Things to do in Flagstaff
conveniently located to many major Northern Arizona attractions, from the Grand
Canyon to Sedona to the Painted Desert, and also has museums, galleries and
numerous historic sites, making the city a tourism destination for thousands
Route 66 –
Drive into town and you are quickly on historic Route 66, the “Mother Road”
made famous by the 1960s television series featuring Nelson Riddle’s iconic
song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66.”
Historic Downtown – At the heart of Flagstaff is this grid of cross streets
featuring fine dining and shopping. Historic Downtown features the “First
Friday Artwalk.” You can enjoy movies and music at Heritage Square on Aspen
Avenue between Leroux and San Francisco during the summer. Many of the historic
buildings are marked with plaques showing what the buildings originally looked
like and what their purpose was during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Tours of
historic downtown are available through the city’s Visitor Center or Pioneer
The Grand Canyon,
just 80 miles outside the city by car (Highway 180 to Highway 64, or Highway 89
to Highway 64) or by train, via Williams on the Grand Canyon Railway. Bus tours
and other private tour companies provide transportation services to the canyon.
Arizona Snowbowl –
Agassiz at Arizona Snowbowl is considered one of the expert ski runs in the
Southwest and is one of 30 trails, ranging from beginner to expert, at
Flagstaff’s ski resort. During the summer, you can still enjoy Arizona Snowbowl
by hopping on its Scenic Skyride to the top. Views of both downtown Flagstaff
and the Grand Canyon can be seen on the summer ride. (928) 779-1951
Museum of Northern Arizona – Most of our southwest history and culture can be found at the
Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA), originally founded in 1928 as the repository
for Native American artifacts and natural history specimens from the Colorado
Plateau. The museum has seven exhibit galleries, interactive activities,
storytellers and cultural interpreters. (928) 774-5213
Lowell Observatory –
Founded in 1894 (making it one of the oldest observatories in the US), Pluto
was discovered at Lowell Observatory in 1930. Tours and lectures are available
along with numerous nighttime stargazing opportunities. (928) 233-3211.
The Arboretum at Flagstaff – Botanists, horticulturists and bird watchers
can all enjoy the extensive gardens and public research facilities available at
the Arboretum. Open from April to October. (928) 774-1442.
Native American Reservations – Flagstaff is on the border of reservations for both the Navajo and Hopi tribes and you can drive through the territories and see traditional Navajo homes, called hogans, as well as traditional Hopi artisans. For information – Navajo Nation Tourism Department (928) 871-6436, and Hopi Cultural Center, (928) 734-2401.
Walnut Canyon National Monument – 7.5 miles east of Flagstaff off of Interstate 40 exit 204, Walnut Canyon is the ancient home of the Sinagua Indians. Gain an understanding of the people and their lifestyle by walking through the informative visitor center before descending the 240 steps to ancient cliff dwellings. (928) 526-3367.
Elden Pueblo – Thought to be 800 years old, the Elden Pueblo is still being excavated, and archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of artifacts providing a glimpse into the lifestyle of the people who once lived there. Guided tours available. (928) 527-3452 or the Peaks Ranger Station at (928) 526-0866.
Sunset Crater/Wupatki National Monuments – Sunset Crater is part of the San Francisco
Peaks volcanic field. It is the youngest, least-eroded and one of the
longest-lived cinder cone volcanoes. 36-mile loop through changing scenery into
the Wupatki ruins. The areas around the ruins are still being studied in
efforts to discover other historical sites and information. (928) 526-1157.
Meteor Crater –
The result of a violent meteor impact some 59,000 years ago, Meteor Crater,
located 40 miles east of Flagstaff on I-40, reaches a depth of 550 feet.
Considered the world’s best preserved meteor crater site. Interactive discovery
center and Astronaut Hall of Fame also featured. (928) 289-2362.
Just outside of Flagstaff are several animal attractions. Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde is home to lions, tigers, jaguars, wolves,
giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and ostriches. Bearizona Wildlife Park in
Williams has black bears, bison, sheep, goats and wolves. At the Grand Canyon Deer Farm, you can walk among the deer and let them eat right from your hand.
Riordan Mansion – Built in 1904 for two Riordan families,
Riordan Mansion is an impressive reminder of gracious living in a small,
territorial logging town. The historic building is an Arizona treasure — a
remarkable example of Arts and Crafts style architecture featuring a rustic
exterior of log-slab siding, volcanic stone arches, and hand-split wooden
shingles. The expansive home has forty rooms, over 13,000 square-feet of living
area, and servant’s quarters. The Riordan residence was designed by the creator
of Grand Canyon’s El Tovar Hotel, Charles Whittlesey. The interior of the
mansion is seen by guided tour only. The tours last approximately one hour.
Reservations are highly recommended and required for buses and large groups. To
make a reservation, call the park at (928) 779-4395.
Pioneer Museum – The Pioneer Museum in Flagstaff is located in the historic
Coconino County Hospital for the Indigent. Exhibits reflect Flagstaff and Northern
Arizona history, as well as ranching, logging, and transportation.