About 700,000 years ago, the Lava River Cave came into existence after a volcanic reaction took place. This lava tube is located within the premises of the Coconino National Forest and was discovered in 1915 by local lumbermen. The cave is open to public visitation and attracts several nature lovers throughout the year.
The stunning expanse of Walnut Canyon sits on the Colorado Plateau. An extensive, winding trail commences at the visitor center, showcasing a wealth of outstanding geological marvels along its way, including rustic cliff dwellings that stand under beautiful canyon walls. These dwellings are believed to have been constructed by pre-Colombian people, most notably the Sinagua inhabitants. The Island Trail offers a detailed and strenuous hike which voyages deeper into the canyon, a breathtaking 85-foot descent into the heart of the community at this ancient site. Located within close proximity to Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castles, this site also shelters the Old Headquarters, a rustic, log-built cabin, which is said to be one of the earliest in northern Arizona.
Lumber barons Timothy and Michael Riordan built this 40-room mansion in 1904 to house their massive families. Its architect, Charles Whittlesey, also designed the magnificent El Tovar Hotel located at the Grand Canyon. What's most interesting about the structure is that the two sides are mirror images, with a huge common area in the center, to provide each family with identical private quarters and shared living spaces. The park also includes picnic areas and a visitors center that contains exhibits. Guided tours of the mansion and grounds are held at regular times throughout the day.
The Museum of Northern Arizona is the premier facility for the study and exploration of native people and natural sciences which feature exhibits on the evolving cultures and climate of the area. Ever-changing exhibits cover anthropology, biology, geology and archaeology, as well as a variety of fine arts media. Throughout the year, Native American artists are showcased, and in the spring, an annual exhibition of Zuni, Hopi and Navajo artworks and crafts draw big crowds.
Many travelers are surprised to learn that the world's largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest blankets the mountains of Flagstaff in Northern Arizona. Aromatic treetops brush the endless blue sky just outside of town, but this panoramic portrait is more than just breathtaking scenery for hikers, climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts; it's home to wildlife which includes the black bear and American bald eagle. Explore elevations of up to 12,633 feet and watch the flora change from cactus to alpine tundra along the way.
This local museum utilizes the old farmstead of the Jordan family to educate visitors about the heritage of greater Sedona. A trio of landmark buildings form the main exhibits of the museum, whereas visitors can also peruse various antique farming implements and vintage orchard equipment within the space. You can also spot a replica of a tent house and some artifacts related to Sedona's early pioneer history. Surrounded by the region's signature crimson-rock landscape, the museum complex is not only a wonderful place to learn more about the area's history, but also take in the splendid sights.
Dark Sky Brewing Company is located in the heart of Flagstaff and is very popular with the city's beer lovers. This single-story warehouse-style pub is known to brew some of the best beers in the city and offer a wide variety of beers that frequently change with new and unique brews introduced every week. This means you can try something new every time you visit. The ambiance is laid back and friendly making this pub a great place to catch up with a bunch of friends over some delicious cold brews. Although they do not serve food, there is a food parked just outside that serves some delicious snacks and munchies. A visit to the Dark Sky Brewing Company is definitely a must when in the city.
A seasonal guided walking tour of the classic haunted places of Flagstaff is filled with ghostly tales, unexplained phenomenon and spine-tingling tales of Flagstaffs colorful past. Stops along this tour include the Brakeman, Emerson the Ghost, the Balcony Specter, the Old Man in the Basement, the Zane Grey Ballroom, and many more. This is a spooky historic tour sure to thrill young and old, especially during the ghostly Halloween season. Free and open to the public, this volunteer-guided walking tour dedicated to the rich history of Flagstaff's most haunted places is time well spent exploring one of the most haunted cities in Arizona. -Herman Sims
Heritage Square is an outdoor plaza with an amphitheater that holds concerts, plays and other events throughout the year in historic downtown Flagstaff. The Heritage Square Trust maintains this 11,000-sq. ft. plaza and as a benevolent organization it provides free events to the public in what the trust calls the "community's living room." The 1200-seat amphitheater is the centerpiece of the plaza and during the year visitors can always see something new. From the summer concert series with plays and music as diverse as jazz and Celtic rock, its a great place to catch an eclectic performance.
Education literally takes a different point of view at Northern Arizona University, due to its silhouette against Flagstaff's San Francisco Peaks. Surrounded by aspen and pine trees in four distinct seasons, students are challenged to better themselves intellectually through an eclectic array of classes and activities. Founded in 1899, NAU lays the groundwork for liberal arts education with opportunities to prepare for a number of specialized professions. Today, nearly 20,000 students embrace the future with their choice of 100 baccalaureate, 40 masters, and eight doctoral degrees. The cultural scene is kept active by various plays, dramas and concerts held at the Studio Theatre in Performing Arts Building. The Cline Assembly Hall in the Cline Library is also frequently used for ceremonies, lectures and talks.
Jay Lively Activity Center is a popular ice skating rink that offers fun times for people of all ages. They arrange for public sessions where you can skate with your loved ones. The center is the home venue of the local team Nau Ice Jacks. You can come in here to put on your skates or to enjoy a match or two and, cheer for your home team!