Tourist Attractions- Places To Visit In Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff is a gateway to the San Francisco Peaks, home to Arizona’s tallest mountain (Humphreys Peak) and the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort. Surrounded by mountains, desert and ponderosa pine forests, this scenic city is also dotted with Native American pueblo sites at Wupatki National Monument and Walnut Canyon National Monument, where you can explore 25 ancient Sinagua cliff dwellings.
The Museum of Northern Arizona is a must-visit during your visit to Flagstaff if you have kids, as it’s a great place for them to learn about the history and culture of the area. With exhibitions about Native American culture, dinosaurs and geology, it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Another must-visit for all ages is Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory, which is a top spot for astronomy buffs. Here you can observe the sky from a variety of different viewpoints, peer through a telescope to see nebulae and planets, and watch a laser-guided light show about our place in the universe.
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Fort Tuthill Military Museum #1
If you’re a military buff or if you have an interest in history, a trip to the Fort Tuthill Military Museum is not something you want to miss. This on-post museum showcases the history of the 158th Infantry Regiment and Flagstaff’s Historic Fort Tuthill in an interactive, educational setting.
Located on the southern edge of Fort Tuthill County Park, this military museum is housed in one of the original buildings at Fort Tuthill. Constructed in 1929, the fort was once considered one of the finest National Guard training facilities in the nation.
The mission of the museum is to preserve and present the distinguished history and traditions of Arizona’s 158th Infantry Regiment, Arizona National Guard and Flagstaff’s Historic Fort Tuthill by strongly emphasizing education in its programs and activities.
The museum is open to the public and admission is free for adults and children 13 years and older. You can visit without a pass if you’re accompanied by a military member or you can obtain an unescorted pass by filling out FS Form 118a and undergoing a background check.
Collins Irish Pub & Grill #2
Located in the heart of downtown Flagstaff, this modern day pub serves up a fine selection of booze and good food. Its impressive beverage selection includes a well-curated selection of wines and a plethora of craft brews. The ambiance is warm and inviting, as are the patrons.
There is even a full-service menu if you want to take the family out for the evening. The service is slick and the drinks come out at a reasonable pace. A staff of a dozen will serve you well for a mid-week lunch, dinner or afternoon pint. The only caveat is that you should reserve your table early.
There is no onsite parking, but the nearby parking lot of the same name will do the trick. The best part is you are only a few blocks from the Grand Avenue shopping and dining district. It is not surprising that this charming town boasts one of the top tourist destinations in the country, with more than a million visitors annually.
This is due in large part to its proximity to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, as well as the fact that it is home to a small army of dedicated volunteers who are more than willing to share their time and their mettle with tourists eager to explore a surprisingly large town on a budget.
Riordan Mansion State Historic Park #3
Flagstaff’s Riordan Mansion State Historic Park is a stunning 13,000 square foot home that was built in 1904 to house two close-knit families. Architect Charles Whittlesey designed the home in an Arts and Crafts style, promoting local materials and built-in furniture.
The house was built as a duplex and features two wings that are connected by a common room known as the Billiard Room. Brothers Michael and Timothy Riordan were part of Flagstaff’s pioneer businessmen and helped to develop the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company, a logging business.
Their wealth allowed them to build the mansion, featuring 40 rooms with a total living space of over 13,000 square feet. Designed in the Arts and Crafts style, it includes hand-split wooden shingles, lathe and plaster walls, and a rustic exterior with log-slab siding.
Visitors can take guided tours of the home’s interior, including the Billiard Room and the West Wing. They can also view educational displays and learn about the history of the Riordan family. Tours are offered daily. There are also special holiday tours that include festive period decorations.
Museum of Northern Arizona #4
The Museum of Northern Arizona, located in Flagstaff, is the perfect place to learn about the culture and nature of the Colorado Plateau. Established in 1928, this museum houses permanent and temporary exhibits showcasing the natural history of the region.
Founded by a zoologist and an artist, this institution honors the culture and nature of Northern Arizona’s Colorado Plateau. Its extensive collection includes artifacts from Native American cultures, geology, paleontology and other natural science areas.
Riordan Mansion State Historic Park is a must-visit for anyone interested in the city of Flagstaff and the people who lived here during the early 20th century. The home was commissioned in 1904 by prominent Arizona businessmen Timothy and Michael Riordan.
In addition to the mansion, visitors can explore the museum’s exhibits and activities. Here, they can discover the history of transportation in Arizona through a wagon and a 1912 Studebaker and get an insight into mining in the area. They can also visit the Exploration Station and see Tom the soft-shelled turtle and a live Gila monster!
Lowell Observatory #5
Lowell Observatory is an independent, non-profit astronomical research institution founded in 1894 by Boston mathematician Percival Lowell. Its discoveries include the first detection of the expanding universe, moon mapping for the Apollo moon mission and discovery of Pluto.
A visit to Lowell Observatory is sure to inspire you to think about the vast expanse of space and how our planets relate to each other. The observatory offers a wide variety of educational activities for the whole family to explore.
The astronomy center features several telescopes that visitors can observe the night sky with. It also houses a library with an extensive collection of books, logbooks and manuscripts.
This is a great place to learn more about the history of astronomy, as well as get some tips on how to spot the stars and galaxies in the night sky. Whether you’re a professional or simply a curious traveler, this is a must-visit destination in Flagstaff.
To get to the astronomy center, take Santa Fe Avenue west from downtown to Mars Hill Road and follow signs. Then, park your car in the Lowell Observatory parking lot on the south side of the facility.
Wupatki National Monument #6
Wupatki National Monument is home to a complex system of ancient pueblos that were built nearly 800-900 years ago. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Flagstaff and is a must-visit for anyone looking to learn about this historic site.
One of the most fascinating things to see at Wupatki is its cave. These caverns are home to many interesting features, including a natural spring that is incredibly tumbling and refreshing. You can climb down into the cavern through a hole in the ground. The floor is a little slippery, so you need to wear some warm clothing.
The cave also offers an educational experience, so be sure to bring a few books or videos. You’ll learn about the history and biology of the cave.
If you’re interested in a more active visit to Walnut Canyon National Monument, there are two trails that you can take. The Rim Trail is a 0.7 mile round trip that offers an easy overview of the canyon. The Island Trail is a 0.9 mile round trip that descends 185 feet into the canyon and returns up 240 stairs.
Walnut Canyon National Monument #7
The Walnut Canyon National Monument is a beautiful place to visit. It is made up of cliff dwellings and offers many activities that are great for families with kids. You can hike, take a trip to the visitor center, and see incredible views of Walnut Canyon.
The area has been inhabited for thousands of years, and archaeologists have found artifacts dating to 13,000 BC. Early humans in the region relied on this area for resources and built settlements here.
Currently, there are 25 cliff dwellings located within the park. You can explore these sites with a 0.9-mile trail that passes close to most of them. These cliff dwellings were built by Sinagua people during the 12th and 13th centuries. Today, they are a reminder of ancient times.
The area is home to a variety of wildlife and plants. The seasonal stream in the canyon, sunny and shady walls, and flat rims create habitats for many species. In addition, Walnut Canyon is part of the International Dark Sky Parks program and offers excellent stargazing.
FAQs: Flagstaff, Arizona
What are the top attractions to visit in Flagstaff?
The city is home to seven of the American Southwest’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders and is located a stone’s throw from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
In addition to these world-famous sights, you can explore ancient Native American cliff dwellings in Walnut Canyon, hike Humphreys Summit Trail to the highest point in Arizona or check out the meteor crater that hit the planet 50,000 years ago.
What Are the Most Popular Things to Do in Flagstaff With Children?
This observatory is a must-visit for kids of all ages, from preschoolers to middle schoolers. With a variety of educational exhibits and activities, it’s a fun and educational way to spend the day.