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Explore Old Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona

Updated on May 28, 2020
Ramkitten2000 profile image

I've lived in Flagstaff, AZ, since 2003, where I'm an active member of the Coconino County Sheriff's Search & Rescue team and an avid hiker.


Welcome to a Tour Of The Highest City on the Mother Road (at 7,000 Feet)

Here, let me drive.

We'll begin on the west side of town and take Route 66 east through Flagstaff until it departs towards Winona, where it disappears once again under Interstate 40.

I'll point out some of the highlights on the way across town and make a few detours to show you what's close to this surviving and thriving section of the historic "Main Street of America."

Pull Over For A Moment - For two Route 66 visitor polls....

Have you been on Route 66?

See results
Route 66 Flagstaff
Route 66 Flagstaff | Source

And have you been to Flagstaff, Arizona?

See results

Want To Have A Milkshake At The Galaxy Diner? We can listen to the jukebox and look at the old celebrity photos all over the walls.

The Galaxy Diner on Route 66 in Flagstaff
The Galaxy Diner on Route 66 in Flagstaff

After leaving I-40 on your way to Flagstaff from Williams and merging onto Route 66, you'll soon see the Galaxy Diner, across from a Days Inn motel. Located at 931 W. Route 66, this '50s-style diner has a great ambiance and, in my experience, great food and service too. I often bring my mom here for their hearty, affordable breakfasts. And they make a mean burger and fries, which can be topped off by homemade pie and ice cream.

The Galaxy hosts Friday night Flagstaff Route 66 Car Club meet-ups, when you can admire their shiny, classic cars out in the parking lot. And get a free swing dance lesson at the diner on Saturday night.

Or How About A Visit To The Salad Bar At Granny's Closet? Follow Route 66 as it merges with South Milton (Rt. 89), and you'll see Granny's on the right.

Granny's Closet on Route 66 in Flagstaff
Granny's Closet on Route 66 in Flagstaff

Granny's Closet is a popular family-style restaurant and sports bar, established in 1974. And that 10-foot tall, 990-pound, painted cedar man standing outside? That's Louie the Lumberjack. There are two Louies, actually, one here at Granny's Closet and the other on the campus of Northern Arizona University, outside the Walkup Sky Dome. Louie the Lumberjack is NAU's mascot.

Need A Place To Stay Right On Route 66 In Flagstaff? You'll see lots of options for lodging on our way across town.

Motels on Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona
Motels on Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona | Source

Hotels and motels right on Route 66 through Flagstaff run the gamut from fairly pricey to pretty close to dirt cheap. Here are some of your options....

Radisson Woodlands Hotel Flagstaff: 1175 W. Route 66 -- (928) 773-8888

Days Inn: 1000 West Route 66 -- (928) 774-5221

Rodeway Inn Downtown: 122 W Route 66 -- (928) 774-5081

66 Motel: 2100 E. Rt. 66 -- (928) 774-8993

Howard Johnson Inn Flagstaff: 801 W Route 66 -- (928) 774-3381

Super 8 - Flagstaff West: 602 W Route 66 -- 928-774-4581

Western Hills Motor Hotel: 1580 E. Route 66 -- (928) 774-6633

America's Best Value Inn: 1990 E. Route 66 -- (928) 774-2779

Howard Johnson Inn: 3300 E Route 66 -- (928) 526-1826

Best Western Pony Soldier: 3030 E. Rt. 66 -- (928) 526-2388

Hotel Aspen Inn Suites Flagstaff: 1008 E. Route 66 -- (928) 774-7356


Here's A Place To See Just Up The Hill From Route 66

One of the oldest observatories in the U.S., where Pluto was discovered.

Moving on from Granny's Closet and just after passing beneath the railroad overpass, you'll see the turnoff on the left to West Santa Fe Avenue. Take Santa Fe for about a mile, up the winding hill, past the scenic overlook and onto the grounds of Lowell Observatory, where you can make a stop at the visitor center, browse the interactive exhibits, and sign up for a tour. You can check out the sun, moon, stars, planets and other celestial bodies through one or more of the telescopes open to visitors.

Learn More About Lowell

Lowell Observatory And Life On Mars (Hill)

The first time I heard about Lowell Observatory was when my future husband, Steve, brought me to his hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1995, shortly after we'd...

There's City Hall, Right On Route 66 --Sometimes you'll see a festival or some folks standing up for a cause on that grassy lawn.

Flagstaff City Hall on Route 66
Flagstaff City Hall on Route 66 | Source

City Hall is located after the railroad underpass and the turnoff to Sante Fe Avenue.

Feel free to stop in and ask questions, or visit the official Flagstaff government website for information on city services, events, parks and recreation, and more.

And Here's Historic Downtown Flagstaff

Downtown Flagstaff from Route 66 with the San Francisco Peaks in the background
Downtown Flagstaff from Route 66 with the San Francisco Peaks in the background | Source

There's always something to see and do downtown. Choose from a wide variety of restaurants, coffeeshops and cafes, browse a myriad of shops, take a sidewalk seat and just people-watch, or grab a book at the public library and pull up a piece of grass in Wheeler Park. During the warmer months, there are often free festivals and fresh-air entertainment to enjoy and a weekly Flagstaff Community Farmer's Market.

Route 66 Through Downtown Flagstaff - Let's pull off into the Visitor Center parking lot and take a look around.

Here's a short video of what you'd see from there....

Enjoy Route 66 Days Festival In Flagstaff - Including one of the largest vintage car shows in Arizona.

Route 66 Days in Flagstaff, Arizona
Route 66 Days in Flagstaff, Arizona | Source

Celebrate the spirit of Route 66 in this fun-filled weekend of vintage, fast and fancy cars, arts, crafts, and other activities around downtown Flagstaff. Held in September, this event is the largest annual gathering of Route 66 fans. During the festival, you can meet Route 66 authors, artists, preservationists, and collectors.

The Flagstaff Train Station

Flagstaff Train Station on Route 66
Flagstaff Train Station on Route 66 | Source

The Amtrak station, located in downtown Flagstaff right on Route 66, was formerly the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway depot. Built in 1926, the station now doubles as a visitor center.

Two Amtrak passenger trains stop in Flagstaff each day, while more than 100 freight trains pass by, following alongside Route 66 from one end of town to the other.

A Mural Along Route 66 - One of many displays of public art in Flagstaff

Public Art Along Route 66 in Flagstaff
Public Art Along Route 66 in Flagstaff

Created in 2007 by mountain-biking artist, Lyle Motley, this large mural is located on the side of the Absolute Bikes bikes building on the corner of Route 66 and North Agassiz Street. It took Lyle two months to complete the mural, which is loaded with cool details, like the bandaids on the biker's knee and elbow. If you're going to spend some time downtown, might as well walk over to Absolute Bikes to take a closer look at this work of art.

Hungry Again? Let's Stop At The Crown Railroad Cafe - We can have a bite to eat and watch the trains go by.

Crown Railroad Cafe on Route 66
Crown Railroad Cafe on Route 66

Located at 3300 E. Route 66, past Steve's Boulevard, the Crown Railroad Cafe and its counterpart on the west side of town serve American-style meals in a 1960s diner-style atmosphere. If you grab a booth by the front windows, you'll see the trains passing by on the other side of Route 66, while the miniature train runs along the tracks that run along the diner walls.

Let's Kick Up Our Heels At The Historic Museum Club - Just past the Crown Railroad Cafe and the bowling alley.

The Museum Club on Route 66 in Flagstaff
The Museum Club on Route 66 in Flagstaff

Do you like to two-step? Or maybe just watch other folks dance to some popular country tunes, old and new? Well, this is a 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 still stare down at you from above.

In 1936, the building was purchased by a Flagstaff saddle-maker, Doc Williams, who transformed the museum into a nightclub. The property has changed hands several times since then, sometimes barely surviving as a recording studio and rough and tumble roadhouse. 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 dancing begins.

The Museum Club, Circa 1932

The Museum Club on Old Route 66 in Flagstaff
The Museum Club on Old Route 66 in Flagstaff | Source

A Photographic History of Flagstaff

Written by local historians, Richard and Sherry Mangum

I have this book on my own coffeetable.

Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona
Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona

© 2010 Deb Kingsbury

Have You Been To (Or Through) Flagstaff? On Route 66, of course!

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    • MVKilgore profile image

      M. Victor Kilgore 

      6 years ago

      I used to go thru Flag on the way to Kingman, AZ 3 or 4 times per that countryside.

    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for this -- I have been through Flagstaff~!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Enjoyed it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Cool Lens! I always look foward to going through Flagstaff, it's like a mountain oasis in the middle of the desert. We always stop at Little America it's a great place for a pitstop, and Rod's steakhouse in Williams for a good meal. Flagstaff and Route 66 are such a great pieces of Americana. I also like the stretch of highway 89 as you make the steep climb towards Flag through the ponderosa pine forrests.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i have only driven through on our way east or west on I 40, but i can see that next time we need to stop and spend some time here, thanks for the info

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I've never driven through Flagstaff but it does look like an interesting trip. Super lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Want to jump in my car and drive to Flagstaff. Love many of the old Route 66 towns.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You have made a beautiful piece on Flagstaff and included it as the Mother Road landmark. Now I see what I missed while wandering through in jus a day (and a night at Roadhouse)....

    • LikinTrikin LM profile image

      LikinTrikin LM 

      9 years ago

      Cool lens....we haven't been to Flagstaff...yet. Although we've been close. Hopefully after our move we'll have the time and opportunity to visit.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You were my lucky 300 poll. Cool lens.

    • puerdycat lm profile image

      puerdycat lm 

      9 years ago

      I've been coming through and stopping in at Flagstaff since '67 (oh my!) and just love it.

      Thanks for a marvelous visit! I love the southern routes, but just love "route 66." I'm due for a pass through; my last was about 5 years ago.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      9 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I must get there someday! Blessed

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Wxcellent idea for a squid.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Cool lens. I love route 66 for long spring or fall drives. Usually to clear my head for a few days.

    • Sami4u LM profile image

      Sami4u LM 

      10 years ago


      I did all of Rt66 and I remember Flagstaff very well. A small car and and elk, need I say more. Speaking of scaring the mother road of of a person.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice drive through, I have always liked visiting Flagstaff. Last time was I think 1980 in February and a bit chilly.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a great little trip through Flagstaff. I had the song running through my head the whole time I was reading it. Thanks for the fun glimpse!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Wow, another great resource for Flagstaff, Arizona. They need to put you on the payroll. Great work.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Woah! What an interesting lens. Love that Galaxy dinner. I remember the old 'Route 66' TV series, it made me want to travel that road, and your lens has just re-awakened that :0) 5 stars.

    • justholidays profile image


      10 years ago

      You definitely put an end to my dream of a sunny and ever hot Arizona, Debbie! I'm the most sad person in the world at the moment - but for some minutes only because I'm blessing this lens, it's too much! Love the Galaxy Dinner that represents the fantabulous American dream!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I love this lens about your beloved city of Flagstaff. Great pictures and information.

      Someday I would like to visit there. I seen your tweet that you are going canoeing today, you lucky duck! ~ I wish you all the best on you journey in a couple of months, and with this GREAT LENS! ~


    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      10 years ago from Massachusetts

      Awesome! I really feel like I drove through Flagstaff. I was there for a quick drive through the city in 2005, not enough time to really get to know the city. I remember the temperature dropping by fifteen degrees from what the temperature was in Sedona, where we drove from that day. I'm lensrolling this to my Grand Canyon lens.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      10 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Enjoyed my 'drive' through Flagstaff on Route 66 with you. Glad you drove slowly so I could see all the wonderful sights! I can see why you like living in Flagstaff.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Yes, I've been through were driving & it is a good thing, too as there was a lot for me to look at!

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      Flagstaff looks like a nice place to live!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      10 years ago from La Verne, CA


      You do good work. I really got a feel for Route 66 in Flagstaff. Thanks so much. Of course, this is going into the group lens.


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