Flagstaff Road Trip

Editorial StaffSeptember 6, 2022
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Ale Trail

Fall is flawless in Flagstaff, when the many aspens that freckle its landscape turn a stunning auburn hue. Winter adventures abound at Arizona Snowbowl, and spring and summer offer moderate temperatures and a city in bloom. But any time of year is an ideal occasion to sip a crisp, cold beer at one of Flagstaff’s nine craft breweries.

How To Get There 

Take the I-17 North and follow signs for Flagstaff.

Best Seasons to Visit: Winter, Summer and Fall


-> Known as “the house that chilaquiles built,” family-owned Martanne’s Breakfast Palace whips together a mean platter of the classic Mexican dish. Pair it with a chai latte or mango-chile margarita for an eye-opening breakfast. 112 E. Rte. 66, 928-773-4701, martannes.com

-> Sip a slice of history at Flagstaff Brewing Company. Jeff Thorsett opened Flag Brew in 1994, making it the first licensed brewery in the burgeoning mountain town. At the time, Thorsett was one of the youngest profesisonal brewers in the country. Perch on the brewery’s expansive patio with a pint of Sasquatch Stout, a full-bodied black ale named after Thorsett’s hometown in Oregon. 16 W. Rte. 66, 928-773-1442, flagbrew.com


-> Mother Road Brewing Company’s mantra is “finding joy in the adventure,” an apt tagline for a brewery built along a lost stretch of historic Route 66 (“the Mother Road.”) Find your own joy in a glass of Tower Station, Mother Road’s flagship IPA. 7 S. Mikes Pike St., 928-774-9139, motherroadbeer.com

Mother Road Brewing Company; Photo courtesy Mother Road Brewing Company
Mother Road Brewing Company; Photo courtesy Mother Road Brewing Company

-> Named for Flagstaff’s designation as the first International Dark Sky City, Dark Sky Brewing’s taproom is adorned with works by Arizona artists and a bar top bespeckled with glowing lights that resemble the night sky. The brewery regularly uses experimental ingredients, releasing beers with everything from hibiscus to peanut butter and jelly. It’s brewing with a culinary twist. 117 N. Beaver St., 928-440-515, darkskybrewing.com

-> Grab a treat at Sweet Shoppe Candy Store. The scent of melted chocolate and caramel permeates this old-fashioned sweet shop, which specializes in homemade fudge, gourmet candy apples and gelato. Stop by to stock up on hard-to-find candy and local souvenirs.
15 E. Aspen Dr., 928-213-9000, sweetshoppechandy.com

Sweet Shoppe Candy Store; Photo by Terri Lea Smith
Sweet Shoppe Candy Store; Photo by Terri Lea Smith

-> For dinner: Lotus Lounge. The historic Hotel Monte Vista is home to this new chic Asian fusion spot with views of downtown Flagstaff and menu highlights that include a sushi and sashimi board and unique cocktails like a lychee margarita. 106 N. San Francisco St., 928-440-5568, lotusloungeflasgatff.com

Hotel Monte Vista; Photo by Brenna Zumbro
Hotel Monte Vista; Photo by Brenna Zumbro

Flagstaff boasts the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world

Overnight Options

Hotel Monte Vista
The “Monte V” is known for its alleged ghost sightings and famous guests ranging from John Wayne to Jon Bon Jovi. The hotel’s trademark neon sign is a glowing beacon that has been beckoning guests and locals alike since 1927. 100 N. San Francisco St., 928-779-6971, hotelmontevista.com

Weatherford Hotel
For more than a century, the Weatherford Hotel has been a mainstay on Flagstaff’s main drag. Come for the charming vintage-style suites and stay for the food and drinks – this historic hotel houses three different bars and restaurants. 23 N. Leroux St., 928-779-1919, weatherfordhotel.com

Little America Hotel
Little America got a big makeover in 2018, when the famed flop unveiled 123 reimagined guestrooms and property-wide upgrades to its lobby, retail shop, restaurant and bar, outdoor patio and meeting spaces, all while maintaining the lodge’s signature rustic charm. 2515 E. Butler Ave., 928-779-7900, flagstaff.littleamerica.com

Lowell Observatory; Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images
Lowell Observatory; Photo courtesy Adobe Stock Images
Wild Card

Perched atop the city of Flagstaff with stunning views of the city below and the sky above, Lowell Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the world. The dwarf planet Pluto was discovered at the institution in 1930. Today, it houses several telescopes, museums and a gift shop.