Flagstaff is both an Arizona tourist hotbed and a thriving college town with a popular school. Northern Arizona University's Flagstaff campus has more than 20,000 students enrolled annually. Tourists are drawn to the region thanks to the year-round pleasant temperatures, and globally recognized attractions like the Grand Canyon. Located along the legendary route 66, Flagstaff also sees its fare share of road trip commuter traffic.However, if you're looking to settle down in Flagstaff, you need to know where to find an apartment, not a hotel. There are plenty of accommodation options available in Flagstaff for new residents and students alike, you just have to know where to find them.
Applying extremely early in Flagstaff is going to be the norm. In fact, getting your apartment applications in January for a school year starting in September is not uncommon. If you know you need to be in Flagstaff for the fall, starting the hunt in January is a great idea.
Landlords in Flagstaff cater to different types of renters. There is a large contingent that rent to the snowbirds that flock south every winter. There are others that offer primarily student housing. Focus on applying to the right type of building. A student competing against someone established who is moving south for the winter is likely to find themselves in a tough situation.
Flagstaff is a commuter's dream, because you can get around any way you choose. The city is car friendly, with the most historic highway in the country cutting through the city. The Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation authority has commuter-friendly bus routes. Finally, if you prefer two wheels to four, the miles of cycling trails webbed through the city will provide you with yet another way to reach your destinations.
Flagstaff is perfect for those who like to sweat for their entertainment. The cycling, hiking and climbing around the city is unmatched. During the winter, strap on the skis and head out to the Snowbowl. Flagstaff also has a thriving craft beer scene, and some of the local brewpubs serve up fantastic in-house beer along with great grub. For a truly American experience, try grabbing a burger and a beer somewhere on Route 66.
Without a doubt, the most important attraction in the area is the Grand Canyon. This is the reason that so much tourist traffic comes to Flagstaff, as it is the city closest to this natural wonder. Many use it as the launchpad for adventures to the Canyon, ranging from hiking to helicopter tours. For people who are as interested in the heavens as they are in the earth, the Lowell Observatory is a wonderful place to visit. The Pioneer Museum is another not to be missed attraction, as it helps visitors understand what life was like when early settlers first made it to this part of the country.
If you're looking for modern culinary sophistication, head to Josephine’s Modern American Bistro. For a new spin on the classic burger, head to Diablo Burger. The local ingredients and English muffin buns will help refresh an old staple. If you just want to get a great cup of coffee head to the Campus Coffee Bean, a regular stop for most University students. One of the most recommended spots in Flagstaff for a romantic date is the Cottage Place Restaurant. The food is among the best in the city, and the staff is attentive to all the little details that make for a very special night out.
The Beaver Street Brewery is a great place to enjoy great beer, and great food. Their in-house beer is among the best microbrew in Flagstaff, and the wood-fired pizza oven keeps pizza lovers coming back for supper again and again. The great brewpubs in the city certainly go beyond Beaver Street though. Lumberyard, Mother Road and the Historic Brewing Company are just a few of the other options. Pool players tend to hang out at Uptown Billiards. This establishment is higher-end than most pool halls, and features a great selection of craft beer to go along with your game.
The Museum of Northern Arizona is certainly one of the crown jewels of Flagstaff. This museum covers more than 200 acres, and is particularly renowned for it's collection of Native American artefacts. The Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is a professional orchestra that has been entertaining residents for more than 65 years. Live theatre is also alive and well in Flagstaff. The Theatrikos Theatre Company produces a wide variety of work, ranging from Broadway Musicals to Shakespeare. They also offer a variety of youth programming to help get people interested and engaged with the arts from a young age. They also facilitate a variety of workshops throughout their season.
Throughout the spring and summer, Flagstaff holds a series of First Friday Art Walks, where can tour the local galleries. The local summer festival is known as Flagstaff Hullaballoo. This typically runs in the early part of June, and aims to offer something for everyone. It starts with a parade, and events range from a kid friendly bounce-house area, to local micro-brews widely available for parents. June is also when you will find the Flagstaff Wine & Food Festival at the Pepsi Amphitheatre, where the locals gather to celebrate all the best in local food and drink. The Sunnyside Neighbourhood Association has also been organizing a very successful Fiesta de Mayo for more than 20 years each May.
The largest single place to go shopping in the area is the Flagstaff Mall & The Marketplace. This shopping center features all of the normal landmark stores that you would expect to find in a mall of this size, and it's convenience makes it very popular with local shoppers. If you prefer to shop outside and enjoy the ambience of the city, the Fourth Street District is a good place to go. This is a very old part of Flagstaff, and the many historic buildings are filled with stores and restaurants of all kinds. Historic downtown is another area worth visiting, and is where you will find a large collection of smaller boutique-type stores.
Northern Arizona University is located in Flagstaff, and the NCAA Division I athletics program provides plenty of sporting entertainment for the residents. The Lumberjacks are competitive in a number of sports, but basketball and football are especially popular with the locals. The football team’s primary rivalry is with the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, whom they play regularly for the “Grand Canyon Cup.” Sports are also popular with the residents who participate in them. Flagstaff is next to one of only three ski resorts in the state at the Arizona Snowbowl, which makes it very popular with those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding.
Of course, the Grand Canyon is the preeminent outdoor attraction in the Flagstaff area. A great way to see it from Flagstaff is to take the Grand Canyon Railway and stay at the Railway hotel. Hiking and biking trails throughout the desert are also always popular with those who enjoy testing their limits in this unforgiving landscape. In addition to the Grand Canyon, relatively close to Flagstaff is the Meteor Crater. This is one of the most well preserved impact sites from a meteor on the planet. It is also massive, with a diameter of more than a mile.