No place is perfect, but Flagstaff comes pretty close. In a later blog I’ll share with you the top 5 things I don’t like about Flagstaff, but for now read all about the great things Flagstaff has to offer.
Number 10 The Night Life
There are always a slew of things to do in Flagstaff from funky breweries and live music to poker nights and many good restaurants. You might even catch a comedy open mic night or a concert in the Pepsi Amphitheater. In the summer, Flagstaff has free movies on the square downtown and in the winter is the special New Year’s Eve Pine Cone Drop.
Number 9 The City of Seven Wonders
Those of us who have lived in Flagstaff for a long time, or grew up here, don’t always think of the seven wonders, but they are spectacular. There’s the phenomenal view we get daily of the San Francisco Peaks alongside the Coconino National Forest and everyone thinks of the Grand Canyon when they’re thinking of one of the seven wonders near Flagstaff. There are beautiful sunsets and sunrises there nearly every day. There are a couple of other fantastic canyons you can explore as well. Oak Creek has some stellar hiking trails and Walnut Canyon is home to ancient cliff dwellings. If you like ancient homesites, you can also check out Wupatki National Monument. Lastly, there’s Sunset Crater Volcano. There you can hear from Rangers at an amphitheater talk or you can hike along the lava flow trail.
Number 8 Our Dark Sky City
Because of all the astronomy work that is done here, Flagstaff has special lighting ordinances at night to allow a clear view of the cosmos. In many places, you get such a wide expanse of the sky to behold at night it can give you a sense of how big the universe truly is.
Number 7 Annual Festivals
While the night life has many things for us to enjoy. We also have annual festivals that keep us entertained. We love our 4th of July parade and we’re proud to be a STEM city. We have an annual STEAM festival and we had to add the A because the arts are very important to us here in Flagstaff. Here’s a list of many of the annual festivals: Shakespeare festival, Fiesta de Mayo, Zuni festival, Hullabaloo, Wool and Fiber, Blues and Brews, Barks and Brews, Pride in the Pines, Multiple 4th of July Festivals, Folk Festival, Hopi Festival, Art in the Park, Celtic Festival, Mead and Cider Fest, Navajo Festival, JamBeerie, Pickin’ in the Pines Music Festival, 10-day Science Festival, Big Pine Comedy Fest, Taco Festival, Cornucopia, Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Walk and Celebraciones de la Gente, for the Day of the Dead. I was most surprised we have a Taco Festival – but evidently other places in the US have spaghetti and hamburger festivals.
Number 6 The Performing and Visual Arts
Whether you are a performer, an artist, or simply a connoisseur of fine art, Flagstaff has something for you. To begin with, there’s the Flagstaff First Friday Art Walk. You can also look forward to the Symphony, Master Chorale, Ballet, Modern Dance, Aerial Arts, Fine Musical and Stage Theater as well as the Coconino Center for the Arts, the Museum of Northern Arizona and the historical Pioneer Museum. Twice a year, Flagstaff artists host the Open Studios Tour where the public can enter their studio to see their latest works of art. We even celebrate the arts with our annual Viola Awards, an honor to receive and a classy affair to attend.
Number 5 Four Seasons with a Mild Summer and Winter
Yes, you heard that right. What that looks like in the winter is that snow melts within a day or two, at least on the streets. And during the day the temperatures don’t stay in the single digits for very long, if at all. In the summer, it’s unusual for the temperatures to get above 90 degrees. We have the monsoons in the summer also. That gives us a nice bit of humidity and much needed rain. We also have a good number of leaf changes in the fall (mostly from the Aspen trees) and a good diversity of plant life in the spring time. People especially love the wild sunflowers that blanket the city.
Number 4 Flagstaff is Centrally Located
If you enjoy traveling for vacations and other activities, you’ll really like that Flagstaff is close to many metropolises as well as other natural habitats. The ocean in Rocky Point, Mexico is a mere five hours drive away. Phoenix, Albuquerque and Las Vegas are an easy afternoon drive, or you can get to San Diego and Los Angeles in under eight hours. Some National Parks that you can drive to in a day are Zion, Chaco Canyon, the Sequoia National Forest, and Joshua tree.
Number 3 Outdoor Activities.
If you enjoy outdoor activities, Flagstaff and the surrounding area is a Mecca for everything outdoors. There are watersports at Lake Mary nearby or a little further away at like Powell. Also on the San Juan, the Verde and the Colorado rivers. If you enjoy snow sports, you can take the new quad lift at snowball on The Peaks. Additionally, we have rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, fly fishing, hunting, and even paragliding, all in close proximity to Flagstaff. There are so many outdoor activities. I will have to make another video about it just to make sure I include them all.
Number 2 Small Town Living
With a population of over 70,000 we are definitely a city. However we really like our small town vibe. Please check your big city attitude and your anonymity at this city border, but do bring along your openness and your kindness and your generosity. Many of the people in Flagstaff are people-people we like to get to know you and we hope that you’ll get to know us too. And the people here generally Cop a kind of “no worries,” “Oh, it’s chill” kind of attitude. Dogs are loved in our city and you’ll find many dogs out with their owners just out and about at restaurants, at stores or hiking and biking right alongside them. Also being a small city in size makes it pretty easy to get to everything you need within about 15 minute’s drive and sometimes even in walking distance. Honorable Mentions.
The first honorable mention is charter schools. Now, although Flagstaff is a small city, we have a ton of charter schools all the way from kindergarten through high school and the local school district also has many magnet programs. Flagstaff has some stellar higher education institutions. We have the Northern Arizona University and Coconino Community College both offer a wide range of educational opportunities.
Number 1 Clean Air and Water
The citizens of Flagstaff voted not to fluoridate the water, so it might be even cleaner than you think. And while we do get a fire once in a while, the air is fresh and clean surely because of all of the pine trees in the Coconino National Forest.