With just two days to visit Flagstaff, you have just about the right amount of time to explore Flagstaff and the national parks and monuments surrounding the area.
Ideally, visitors to Flagstaff should try to experience the destination, following this suggested itinerary, as a two-and-a-half day trip, with 2 overnight stays. Make the most of the trip by arriving in Flagstaff as early in the morning as possible (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.
As we recommended in our One Day Itinerary, make the most of your time by combining two meals a day; enjoy one of many Flagstaff restaurants' brunch offerings to sustain your energy til dinnertime, or have a big early breakfast, then a midday, energy-boosting snack, and an early dinner. You'll still experience the best of Flagstaff's restaurant scene, but have more time to be out-and-about, trekking around northern Arizona.
Here is a quick point-by-point "Greatest Hits" list of things to do in Flagstaff and northern Arizona in two (or two-and-a-half days.) If you follow our One Day Itinerary for Day One, pay attention to the suggestions by season. On this itinerary, Days Two and Three are equally do-able in warm weather as cold; you'll probably just need to allow for slower driving conditions and appropriate layered clothing.
- Follow our One Day Itinerary. It's a great way to kick off your trip and give you the best of Flagstaff itself.
- Grab a hearty, early breakfast by 6:00 am
- Mike & Rhonda's The Place
- Kickstand Kafe
- The Crown Railroad Cafe
- Head out to visit the area's national parks and monuments and plan to spend about 8 hours exploring and driving:
- Grand Canyon National Park - Spend at least 3 hours at the South Rim. Directions for the three possible routes to the Grand Canyon, each about 3 hours round trip, can be found here
- If you go through Williams, visit Bearizona Wildlife Park on your way back to Flagstaff.
- If you leave the park via Desert View Drive, returning through the East Entrance called Desert View, you can hit Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater on your way back via Highway 89.
- Walnut Canyon National Monument, Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest National Park - Heading east of Flagstaff along I-40, you can hit all three of these attractions. Directions can be found here
- Walnut Canyon - Take 60-90 minutes to hike along the Rim or Island Trails to view ancient pueblos and cliff dwellings
- Meteor Crater - Spend an hour at this commercial attraction is the world's best preserved meteorite impact site, located near Winslow
- Petrified Forest - Best known for globally significant Late Triassic fossils, the park is located near Holbrook and takes about 1 hour to see on a self-guided drive
- Return to Flagstaff for an early dinner at one of our recommendations from Day One
Day Three (Half Day)
- Get up and at 'em early, and have a big breakfast at a new choice from one of our suggested spots above
- Visit one of the National Monuments or Parks that you did not select on Day Two. For a half day, it may make sense to stick close to Flagstaff, so Walnut Canyon and Sunset Crater are excellent options, OR…
- …Visit Arizona Snowbowl for a half-day of riding the scenic Sky Ride, playing disc golf, hiking or attending a ranger program in the spring/summer, or skiing and snowboarding in the winter, OR…
- …Visit the Flagstaff Nordic Center for a half-day of mountain bike rental and riding (self-guided or on a guided tour) in the spring/summer, or snow biking, snowshoeing, and ski lessons in winter, or Wing Mountain for tubing and sledding in the winter