August 8, 2018
Flagstaff: The Ultimate Sedona Day Trip
Posted by: Lori Reinhold
Flagstaff is the perfect day trip from Sedona. Located less than an hour’s drive away from the Alma de Sedona Inn, this thriving mountain town boasts a fascinating pioneer past and endless ways to explore the great outdoors. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, Flagstaff is nestled inside the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, making it a world-renowned hiking, skiing, and cycling destination. However, if the outdoors aren’t your thing, you will also find excellent shops, restaurants, breweries, and historic sites. No matter the season you come, an unforgettable adventure awaits. Read on to plan your perfect day trip to Flagstaff, Arizona.
Arts, Shopping, and Culture
Downtown Flagstaff is the town’s epicenter for arts, shopping, and dining. The charming 1890s-era streets are lined with posh boutiques, adventure outfitters, art galleries, and outdoor cafes specializing in delicious Southwestern cuisine. Browse through Heritage Square to buy some authentic Native American art and jewelry or hear some local live music. For more shopping, head to the Oak Creek Vista Overlook, where 16 Native American artisans and vendors come to sell their high-quality, traditional crafts and jewelry. The Overlook is open year-round and has bathrooms on site.
If you prefer to sit and enjoy a good drink, follow the microbreweries along the Flagstaff Ale Trail. Known as ‘craft beer city’, Flagstaff has a high concentration of excellent breweries making tasty craft beers for every palate. On the Flagstaff Ale Trail, you can print out a passport and get your “stamp” for each of the nine featured breweries you visit. Hit them all and you will be rewarded for your hard work with a commemorative pint glass.
Astronomy lovers should pay a visit to Lowell Observatory, a state-of-the-art observatory located on a mesa overlooking Flagstaff. To learn about the history of the region, especially its original Native American habitats, the Museum of Northern Arizona is filled with artifacts, natural science specimens, fine art, and more.
Outdoors & Historic Sites
There are countless amazing parks, monuments, and historic sites in the Flagstaff area. Don’t just limit yourself to the Grand Canyon. Meteor Crater was formed 50,000 years again when a piece of asteroid traveling at 26,000 miles per hour collided with planet Earth. This breathtaking site is nearly 1 mile across. 2.4 miles in circumference, and more than 550 feet deep. Plan on giving yourself at least 2 hours to go through the Interactive Discovery Center, lookout points, movie theater, and take a guided rim trail tour.
The Petrified National Forest is the only remaining evidence of Arizona’s previous days as a temperate subtropical rainforest, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. This magnificent, rainbow-hued National Park is well-known for its 225 million year-old fossils and large concentrations of petrified wood. Make sure you take a stroll down the Giant Logs Trail, where you will find some of the largest and most well-preserved trees in the park. If you’re feeling adventurous, get off the beaten path on their many rugged backcountry trails to places like Devil’s Playground and the Red Basin.
To learn more about the region’s Native American history, visit the Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Take a self-guided rim drive or hike to explore the steep-walled canyons and the many Native American ruins tucked below the impressive cliffs. Other nearby Native American sites include the Navajo National Monument and Wupatki National Monument.
Skiing & Winter Sports
Flagstaff is Arizona’s official winter wonderland. With an average of 100 inches of snowfall annually and even more in the surrounding ponderosa forests, people from all across the country flock to Flagstaff during the winter months to take advantage of its world-renowned winter sports offerings. Flagstaff is a mecca for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledding, and even snowbiking.
The most popular spot for winters ports is the Arizona Snowbowl, famous for its 2,300 ft. vertical rise and average snowfall of over 240 inches. The season at the snowbowl is long, stretching from mid-November until mid-April. The snowbowl is 777 acres, with seven lifts, a large learning area, and some of the best terrain parks in the state. Other popular winter sports destinations in the area are the Arizona Nordic Village and the Coconino National Forest.
If you are looking for the perfect day trip from Sedona (that isn’t the crowded Grand Canyon,) we recommend visiting Flagstaff. Here you’ll find great shops, restaurants, and breweries as well as countless ways to explore the great outdoors, no matter what time of year you visit. Drive just 50 minutes from the Alma de Sedona Inn and you’re there.
Planning a trip to Sedona, Arizona? Book a stay at the Alma de Sedona Inn for warm service and unbeatable red rock views.