Most people travel to Arizona with one major attraction on their minds – The Grand Canyon. But Flagstaff – locally known as “Flag” – is a picturesque alpine town that is set against a scenic backdrop of pine forests and the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks. It is well worth sticking around to explore.
Steeped in Native American tradition and surrounded by National Parks, Flagstaff is located in Northern Arizona, 80 miles south of the Grand Canyon, and provides a great base from which to explore nearby attractions such as The Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, and The Painted Desert.
Photo by Woody Hibbard via Flickr
If you’re into your outdoor pursuits, there are ample opportunities for kayaking, mountain biking, horse riding, hiking, and climbing. It’s also possible to ski at the nearby Arizona Snowball, 15 miles northeast of town among the San Francisco Peaks.
The town itself – home to North Arizona University – brims with laid back charm. Its pedestrian-friendly historic downtown area is crammed with eclectic vernacular architecture and vintage neon, and its residents have a healthy appreciation for freshly roasted coffee beans and craft beer.
Choose from a number of different hotels in Flagstaff, depending on where you want to stay.
Stay in the middle of a forest
Set in 500 acres of the Ponderosa Pine Forest, the Little America Flagstaff is an inviting haven that is surrounded by natural beauty and serenity, yet is only two and a half miles from downtown Flagstaff.
Photo by Bureau of Land Management via Flickr
There is an outdoor pool, restaurant, and fitness centre on site, or you can choose to explore the two-mile trail amid the pines. Rooms are spacious with floor to ceiling windows, plush down pillows, and 37-inch flat panel TVs.
Stay close to the North Arizona University in downtown Flagstaff
Located in the heart of Flagstaff’s old town, just 0.2 miles from the North Arizona University, the family run Highland Country Inn offers clean and comfortable rooms that represent fantastic value for the money. Guests praise the friendly, welcoming staff, and exceptional service.
Alternatively the recently rennovated Canyon Inn is another great budget choice, offering rooms for as little as $50 per night. The 21-room hotel offers a continental breakfast each morning, as well as coffee and tea in the lobby, and on-site parking – all available free of charge.
The third option in this area is the Budget Inn, located just off historic Route 66 and only one mile from downtown Flagstaff.
Staying in downtown Flagstaff means that you’re in easy reach of all the town’s attractions, which include the Northern Arizona and Pioneer museums, Coconino Center for the Arts, an Arboretum and an Observatory, as well as countless independent coffee shops, restaurants, and microbreweries.
Surround yourself by beautiful mountains and rugged desert canyons
Stay at the Hotel Aspen InnSuites Flagstaff/Grand Canyon and you have the nearby walking and hiking trails of the Urban Trail System and the San Francisco Peaks right on your doorstep.
The hotel is also located just off the historic Route 66, which connects you to Kaibab National Forest, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and Oak Creek Canyon, as well as the incredible Grand Canyon itself.
Photo by Anupam_ts via Flickr
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