Can’t decide between a desert, forested, or a mountainous landscape for your family’s vacation? Flagstaff has all of the above! Noted as Arizona’s city with four seasons, Flagstaff is ideal for all the outdoor adventures you’ve been planning (but maybe avoiding, once you see the heat index climbing at home). Look no further than this city with mild summers and skies so clear you’ll want to hike every trail and count each star you see at night–and perhaps get a better look with a giant telescope. Whether you’re swinging from the treetops or venturing into the valleys of the Grand Canyon, you will never run out of opportunities for adventure at Flagstaff.
WHERE TO STAY
Nestled in Flagstaff’s natural beauty, the Little America Hotel is a getaway within your getaway. Here, your family can find exceptional comfort in a room with two, plush beds and a sofa bed, or even in an apartment suite if you need a larger room. Each luxurious room has every possible amenity to enhance your stay, from a balcony to a TV and a large bathroom, plus a refrigerator to store any tasty leftovers you may have from the restaurants we recommend. There is even a pool and a hot tub to soak in after a long day of exploring Flagstaff.
WHERE TO EAT
Sometimes, you don’t have to travel to Italy for real Italian cuisine. Fat Olives brings an authentic taste of Italy right to Flagstaff. Start off with a caprese insalata or a meatball antipasti, then try a margherita pizza and some gelato to finish off. Don’t forget their house-made Italian soda to go with your meal.
MartAnnes Burrito Palace
The best Mexican food in Flagstaff is at MartAnnes Burrito Palace. For breakfast, try the Martanne’s Burrito with a side of rice, beans, and hashbrowns and some house horchata to wash it down. If you’re visiting for lunch, share some chips and salsa before taking a bite of your tacos or loaded burrito.
Satchmo’s Cajun & BBQ
You can also get a taste of home at Satchmo’s Cajun & BBQ. With poboys, jambalaya, gumbo, potato salad, ribs, and pulled pork, Satchmo’s might make you wonder if you wound up in New Orleans instead of Flagstaff. You have to try their famous mac n cheese and bread pudding. Of course, every native Louisianian is skeptical of out-of-town restaurants that claim to be cajun, so we’ll let you decide just how “cajun” Satchmo’s is.
WHAT TO DO
Get some space at the Lowell Observatory, where each exhibit will take you out of this world. You can take guided tours that will teach you about the observatory and even take you stargazing, Pluto watching, and sun-spot searching with six awesome telescopes that were used to discover our universe. One telescope is over 100 years old and is the size of a T. Rex.
At Coconino National Forest, you will see the breathtaking San Francisco Peaks of the Volcanic Highlands along a vast area of forests and red rocks. You may even get to see wildlife like elk, antelopes, and bald eagles. Even better, the average temperature of Flagstaff’s summers is about 80 degrees, and the nights are cool and clear, making a hike through this national forest essential for your itinerary.
Zip, climb, and swing your way through adventure at Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course. With over 30 thrilling zip lines, along with bridges and ladders among the tall treetops of the Ponderosa Pines, these five courses are perfect for daring kids and adults.
About 80 miles from Flagstaff is the renowned Grand Canyon National Park. This scenic wonder has been one of the most breathtaking places in the country to visit for a century now, though it’s been around for almost 10 million years. Visiting this incredible national park will be such an unforgettable experience for you and your family, you’ll want to take the detour to look out among the expanse of rugged, red valleys and sprawling mountains, and maybe even catch the sunset.