Baseball is an American icon, so it only seems fitting that when you’re in the vicinity of another great American icon – the Grand Canyon – you take a look. During Arizona Spring Training fans join big-league travelers from all over the world to see the Grand Canyon. You’ll hear visitors speaking French, German and Japanese, and if they find out that you’re a baseball fan, they might ask you to explain the game. So get out of the city for a day or two and discover the amazing experiences that Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon offer. You’ll be batting a thousand with your family and friends.
Step up to the plate: Grand Canyon National Park
The funky mountain town of Flagstaff makes a perfect basecamp for your Grand Canyon visit. You don’t have to raise the mound to see into the depths of the Grand Canyon; you can catch a glimpse of the canyon from the chairlift at Flagstaff’s Arizona Snowbowl resort. Or take the 90-minute drive to stand at the edge of the amazing abyss for some of this planet’s most picturesque views. By spending the night in Flagstaff after your return from the Grand Canyon, you’ll be able to experience a million points of light in the sky over the world’s first “Dark Sky City.”
Hit it out of the park: Lowell Observatory
Step out onto the balcony of your Flagstaff hotel room to be wowed by the night skies or visit Lowell Observatory where Pluto, formerly known as a planet, was discovered. Don’t know that story? Well, you’ll hear all about it at Lowell Observatory, where you can view the Sun or other stars through a specially equipped solar telescope, jump on the Pluto Tour and see one of the most famous telescopes in history — the Pluto Discovery Telescope or experience Discovery Channel programs. Open 10 am to 10 pm every day but Sunday when the doors close at 5 pm.
Knock the cover off the ball: Flagstaff Foodie Scene
Recently called “one of the most dynamic new food destinations not only in Arizona but the country,” Flagstaff boasts young, innovative chefs who are opening fresh new restaurants right alongside of old favorites. Go Major League at time-tested faves like Brix, awarded “Top 95 New Restaurants in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler in 2007 or Cottage Place just voted best overall restaurant in Flagstaff by local readers of the Arizona Daily Sun. As for the new side of things, check out the forest-to-table meal at Coppa Café where Chef Brian Konefal forages in the surrounding Coconino National Forest for mushrooms, greens and edible blooms. The young chefs at Shift Kitchen + Bar bring their experience from the cutting-edge Denver culinary scene. Or simply belly up to the bar at one of Flagstaff’s fun hangouts like Majerle’s Sports Grill owned by Dan Majerle, retired Phoenix Suns NBA player.
Grand Slam: Four National Parks and Monuments
Your Arizona Spring Training Road Trip to Flagstaff has bases loaded with three National Monuments along the route to home plate, Grand Canyon National Park. Hike to cliff dwellings at Walnut Canyon National Monument, only eighteen minutes from historic downtown Flagstaff. Discover lava flows and other unusual geologic formations at Sunset Crater National Monument. Drive through a desert landscape to 800-year-old pueblos at Wupatki National Monument.
Extra Innings: Flagstaff Ale Trail
Extend your Spring Training vacation by venturing down the Flagstaff Ale Trail. Drink beer and relax in this mountain town becoming known as the craft beer hub of the Southwest. With the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail map in hand, you’re sure not to miss any of the seven Flagstaff frothy experiences. Each brewhaus is housed in a historical building, so you’ll get a taste of Arizona history right along with tasting the many award-winning stouts, ales and lagers.
Get more information about Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon at www.flagstaffarizona.org