Flagstaff Travel Guide

USA  #5 in Best Places to Visit in Arizona
Credit

Courtesy of Steve Smith/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Flagstaff

Many of the best things to do in Flagstaff occur outdoors. From exploring the dwellings of ancient peoples at several state parks and national monuments to hiking and skiing the nearby mountains – or simply relaxing alfresco with a craft beer at the Historic Downtown and Railroad District, Flagstaff is full of activities. Visitors looking to stretch their brains, as well as their legs, can also head to the Lowell Observatory for astronomy lectures or to the Museum of Northern Arizona for some lessons in regional culture and geology. There are also ample opportunities throughout the city for shopping and noshing.

How we rank Things to Do
  • #1
    Historic Downtown and Railroad District
    View all Photos
    #1 in Flagstaff
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Built along the railroad track – and what would become Route 66 – the Historic Downtown and Railroad District is a pedestrian-friendly area filled with historic 1900s-era buildings that have been converted to shops, restaurants, galleries, breweries and other watering holes. The district also plays hosts to regular events like

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Walnut Canyon National Monument
    View all Photos
    #2 in Flagstaff
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The 3,600-acre Walnut Canyon National Monument was established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson to protect the ancient dwellings carved into the area's cliffs. Archaeologists believe that ancient people lived in the cliffs thousands of years ago and today, visitors can see these primitive homes while hiking the monument's Island

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Lowell Observatory
    View all Photos
    #3 in Flagstaff
    Museums, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    At the Lowell Observatory, visitors can conjure their inner-astronomer by peering through world-class telescopes and sitting in on lectures on topics like black holes and the history of Pluto. This observatory was founded in 1894 by the Harvard-graduated mathematician Percival Lowell. Throughout the years, the observatory has been credited with

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Flagstaff Extreme
    View all Photos
    #4 in Flagstaff
    Recreation
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Flagstaff Extreme is an adventurous obstacle course in which participants ages 7 and older can test their limits on challenges like rope swings, scrambling walls and wobbly bridges, among dozens of other features, many of which are located at tree level. Each course starts out with a 30-minute safety and

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Wupatki National Monument
    View all Photos
    #5 in Flagstaff
    Monuments and Memorials, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Established in 1924, the Wupatki National Monument – part of a collective of Flagstaff Area National Monuments, includingSunset Crater Volcanoand Walnut Canyon – is a nature and culture preserve. Ancient peoples once inhabited the area, leaving behind their pueblos, or villages, when they moved on. Today, travelers can hike through

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
    View all Photos
    #6 in Flagstaff
    Monuments and Memorials, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Around 900 years ago, a volcano – which has come to be called Sunset Crater – erupted and transformed the encircling area. Geologic features like cinders, lava rock and lava flow compose this almost otherworldly topography, which is punctuated by ponderosa pines. Some of the more popular ways to experience

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
    View all Photos
    #7 in Flagstaff
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    In 1904, brothers Michael and Timothy Riordan, members of a prominent Arizona family, commissioned two nearly identical mansions at the summit of Flagstaff's Kinlichi Knoll. Architect Charles Frederick Whittlesey, who is also credited with designing the Grand Canyon's El Tovar Hotel, designed the two homes, which are actually connected by

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Museum of Northern Arizona
    View all Photos
    #8 in Flagstaff
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Museum of Northern Arizona is an homage to the culture and nature of Northern Arizona's Colorado Plateau. Founded in 1928, the museum has permanent exhibits that range from the contemporary art of the Hopi Tribe to a gallery that delves into the geologic features of the 130,000 square miles

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Arizona Snowbowl
    View all Photos
    #9 in Flagstaff
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Nestled in the San Francisco Peaks at 9,500 feet, the Arizona Snowbowl is one of the state's best spots for skiing and snowboarding. The Snowbowl offers three different areas for a variety of skill levels: the Prairie Dawg Start Park, the Southern Belle intermediate parks and the Sunset Terrain Park,

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Flagstaff

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019