With many natural sights, monuments, and other adventurous places, Flagstaff is the largest and most popular city in northern Arizona. Trust me, you’re going to find a lot of exciting things to do in Flagstaff. I visited Flagstaff last year along with several other best places in the USA.
I had great experiences in different places during the whole trip. Every place has its own unique story, and I’ve had many unforgettable moments. It was a truly exhilarating journey from Las Vegas to Zion National Park. Apart from this, I also had a great time on the Maryland trip. Now, here in this post, I will be sharing the best unique things to do in Flagstaff. You will find many attractive places with a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding, etc.
The best place to start your Flagstaff trip is from the Historic Downtown and Railroad District.
Historic Downtown and Railroad District
This town ranked the top position out of 12 best things to do in Flagstaff. When you plan your Flagstaff trip, I would recommend that you start the trip from Historic Downtown and Railroad District.
I’m sure you’re going to enjoy the beauty of the town walking along the streets. You will find the historic buildings which are now being converted into hotels, restaurants, breweries, etc.
Even in the late night, you’ll find a crowd in the town. I remember when I came back from a movie show, some college students were out on the street. You can book a day or two of your stay here to enjoy the farmer’s market, local events, entertainment shows, shopping, eating, and drinking.
The town allows easy access to many other tourist spots in Flagstaff. A wonderful park is located within walking distance from the visitor’s center.
Visiting Wheeler Park is One of the Best Things to Do in Flagstaff
Take a short walk from the visitor center of the historic downtown to get to this park.
Visiting Wheeler Park is one of the best things to do in Flagstaff. The park hosts a variety of events such as regular park run, weekly art festivals like Park Art, Hullabaloo, and more.
The park is full of trees that give you a green space to relax and enjoy. When I visited this park, a lot of people came with books to read, but my friends and I enjoyed a picnic in the park.
Grand Canyon Day Tour
This place is out of town, you can book a day trip to discover different historic buildings as well as hiking in different locations. If you have time, then a day trip to the Grand Canyon is one of the great things to do in Flagstaff.
You’ll find the El Tovar Lodge and the Desert View Watchtower on this day trip. You’ll get a chance to have lunch and explore the Navajo Trading Post. Usually, it’s best if you’re traveling in a group.
Walnut Canyon National Monument
Exploring the Walnut Canyon National Monument is one of the most interesting things to do in Flagstaff. You might be thinking, why is the name of the monument called so? The reason is simple, the name is because this national monument is full of Arizona Walnut trees.
This monument is located in the East of Flagstaff, which has many types of plants. The canyon has more than 500 species of plants, and you’ll find various wildlife in the forest.
Another interesting part of the monument is the loop trail which descends along the canyon. There are several other trails around the Walnut Canyon but the loop trail is the most attractive one. Along this way, you will discover 25 historical limestone cliff residents where Sinagua people were staying in the past.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Have you ever heard of a volcano eruption? The Sunset Volcano National Monument is a place in Flagstaff where you can discover the eruption of volcanoes. Around 900 years ago, a massive volcano eruption shook the city. In this eruption, a significant volume of lava was released and dispersed over 4 miles and coated 800 + acres of land in ash and rock fragments.
It’s been a long time since this eruption happened, but today you can still find evidence of the violent and destructive events that occurred. The crater gives you a perfect hiking trail to explore the three lava flows. However, certain areas of the crater are not permitted to explore for safety reasons. Head to the visitor center where you can learn about the eruption of the volcano and how it affected the region. Many visitors recommend, exploring the crater is one of the best things to do in Flagstaff.
Wupatki National Monument
Among other National Monuments, the Wupatki is one of the famous monuments in America. However, this monument is abandoned but safeguarded by the Hopi clans. They tell the lifestyle and stories about their ancestors. To their beliefs, people at that time died here and remain as spiritual guides.
If you want to discover the rich American history, then visiting the Wupatki National Monument is one of the best things to do in Flagstaff. This monument was built by the ancient Pueblo people, which consists of three buildings and has 29 structures in an area of 35,000 acres. I didn’t get a chance to explore the place with the rangers when I visited. But if your luck is good, you might have an opportunity to discover the monument with the rangers. You can hike to some parts of the monument that are allowed to visit.
Arizona Snowbowl Scenic Chairlift
Riding the scenic chairlift to see the Arizona Snowbowl and the San Francisco Peaks is one of the most interesting things to do in Flagstaff. If you’re planning your trip in the autumn (that’s from October to December), you’ll enjoy the scenic chairlift ride. In this season, the landscape of Arizona is filled with different colors and is truly mesmerizing.
When you reach the top, you will gain some information about the place from the rangers. They offer you knowledge on various topics such as the habitats of the region, about geology including history. Apart from this, you can enjoy adventurous activities like snowboarding, walking in the trails, and skiing.
Exploring the Lowell Observatory is one of the Unique Things to Do in Flagstaff
Are you interested in space exploration or do you want to know about space? Lowell Observatory offers you the opportunity to get a view of the space through telescopes. Do you know that this is the place where Pluto was discovered? Here you will find the original telescope which was used to discover the planet, Pluto. Now it is a working research center that is open to visitors for learning about the space, universe, galaxies, etc.
I would say visiting the Lowell Observatory is one of the most exciting things to do in Flagstaff. The Observatory also hosts different special programs that allow you to meet an astronomer or to attend different events such as the meteor showers.
Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course
Do you like adventurous or challenging activities? Taking a rope drive on the zip lines in the Forthill Country Park will pump your adrenaline. This spot will give you a thrilling experience by suspending between the trees.
I had a fear of heights and it was really challenging for me, but I really enjoyed the rope drive. Trust me this is one of the most adventurous things to do in Flagstaff in my opinion.
If you travel in a group or alone, you can enjoy different adventure courses from walking on the ropes, or you can swing between the trees. This place offers a different level of activities for adults as well as for kids.
This is the most beautiful place to visit in the list of things to do in Flagstaff. This is a fantastic place in the Coconino National Forest, inside Flagstaff. If you want to visit this place, one day is not enough and, fortunately, you can enjoy camping here.
The best time to visit this place is all year round because every season you’ll find a different experience. You’ll find the ash tree leaves turning yellow in the summer, and the whole place looks amazing. Whereas in spring, the entire meadow is full of flowers.
Museum of Northern Arizona
This is a place where you can know about the history of Flagstaff. The Museum is built on lava stone which offers you to discover the dinosaurs, geology of Northern Arizona, the ancient people who lived in the place. In my opinion, this is a place that you should never miss if you ever travel to Flagstaff.
Here you will learn about the history, biology, arts, geology, and many other things about Northern Arizona. Along with that, the Museum has a central garden that shows different species of plants in the area. Visiting the Museum can bring you some knowledge about this place. It is really one of the best things to do in Flagstaff.
Hopefully, here you’ve found some useful travel ideas and unique things to do in Flagstaff. From my experience, I recommend that you plan your trip from October to December. To explore every place in the list and have a memorable experience, plan your tour for 10 to 15 days. As I mentioned above, you’re going to explore the National Monuments, a few parks, and more. Hiking, snowboarding, skiing, and rope driving are some of the outdoor activities you’ll enjoy on your Flagstaff tour.