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.
Welcome to a Tour Of The Highest City on the Mother Road (at 7,000 Feet)
Here, let me drive.
We'll begin on the west side of town and take Route 66 east through Flagstaff until it departs towards Winona, where it disappears once again under Interstate 40.
I'll point out some of the highlights on the way across town and make a few detours to show you what's close to this surviving and thriving section of the historic "Main Street of America."
Pull Over For A Moment - For two Route 66 visitor polls....
Want To Have A Milkshake At The Galaxy Diner? We can listen to the jukebox and look at the old celebrity photos all over the walls.
After leaving I-40 on your way to Flagstaff from Williams and merging onto Route 66, you'll soon see the Galaxy Diner, across from a Days Inn motel. Located at 931 W. Route 66, this '50s-style diner has a great ambiance and, in my experience, great food and service too. I often bring my mom here for their hearty, affordable breakfasts. And they make a mean burger and fries, which can be topped off by homemade pie and ice cream.
The Galaxy hosts Friday night Flagstaff Route 66 Car Club meet-ups, when you can admire their shiny, classic cars out in the parking lot. And get a free swing dance lesson at the diner on Saturday night.
Or How About A Visit To The Salad Bar At Granny's Closet? Follow Route 66 as it merges with South Milton (Rt. 89), and you'll see Granny's on the right.
Granny's Closet is a popular family-style restaurant and sports bar, established in 1974. And that 10-foot tall, 990-pound, painted cedar man standing outside? That's Louie the Lumberjack. There are two Louies, actually, one here at Granny's Closet and the other on the campus of Northern Arizona University, outside the Walkup Sky Dome. Louie the Lumberjack is NAU's mascot.
Need A Place To Stay Right On Route 66 In Flagstaff? You'll see lots of options for lodging on our way across town.
Hotels and motels right on Route 66 through Flagstaff run the gamut from fairly pricey to pretty close to dirt cheap. Here are some of your options....
Radisson Woodlands Hotel Flagstaff: 1175 W. Route 66 -- (928) 773-8888
Days Inn: 1000 West Route 66 -- (928) 774-5221
Rodeway Inn Downtown: 122 W Route 66 -- (928) 774-5081
66 Motel: 2100 E. Rt. 66 -- (928) 774-8993
Howard Johnson Inn Flagstaff: 801 W Route 66 -- (928) 774-3381
Super 8 - Flagstaff West: 602 W Route 66 -- 928-774-4581
Western Hills Motor Hotel: 1580 E. Route 66 -- (928) 774-6633
America's Best Value Inn: 1990 E. Route 66 -- (928) 774-2779
Howard Johnson Inn: 3300 E Route 66 -- (928) 526-1826
Best Western Pony Soldier: 3030 E. Rt. 66 -- (928) 526-2388
Hotel Aspen Inn Suites Flagstaff: 1008 E. Route 66 -- (928) 774-7356
Here's A Place To See Just Up The Hill From Route 66
One of the oldest observatories in the U.S., where Pluto was discovered.
Moving on from Granny's Closet and just after passing beneath the railroad overpass, you'll see the turnoff on the left to West Santa Fe Avenue. Take Santa Fe for about a mile, up the winding hill, past the scenic overlook and onto the grounds of Lowell Observatory, where you can make a stop at the visitor center, browse the interactive exhibits, and sign up for a tour. You can check out the sun, moon, stars, planets and other celestial bodies through one or more of the telescopes open to visitors.
Learn More About Lowell
The first time I heard about Lowell Observatory was when my future husband, Steve, brought me to his hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1995, shortly after we'd...
There's City Hall, Right On Route 66 --Sometimes you'll see a festival or some folks standing up for a cause on that grassy lawn.
City Hall is located after the railroad underpass and the turnoff to Sante Fe Avenue.
Feel free to stop in and ask questions, or visit the official Flagstaff government website for information on city services, events, parks and recreation, and more.
And Here's Historic Downtown Flagstaff
There's always something to see and do downtown. Choose from a wide variety of restaurants, coffeeshops and cafes, browse a myriad of shops, take a sidewalk seat and just people-watch, or grab a book at the public library and pull up a piece of grass in Wheeler Park. During the warmer months, there are often free festivals and fresh-air entertainment to enjoy and a weekly Flagstaff Community Farmer's Market.
Route 66 Through Downtown Flagstaff - Let's pull off into the Visitor Center parking lot and take a look around.
Here's a short video of what you'd see from there....
Enjoy Route 66 Days Festival In Flagstaff - Including one of the largest vintage car shows in Arizona.
Celebrate the spirit of Route 66 in this fun-filled weekend of vintage, fast and fancy cars, arts, crafts, and other activities around downtown Flagstaff. Held in September, this event is the largest annual gathering of Route 66 fans. During the festival, you can meet Route 66 authors, artists, preservationists, and collectors.
The Flagstaff Train Station
The Amtrak station, located in downtown Flagstaff right on Route 66, was formerly the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway depot. Built in 1926, the station now doubles as a visitor center.
Two Amtrak passenger trains stop in Flagstaff each day, while more than 100 freight trains pass by, following alongside Route 66 from one end of town to the other.
A Mural Along Route 66 - One of many displays of public art in Flagstaff
Created in 2007 by mountain-biking artist, Lyle Motley, this large mural is located on the side of the Absolute Bikes bikes building on the corner of Route 66 and North Agassiz Street. It took Lyle two months to complete the mural, which is loaded with cool details, like the bandaids on the biker's knee and elbow. If you're going to spend some time downtown, might as well walk over to Absolute Bikes to take a closer look at this work of art.
Hungry Again? Let's Stop At The Crown Railroad Cafe - We can have a bite to eat and watch the trains go by.
Located at 3300 E. Route 66, past Steve's Boulevard, the Crown Railroad Cafe and its counterpart on the west side of town serve American-style meals in a 1960s diner-style atmosphere. If you grab a booth by the front windows, you'll see the trains passing by on the other side of Route 66, while the miniature train runs along the tracks that run along the diner walls.
Let's Kick Up Our Heels At The Historic Museum Club - Just past the Crown Railroad Cafe and the bowling alley.
Do you like to two-step? Or maybe just watch other folks dance to some popular country tunes, old and new? Well, this is a fun place to do it. The historic Museum Club,also known as "The Zoo," started out as a taxidermy museum in 1931 as evidenced by the creatures that still stare down at you from above.
In 1936, the building was purchased by a Flagstaff saddle-maker, Doc Williams, who transformed the museum into a nightclub. The property has changed hands several times since then, sometimes barely surviving as a recording studio and rough and tumble roadhouse. Today, it's a popular country western dance club with live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. You can also stop in for afternoon off-track betting and play a round of pool before the dancing begins.
The Museum Club, Circa 1932
Learn More About Route 66 Through Flagstaff -- Then and Now
- The Road Wanderer ~ Historic Highways, Lost Byways and Legendary Journeys
The Road Wanderer, a cyber tour of lost byways, historic highways and legendary journeys. Historical photo gallery featuring Indian rock art, ghost towns, Route 66 and an n-scale model railroad layout.
A Photographic History of Flagstaff
Written by local historians, Richard and Sherry Mangum
I have this book on my own coffeetable.
© 2010 Deb Kingsbury
Have You Been To (Or Through) Flagstaff? On Route 66, of course!
M. Victor Kilgore on February 15, 2014:
I used to go thru Flag on the way to Kingman, AZ 3 or 4 times per week...love that countryside.
Lynn Klobuchar on January 10, 2014:
Thanks for this -- I have been through Flagstaff~!
Andrew4M on August 08, 2013:
anonymous on April 17, 2013:
Cool Lens! I always look foward to going through Flagstaff, it's like a mountain oasis in the middle of the desert. We always stop at Little America it's a great place for a pitstop, and Rod's steakhouse in Williams for a good meal. Flagstaff and Route 66 are such a great pieces of Americana. I also like the stretch of highway 89 as you make the steep climb towards Flag through the ponderosa pine forrests.
anonymous on September 02, 2012:
i have only driven through on our way east or west on I 40, but i can see that next time we need to stop and spend some time here, thanks for the info
anonymous on March 23, 2012:
I've never driven through Flagstaff but it does look like an interesting trip. Super lens!
anonymous on March 19, 2012:
Want to jump in my car and drive to Flagstaff. Love many of the old Route 66 towns.
deliverator on March 13, 2012:
You have made a beautiful piece on Flagstaff and included it as the Mother Road landmark. Now I see what I missed while wandering through in jus a day (and a night at Roadhouse)....
LikinTrikin LM on July 04, 2011:
Cool lens....we haven't been to Flagstaff...yet. Although we've been close. Hopefully after our move we'll have the time and opportunity to visit.
mediumlenore on June 28, 2011:
You were my lucky 300 poll. Cool lens.
puerdycat lm on June 11, 2011:
I've been coming through and stopping in at Flagstaff since '67 (oh my!) and just love it.
Thanks for a marvelous visit! I love the southern routes, but just love "route 66." I'm due for a pass through; my last was about 5 years ago.
Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on June 08, 2011:
I must get there someday! Blessed
meisgood132 on April 20, 2011:
Wxcellent idea for a squid.
dryder on February 07, 2011:
anonymous on October 23, 2010:
Cool lens. I love route 66 for long spring or fall drives. Usually to clear my head for a few days.
Sami4u LM on October 08, 2010:
I did all of Rt66 and I remember Flagstaff very well. A small car and and elk, need I say more. Speaking of scaring the mother road of of a person.
anonymous on October 03, 2010:
Nice drive through, I have always liked visiting Flagstaff. Last time was I think 1980 in February and a bit chilly.
Not-Pop on September 15, 2010:
This is a great little trip through Flagstaff. I had the song running through my head the whole time I was reading it. Thanks for the fun glimpse!
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on August 23, 2010:
Wow, another great resource for Flagstaff, Arizona. They need to put you on the payroll. Great work.
Oosquid on March 16, 2010:
Woah! What an interesting lens. Love that Galaxy dinner. I remember the old 'Route 66' TV series, it made me want to travel that road, and your lens has just re-awakened that :0) 5 stars.
justholidays on February 05, 2010:
You definitely put an end to my dream of a sunny and ever hot Arizona, Debbie! I'm the most sad person in the world at the moment - but for some minutes only because I'm blessing this lens, it's too much! Love the Galaxy Dinner that represents the fantabulous American dream!
anonymous on February 04, 2010:
I love this lens about your beloved city of Flagstaff. Great pictures and information.
Someday I would like to visit there. I seen your tweet that you are going canoeing today, you lucky duck! ~ I wish you all the best on you journey in a couple of months, and with this GREAT LENS! ~
Kiwisoutback from Massachusetts on February 03, 2010:
Awesome! I really feel like I drove through Flagstaff. I was there for a quick drive through the city in 2005, not enough time to really get to know the city. I remember the temperature dropping by fifteen degrees from what the temperature was in Sedona, where we drove from that day. I'm lensrolling this to my Grand Canyon lens.
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on February 01, 2010:
Enjoyed my 'drive' through Flagstaff on Route 66 with you. Glad you drove slowly so I could see all the wonderful sights! I can see why you like living in Flagstaff.
Treasures By Brenda from Canada on February 01, 2010:
Yes, I've been through Flagstaff...you were driving & it is a good thing, too as there was a lot for me to look at!
Bellezza-Decor from Canada on February 01, 2010:
Flagstaff looks like a nice place to live!
Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on January 31, 2010:
You do good work. I really got a feel for Route 66 in Flagstaff. Thanks so much. Of course, this is going into the group lens.