I've lived in Flagstaff, AZ, since 2003, where I'm an active member of the Coconino County Sheriff's Search & Rescue team and an avid hiker.
A Collection of Articles and Information About Flagstaff and the Surrounding Area
I'm originally from New England, but this eastern transplant has come to love life in and around Flagstaff, Arizona. So I tend to write about it a lot.
Here, I've put together my growing collection of articles and other sources of information about the area. I hope these resources will be helpful to you if you're planning a visit to Flagstaff and other nearby points of interest, like Grand Canyon National Park for example, or if you're new around here.
A Visitor Poll
There's Something For Everyone in Flagstaff
Are you a hiker, a mountain biker, an art-lover? Is a day at a museum and a tasty Thai or Mexican or Himalayan meal what you're looking for? How about a free festival and then an evening of live music and dancing? You can find all that and more in this small city on historic Route 66.
Find out where to go for fun, good food, fitness, and fine lodging in....
- What To See And Do In Flagstaff, Arizona
From fine arts and festivals to the outdoors and great places to eat, these are just some of the activities and destinations I recommend when you're hanging around in Flagstaff.
Do You Like To Dance?
Salsa, swing, two-step, ballroom -- there's all of that and more in Flagstaff.
Find out where you can go for lessons, many of which are free or for a small suggested donation, and fun social dancing around town.
- Social Dancing in Flagstaff, Arizona
Find out where to tango, two-step, salsa, samba and swing dance (and then some) all around town.
Live Outdoor Entertainment
During the warmer months--generally, May through September--it's not hard to find something to entertain you in Flagstaff's local outdoor venues and even on city streets. Pictured here is an ensemble playing for those hanging out in Flagstaff's "outdoor living room," Heritage Square, where there are often free concerts and other events, like family-friendly evening movies and free dance lessons.
Wheeler Park, located downtown near City Hall and the west-side Public Library, is another popular venue for free outdoor entertainment and festivals.
And, if you don't mind paying for fresh air entertainment, you can check out the concert schedule at the Pepsi Amphitheater at Fort Tuthill.
There's Plenty To Do When the Mercury Drops, Too
Fun winter activities around town
Just because the daylight hours grow shorter and the temperature gets colder, Flagstaff doesn't roll up its sidewalks.
Find out what you can do and where when the snow falls in Flag.
- Fun Winter Activities In Flagstaff, Arizona
Things to do when the mercury drops and the snow falls in Flagstaff
A snowshoe outing with longtime Flagstaff resident and volunteer guide, Jack Welch: Exploring Picture Canyon
That's Jack on the left in the plaid shirt. Jack is very active in the Flagstaff community. In addition to writing a guest column for the Arizona Daily Sun, his work with the Flagstaff Biking Organization and other volunteer activities, Jack organizes and leads group walks, hikes, and snowshoe outings in various locations around Flagstaff on both weekdays and weekends. For more information and a schedule, you can email Jack at email@example.com.
Some of the 180 photos in this book come from the personal collections of authors James E. Babbitt, a descendant of a pioneer Flagstaff family, and John G. DeGraff III, a collector of historical photographs of the area. Other photos are courtesy of the Arizona Historical Society, Babbitt Brothers Trading Company, the Northern Arizona Pioneers Historical Society, and Northern Arizona University. They combine to tell the story of early Flagstaff.
Explore The Largest Ponderosa Pine Forest In The World
In and Around Flagstaff
In this article, I highlight a number of species that make the Coconino National Forest their home.
- Wildlife of the Coconino National Forest
A look at the diversity of Arizona's Coconino National Forest and some of the wildlife that makes its home there, in the northern part of the state, including the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff
Enjoy The Trails And The Fresh Mountain Air
I'm a guidebook junkie. And I like to have actual books in my hand rather than electronic copies, because I like to flip through the pages, looking for new adventures and looking back at others I've already done, some more than once. I also like to make little notes on the pages.
Here's a good one for the Flagstaff area that's currently sitting on my shelf, well worn.....
From easy to moderate and strenuous
- Hiking O'Leary Peak in Flagstaff, Arizona
A dayhike to the O'Leary Lookout
- Hiking Red Mountain Near Flagstaff, Arizona
A short, beautiful Flagstaff hike with a lot to see along the way
- The Best Short Day Hikes In Flagstaff, Arizona
Easy to moderate Flagstaff hikes, 5 miles or less
The Art Scene Is Alive And Well In Flagstaff
Between a myriad of galleries around town--particularly in the downtown area, on the NAU campus, and at the Coconino Center for the Arts--lots of outdoor public installations, arts and crafts festivals, a popular First Friday Art Walk event each month, art shows at Lowell Observatory, and an annual Open Studios event, Flagstaff has plenty to satisfy the art enthusiast.
Learn more about....
- Flagstaff, Arizona Public Art
Outdoor public murals, sculptures and other art you'll see around the city of Flagstaff
- Flagstaff First Friday ArtWalks
An overview of Art Walk on the first Friday of each month in Flagstaff, Arizona
- The Flagstaff Furniture Barn / Natural Grocers Big Cow Mural
The building and the cow, then and now
Public Murals Are Popular In Flagstaff - Here's one from the Absolute Bikes building, seen from Route 66
This mural was created in 2007 by mountain-biker and artist, Lyle Motley.
It took Lyle two months to complete the mural, which is loaded with fun details, like the bandaids on the biker's knee and elbow.
Where to Eat
From the best burgers in town to the best international cuisine and the best pizza, you'll find all that and more here, along with a place to rate the food and the service at each restaurant.
- Flagstaff, Arizona Restaurants Reviews
The best places to eat in Flagstaff ... according to me. But there's a poll for each restaurant for others to weigh in on these local eateries.
And if you it's eating outdoors you prefer....
Here are some local restaurants we recommend....
- Our Favorite Outdoor Dining in Flagstaff
Recommended Flagstaff, Arizona, restaurants that offer outdoor seating
Visit the Heart of Downtown Flagstaff
Downtown changed a lot in the seven years I was gone, between 1996 and 2003. It not only looks a lot nicer, but it's also the hub of activity, including cultural events, First Friday Art walks, festivals, a farmer's market, several parades throughout the year, and more. Here, you'll also find an eclectic array of shops and restaurants, public parks, one of two public libraries within the city, and City Hall.
And in the center of downtown, there's also a popular place to hang out and watch free, live entertainment, paint, eat, chat with friends, people-watch, read or just sit and relax. Find out more about....
- Heritage Square: Flagstaff's Outdoor Living Room
What to see and do in the heart of downtown Flagstaff, Arizona
The Weatherford Hotel In Historic Downtown Flagstaff
The Weatherford Hotel opened its doors to the public on January 1st, 1900, and, during the next century, the building went through a number of changes. It once housed Flagstaff's first telephone exchange company, then a number of restaurants, a theater, a radio station, and a billiard hall. The building has survived fire, world wars, and a planned demolition. Today, The Weatherford Hotel is more than just a place to stay; it's a downtown destination, offering fine and casual dining and live entertainment. The hotel is also the sight of the annual Pine Cone Drop on New Year's Eve.
Flagstaff, Then And Now
This book was a gift from our real estate agent when my husband and I bought our first home in Flagstaff, and, years later, it still occupies a prominent place on our coffee table.
Take A Self-Guided Tour Of Historic Downtown
This paperback includes a fold-out cover map to help guide you on a three-quarter-mile walking tour of downtown Flagstaff, covering 34 historic buildings.
See What's Along (And Near) Historic Route 66
Did you know this is the highest city on the "Mother Road"?
Here I'll show you some of what you can see and do along this remaining section of the route as it passes through this small city at 7,000 feet.
- Explore Old Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona
A virtual tour of the highest city along the "Mother Road" and what you'll see and find along this remaining, rather short stretch of Route 66
Visit the Home of the Expanding Universe
Lowell Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the United States, founded in 1894 by astronomer Percival Lowell. Lowell welcomes more than 70,000 visitors each year, offering guided tours and views of the night sky through the original 24-inch Alvan Clark Telescope and other telescopes at the Mars Hill site.
- Lowell Observatory And Life On Mars (Hill)
A virtual tour of the observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona -- the place where Pluto was discovered
Inside The Clark Dome At Lowell Observatory
The Observatory's original 24-inch Alvan Clark Telescope is used today for public education. Built in 1896 at a cost of $20,000, this telescope was assembled in Boston and then transported by train to Flagstaff.
Flagstaff Is Just An Hour And A Half From Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon is one of my favorite places on earth. I,ve worked there as a guide and have done quite a lot of hiking below the rim. These are three of my favorite hikes in the National Park....
- Hiking The Grand Canyon, Rim To Rim
From south to north -- or north to south -- in one day, in a week, or more
- Hiking the South Bass Trail in Grand Canyon
Backpacking off Grand Canyon's beaten paths: My favorite rim-to-river hike on the South Rim
- Grand Canyon Hike: South Kaibab Trail - Tonto Trail West - Bright Angel Trail
A pictorial guide of one of my favorite (long) dayhikes from -- and back to -- the South Rim of Grand Canyon
A Great Day Trip and Beautiful Drive From Flagstaff
Grand Falls, located along the Little Colorado River on the southwest corner of the Navajo Reservation is amazing, whether it%u2019s running low or high. It's about a 45-minute (30-mile) drive from Flagstaff, some of which is on dirt roads which are accessible to passenger cars. More information and photos here....
- Chocolate Falls in Arizona: Photographing a Flash Flood on the Little Colorado River
Grand Falls is located on Navajo Nation land, at the southwest corner of the Reservation about a 45-minute drive from my home in Flagstaff.
Two More Incredible Natural Wonders in Northern Arizona
Explore the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
Located in extreme north-central Arizona and southern Utah is the Paria Canyon - Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness, overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. This remote desert landscape is filled with geological gems, some front and center and some hidden and more difficult to get to but WELL worth the effort.
Here are two of my favorite places off the beaten path....
- Explore White Pocket on the Paria Plateau, Northern Arizona
Take a virtual tour of this geological, scenic gem, along with information, safety tips, and directions for making the trip yourself to this remote location.
- Hiking The Wave In Coyote Buttes
See geology at its best in the Paria Canyon / Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness in northern Arizona
Flagstaff and Northern Arizona Blogs
- Flagstaff Biking Organization | Setting Wheels in Motion
A group of cyclists who came together to "promote bicycling as a safe and attractive means of transportation and recreation in Northern Arizona"
- Flagstaff Trail Running
Thoughts, photos and videos from the group's Saturday runs. Looking to join a trail running group? This one might be for you.
- Flagstaff Daily Photo
- Friends of Flagstaff's Future
A grassroots organization with a goal to "sustain and enhance the greater Flagstaff area's high quality of life through activism and advocacy"
- Deb's Search & Rescue Stories
Firsthand accounts from a member of the Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team (that would be me)
More Flagstaff Resources
- City Of Flagstaff
Flagstaff travel information
- Flagstaff Downtown Business Alliance
FDBA sponsors free family events.
- Arizona Snowbowl Webcams | Weather & Conditions | OnTheSnow
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Deb Kingsbury
Comments Or Questions About Flagstaff And Northern Arizona?
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on December 02, 2011:
Excellent resource on Flagstaff. This is an area I would love to visit, but even if we were to win the lottery big time now, time is running out unfortunately. Nicely done, blessed.
RinchenChodron on May 02, 2011:
Wonderful information and enjoyed your pictures. I have a food niche lens you might enjoy.
Treasures By Brenda from Canada on January 27, 2010:
Great job; I'd like to visit Flagstaff.
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on January 24, 2010:
I once drove 'through' Flagstaff - that was the extent of my knowledge about the area until I read this interesting 'tour in words and pictures' of Flagstaff and Northern Arizona. I HAVE visited Phoenix many times; does that count? Seriously, I remember emailing you yesterday to comment on the record-setting snowfall your area has received in the past week or so and, as many of us are unfamiliar with Arizona past the desert, sunshine and heat statistics , asked what elevation Flagstaff was in. By reading this story, I now know that the answer to my question is -- 7,000 feet! A story both interesting and educational. I enjoyed my 'visit' to Flagstaff through your writing.
Samantha Lynn from Missouri on January 23, 2010:
One of my favorite vacation spots!