Where did Flagstaff AZ get its name from?
Flagstaff: Gateway to the Grand Canyon & Route 66
Info / recommendations | Arizona | Photo: Flagstaff CVB
Flagstaff is located in the heart of the Colorado Plateau, in northern Arizona on the legendary Route 66. This charming mountain town, just 80 minutes from the Grand Canyon, is a destination for all seasons. It is home to indigenous cultures, several national monuments and a historic city center, which still exudes the splendor of the 19th century.
A fresh breeze is in the air above the picturesque landscape - peaceful silence and beauty can be experienced here in perfect harmony. The view of the nearby mountains completes the picture. Even if Arizona is often associated with the Sonoran Desert, Flagstaff is located in the largest, contiguous Ponderosa pine forest in the world. Deep canyons and meteorite craters and even snow-capped peaks adorn the landscape. Flagstaff is the perfect place for all outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, climbing and winter sports.
The following video from the city's tourist office gives you a "foretaste" of Flagstaff:
Something for everyone - culinary too
In 2018, Flagstaff was named “our Critic’s Favorite AZ Food Town” by Phoenix Magazine most popular Arizona food town our restaurant critic). From the Route 66 diner to the local steakhouse, from simple to fine dining, regional chefs create imaginative dishes using local produce. In the same year Flagstaff was named "Arizona's Craft Beer TownMake a stop at the Mother Road Brewing Company, one of eight regional breweries in the Downtown and Southside areas. Tip: If you are a beer lover, plan a trip to Flagstaff in February for Arizona Beer Week!
Source: © Flagstaff CVB
Mute contemporary witnesses
Many indigenous tribes live on reservations bordering Flagstaff. Their history and culture can be traced in rock dwellings and petroglyphs (rock carvings), in the "Museum of Northern Arizona" and on tours of the local Najavo. Experience firsthand the old pueblos and dwellings in the Lumaki Pueblo (Picture below left) and Wupatki National Monument (Bottom center picture) - if you approach the "Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument" (a small volcano whose eruption forced the Sinagua culture to flee), it is about 30 minutes from downtown Flagstaff. In addition, the rock dwellings of the Walnut Canyon National Monument should not be missed as a friend of acheology and Native American cultures. The colonization of this canyon is said to have started around 1100 by the Anasazi people.
Flagstaff has a rich history so don't miss that Riordan Mansion! The property was built by the Riorden brothers, two of Flagstaff's founding fathers. The Pioneer Museum informs, however, about the history of the settlement, but also about the history of the city and the region in general. You can find out more about this at the Flagstaff Visitor’s Center, which is located at the top of the legendary Route 66, directly with the address "One Route 66" (see picture below right)!
Source: © Flagstaff CVB
More attractions in Flagstaff
Downtown Flagstaff offers everything a vacationer's heart desires, from numerous accommodations to shopping, art and dining. This is sure to be the place where Flagstaff sightseeing begins for most. There are regular events here in downtown Flagstaff that you can find in the packed online calendar downtownflagstaff.org can easily see. The legendary Route 66 leads directly through Flagstaff's city center and so it is not surprising that there is still something reminiscent of "Mother Road" here. In any case, you should head for the visitor center - also located on Route 66 in the Santa Fe train depot. Not only is there plenty of information about the city and a cool souvenir shop, but the self-guided Route 66 "Walk the Talk" tour begins here, which takes you to the highlights of the famous street and its era in the city center. Do you feel like relaxing in the countryside after sightseeing? How about a visit to the Arboretums (Picture below left)? It not only has impressive trees and flowers, but also a butterfly house and a historic property, which is open every year from May through October.
Source: © Flagstaff CVB
Nightlife in Flagstaff
When it comes to nightlife, Flagstaff also has a lot to offer! If you want to experience something in the evening, you've come to the right place! The city center is brimming with great venues for evening entertainment. Our tip: That Black Bart's Steakhouse, Saloon, & Musical Revuewhere not only delicious steaks, but also a guaranteed fun evening with an original show program await the guests! Our tip for amateur astronomers: Flagstaff is the world's first official "Dark Sky City", ie a city with extremely low light emissions, where you can marvel at the starry sky very well. The Lowell Observatory (Picture above center), where Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto, offers interesting tours. There are multimedia shows, exhibitions, live presentations and a space theater! In 2019 the "Giovale Open Deck Observatory" opened, an open plaza with fantastic telescopes. Buffalo Park is also well suited for star gazing (picture above right).
Flagstaff in winter
Flagstaff is a fantastic winter destination because of its altitude and the surrounding mountains, up to 3,100 meters. Anyone who thinks that there are no ski areas in Arizona is really wrong! The Arizona Snowbowl located just 13 miles north of historic downtown Flagstaff - the state's winter sports destination! Of course, this is not only popular in winter: During the summer and autumn months, visitors can use the Scenic Chair Lift (the chairlift) and endless hiking trails or slide down the mountain in giant rubber rings - this fun is called tubing. If you are traveling with children, you have come to the right place, because nobody will be bored in the rope course, on the bungee trampoline, on the scavenger hunt or on the barrel rolling (similar to a giant wooden hamster wheel)! You should also make a note of the "Arizona Nordic Village" and "Snow Park" if you are traveling in winter and looking for fun in the snow! And another hot tip for those who arrive with children in the run-up to Christmas: they are allowed North Pole Experience do not miss it (picture below right)!
It is said that there are seven wonders in the Flagstaff area, and each is unique in its beauty: 1. the Grand Canyon National Park, 2. that Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, 3. that Walnut Canyon National Monument, the 4th Wupatki National Monument (of which we have already reported), 5. the San Francisco Peaks (these are the peaks of a volcanic mountain range, which is characteristic for the image of the city), 6. der Coconino National Forest (the world's largest continuous yellow pine forest - one drives through it when leaving the city in a southerly direction, for example on the drive to Sedona) and 7th der Oak Creek Canyon (This beautiful gorge through which Oak Creek flows, a tributary of the Verde River, is also passed on the way to Sedona). These seven wonders are by no means all that can be marveled at in the vicinity. We begin with a drive west on Route 66 to two small nostalgic wonders, namely to two places that look like a time capsule:
Don't miss the Museum Club, a true Route 66 celebrity (bottom center of the picture)! Once advertised as the largest wooden hut in the world, this bar, which opened in 1936, has become one of the top addresses on the legendary street. It belonged to taxidermist and curiosity collector Dean Eldredge, whose passion can still be clearly seen. You will find one of the largest wooden dance floors in the country and a stage on which celebrities like Willie Nelson and Tanya Tucker have performed!
West of Flagstaff there is also one of the most beautiful sections of Route 66: Starting at Kingman, it runs through the towns of Hackberry, Crozier, Truxton, Peach Springs, Yampai to Seligman. The perfect detour from Flagstaff or on the way from Las Vegas to Flagstaff to feel the flair of the good old days of the 1950s! Our two customer advisors Juliane Görlitz and Sebastian Glowacki both traveled to this piece independently of each other at different times of the year and both were thrilled. It's really rare to find so much Route 66 nostalgia in one place. You can find two photos they brought with them below.
You will like the historic downtown, Downtown. Many old houses from the Wilhelminian era are still standing here. Every year, always in the middle of September, the "Route 66 Oktoberfest & Walk in the Park" takes place on a weekend in Locomotive Park. The name comes from the steam locomotive No. 3759 of the Santa Fe Railway from 1928, which has been parked here since 1957. It was used between Los Angeles and Kansas City for more than 20 years. Tip for bikers and Harley fans: The "Kingman Hog Days" take place in April every year. Thousands of Harley riders meet in the city. The whole thing is accompanied by a large supporting program. And if you can't set up both dates, you might be there on the third Saturday of the month between April and October and can admire old classic cars on Beale Street, as they might once have been there for the wedding of Route 66. There are enough parks for campers and tents.
Welcome to the birthplace of Route 66 - with historic cars & hippy style there is something for everyone! Seligman (see pictures above) has a great, if very touristy flair. But you can absolutely get carried away. There are lots of beautiful photo opportunities, the best burgers and Route 66 nostalgia at every end of town. By the way: In none of the shops does anyone have a problem if you unpack their camera and take photos of the staff if you ask in a friendly manner. The Road Kill Cafe or restaurant has cult status among bikers. There is delicious, rustic food here. At a former gas station there is a lovingly designed Elvis Museum, which you should definitely see as a fan.
This sight near Flagstaff is interesting for all amateur astronomers: the Barringer Crater (almost 1,200 meters in diameter) was created when the meteorite "Canyon Diablo" hit around 50,000 years ago. The impact crater is located on the southern Colorado Plateau in Coconino County and is very well preserved by the desert climate.
These impressive waterfalls, also known as "Chocolate Falls", are located on the grounds of a Navajo reservation that overlooks the Little Colorado River, about 70 miles northeast of Flagstaff (see picture above left). The ideal time to visit are March and April. Tip: Take a look from the bridge over the Little Colorado River in Cameron beforehand! If the water flows there, a visit is worthwhile. You will experience the most wonderful mood for this moment in the golden evening sun! Depending on how much water they carry and when you visit them, the viewer is presented with a completely different picture. It can look like the top left in the picture, but it can also be reminiscent of a huge chocolate fountain when the river carries a lot of red-brown sand, hence the name "Chocolate Falls". If you want to hike here, you need a permit from the Navajo Nation.
The pretty town of Sedona (top right a picture of its surroundings) should not be missed. It says of itself that it is the most beautiful place on earth. And once you've been there, you'll understand why. Learn more about the small town in this article. Tip: visit the beautiful Coconino National Forest on the way!
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