DAY ONE: Explore Flagstaff’s History
Flagstaff’s history crosses through the skies and the forests, down Route 66 and into the ancient past of the area’s original inhabitants, enriched by the variety of people that have brought it to life. Follow this path to walk in their footsteps and explore Flagstaff’s rich history.
The Museum of Northern Arizona provides cultural, anthropological, geological and historical perspectives on the area, from dinosaurs and climate change to Native American arts and craft traditions. After exploring the Colorado Plateau, visit the Pioneer Museum for a trip back in time to Flagstaff’s founding days, where you can walk through old log homes and a steam engine and experience other hands-on historical exhibits. For a well-preserved glimpse into the lives of some of Flagstaff’s founding families, visit the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park. The guided tour is a must do, covering everything from Arts and Crafts style architecture to women’s roles at the turn of the century in the west.
A premiere research facility both now and in the early 1900s, the famous Lowell Observatory brings the distant skies up close and personal. Glimpse through powerful telescopes, including the original Alvan Clark Telescope, to see the sun during the day and distant stars, planets and galaxies when night falls.
Travel along a winding dirt road on the western outskirts of town to
learn about the native flora and fauna at The Arboretum at Flagstaff. Daily guided nature walks are a great way to explore the gardens and wildlife native to the area. The Arboretum is open April to October only.
Historic Downtown is Flagstaff’s hub of dining, nightlife, shopping and art galleries. Stroll the quaint streets or take in one of the many events and live performances in Heritage Square. Historic Route 66 runs right through Downtown and the Flagstaff Visitor Center offers brochures for self-guided walking tours of both the historic 1890s downtown and the original Route 66.