Sometimes being a busy student means you don’t leave your dorm room or apartment unless it’s for classes, the gym, or the library. I totally get it – when the weekend comes, you just want to lie in bed and catch up on your favorite shows. However, an important part to staying healthy and balanced is to get outside! Whether it’s with a group of friends or taking your family out, make sure you make the most out of this beautiful place we live in every now and then. Check out my list of the top 10 things to do in Flagstaff, Arizona:
10. Take a walk downtown.
Whether or not it’s super “touristy” you have to walk downtown at least once! Besides, there are local places like Suite 104 with super creative knick-knacks, amazing coffee and live music at Firecreek Coffee Company, and delicious Greek cuisine at a “hole-in-the-wall” place called Greek Islands, which is also family owned.
Speaking of downtown…you can’t miss out on First Friday. On the first Friday of every month, art galleries and business open their doors for special exhibits, live music, and performances. This is an awesome way to see what our community is involved in! Also, if you stay during summer, bring a younger sibling or the family to see family movies at Heritage Square for Movies on the Square.
9. Watch a local recital, orchestra, or performance with NAU Arts and Letters, Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, and the Sedona Film Festival.
Support your fellow NAU Arts and Letters majors by attending a recital, performance, film, or speaker! Also consider attending a performance by Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra featuring talented community members! If you’re in the mood for a movie, Sedona Film Festival works with the NAU CAL Program throughout the year to screen some of their films at Harkins in Flagstaff. This is a great opportunity to see some less known, acclaimed films that usually wouldn’t make it on screen at Harkins.
8. Get the Macy’s Special at Macy’s European Coffeehouse. It’s kind of a rite of passage.
Or try any of their other tasty coffees. The Macy’s Special (half espresso, half steamed hot chocolate) is just a personal favorite of mine. Macy’s is an easy walk north of NAU campus, right off of Beaver Street. Besides amazing coffee, they also have delicious vegan and vegetarian food! If you want to get a taste of everything, consider getting coffee at Macy’s, then breakfast at La Bellavia next door.
7. Take a hike or bike! But, seriously.
NAU was named among the best college towns in the nation, so definitely take advantage. Hike Buffalo Park in the middle of town if you prefer an easy two mile, groomed loop, the Fatman’s Loop on Mount Elden, or if you’re more experienced, try Mount Humphrey! There are tons of other trails you can check out online and Flagstaff and Sedona have some of the best mountain biking in the US if that’s more your speed.
6. Try our fabulous restaurants.
If you’re a foodie, definitely try some our top rated restaurants. After you’ve gone hiking or camping, you could try a big brunch at Himalayan Grill, a pesto burger from Diablo Burger, or maybe some enchiladas from Salsa Brava.
5. See a natural wonder of the world – The Grand Canyon while the sun is rising.
Get up or stay up and leave while the stars are still out to get to The Grand Canyon to watch the sunrise. It’s totally worth it and there’s Late for The Train Coffee to greet you once it’s up.
4. View visible planets, stars, and more at the Lowell Observatory.
Lowell Observatory offers some amazing shows through their Discovery Channel Telescope. Learn about celestial news or even go on a “tour” of the night sky. I might also suggest watching the newly premiered Cosmos television show hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson before you go. Not big into museums? Download the “Sky Guide” app and give yourself a private tour of the sky out on Lake Mary Road or some other dark, open spot….but bring a friend for fun and safety!
3. Ride the Snowbowl chairlift during the summer.
See some beautiful Flagstaff summer scenery by taking the chairlift – this is also a great spot for photography or even just relaxing. In the fall hike Kachina Trail and enjoy the gorgeous Aspens as they turn bright yellow.
2. Drive down to Jerome during Halloween and stop by Sedona on the way!
Jerome is one of the oldest towns in Arizona and has a lot of history. If you’re brave, take a haunted tour during Halloween and see a lot of their historic sites. Sedona is also a must-see at least once, so stop by on the way to view the beautiful red-rock formations. Not fall? As it gets warmer stop at Slide Rock State Park.
1. Challenge yourself on the ropes at Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course.
If you’re looking for a little bit of adrenaline, definitely check out Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course. There are different levels so don’t worry if you’re not a ropes course master!
Bonus: Choose your favorite Thai restaurant!