One Day Itinerary

If you only have one day to visit Flagstaff, these are the essential things you MUST do to get the most out of your day trip.

Visitors to Flagstaff can easily experience the destination as a one day trip, or one-and-a-half days with an overnight stay. Make the most of the day by arriving in Flagstaff in the early morning (allow for driving time from Phoenix or where-ever your trip begins) to view the San Francisco Peaks bathed in morning, midday and late afternoon light during your visit.

Don't waste time eating three meals a day. BRUNCH is the thing to do in Flagstaff; extra points if you dine al fresco in the spring and summer. Click here for our list of Top 5 Brunch Restaurants. When winter days are short, we recommend fueling up with a big early breakfast, skipping lunch and eating an early dinner in order to make the most of your daylight hours. But no matter where you dine, if you take our restaurant suggestions, you'll be rubbing elbows with locals and visitors alike.

Then, take a self-guided driving tour, a walking tour of downtown, or a fully guided round-trip tour to the Grand Canyon and back. If you stick to Flagstaff itself, forgoing the national parks and monuments nearby, spend the day doing a short day hike, visit the Lowell Observatory, Arboretum or Museum of Northern Arizona, then meander about downtown Flagstaff and its various art galleries, eateries and shops therein. You can even reserve and book a 4- to 8-seat bicycle pub crawl around downtown! Drive onto NAU's campus and work your way up to the NAU Skydome, or go up Highway 180 toward Arizona Snowbowl for terrific trails, photo ops and great views of the area. Finish the day on your way back to downtown or West Flagstaff for a late afternoon snack, happy hour or early dinner. Of course, you can mix up this itinerary or reverse it entirely. Flagstaff is so laid back, almost nothing (except the train and guided tours) happens on a particular timetable, so relax and go with the flow of Flagstaff's youthful, outdoor-focused energy. If you stay overnight, choose either an efficient hotel or motel, or indulge in a more upscale bed & breakfast that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive for a multi-night stay.

Here is a quick point-by-point "Greatest Hits" list of things to do in Flagstaff in just one (or one-and-a-half days), separated by season.

Spring/Summer

  • Outdoor Brunch - Patio dining is one of Flagstaff's number one past-times. We recommend:
    • Charly's at The Weatherford Hotel
    • La Bellavia
    • Criollo
  • Attend a Festival or the Flagstaff Community Farmer's Market - Check our Calendar of Events for dates and details
  • Visit the Arboretum at Flagstaff - Walk amongst high-elevation native plantlife and wildflowers; learn about birds of prey.
  • Day hike on the easy, aspen wooded 1.5 Lamar Haines Loop trail - From downtown, take Ft. Valley Road/Highway 180 to Snowbowl Road, on which you'll drive 4 miles to the Lamar Haines trailhead parking lot. Be sure to get a free Peaks Wilderness Backcountry Pass before you leave downtown.
  • Grab a beer - After all, Flagstaff is a drinking town with an outdoor problem
    • Flagstaff Brewing Company (aka "Flag Brew")
    • Beaver Street Brewery
    • Mother Road Brewery - Or, book the Alpine Pedaler &mdash a 4- to 8-person bicycle - and start at Mother Road and do a 2-hour pub crawl, having beers and drinks all over town.
  • Have dinner downtown - Choose a place within walking distance of your last watering hole, because &mdash y'know… better safe than sorry. Again, choose a restaurant with a great patio and take advantage of long days and late sunsets.
    • Cafe Ole
    • Josephine's
    • Cuvee 928

Fall/Winter

  • Early Breakfast - Get started at sun-up with plenty of carbs and protein to fuel all your cold weather activities
    • MartAnne's
    • Brandy's
    • Cafe Daily Fare
  • Hit the slopes - Spend the morning skiing or snowboarding at Arizona Snowbowl, or sledding and tubing at Wing Mountain, and snow biking, ski lessons and snowshoeing at the Flagstaff Nordic Center
  • Warm up with coffee, chai or hot chocolate - Check out Late for the Train on Ft. Valley Road or the location downtown
  • Take in an afternoon matinee - Enjoy live theater at Flagstaff Youth Theater or Theatrikos OR…
  • …Rock climb indoors - Flagstaff Climbing Center, located downtown, is great for everyone from beginners to experts.
  • Have an early dinner and drinks downtown - Try one of these:
    • Flagstaff Brewing Company (aka "Flag Brew")
    • Beaver Street Brewery
    • Mother Road Brewery
    • Pasto
    • Tinderbox Kitchen
    • Dara Thai
  • Visit Lowell Observatory - Early, dark night skies make for great star and planet viewing until 9:30 pm on Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat

One day may not be enough time to do and see all the one-of-a-kind attractions, activities and restaurants in Flagstaff AND fully adopt the laid-back, no-timetable kind of attitude that is pervasive in the locals' culture, but if you jam-pack your visit using the above suggestions, you're sure to go home with treasured travel memories and stories of northern Arizona's urban jewel.

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FLAGSTAFF, AZ WEATHER

Check out the weather conditions before you come. Winter and summer are popular, but there's no bad time to visit Flagstaff.
See Flagstaff Weather »

WHAT'S ON THE CALENDAR?

Our Flagstaff Event Calendar is full of festivals, workshops, art fairs, concerts and classes. Browse or add your event.
See the Event Calendar »

IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE DAY TO SEE FLAGSTAFF

These are the essential things you MUST do to get the most out of your day trip.
Plan Your Day Trip Here »

DRIVING DIRECTIONS TO FLAGSTAFF

Getting to Flagstaff is the first step. Driving is the most popular and practical way to get here.
Get Driving Directions from Nearby Cities »