Flagstaff, AZ is more than just the closest city to Grand Canyon National Park or home of Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff is a vibrant, little city with a thriving local and mountain culture that invites outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world (and from other parts of Arizona, of course) to come take advantage of its vibrant alpine setting, cool weather and even cooler lifestyle. Located at 7,000 ft. elevation, Flagstaff is a full, four-season vacation destination; training grounds for many athletic and US Olympic teams; a mecca for celestial observations; and last but certainly not least, it is home to 70,000 people who prioritize family, community, work and play balance in their daily lives.
You'll find Downtown Flagstaff to be one of the best downtown scenes in Arizona. Downtown Flagstaff is big enough to offer a variation in vibe, food, drinks and setting, but small enough that visitors, locals and college students intermingle at nearly all times of the day. From coffee shops and music venues to the locally sourced food offered by many restaurants, you'll find that Flagstaff and its residents are progressive, intentional and special.
Because there are so many visitors present throughout the year in addition to students and locals working non-traditional hours in this city, you'll find people out and about nearly every time of day. A typical day for someone in Flagstaff usually includes doing something outside; run, mountain bike, rock climb, hike, or take the dogs out for a stroll in the forest. Did we mention that Flagstaff is an incredibly dog-friendly city? If it's warm enough, it's off to a downtown patio to have a local craft brew, listen to music or grab some food. Somewhere in there is work and life-ing, but you'll find that most Flagstaffians do what they can to make sure outside and community is part of their regular schedule. And bringing the family along is just a given. Flagstaff is very family-friendly...until around 9pm, which is when the college students are just beginning to consider getting their night started. For a small city, Flagstaff has a lot to offer and does a great job of providing fun times for all!
There are plenty of hotel choices in Flagstaff; there's everything from budget motels to well-known brands. Cabins rentals are a popular choice, but there are even yurts that can be rented at the Arizona Nordic Village! Flagstaff only has a few hotels that can be considered luxurious, so if that is what you are going for, Sedona might be a better home base for you. No matter what your preferences are for accommodations, there's a great option for you in or near Flagstaff.
From hiking Mt. Humphreys to visiting Grand Canyon National Park, there are so many things to explore in and around Flagstaff. Attractions just outside of Flagstaff like the Lava Tubes, Grand Falls, Wupatki Monument always make for a fun mini-adventure. Did you know that the sometimes planet, Pluto, was discovered in Flagstaff? Flagstaff has an amazing observatory right in the middle of the city that serves as a cornerstone for a strong, local culture of stargazing and night sky photography. There's so much to do depending on what you'd like to experience and how much time you've got in this gem of a city. But we've got some great suggestions for you.
WEATHER: Despite Flagstaff being in Arizona, its climate if very different from the "desert heat" image that comes to mind for many visitors. Flagstaff is located at 7,000 ft elevation and has a full, four-season climate with snow that tends to make an appearance in late November all the way through mid-May. Make sure to check the weather and pack appropriately for the season in which you are visiting.
GETTING HERE: Flagstaff as a very convenient airport (FLG) to fly into from Phoenix, Dallas Ft. Worth, Denver, and Los Angeles. It is a small airport, which makes for incredibly easy and simple travel logistics. If you buy your plane ticket early enough, flights can be very affordable. Whether you fly into Phoenix or Flagstaff, renting a car for your time in Flagstaff is highly recommended. This will allow you to take day trips to Sedona, Grand Canyon and other nearby attractions.