Mar 3

A quick trip to Flagstaff, AZ

Category: Travel

We recently went on a quick business trip to Flagstaff.  I’ll tell you why on another day.

It is a beautiful place.  It is large enough to have the modern conveniences of life but small enough to run into the same people every now and then.  There are a few areas of particular interest – Northern Arizona university is one end of town, and the other is more of a resort community.  In between is a small downtown with nice restaurants and shops and a variety of neighborhoods.  If you go north for 20 minutes, town peters out and it’s only 1.5 hours to the Grand Canyon.  Volcanoes ring the area and provide a fantastic backdrop to everyday scenery, even in the “sprawly” parts of town.

You can fly into Flag, but it is almost easier to fly into Phoenix and drive the 2 hours up there.  The scenery is often breathtaking, specially where the desert meets the edge of the plateau on which Flagstaff sits, and the climate changes as if on another planet.  You go from warm rock and cactus to snowy pine forests in about half an hour.  If you stop at a scenic overlook, you can see for 60-100 miles.  In this shot there is some smog, probably from Phoenix, but it was still amazing.  You can see the scrubby transition forest in between the desert and the larger trees of Flagstaff.

No place in Flag is too far from any other.  Some people complain about “how bad things are getting” but take it from me, it is small and charming compared to the D.C. area.  People were very friendly, both on the highways and in person.  Definitely more of a small-town feel.


2 Comments so far

  1. Niffer March 4th, 2009 10:42 AM

    It makes me wish I had paid more attention to Flagstaff when I drove through it on my way to Sedona. I remember thinking it was a pretty location, but I wish I had noticed the cute downtown area you mentioned. That’s one of the things I miss most about MD is the cute historic towns like Ellicott City. There are a few gold or silver towns here in CO, but it’s not quite the same.

  2. Dan March 4th, 2009 11:08 AM

    I never think of central Maryland as a particularly charming area. Of course, Ellicott City, the eastern shore and the MD panhandle are a totally different matter. I guess wherever you go, eventually it becomes “normal” and you can lose the sense of “specialness” you feel on first contact. But also, wherever you go, you can usually find something special if you are looking for it.

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