Flagstaff Vacation Guide
With its rich history, scenic landscape and fascinating culture, Flagstaff, Arizona provides the perfect atmosphere for a short weekend getaway or extended vacation. Located nearly 80 miles south of the Grand Canyon, the small town of Flagstaff embodies diverse opportunities to appeal to the outdoor enthusiast. Those who enjoy indoor activates will not feel left out either due to Flagstaff’s wide array of options that appeal to those who would prefer shopping, museums or indoor musical concerts. The laid-back atmosphere of Flagstaff is only one of the many appealing attributes of this city, making it welcoming to solo travelers and families as well.
Lowell Observatory was established by astronomer Percival Lowell just west of downtown Flagstaff in 1894, making it one of the nation’s oldest observatories…read more
Museum of Northern Arizona
serves as a repository for more than 5 million Native American artifacts, natural science specimens and fine art pieces from the Colorado Plateau…read more
The Grand Canyon
Over 7 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. Shouldn’t you be one of them? Great vistas and hiking await. Less than a 4 hour drive from Phoenix…read more
Learning about Flagstaff
Founded in 1876, Flagstaff has an interesting and well preserved history. Part of that history is exhibited in the museums and parks of Flagstaff. The Riordan Mansion State Historical Park is an excellent example. This mansion was originally built in 1904 for Michael and Timothy Riordan and their families. These brothers were prominent figures in the development of Flagstaff. Their many contributions helped to build flagstaff into a success, with their most admired achievement being their lumber mill. This lumber mill employed nearly two thirds of Flagstaff residents and remained fruitful for over 50 years. Daily tours of the mansion allow visitors ample opportunity to take a step back in time and enjoy the ambiance of Flagstaff’s beginnings.
The Museum of Northern Arizona takes pride in celebrating the heritage of the Native American tribes of Arizona while exhibiting the state’s natural beauty. This museum offers exhibits as well as paintings, sculptures, Native jewelry, weavings, and pottery for purchase. The book store includes posters, books, DVD videos and more, all paying homage to Arizona’s grand history. Flagstaff is also home to one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the United States. Located on Mars Hill, the Lowell Observatory was founded in 1849 and is considered a national landmark. The Lowell Observatory is also the site where the dwarf planet Pluto was discovered.
The Great Outdoors
There are many outdoor activities to be explored in Flagstaff, in part, due to Flagstaff’s geographic location. Flagstaff is surrounded by forests and sits at the foot of Humphrey’s Peak, the mountain in Arizona. For those interested in biking, there are many mountain biking trails in and around Flagstaff that give way to exhilarating thrills and breathtaking mountain views. The biking possibilities are open to mountain bikers of all skill levels. The 10 ½ mile Round Mountain Loop Trail is an easy to moderate trail, perfect for beginners. There are many intermediate trails to choose from, one of which is the Flagstaff to Grand Canyon trail. This 65 mile trail draws bikers from all over the United States. Those seeking a challenge will love the many advanced trails. The Mt. Elden Trail boasts of a 2,000 foot elevation change from 7,100 to over 9,000 in only six miles. The hiking trails in Flagstaff are equally beautiful and perfect for a family outing. There are many trails to choose from, some of which are short and quick like the Crystal Forest Trail and other longer, more challenging trails like the Water Line Trail. The Flagstaff Disc Golf Club offers various disc golf course choices and welcomes both armatures and professionals alike.
For those who enjoy rock climbing, the list of possibilities is nearly endless. All levels of climbers will enjoy the various climbing challenges in the Flagstaff area. For those who lack experience, desire to grow or have never been climbing before, the Flagstaff Climbing center offers training. Their training classes range from those who have no experience to those who are advanced climbers, seeking to perfect areas of their skill. Flagstaff Climbing is located in the heart of the Flagstaff downtown area and is welcoming to families and children as young as five-years-old.
Flagstaff is not only a summer destination. Flagstaff averages 100 inches of snowfall per year, and is considered one of the snowiest cities in the United States. That being the case, Flagstaff is an excellent city for those who love winter sporting. Many parks are open during the winter and offer trails for visitors to enjoy cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and snowmobiling. Flagstaff also has its own ice skating rink, which is open for public skating throughout the year.
Shopping Entertainment and Lodging
The shopping experience in Flagstaff is diverse. Specialty boutiques, galleries and department stores offer shoppers of all types an exciting shopping experience. Within the borders of Flagstaff, shoppers can find an eclectic selection of goods that range from handmade gift items to name brand fashions. The Flagstaff Mall houses over 70 individual stores and several dining options, while downtown Flagstaff is known for the interesting gift and decorative items in the many boutiques.
The entertainment in Flagstaff is vibrant and refreshing, often providing a variance in entertainment opportunities, while always incorporating local culture and tradition. The summer months bring events like the Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture, which showcases traditional Hopi music, dancing, arts and cuisine. Throughout the year, Flagstaff hosts many musical artists, performers and theatrical events that are sure to please. Flagstaff also has a jubilant nightlife, including pubs, bars and dance clubs.
Flagstaff offers lodging options that fit with every vacationer’s desires. There are many camps for RV and tent dwellers in search of a more of a rustic experience. Resorts and cabins are also available. The hotel and motel options are multiple and include clean, simple and inexpensive motel choices up to the hotels that offer a more luxurious experience. Flagstaff also offers bed and breakfast lodging for those who crave that personalized and friendly service.
Once exposed to the many possibilities and options available in Flagstaff, it is easy to understand why visitors from around the world make this their vacation destination of choice. Flagstaff has a little bit of something for every person and every vacationing goal, while maintaining the relaxed and friendly atmosphere that leaves a positive impression with any visitor. For all of these reasons and many more Flagstaff is a wonderful selection for families, couples, friends or individuals looking to take a break from their everyday life and enjoy the relaxing simplicity of this charming town.
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