More than just a gateway to the scenic south rim of the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff is a destination all its own. The surrounding hills and pine forests of Coconino National Forest create a rustic atmosphere, and the historic streets lined with cafes and boutiques offer laid-back vacation vibes. Whether you’re looking for mountain views, hiking trails or easy access to the surrounding parks, consider looking at these nine beautiful places as you look for your Flagstaff vacation rental.
1. Downtown Flagstaff
After a day of outdoor adventures, there’s no better place to wind down than trendy downtown Flagstaff. Venture outside your cozy rental to view the Arizona night sky at Lowell Observatory, and stroll down the streets to find pubs, restaurants, and antique shops housed in turn-of-the-century buildings. A vacation rental here is a great choice if you plan on making day trips to the Grand Canyon to enjoy the breathtaking lookouts, hike along the rim, or ride a mule down into the canyon.
2. East Flagstaff
In this part of town, you find vacation rentals clustered along historic Route 66. This area lies just off the interstate, providing easy access to the Grand Canyon and other parks and monuments in the area. In fact, staying here puts you just steps away from Walnut Canyon National Monument, which offers hikes through the sloping landscape with ancient rock dwellings that once held a Native American habitation. When you’re done exploring, check out Flagstaff Mall or one of the coffee shops before heading back to your rental.
3. South Flagstaff
Situated just off the interstate, this more residential area of Flagstaff boasts universities, condos, and campgrounds. Coconino National Forest stretches through South Flagstaff, so your family can feel like you’re camping no matter what type of rental you choose. After marveling at the Grand Canyon or enjoying a day of snow-shoeing in the winter, check out the shops at University Plaza Shopping Center.
4. Kachina Village
Located 8 miles south of downtown Flagstaff, this pine-forest village features rustic cabins and homes hidden along winding streets. Be sure to check out the Forest Highlands Golf Club to test your skills, or take the family to the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course to enjoy a thrilling obstacle course through the treetops. Kachina Village is also neighbor to Fort Tuthill County Park, a local hot spot for hiking and enjoying the Flagstaff Snow Park during the winter months.
This town rests 11 miles west of Flagstaff along the Interstate, and at more than 7,000 feet above sea level, it offers plenty of opportunities for a wilderness escape. Hang out at your rental to enjoy views of snow-capped mountains and Coconino National Forest out your window, and explore town to grab a bite to eat at one of the local grills or diners.
Williams rests 33 miles west of Flagstaff along Interstate 40, and it’s nestled in Kaibib National Forest. This historic town harbors another entrance to the Grand Canyon via Highway 64, making it a great place to set up your home base if you plan on exploring the canyon. It’s also a hub of the Grand Canyon Railway, which offers a unique way to experience the canyon wilderness. If you visit in the winter, tear up the slopes at Elk Ridge Ski Area. For a summer trip, enjoy hiking the trails or boating and fishing on the lakes.
7. Highway 89
Highway 89, the area stretching north of Flagstaff on the way to Grand Canyon, is ideal for a more remote getaway where you can grill out with views of the San Francisco mountains. If you choose this area, be sure to set aside time to explore Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument or hike the rocky trails of Humphreys Peak.
Situated 30 miles south of Flagstaff, Sedona offers another kind of canyon adventure. Soak in the views of canyon walls and red-rock buttes from the porch of your rental, and enjoy mountain biking or hiking along one of the many winding trails whose trailheads are based right in Sedona. Travelers who want to relax can find golf, luxury spas, or wine tasting in the area, and families seeking a little more adventure can enjoy whitewater rafting on the Verde River. Travelers are sure to enjoy the Sedona Heritage Museum, where they can discover the town’s pioneer history and view historic buildings. During your stay, keep an eye out for events such as the Sedona Wine Fest or Red Rocks Music Festival.
This small town nestled in Coconino National Forest lies 20 miles west of Flagstaff, but staying here puts you right off the interstate for easy access to Flagstaff and the nearest Grand Canyon entrance highways. Parks is the place to stay if you’d love to enjoy views of the San Francisco Mountains from camp chairs in front of your rental.