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A zealous and fresh approach to the New Year always seems to be among the top of the “must do” lists for most people in January.
This New Year is positioned perfectly as it occurs on a weekend providing opportunity to escape and invigorate at 7,000 feet altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona. From the annual Great Pinecone Drop countdown to snowplay in Arizona’s official Winter Wonderland or a hike to get started on those resolutions, Flagstaff has the weather, the attractions, and many activities to say farewell to 2016 and welcome 2017. Get started with seven ways to ring in the New Year Flagstaff-style:
1. The Great Pinecone Drop became Flagstaff’s New Year’s Eve tradition in 1999 when the Weatherford Hotel rang in the new millennium and honored the Hotel’s 100-year anniversary. Since then, thousands gather in the streets for the countdown into the New Year and the lowering of the Pinecone followed by a brief firework display. Join the festive street party atmosphere at the corner of Aspen Avenue and Leroux Street in downtown Flagstaff at either 10 p.m. or 12 a.m. To elevate the Pinecone Drop experience tickets are available from the Weatherford Hotel for their New Year’s Eve Gala in the Zane Grey Ballroom and Bar with access to the balcony during the countdown.
2. Not able to have a white Christmas? Then come for a white New Year’s Day and start the year on the slopes with a day of snowplay or skiing in Flagstaff. For the most up-to-date information on conditions at Flagstaff area winter recreation sites call the snowplay information hotline at 1-844-256-SNOW and find directions and alternate routes to the sites on the free Winter Snowplay Map available at flagstaffarizona.org or at the Flagstaff Visitor Center.
3. Get started on those New Year’s fitness resolutions and take your first hike of the New Year at one of the Flagstaff Area National Monuments. The Island Trail at Walnut Canyon National Monument offers a strenuous one mile hike with more than 200 stairs descending 185 vertical feet into the canyon or for a more leisurely option try the one mile Lava Flow Trail loop at Sunset Crater National Monument.
4. Craft beer fans can make it a “Happy Brew Year” in Flagstaff with a trek on the Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail to get a taste of all seven of the city’s breweries or simply head to a favorite brewery to try winter season specialty brews.
5. Get adventurous with New Year’s Eve lodging and slumber in a yurt at the Arizona Nordic Village. This requires preparation and necessitates packing things from home including a sleeping bag. For those looking for more traditional hotel accommodations, Flagstaff is home to more than 5,000 hotel rooms for any style or budget.
6. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day then be sure to start the New Year with a hearty breakfast in Flagstaff at a local favorite including: Martanne’s Burrito Palace, Tourist Home Urban Market, Macy’s European Coffeehouse, La Bellavia, Brandy’s Restaurant, Mike and Ronda’s The Place or Northern Pines Restaurant.
7. Zip on out of 2016 or literally fly-in to 2017 and spend the day traversing through the pine trees at the brand new Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Zip Line Course. The new zip line course, as well as the traditional obstacle course, will be open on December 31, with several mid-day course start times available.