The City in the PinesBy Lindsay Lawson
Choose your own adventure in Flagstaff, Arizona
Whether you love exploring heavenly hiking trails or multifaceted menus, the adventure you seek can be found 7,000 feet above sea level. Flagstaff is one of Arizona’s hidden gems that offers fun activities in sun or snow. Choose the itinerary that matches your vacation inclination, or mix and match the elements that inspire you to book a weekend getaway.
Natural wonders for wanderers
There is always something new to discover in the ponderosa pines. Outdoor explorers— including beginners, experts, and everyone in between—will enjoy these activities in Flagstaff’s invigorating terrain:
New to the area, Flagstaff Extreme invites you to test your limits. Choose the Adventure Course that features obstacles including swings, nets, zip lines, and an aerial surfboard 15 to 60 feet off the ground. Need more zip lining in your life? Create your own self-guided tour through the trees as you soar across more than 30 zip lines.
Get up close and personal with Northern Arizona’s wildlife at Bearizona Wildlife Park. Drive along the three-mile trail and see if you can spot a variety of species in their natural habitat, including wolf pups, bear cubs, bison, elk, deer, and more. Pro tip: visit early or late in the day for the most animal activity.
Pathfinders love the variety of trails the Flagstaff area offers. Grab your water bottle and head west on Highway 180 to Slate Mountain. This four-mile gradual climb rewards hikers with an easy return journey after the stunning view takes your breath away. Looking for a challenge? The steep Bear Jaw Trail or 22-mile round-trip Weatherford Trail require skill and endurance but offer conquerors immense satisfaction once completed.
While Snowbowl offers scenic chairlift rides in the summer and fall, skiers and snowboarders count down the days until Mount Humphreys is covered in fresh powder. If you’re in the mood to try something different, cross-country skiing at the Arizona Nordic Village is a fun alternative. Don’t forget to add sledding, snowshoeing, horseback rides, and scenic drives to your winter wonderland itinerary.
Find your zen with yoga, meditation, or a picnic in one of Flagstaff’s many scenic spots. Visit Bonito Meadow’s picturesque field of wildflowers during the summer or the Aspen Nature Loop during the fall to experience the bright colors of seasons changing. Stroll the serene Griffith Spring mile-long loop that features water views and bird-watching opportunities.
Fun flavors for foodies
From casual to classy, delicious dining experiences await you in Flagstaff. Tickle your taste buds at these destinations:
Kick off your morning with freshly brewed beverages at Macy’s European Coffeehouse and Bakery. Pair your percolated potion with a flakey pastry or homemade Belgian waffles. Many menu items accommodate dietary needs and can be made gluten-, wheat-, egg-, nut-, or dairy-free.
Looking for a breakfast deemed hearty enough for a lumberjack? Your favorite breakfast staples can be found at Mike and Ronda’s The Place, a Flagstaff fixture known for serving huge portions at an unbeatable price. Take on the Hungry Man Special, or build your own masterpiece omelet.
Who knew Bigfoot was into the culinary scene? You won’t believe your eyes when you encounter the giant pulled pork sandwich with crispy sweet potato fries at Bigfoot Barbecue. Choosing between the variety of classic side dishes, ribs, po’ boys, and platters is harder than catching a glimpse of the legend!
Café Daily Fare serves savory soups and stews to warm you up on chilly days and light, freshly prepared salads that are perfect for summer picnics. Share a specialty club sandwich or dare to try the blackberry duck tacos topped with habanero aioli, goat cheese, jicama, and arugula.
With a menu centered on local and seasonal ingredients combined with exceptional service, a meal at Brix is one you won’t soon forget. Treat yourself with contemporary American dishes that feature flavorful sauces, velvety purees, perfectly prepared veggies, and succulent proteins.
Sizzling steaks are best when enjoyed at the 1899 Bar and Grill. Located on the Northern Arizona University campus, this trendy restaurant is lovingly named after the college’s year of origin. Make sure you save room for rich desserts after sampling the drool-worthy Gouda mac n’ cheese.
Are you obsessed with discovering new ales, IPAs, and lagers? Lumberyard Brewing Company is a beer-lovers’ paradise that serves award-winning drafts. Don’t worry, cocktail lovers—the refreshing, fruity concoctions served in giant Mason jars are equally delightful.
Stop by the Lotus Lounge and enjoy a signature sake or excite your palate with the smoked pineapple Mai Thai. Feeling adventurous? The flavors of Japan and the American South meld beautifully in the delectable Shiso Five-Spice Julep.
Your home away from home
To some, lodging means only a place to lay your head until you’re rested up for the next leg of your journey. To others, it means relaxing by the pool, people-watching in the lobby, or viewing the sunset from the balcony. No matter your preference, there’s a perfect place to stay in Flagstaff. Travelers’ favorites include those with a story to tell:
The haunted hotel
Located in the heart of downtown Flagstaff, Hotel Monte Vista has attracted guests since the 1920s when it was known as the Community Hotel. The building’s rich history, list of famous guests, and overall charm appeal to all, but fans of the paranormal are drawn to stories of the phantom bellboy and the rocking chair in room 305 that moves on its own.
Do other lodges around town have heated pools, luxurious guest rooms, and amazing views from floor-to-ceiling windows? It’s possible, but none combine these elements as wonderfully as the Little America Hotel. Known for warm, friendly service and the annual North Pole Experience, Little America draws travelers in and makes them never want to leave.
Close to campus
If energy-efficiency is important to you, look no further than the Drury Hotel, a Silver level LEED certified property. With a convenient location on the Northern Arizona University campus, you’ll have easy access to many fun Flagstaff destinations. Modern amenities, meeting spaces, and design make the Drury a smart choice for contemporary travelers.
Having trouble choosing your path? Start off your weekend by caffeinating at Macy’s, ramp up the excitement at Extreme Flagstaff, and head back into town to grab lunch at Bigfoot Barbecue. Take a drive, check out the pool at Little America, or spend your afternoon on the urban trails. Later, tempt your taste buds with the highly recommended elk rack paired with a glass of red wine at Brix. For a low-key Sunday in Flagstaff, take an early morning hike and refuel at Café Daily Fare, followed by shopping downtown, happy hour at the Lumberyard, and dinner at 1899.
No matter how you combine food and fun in Flagstaff, you’ll want to extend your stay to see and do more.