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Things to Do

Movies on the Square - Wizard of Oz - Summer 2010

Movies on the Square - Wizard of Oz - Summer 2010

Flagstaff is 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 annually:

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 Museum.

Grand Canyon from the South Rim - photo credit © Tom Alexander

Grand Canyon from the South Rim - photo credit © Tom Alexander

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

Clark Telescope at Lowell Observatory - photo credit © Tom Alexander

Clark Telescope at Lowell Observatory - photo credit © Tom Alexander

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.

Hopi Dancers performing at the Museum of Northern Arizona - photo credit © Michele Mountain, MNA

Hopi Dancers performing at the Museum of Northern Arizona - photo credit © Michele Mountain, MNA

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.

Wildlife – 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.