Flagstaff, Arizona is a historic Route 66 town in northern Arizona. Grand Canyon National Park is not far, but there is much to see right in Flagstaff. With hot weather just around the corner it’s time to plan a cool weather getaway to Flagstaff. There is so much to see and do and the weather is so much cooler than it is in the Valley of the Sun. Flagstaff is an easy two hour drive up Highway 17 from Phoenix
Where to Stay
Websites such as Vacation Rentals by Owner list cabins, condos and houses for rent. You can also find motels and hotels at reasonable prices by booking online.
One particularly hot month in Phoenix we opted for a two bedroom rental in Flagstaff. It was a vintage home with yard within walking distance of the Beaver Street Brewery and Macy’s coffee shop. While it was located on the “wrong side of the tracks,” this vacation rental was cheap ($650 for a week) and convenient to both highways and walking streets.
Sights in Central Flagstaff
If you stay centrally, you can enjoy time around the Historic Heritage Square. Summer is time for musicians to play, children’s movies in the evening and some good people-watching as you dine al fresco in the local restaurants.
Make sure you at least walk through the lobby of the historic Hotel Monte Vista. They have a very nice Martini bar on the corner of the block. In Wheeler park, on weekends, there is a Farmer’s Market and Arts & Crafts fairs. Enjoy strolling the grassy park and pick up some local produce or art for your home.
Sights in Outer Flagstaff
Drive up Mars Hill to the world famous Lowell Observatory. You can tour the observatory, see Percival Lowell’s gigantic rotating telescope and even see the glass mausoleum where he rests overlooking the pines. In the evenings visitors are invited to special viewings of the heavens. These tours are best reserved ahead. A calendar of activities is available on their website.
Next to the university you can see Riordan Mansion, A excellent example of Arts and Crafts architecture. To find Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, just follow the brown signs on Riordan Road to the campus of Northern Arizona University. Start at the Visitors’ Center. There are historical displays and a book store. The docent-led tours of the Riordan Mansion start here. It is wise to make a tour reservation.
The mansion was constructed in just nine months. It was designed in the Arts and Crafts style by Charles Whittlesey who also designed the Grand Canyon’s El Tovar Hotel. It is worth a trip to see this mansion with surprising conveniences and beautiful period furniture.
The Museum of Northern Arizona is another must-do when staying in Flagstaff. The museum features the history and geology of the area as well as focusing on the native peoples. During the summer, the museum hosts cultural festivals which are, in themselves, worth a trip to Flagstaff.
Sights Oustide Flagstaff
When staying in Flagstaff, easy day trips await you. Many people use Flagstaff as a base when visiting the Grand Canyon National Park – South Rim. We highly recommend such sights as Sunset Crater National Monument and Wapatki Pueblo National Monument. Just east on I-17, Walnut Canyon National Monument has ancient cliff dwellings that you can actually visit and walk through. Just down the road, also is the amazing Meteor Crater, the world’s best preserved meteor impact site.
Flagstaff Visitors Information