasonable prices. Large pizza and a couple of refillable sodas are around $18.

101 S Beaver St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-2691

Martanne's

When my husband and I eat at this little Mexican-American hotspot in downtown Flagstaff, we usually don't eat more than a snack the rest of the day. But bring cash, or you'll either have to wait while someone in your party makes a run to the ATM or wash a lot of dishes, because they don't accept credit cards.

112 Historic Route 66
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
928-773-4701

Diablo Burger

This little--and I mean little--burger joint opened in downtown Flag in 2009, and word spread quickly. And I agree; these burgers (made from grass-fed cows) are good! And I really like the seasoned fries, too. If you go, though, you've gotta not mind social seating, because the few indoor tables there are might have to be shared. On warmer days, you can also sit outside, because Diablo Burger is yet another eatery that borders Heritage Square. Oh, and this is another cash-only joint.

120 N Leroux St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-3274

Beaver Street Brewery

This brew and chew is a bit pricey but really good, especially the gourmet pizzas. They also make a really good burger, and their salads and warm bread are delish.

11 S Beaver St #1
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 214-0408

Website: BeaverStreetBrewery.com

My Favorite Flagstaff Coffee Shops

Coffee shop sittin' is one of my husband's and my favorite pastimes, especially on lazy weekend afternoons. There are many to choose from in Flagstaff, even those that have live entertainment and full menus, but these are our top three choices for caffeine, baked goodies and lots of good conversation.

Campus Coffee Bean

Of all the coffee shops in Flagstaff, this one is our favorite. We just like the atmosphere the best of them all and will often spend hours here, yacking, brainstorming our next big idea, and using our laptop. Besides coffee and baked goods, "The Bean" offers breakfast and lunch items and sometimes some mellow, live entertainment.

1800 S Milton Rd # 24
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 556-0660

Website: CampusCoffeeBean.com

Macy's European Coffee House

Californian Tim Macy opened his coffeeshop in downtown Flagstaff in 1980, making it the first commercial coffee roaster in Arizona. Nearly three decades later, Macy's European Coffeehouse is as good and busy as ever. They serve an all-vegetarian menu with an assortment of wheat-free, dairy-free and vegan options and lots of yummy baked goods to go along with their excellent coffees. I'm not much of a coffee-drinker, really, but still I crave a Macy's Special every now and again.

14 S Beaver St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-2243

Website: MacysCoffee.net

My Favorite Flagstaff Bookstore

Just one, you say? Yes, well, the choice of bookstores in this city at 7,000 feet is more limited than it used to be, with fewer mom-and-pop, independent operations still chugging along but one big Barnes & Noble (which is nice, too). But there's still little Starlight Books downtown, with its very good southwestern section, and one of our favorite hangouts, part of a three-store, Arizona chain, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange.

Bookman's

If you have some books lying around that you're really not attached to, bring them to Bookman's and you might just get some credit to trade for something new (but used) to read. And Bookman's is more than just a bookstore. They've got music and movies, electronics and knicknacks and miscellaneous treasures for sale around the store. There's a coffeeshop area where you can sit and read and eat, and you can bring in your own food if you'd like, along with your dog. And comfortable chairs await here and there, so you can make yourself at home and read an entire book right there in the store.

1520 S Riordan Ranch St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-0005

Website: Bookmans.com

Unique Flagstaff Hotels And B&B's

I've never actually stayed at any of these places, but I pass by them nearly every day, along with a number of other Flagstaff hotels and motels. The range of choices is a big one, from 5-star, well-known hotels to historic inns to no-frills, bare bones motels along old Route 66. Here are a few of what I consider the more unique and/or homey places to stay.

The Weatherford

Source

On the first day of the year 1900, The Weatherford opened its doors to the public. Over the next century (and then some), the building has gone through a number of changes. It once housed Flagstaff's first telephone exchange company, a number of restaurants, a theater, a radio station, and a billiard hall. It's also survived fire, world wars, and a planned demolition. Today, The Weatherford is more than just a hotel; it's a downtown destination. Steve and I often go there for their "ultimate nachos" and live entertainment. The hotel is the sight of the annual Pine Cone Drop on New Year's Eve.

23 North Leroux St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928)779-1919

Website: TheWeatherford.com

The Inn at 410

Located in the heart of downtown, the Inn At 410 was featured in the April, 2009 issue of National Geographic's Traveler Magazine and was voted by Phoenix Magazine one of Arizona's "best weekend adventures." The original structure was built in 1894 as a single-story, one bedroom residence for a Flagstaff attorney, who later went on to become the first Territorial Attorney General for Arizona from 1905-1909. The building has since changed owners and been expanded, restored and renovated a number of times, and now includes ten distinctive guest rooms and suites. All have private baths, fireplaces, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and DVD/VHS/CD players with movie libraries.

410 N. Leroux St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-0088

Website: Inn410.com

The England House

Built in 1902, this one-of-a-kind Coconino and Moenkopi stone house is on the National Register of Historic Places. This B&B, located near downtown Flagstaff and close to Lowell Observatory, has been recommended by Frommer's and featured in Sunset Magazine.

614 W Santa Fe Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 214-7350

Website: EnglandHouseBandB.com

Here's Something Fun To Do In Flagstaff....

Group Walks and Snowshoe Outings: Get some exercise and meet new people by participating in free, easy to moderately difficult group walks and snowshoeing events around town. These outings take place on both weekends and weekdays. For more information and a schedule, email ADILLLO@aol.com or call Jack Welch at 928-714-0504.

© 2009 Deb Kingsbury

Have You Been To This City At 7,000?

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    • ebook-maniac profile image

      ebook-maniac 3 years ago

      very informative

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image
      Author

      Deb Kingsbury 3 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      @anonymous: Welcome to Flag! I hope you enjoy living here as much I have. If you have any questions, feel free to use the contact me link in my profile here to email me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Thank you for writing this up. I just moved here from NJ and I love it here but I certainly feel like just another lost tourist. Very informational highlighting great spots I can't wait to explore!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very informative lens, Flagstaff is a unique little city, the natural settingis spectacular. The movie Easy rider has several scenes filmed in that area riding through Fagstaff and Sunset crater Natl. Mon. with the Byrds playing in the background and through the Painted desert with the Band. pretty cool.

    • jeffersonline profile image

      jeffersonline 4 years ago

      Sorry---I forgot to leave some Angel Dust here....Blessed!

    • jeffersonline profile image

      jeffersonline 4 years ago

      What a great lens! My wife and I travelled over to Colorado and were married in the Rockies...it wasn't till we got to the USA we realised just how vast the country is. My wife is in Tucson next week for five days, I hope she gets a chance to visit. BTW - love the brown boxes - are they easy to 'do'?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'd like to have a cold one at the Museum Club.

    • profile image

      mwiener 4 years ago

      Thanks for this lens. My cousin mentioned this place to me...

    • JohnCumbow profile image

      JohnCumbow 4 years ago

      I have driven through Flagstaff a couple of times, but never really spent time there. I had no idea how much there was to see! Next time I'm in the area, I'll bring along a copy of your lens as a guide.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 4 years ago from California

      I've been to Flagstaff several times and enjoy it. Like you said, there are many things to do, see, and experience, plus it's so close to Utah and the Grand Canyon.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have only lived up here for a year for NAU and I love it! The only disappointing thing is that there isn't a lot, or so it seemed before finding this site, for people under 21 to do. Thanks so much for posting this, lots of great ideas now!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I've lived in Flag for 6 years, and loved this post! Got some new ideas for date nights and hiking - thanks!

    • profile image

      sdmary 5 years ago

      Looks like a great place to retire!

    • profile image

      sheergood 5 years ago

      We did Route 66 in April and it was the best trip ever. Loved Flagstaff!!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I have visited many times, having lived in Arizona more than once. Also, had a cousin in Flagstaff for many years. Great job, here. Thanks for sharing... ;-)

    • profile image

      frugal123 5 years ago

      We loved it when we visited Arizona! Great site.

    • SecondHandJoe LM profile image

      SecondHandJoe LM 5 years ago

      This is great! I've never been to Arizona- only through the magazine my dad got when I was young,"Arizona Highways". I feel more now like I've been there, then ever.

    • LotusLandry profile image

      LotusLandry 5 years ago from Southern California

      I passed through once. This len is very comprehensive and useful to both a visitor and a prospective resident.

    • BlueTrane profile image

      BlueTrane 5 years ago

      I've been in and through Flag many times. But after reading your lens I realize how little of it I've actually "seen".

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like what I see...Will put this in my list.

    • profile image

      ScottsdaleAgent 5 years ago

      Flagstaff is a great town and I love visiting. The downtown area is so charming. This lens is a great resource!

    • Sensitive Fern profile image

      Sensitive Fern 5 years ago

      I'm going to Sedona for the second week of November so I'm sure I'll have time to explore Flagstaff. I'm so excited to visit!

    • Lee-Reviews profile image

      Lee-Reviews 5 years ago

      Hi, Ramkitten!

      I went through Flagstaff once, not realizing that Northern Arizona was any different from Southern. It was February, and boy was I surprised at all the snow! Your lens is fantastic and it looks like a very adventure-packed place to reside, with some pretty nice architecture to boot.

      I am currently promoting my Jack3d supplement lens and have been becoming increasingly interested in different fitness options that would be good for myself and my family.

      I am now (after giving this lens a hearty 'thumbs up') going to check out your Jazzercise article. It kinda sounds like fun.

      Thanks for the quality information and beautiful photos!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      No, but I sure want to go! This lens is so full that I must come back and explore later. We're very interested in the Southwest, since I've been diagnosed with a lung problem. Thanks so much for all the info.

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 6 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Wow! Flagstaff looks awesome!

      Blessed by a Squid Angel**

    • profile image

      floresbrowns 6 years ago

      Hi,

      Amazing post. Fabulous Lens you have Dear...

      Best of luck..

    • profile image

      maymaychin 6 years ago

      wow...nice info!!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      What a beautiful lens! No, I've not been to Flagstaff, but the parts of Arizona that I have seen were beautiful.

    • profile image

      pjo9999 6 years ago

      This is a terrific article with so much information. I traveled through Arizona many years ago but have not been to Flagstaff but thanks to your informative article I would like to pack up and go today. Thanks for the information.

    • sallemange profile image

      sallemange 6 years ago

      My partner went to Flagstaff for part of his MBA from the UK. He loved it. He went to Meteor Crater and kicked himself for not getting the Lowell Observatory because he loved astronomy since he was a kid. What a great lens.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I have not been to Flagstaff..but you have certainly perked my interest. Blessed and added to my United States Travel Angel lens

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      This is a great lens. I was passing by and I spent only 3-4 hours in Flagstaff, so I learned 10 times more from your lens about this town. Excellent presentation, beautiful pictures, huge amount of useful information... next time I know what I need to see.

      Thanks so much, love your lens

      Regards.... I find your lens in lenslike.com

    • profile image

      TWOnline2 6 years ago

      Flag is nice in the summer. i may check out the places listed. thanks.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 6 years ago from Washington KS

      What an exceptional lens!! Beautifully made.

      My brother and nephew just returned from a trip to Flagstaff and had a wonderful experience.

    • profile image

      WriterBuzz 6 years ago

      Very nice lens. Thanks. I gave you a thumbs up, because it's a nice lense.

    • profile image

      WriterBuzz 6 years ago

      Very nice lens. Thanks. I gave you a thumbs up, because it's a nice lense.

    • profile image

      Fit_Over_40_Buzz 6 years ago

      Nice idea for a lens. Very informative. Gave you a quick thumbs up.

    • profile image

      Fit_Over_40_Buzz 6 years ago

      Nice idea for a lens. Very informative. Gave you a quick thumbs up.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This is so beautiful and so well done. I love the colors. What a great resource for travelers to Flagstaff as well as locals. Great work.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image
      Author

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      @paperfacets: Hmm, no I don't. I hadn't thought of that. I just linked the lenses together. Thank you for another idea! :)

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      Another thorough and inviting lens about Flagstaff. Do you have a Flagstaff lensography?

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 7 years ago from Lancaster PA

      One of my old boyfriends lived in Flagstaff during the Iranian Hostage Crisis,

      He was an Iranian. And he loved Flagstaff!!

      ####blessed####

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      This lens looks like a postcard! It's wonderful and Flagstaff seems wonderful too! Wow! Another "unusual" town to add to my collection of towns I'd like to visit in the US!

      Thanks for such a beautiful lens.

      Dom.

    • rebeccahiatt profile image

      rebeccahiatt 7 years ago

      You have really showcased Flagstaff, I want to visit sometime.

    • ayngel boshemia profile image

      Ayngel Overson 7 years ago from Crestone, Co

      Hubby is a native Arizona boy (Safford) but when the subject of moving back to AZ came up neither of us were too interested... I am a Colorado girl born and bred, so leaving my mountains and trees, and clean quiet Colorado air behind was a no go.

      Then I saw Flagstaff and instantly felt like I was home. On my list of a great many things I plan to do, living in Flagstaff is one of them. Thank you for the grand tour!

    • profile image

      ScottsdaleRealEstate 7 years ago

      On an exploring venture thru Flagstaff a couple years ago, I was amazed to discover all the volcanic fields in the area, especially in Cinder Lakes. I had no idea that they actually used the area for an astronaut training program. Pretty Cool!

    • ssuthep profile image

      ssuthep 7 years ago

      A great guide to Flagstaff. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I've been through Flagstaff 3 times on my way to Sedona. Interestingly I thought it looked at lot like my hometown in BC Canada. And then when you get to Sedona, everything totally changes! -:)

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 7 years ago

      I spent a week in Flagstaff at N.Arizona Uni on a visit from Nottingham UK. I was with 4 friends and we got pulled up by the police in Flagstaff for doing 35mph in a 30 limit!! I thought we were going to be shot until the officer realised we were tourists! Did a project for a wood cutting company that did blocks for stencilling. Happy days.

    • Suzie-Shine profile image

      Suzie-Shine 8 years ago

      What a super lens. I remember staying in Flagstaff when I did some travelling and was on my way to the Grand Canyon - but don't remember all of that! What a lot I must have missed.

      Suzie

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Awesome collection of Flagstaff information... you captured all of my favorites and made me want to come back and explore more!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 8 years ago from Southampton, UK

      It certainly looks like there is a lot to do in this fascinating place. I would love to tour out west one day. 5*****.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      This is a wonderful visit to Flagstaff. I will use it if I get the chance to go there again.

      Thanks for thinking about my group, late last night.

    • MsSnow4 profile image

      Carol Goss 8 years ago

      I love Arizona and flagstaff would be the perfect place to live, Thanks for sharing

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 8 years ago from Concord VA

      Wow! There's a lot to do in Flagstaff! Great pictures! Great info! Great lens! 5*s!

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 8 years ago

      Like Kiwi said, we went to Flagstaff briefly and loved it! I wish I were there right now, sometimes the New England weather gets to me. Good luck with making Giant Squid this quarter!

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 8 years ago from Western Mass

      great info. i want to go to flagstaff so badly.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 8 years ago

      excellent, excellent...5*

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      You really did a great promotional lens! One that is getting an angel blessing! :)

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      I've been to Flagstaff, but I didn't spend much time there. I was on my way to the Grand Canyon coming from Sedona (which I've been to a few times). Excellent work, I'm lensrolling to my Grand Canyon lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Beautifully done lens!