With its quaint downtown, views of Humphreys Peak and as a gateway to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff may be the best city in the West. With a population just north of 75,000, Flagstaff is a small city that packs in “small town” charm.

It has been a thriving tourism hub since travelers began making their way to the Grand Canyon in the early 20th century. Of course, it continued to grow after Route 66 made its way through the city.

Today, Flagstaff – sitting at 7,000 feet – is best known for its four-season weather. The city is famous for its Fourth of July event, Art in the Park and all sorts of outdoor summertime fun. While it’s no New England, Flagstaff becomes a leaf-lover’s destination in the fall with some of the prettiest foliage in the Southwest. There’s a winter ski resort called the Arizona Snowbowl perfect for beginners and hobbyists alike. And there’s plenty of flowers and hiking opportunities come springtime.

Photo by Deborah Lee Soltesz (https://flic.kr/p/5CAHJF)

Flagstaff was also designated as the world’s first International Dark Sky City. The International Dark-Sky Association’s goal is to reduce light pollution and recognize places that work to do so. For nighttime enthusiasts, Flagstaff is also home to the U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station and the Lowell Observatory. 

Each year, Flagstaff gets more and more recognition from travel publications all over the world, so if you haven’t been yet, make 2023 your year to go!