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Flagstaff, Arizona is a fabulous destination! Fresh mountain air, historic sights, a fun ambiance, and an abundance of outdoor activities are the top reasons to visit Flagstaff. To help fellow travelers plan their trip itinerary, we are detailing the absolute best things to do in Flagstaff, AZ on a Northern Arizona vacation.
Things To Do in Flagstaff, AZ FAQs
Before we answer the burning question question – What is There To Do in Flagstaff, AZ? – we want to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about planning Flagstaff trips.
Where Is Flagstaff, Arizona?
Before you can plan a trip to Flagstaff, you need to know where it is! Located in Northern Arizona, Flagstaff is about 150 miles directly north of the capital city of Phoenix.
The city of Flagstaff sits at an elevation of 6900 feet – one of the highest cities in the USA. Surrounded by mountains and forests, Flagstaff entices many outdoor enthusiast.
Flagstaff town is located in Coconino County – and although it exudes the feel of a small town, the Flagstaff population about 75,000.
We include a Flagstaff Things To Do Map at the end of the post to help fellow travelers to better understand the location and layout of the city.
Why Plan Flagstaff Vacations?
There are many reasons to visit Flagstaff – from outdoor recreation to Old Town shopping to regional exploration.
Flagstaff is an easy trip from Phoenix and a fun destination for out-of-state visitors to include on their Arizona itinerary. Visitors could easily stay for a few days – or use our list of things to do in Flagstaff for a day trip adventure.
During the many years that we lived in Phoenix, Flagstaff was one of our favorite weekend getaways – especially in the summertime. On our frequent trips, we were able to discover the top things to do in Flagstaff, Arizona and the surrounding area.
Whether you are visiting Flagstaff for an event or are using the city as a home base for exploring more of the region, you will find that there are heaps of attractions in Flagstaff to enjoy!
What is Flagstaff Known For?
Flagstaff is known for its small town charm – but is even better known for its many natural attractions.
Flagstaff is just steps from the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine Forest and sits under the gaze of the San Francisco Peaks. In fact, Flagstaff mountain, Humphreys Peak, is the tallest mountain in the state of Arizona.
Are there Things To Do with Kids in Flagstaff, AZ?
Absolutely – there are many opportunities for Flagstaff family fun! While our list of places to visit in Flagstaff is not solely for Flagstaff travelers with family, we do feature many kid-friendly Flagstaff attractions.
Want to discover Flagstaff on a couples trip? No problem! Whether you are looking for family-friendly activities or things to do in Flagstaff, Arizona for couples, we’ve got it covered!
Are There Free Things To Do Flagstaff, AZ?
Yes – there are many free and cheap things to do in Flagstaff! Although some activities cost money, there are some Flagstaff sights that are completely free of charge. We highlight a few of the best free Flagstaff attractions on our list.
When is the Best Time to Visit Flagstaff, Arizona?
Flagstaff is a year-round destination that offers something for visitors in every season. That said, we think summer in Flagstaff, AZ is the best!
Why Visit Flagstaff in the Summer
Flagstaff, Arizona is the perfect mid-summer escape from Phoenix (or any hot weather city).
By July, temperatures in the Valley of the Sun are soaring well over the 100-degree mark, air conditioners have been running non-stop for months and it’s too hot to hike in Phoenix.
Meanwhile, Flagstaff in summer – just 150 miles north of Phoenix – is an ideal mountain retreat. The Flagstaff weather is cooler and the air is fresh, which is perfect for getting outdoors to explore Northern Arizona.
Whether going on a Flagstaff day trip or spending the weekend, there are numerous outdoor things to do in Flagstaff, AZ in the summertime!
What Are The Things To Do in Flagstaff in the Winter?
Although we prefer the summertime activities, there are many fun things to do in Flagstaff in the winter, too! The best winter activities in Flagstaff, AZ are in the snow – skiing, snow tubing, snow shoeing and simply enjoying a winter wonderland of white.
Do note that our list of things to do in and around Flagstaff is geared toward summer activities. However, we highlight winter adventures as well for those who want to visit Flagstaff year-round. And, in many cases, you will just need to swap hiking for skiing!
Top Tip: Always check the weather forecast before visiting Flagstaff in the wintertime – as snow storms can sometimes result in road closures.
Planning a Trip to Flagstaff, Arizona
We know that there is a lot more to planning your trip than figuring out Flagstaff sightseeing. Travelers also need to consider how to get there, where to stay and what to pack – all of which we cover in detail later in the article.
If your Flagstaff trip is part of a longer Arizona vacation, use our tips for the Best Things To Do in Phoenix and Arizona to help plan your time in the state.
As you begin making your plans and reservations, trip organization is key! We recommend using a travel planner – like our Travel Planning Printables – to stay on top of all your Flagstaff vacation details!
26 Best Things To Do in Flagstaff, AZ
Alright, it’s time to stop wondering what to do in Flagstaff, AZ – and get to it. Our list highlights the absolute best Flagstaff, AZ things to do!
In addition to our Things To Do in Flagstaff, Arizona, later in the article we highlight other pertinent travel details. Plus, we share advice on where to eat in Flagstaff – and our Map of Flagstaff, AZ Things To Do will help make your trip planning easier!
Save, Pin or Bookmark our Flagstaff Travel Guide to plan your vacation to Arizona!
#1 Discover the Best Downtown Flagstaff Things To Do
Historic and quaint – with a true sense of community – downtown Flagstaff is a must-see on your trip to Northern Arizona. Shopping for unique wares at the stores and eating regional fare at the locally-owned restaurants are two of the best things to do in downtown Flagstaff – but there are a few sights to seek out, too. (And we detail the best local Flagstaff restaurants a bit later in the post!)
One of the top things to see in downtown Flagstaff, Heritage Square is the heart of the district. Located on Aspen Street between Leroux and San Francisco Streets – Heritage Square often hosts free Flagstaff events and musical performances.
The pleasant Wheeler Park is the intercity green space – and is used as the site for many Flagstaff festivals. The summertime Sunday morning Flagstaff Farmers Market takes place just across the street, in the parking lot of Flagstaff City Hall. In the same location on the second Saturday of each summer month, visitors can also peruse the wares for goods for sale at the funky Flagstaff Urban Flea Market.
Flagstaff Amtrak Station
Dating to 1926, the Tudor Revival brick Amtrak station located on Historic Route 66 marks a significant part of Flagstaff’s past…and present. Trains to Flagstaff run regularly – and their loud whistles can be heard all around town. However, it’s not just history that makes visiting the train station one of the top things to do in Flagstaff downtown, the building also houses the Visitor Center.
At the Flagstaff Visitor Center, guests can get information, buy the Red Rocks park pass or local bus tickets and pick up souvenirs.
Historic Flagstaff Sights Walking Tour
There are numerous historic sights sprinkled throughout downtown Flagstaff. Visitors can learn about the past on an easy self-guided walking tour of historic downtown Flagstaff. More info here.
Guided Flagstaff Walking Tour
However, if you would rather a local guide lead the way, you can join this highly rated walking tour (which has options for the same tour by Segway or bicycle, too!).
Interested in the spooky side of Flagstaff? Join the Haunted History Tour and learn about the ghouls that haunt Flagstaff.
#2 Soar to Agassiz Peak on the Arizona Snowbowl Scenic Gondola
The Flagstaff Ski Resort, Arizona Snowbowl, is the best place for Arizonans to go skiing. In fact, skiing is one of the top activities to do in Flagstaff in winter.
That said, Snowbowl also offers warm-weather activities and is one of the top things to do in Arizona in the summer. The Flagstaff Scenic Chairlift Gondola operates during summer and autumn and whisks visitors to an amazing Agassiz Peak lookout point.
Standing just north of Flagstaff at 12,360 feet, Agassiz is part of the San Francisco Peaks range within the Coconino National Forest. Agassiz ranks as the second-tallest peak in Arizona – and is just south of the state’s tallest mountain, Humphreys Peak. Taking in the views from the mountain is one of the top Flagstaff things to do…and the easiest way to get there is by the Snowbowl Scenic Chairlift.
Flagstaff Scenic Gondola
Traveling in an enclosed cabin on the Snowbowl Scenic Gondola, guests ascend above the tree line to an elevation of 11,510 feet. From the mountaintop, visitors are granted sweeping views of the surrounding Northern Arizona landscapes. Cool mountain air combined with stunning scenery is the perfect antidote for hot desert days and one of the fun things in Flagstaff to do.
At the viewpoint, visitors can linger, breathing in the fresh, crisp air and watching wispy clouds swiftly move across the vast terrain. We also recommend seeking out the Arizona Park Ranger on site, who usually gives talks about the history of the land. For an even better Agassiz view, trek up the short path to a second viewpoint.
The other ‘attractions’ at the top of Agassiz Peak are a few tables where guests can rest or enjoy a picnic lunch and the “Highest Toilets in Arizona.”
Snowbowl Arizona Scenic Gondola Tickets
A ticket is required for a round trip lift on the Flagstaff Gondola Sky Ride (pricing information). The journey on the Snowbowl Gondola takes about 15 minutes each way.
Top Tip: Visitors should bring a coat – believe us, it gets cold at the summit even during summer in Flagstaff!
#3 Delve Deep into History at Wupatki National Monument
A fascinating archaeological site, Wupatki National Monument is one of the top Flagstaff, AZ things to see. Remnants from ancient civilizations stand among the red rocks, helping visitors to better understand how native people once lived in the region.
The remaining pueblos – which were used by the Hopi and Zuni tribes – are a significant part of the past. Four walking trails lead through the complex to the most significant sights. In the wintertime, visitors can join longer ranger-led hikes through Wupatki.
An entrance fee is required; however, the ticket also covers entry into the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monuments. The America the Beautiful Pass is accepted for entry, as well.
Visiting Wupatki Monument is one of the stops on this Grand Canyon day trip from Flagstaff (along with a few other sights!). Book it here!
#4 Witness the Flowing Grand Falls Arizona
The dazzling Grand Falls – also called Chocolate Falls – ranks as one of the top Flagstaff, AZ things to do. Taller than Niagara Falls and highlighted by misty rainbows, the waterfalls are a sight to behold.
The multi-tiered falls were formed from volcanic lava. During snowmelt and rain, water flows through the falls and into the Little Colorado River.
Because the water is not always flowing, seeking out the remote falls isn’t necessarily a great Flagstaff summer activity – unless there have been recent monsoon rains. However, visiting Grand Falls does rank as one of the top things to do in Flagstaff, AZ in March when snow is melting in the White Mountains.
Getting to Grand Falls is a little tricky; you want to make sure you get to the viewpoint, not on top of Grand Falls. The falls are located 30 miles east of Flagstaff within the Painted Desert on Navajo Nation land. A local guide can lead the way to the falls – and on an epic hike. Find out more.
#5 Enjoy Beer from a Local Flagstaff Brewery
The city’s local breweries have become so popular that they are now top Flagstaff attractions. The best breweries in Flagstaff, AZ are located within the downtown district and are easy to get to on foot. Creating your own walking tour pub crawl is one of the cool things to do in Flagstaff – and it’s fairly simple to do on the Flag Brewery Trail.
Flagstaff Brewery Trail
Hoisting a pint or two of local craft beer is one of the fun things to do in Flagstaff – and the Flagstaff Brewery Trail (formerly the Flagstaff Ale Trail) enhances the experience.
The Flagstaff Brewery Trail ‘Beer Passport’ aids visitors in a self-guided discovery of the town’s best craft beer. All you need to do is print the ‘passport,’ visit the breweries and obtain stamps. Once you have visited all locations, you can claim a souvenir pint glass. More info.
Recommendations for Your Flagstaff Pub Crawl
With 8 Flagstaff breweries and no timeline, the Flagstaff Brewery Trail does not need to be completed as a true pub crawl.
That said, if you are going to visit multiple locations consecutively, you may want to skip beers with high ABV (or opt for half pints), eat a big meal at the start of your pub crawl and snack at the bars along the way. Also keep in mind, that the high elevation of Flagstaff can make you feel tipsy faster!
We detail our favorite Flagstaff breweries later in the post, in the Flagstaff Food and Drink section.
#6 See a Show at Orpheum Theater in Flagstaff
The Orpheum Theatre, which dates to 1911, is a classic venue that sits in the center of historic Flagstaff. A variety of acts – from comedy to cinematic to rock-and-roll – take the stage at the Orpheum Theatre year-round.
Attending a concert at The Orpheum is one of the fun things to do in Flagstaff, Arizona – and we have seen numerous shows over the years. If you can catch a local Arizona band – like Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers – we highly recommend it! Some shows do sell out though, so it might be best to look for tickets in advance.
#7 Join in the Flagstaff Activities and Events at Fort Tuthill County Park
Fort Tuthill Park is located just 3 miles to the south and is home to some of the best things to do in Flagstaff, Arizona. The recreational park will appeal to a range of visitors – from outdoor enthusiasts to festival lovers.
Ft. Tuthill County Park Activities
Tuthill Park is perfect for people who want to get out in the great Arizona nature. In addition to hiking trails, the park is home to the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, which is both challenging and fun. Furthermore, there are ample opportunities for seeking out wildlife at Fort Tuthill Park.
Buy tickets in advance for the Extreme Adventure Course!
During the winter months, Fort Tuthill hosts the Flagstaff Snow Park. Visitors are invited to play in the snow, slide downhill on a tube, build a snowman…and then warm up at one of the firepits, roast marshmallows and feast on a meal from one of the local Flagstaff food trucks. Get ticket information.
Flagstaff Events at Fort Tuthill County Park
In the summertime, Flagstaff hosts numerous events that attract visitors from around the state and beyond. In addition to the many of the top Flagstaff events we have attended at The Orpheum Theatre, we’ve also been to concerts at the Pepsi Amphitheater in Fort Tuthill Park.
The Pepsi Amphitheater is an excellent outdoor venue that comes to life in the summer and fall. Hosting spectacular Flagstaff events, like the Taco Festival (autumn), Made in the Shade Beer Fest Flagstaff (summer) and the Pickin’ In The Pines Bluegrass Fest. Find information on concerts and other Flagstaff events on the city calendar.
#8 Learn about the Past a Walnut Canyon National Monument
Visiting Walnut Canyon National Monument is one of the top-rated Flagstaff, Arizona activities. The unique cliff dwellings were once home to Native Americans. The archeological site was declared a monument in 1915.
In addition to the two Walnut Canyon hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the dwellings, interested guests can attend programs and ranger-led hikes to learn more about the people who once inhabited the area.
As part of the US National Parks system, an entry fee is required, but it is covered by the America the Beautiful Pass.
#9 Explore the Flagstaff Lava River Cave
On one of our trips to Northern Arizona, when we were looking for cool things in Flagstaff to do, we learned about the Lava Tube hike – and we are so excited that we did!
Formed from molten lava 700,000 years ago, the mile-long lava cave is an interesting geological feature that is open for exploration – and it’s one of the things to do in Flagstaff for free!
Hikers who descend into the Flagstaff Lava Cave should wear warm clothing, sturdy shoes and carry a flashlight or headlamp. Find more information about the hike here.
#10 Visit the Museum of Northern Arizona
Spending time at the Museum of Northern Arizona is one of the top Flagstaff, Arizona things to do for visitors who want to learn about the history and culture of the region. The museum features artifacts and historical information about the Colorado Plateau from the year 15,000 B.C. to present day.
In addition to the displays inside the museum, guests can also explore the flora and fauna along the Rio de Flag Nature Trail. The MUSNAZ also hosts an annual Heritage Festival in the summer, which celebrates the native people of the land.
Top Tip: Tickets are required for entry; find more information on the official museum website.
#11 Lace Up Your Shoes for Hiking in Flagstaff, AZ
Looking for fun, free things to do in Flagstaff, AZ? Go for a hike!
The best attractions near Flagstaff, AZ are in the great outdoors – and there is plenty of it! With more than a hundred hiking trails in Flagstaff and the surrounding Coconino National Forest, visitors who want to go trekking have ample options.
Best Flagstaff Hikes
Buffalo Park is one of the best parks in Flagstaff for an easy hike – which makes it one of the fun outdoor things to do in Flagstaff with kids. The Buffalo Park Loop is a flat 2.2-mile trail that is suitable for hikers of every level; it’s even stroller and wheelchair friendly. The best part of the trek is the amazing views of Mount Elden and Mt. Humphreys. Hikers looking for longer treks can hop on connecting trails that lead into the Ponderosa forests.
Fat Man’s Loop is another popular 2.5-mile trail near Flagstaff that offers fantastic viewpoints. The trail has challenging elevation gains and features volcanic rock formations.
An even more challenging Flagstaff trail is the Mount Elden Lookout Trail to the summit, which is a 6.5-mile trek. For a supremely difficult Flagstaff hike, ambitious (and well-prepared) trekkers can summit Humphrey’s Peak – the highest point in Arizona – via Kachina Trail.
Flagstaff Urban Trail is a network of multiuse Flagstaff trails that are ideal for walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Find maps and information on the Flagstaff Urban Trails System (FUTS) website.
The trails at Arizona Nordic Village can be used year-round for hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Plus, they offer lessons, provide rental equipment and rent rustic accommodations. Find details online.
Flagstaff Hiking Tips
While hiking is one of the fun Flagstaff things to do, you will want to make sure you are prepared. Wear hiking boots and weather-appropriate gear. Also, remember to bring plenty of water and snacks – and let someone know where you are planning to hike.
#12 See the Stars at Lowell Observatory
Established in 1894, the Lowell Observatory is a research institute dedicated to astronomy. Guests at the observatory’s Steele Visitor Center have the opportunity to take tours of the facility, look through large telescopes and learn about the solar system through various multimedia exhibits and displays.
Visiting the Lowell Observatory is one of the unique things to do in Flagstaff at night when stargazing is possible. That said, the observatory offers interesting daytime tours as well.
Find more information about tickets and tours on the official Lowell Observatory website.
Pro Tip: Flagstaff ranks as the First International Dark Sky City. The designation indicates that there are fewer lights to interfere with stargazing – so it’s no wonder that stargazing is one of the favorite activities in Flagstaff!
#13 Walk among the Flowers at the Flagstaff Arboretum
The Arboretum at Flagstaff – or just The Arb – is one of the best places to go in Flagstaff to learn about the plants that are native to the region. In addition to the gardens and greenhouse, The Arb offers docent-led tours, Bird Walks, Wildflower Walk and Yoga.
Summertime is when most of the high-elevation plants are in bloom – so visiting The Arb is one of the top-rated things to do in Flagstaff in July.
The Arb charges an admission fee – and you can find out more about other events on the Arboretum website.
#14 Step Back in Time at the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
Situated on the Northern Arizona University campus, the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park ranks as one of the top sights to see in Flagstaff, AZ. The 40-room mansion was built in 1904 for the Riordan brothers – owners of the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company.
Today, the home remains furnished as it would have been in the early 1900s. When you step inside the Riordan Mansion, it feels as if you are stepping back in time.
Tickets are required (info here). Guests can explore the NAU Mansion on guided tours or choose to see the grounds on their own.
#15 Find Out about the Past at the Pioneer Museum
Ranking as one of the top things to do in Flagstaff, Arizona with kids, the Pioneer Museum offers an array of exhibits in an unusual space. Operating as a hospital in the early 1900s, the space has been transformed from recovery rooms to display rooms for the Pioneer Museum. Each area represents a decade, from the 1880s to the 1960s.
Museum attractions extend to the grounds as well, where guests are free to explore the on-site train caboose, a 1908 one-room cabin, a Model T car from 1915, a fire engine from the 1920s and pieces of ancient farm equipment.
Tickets are required for entry and more information is available on the Pioneer Museum website.
#16 Discover the Abandoned Route 66
The iconic Route 66 that ran from Chicago to the California Coast is, perhaps, the most famous road in America. Known as The Mother Road, it once took travelers right into the heart of downtown Flagstaff.
Neon signs and remnants of classic Route 66 can still be found in Flagstaff. The Museum Club – now a country bar with live music and line dancing – was once a popular stop on Route 66 as a museum, taxidermy shop and trading post.
Visitors can learn more about the history of Route 66 in Flagstaff on the Walk This Talk self-guided tour. Fun Route 66 Passports can also be picked up at the Flagstaff Visitors Center.
#17 Northern Arizona University Campus
One of the best things to do in Northern Arizona is to visit the Northern Arizona University campus – which is just south of historic downtown Flagstaff.
Visitors should start their tour at Old Main – the oldest building on campus – that also houses the NAU Welcome Center.
Other sights to see at NAU campus are the Native America Cultural Center, the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome, and the Clara M Lovett Art Museum.
#18 Elden Pueblo Ruins
Visitors interested in archeology should put the Elden Pueblo Ruins on their ‘What To Do: Flagstaff’ list. The small park is located on the outskirts of town just off Highway US 89 (and the entrance can be easily missed, so keep an eye out for it).
The Ancient Sinagua Village archaeological site dates to the 11th century and was excavated in 1978. Some of the discoveries at the site include bird bones from Mexico and shells from California.
Visitors can walk the trail and download an informational guide that helps to explain the Elden Pueblo Ruin findings. There is no admission charge, so it’s one of the great free Flagstaff activities!
Things To Do Near Flagstaff, Arizona
Not only are there fun things to do in Flagstaff, AZ, but there are heaps of attractions nearby that visitors can see on day trips from Flagstaff, AZ.
If you are wondering what to do near Flagstaff, we have quite a few suggestions. Visitors can make Flagstaff their home base and take day trips to explore the top places to visit near Flagstaff, as well!
#19 Marvel in Wonder at Grand Canyon National Park
Without question, one of the top things to do near Flagstaff is to go to Grand Canyon NP. The striking gorge carved by the Colorado River is one of the most beautiful sites in the United States.
We recommend planning a full day trip to visit the park. The Grand Canyon South Entrance (which leads to the stunningly beautiful South Rim) is about 75 miles north of Flagstaff – and the drive takes about 1.5 hours.
Top attractions at the GCNP include amazing hikes, scenic viewpoints and rafting trips. You will want to carefully plan your itinerary in order to make the most of your time at the Grand Canyon.
If you would rather leave the planning and driving to someone else, join the small-group tour to the Grand Canyon from Flagstaff for a full day of fun!
#20 Explore the Arizona Meteor Crater
Created 50,000 years ago when a meteor collided with Earth, the Meteor Crater is quite the sight! Visiting the mile-wide impact site – which measures 550-feet-deep – is one of the top-rated things to do near Flagstaff, AZ.
Guests have several options for learning and exploring the Meteor Crater in Arizona. In addition to the air-conditioned viewing center, guests can opt for a better look from the outdoor observation decks, hop on one of the trails on their own or set off with a guide.
#21 Stand On The Corner in Winslow, Arizona
If you are looking for more fun things to see around Flagstaff and the Meteor Crater, then continue heading east to the small western town of Winslow, Arizona.
Once an important stop on the Santa Fe Railway and popular town along legendary Route 66, Winslow retains popularity today for it’s mention in the 1972 Eagles song, “Take It Easy.”
The top Winslow attractions are the Standin’ On The Corner Park and historic La Posada Hotel.
For an adrenaline fueled adventure, however, head to Clear Creek Reservoir for Clear Creek Winslow, AZ Cliff Jumping. Other activities at Clear Creek are boating, kayaking, fishing and swimming. Clear Creek Rentals in Winslow can help visitors prepare for the adventure.
Winslow is just 60 miles east of Flagstaff – but attractions further east of Winslow include the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.
#22 Spend a Day in Sedona
Although a top Arizona destination on its own, Sedona is one of the things to see near Flagstaff.
The majestic red rocks of Sedona are mesmerizing – and some even claim they are energizing. It is best to view the sandstone rock formations at dawn or dusk, when they appear to glow.
Sedona offers an abundance of activities – so you will want to plan a full day trip from Flagstaff for a complete experience. You can use this guide to help plan your Sedona day trip. Or, leave the planning to someone else and join a highly touted Sedona tour – get info here!
#23 Slide Down Slide Rock in Oak Creek Canyon
We think one of the best things to do near Flagstaff is to go to Slide Ride State Park.
Although there are many parks in Flagstaff, Slide Rock State Park, which is located just 23 miles south of Flagstaff on Highway 89A, is not to be missed! The park centers on a shallow creek that flows and pools through a rock canyon. Most visitors come ready to swim – but it is just as much fun to kick off your shoes and dip your toes into the clear, chilly waters.
The main attraction is ‘Slide Rock’ – an 80-foot-long natural rock water slide. At the far end, the water flows into a deep pool where the adventurous can go cliff-jumping.
Spending a few hours at Slide Rock in Oak Creek Canyon is one of the top things to do near Flagstaff – I know we were glad to have carved out the time to see it! The natural playground can be visited for an hour or an entire day and you can even bring coolers and lawn chairs.
In addition to splashing in the water, visitors can go on a hike, pick apples in the orchard and learn about the historic Pendley Homestead. For opening hours and fees, visit the Slide Rock official website.
#24 Bearizona Wildlife Park
Spending a day at the Bearizona Wildlife Park is another one of the best things to do around Flagstaff. The park is located just 30 miles west of Flagstaff on I-40 and ranks as one of the favorite zoos in Arizona.
Bearizona has two main areas: the drive-through Wildlife Park that features black bears, wolves and bison and the walk-through Fort Bearizona zoo, where visitors can see jaguars, grizzly bears and other animals.
Additionally, there is a Barnyard petting zoo, a Mine Shaft Experience to view nocturnal animals and a special exhibit for baby bears.
#25 Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend
Antelope Canyon is one of the most dramatically beautiful places to see in the United States – and it can be reached on a Flagstaff day trip. Shaped by water and erosion and illuminated by rays of filtered sunlight, it’s a spectacular scene.
On an organized day trip from Flagstaff (like this one!), visitors can join a local Navajo guide (required to enter the canyon) to see Antelope Canyon. On the return trip, make a stop at the famous Horseshoe Bend scenic viewpoint to see the meandering Colorado River from above.
#26 Grand Canyon Railway
The Grand Canyon Railway is a fun-for-all-ages roundtrip expedition that departs from Williams – 30 miles west of Flagstaff – and chugs north to Grand Canyon NP.
Travel back in time to the Wild West aboard a vintage train as you journey through vast plains and deep canyons on a fascinating full day adventure.
Passengers can buy tickets for seats in classic Grand Canyon Railway train cars or upgrade to first class for better views through panoramic windows. Alternatively, opt for the complete Grand Canyon Railway package tour.
Where To Eat in Flagstaff – Food and Drinks
We have highlighted the best things to do in Flagstaff, AZ – and the region – but what about drinking and eating in Flagstaff? Well, it just so happens that we have advice on the best restaurants in Flagstaff – and tips for our favorite bars, too!
Flagstaff, AZ Restaurants
There are many amazing restaurants in Flagstaff for visitors to enjoy a meal. We are sharing a few of the top picks to include in your Flagstaff trip itinerary.
MartAnnes Burrito Palace
Fantastic for breakfast – or any meal of the day – MartAnnes Burrito Palace hits the spot! Featuring and extensive menu of authentic southwestern fare in an innovative space, the locally owned restaurant is a favorite for both Flagstaff residents and visitors!
Serving up an array of delicious burgers on English muffins, Diablo Burger focuses on using local ingredients – including 100% local grass-fed beef. Named one of the top burger joints in all of Arizona, you won’t want to miss Diablo Burger!
NiMarco’s Pizza Downtown
A favorite local Flagstaff pizza place, NiMarco’s has been around since 1979. Known for their fresh-made dough and sauce, they offer a build-your-own menu, featured specialty pizzas, appetizers, wings and salads.
We listed visiting the breweries as one of the Top Things To Do Flagstaff, Arizona – and now we are going to share exactly which breweries we recommend.
We would be hard pressed to claim just one of the breweries as the Best Flagstaff Brewery. Instead, we will highlight our top picks and what we love about each of them.
Lumberyard Brewing Company
We have long enjoyed the brews at Lumberyard (try the Flagstaff IPA) – but we also love the food menu, which features excellent pub grub like wings, burgers and pretzels (a perfect start to a Flagstaff pub crawl!). Plus, they have a super outdoor space where you can enjoy the cool breezes along with the cold craft beers.
Beaver Street Brewery
The original brewery of the Lumberyard owners, Beaver Street Brewery is a family-friendly space, highlighted by very good beer. If you are stopping by just for a drink, we recommend bellying up to the bar and ordering a pint of the R&R Oatmeal Stout – one of our all-time fav dark beers!
Mother Road Brewing Company
Inspired by the moniker for Route 66, Mother Road Brewing is dedicated to adventurous beers and has a passion for IPAs. Housed in an industrial-style brew pub, they offer outdoor space for drinking as well. We recommend the Tower Station IPA and if you’re feeling hungry, the Roadside Stove food trailer cooks up BBQ and Cajun dishes.
Dark Sky Brewing Co.
Established in 2014, Dark Sky Brewing serves up their creative concoctions in both their taproom and beer garden. Not as IPA-heavy as other Flagstaff breweries, they get rave reviews for their dark beers, including a lager, porter and brown ale. Plus, they’ve been voted ‘Best in Flag’ for their friendly staff!
Flagstaff Brewing Company
Located downtown on the north side of the train tracks, Flagstaff Brewing Company is a casual, friendly place to have a beer among fellow travelers and locals, alike. The Three-Pin Pale Ale is a good pick for a pint – or a Blackbird Porter if you’d prefer a dark beer. And, if you are feeling peckish, the Black & Bleu Burger might hit the spot!
More Flagstaff Bars
We love visiting the best breweries in Flagstaff, AZ for a pint of local brew straight from the source, but there are a few more bars in Flagstaff worth checking out!
Hops on Birch
With a superb location in the heart of Old Town Flagstaff, an excellent selection of craft beer on tap and a distinct community feel, Hops on Birch is a great place to pop into for a pint. Plus, they are dog-friendly, so you can bring your pup, too!
Flagstaff Bars at The Weatherford Hotel
The historic Weatherford Hotel is a must-see in Flagstaff. While we recommend it as one of the places to stay in Flagstaff, visitors who don’t stay at the iconic hotel can still visit one of the classic bars. The Zane Grey Bar sits on the 3rd floor, offering classy cocktails and lovely views. However, The Gopher Hole is our favored spot – once a basement dive bar, it’s been remodeled, ushering in new life with a speakeasy vibe.
Monte Vista Cocktail Lounge
The renowned Monte Vista Lounge is definitely one of the cool things to see in Flagstaff! During Prohibition the bar housed a bootlegging operation. Today, the Monte V operates on two levels; with the upstairs cocktail bar offering free pool and darts during the daily happy hour (4-9pm). In addition to live music and karaoke nights, the lounge is said to be haunted by former patrons.
Flagstaff, AZ Map
Use this link to Google Maps to access our interactive Things To Do Flagstaff Map online.
Top Travel Tips for your Flagstaff, AZ Trip
Now that you know all of the best Flagstaff, Arizona things to do, we have a few final travel tips that will help you plan your trip!
How To Get To Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff can be reached by plane, train or car.
That said, flights are extremely limited to the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) – and likely very expensive.
Another way to get to Flagstaff is by train. The Amtrak Southwest Chief line, connects Chicago to Los Angeles and makes a stop in Flagstaff. However, train travel is not the most practical or time efficient route to Flagstaff.
Rather than taking a train or flying into Flagstaff, visitors traveling from out of state will likely find that it is more affordable to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) and then rent a car to drive to Flagstaff.
Pro Tip: Before booking a car, use our tips for getting the best rates on rental cars!
If you are going to book flight, read our Top Tips For the Best Airline Fares – and then hop onto SkyScanner to book it!
Road Trip to Flagstaff from Phoenix
Honestly, we think the best way to travel to Flagstaff is by car. Besides, road-tripping to Flagstaff is half the fun! There is always a sense of anticipation – adventure mixed with excitement – when driving north from Phoenix.
The trip is best completed with no time frame, good music and great friends. About halfway through the drive, desert landscapes give way to fields of pines – a sign that you can finally put the windows down and let the cool wind rush into the car. (If you’ve ever lived in Phoenix, you know how glorious this moment is!)
Phoenix and Flagstaff are connected by I-17 – and the direct drive takes a little over 2 hours.
Places To Stay in Flagstaff, AZ
There are many options when it comes to Flagstaff Lodging – from Airbnb Apartments to resorts and hostels. That said, we think the best places to stay in Flagstaff are the historic hotels in the Old Town. We are sharing a few of our favorite Flagstaff hotels, but be sure to read our advice on How To Find Hotels at Cheap Prices.
The Weatherford Hotel
The iconic Weatherford Hotel is located in the heart of the Flagstaff historic district. Rooms feature old-fashioned décor and a variety of amenities to fit a range of budgets. Check now for prices and availability.
Hotel Monte Vista Flagstaff
The Hotel Monte Vista opened in 1927 and features a diverse list of famous guests (what do Bob Hope, Siouxsie Sioux and Michael J Fox have in common?!). The classic-style rooms have varying layouts (from shared bathrooms to two bedroom suites) and prices to match.
Residence Inn by Marriott
For a contemporary place to stay in Flagstaff, visitors should consider booking a room at the Residence Inn. Located on the west end of Downtown Flagstaff, the hotel offers modern amenities, free breakfast and even has a pool. Check for rates and availability!
When looking for where to stay in Flagstaff, we recommend starting your search on Booking.com – like we do!
What You Will Need for Your Trip to Flagstaff, AZ
We have a few final tips for what to pack for Flagstaff, Arizona! You can find all of our packing hacks and tips on our Packing Page. Need a packing checklist? Get your FREE Packing Checklist here!
The best things to do in Flagstaff, AZ require you to be on your feet and on the move. Don’t forget to pack a pair of comfortable travel walking shoes for your Flagstaff vacation. I like to wear all-purpose sneakers by New Balance – and Kris prefers wearing Merrell Trail shoes.
Layered Clothing for Flagstaff Weather
Being a mountain town, the weather in Flagstaff can be cool – even in the height of summer.
If visiting Flagstaff in summertime, be sure to pack clothing – like a zip up hoodie (and even hats and gloves if going to mountaintops!) – that can be added for extra layers of warmth.
Whether searching for Arizona wildlife or just getting a better view of the stunning Flagstaff landscape, binoculars will come in handy!
Travel Camera with Zoom Lens
The attractions in Flagstaff are truly beautiful! Rather than relying on your phone camera to capture the sights, we recommend upgrading to a real travel camera.
We use a Canon Rebel with an everyday 18-135mm lens for all of our travels. However, for wildlife photography and epic landscape shots, we recommend a longer 55-200mm lens.
Day Pack for Flagstaff
With so much to see and do in Flagstaff, you will need to stay organized. When packing your suitcase or backpack for Flagstaff, AZ, don’t forget a good day bag to carry your everyday belongings in!
Start planning your trip to Flagstaff, Arizona! Search for the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing! Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!
We Want To Know: What would you add to our list of Things To Do in Flagstaff, AZ? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments below!
Visiting Other Top USA Destinations?
We have tons of tips to help you plan your trip to Top US Destinations (and some Underrated Spots as well!).
Top Southwestern US Destinations
Whether you are going on a road trip, flying in for weekend or planning a long vacation, we have great advice on how to spend your time in top cities in the Southwest (like Phoenix!).
Use more of our tips for your visit to fabulous Las Vegas, mile-high Denver, or for fantastic weekends in Austin and beautiful San Diego!
Outdoor Adventures in the Pacific Northwest
Looking for more places to get outdoors? Use our tips for planning a trip to Glacier National Park, Seattle, Portland, Spokane and Vancouver, WA.
Epic Road Trips
We have tips for the best road trips in the West! Use our guide to driving the California Coast from San Francisco to Malibu, our tips for exploring the Oregon Coast or Columbia River Gorge and our best route through amazing Montana!
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