If you’re heading to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, chances are Flagstaff is your starting point. Be sure to take advantage of your Flagstaff time with these two tips on nearby activities to do in a day or less.

Lowell Observatory, opened in 1894, just might be one of the oldest observatories in the U.S. and is still equipped with the original 24 inch Clark telescope that’s not only on display, but also in use with star viewing opportunities during one of the many night time programs. It’s the perfect way to spend your first, and perhaps only evening in Flagstaff under the stars.

Walnut Canyon National Monument is just a 15-minute drive from downtown Flagstaff. It’s a great setting for a bit of walking, hiking and learning about the people who once inhabited the area. Visit the information center for the brochure with maps. There are two well-marked trails with facts and figures about what living was like in a small cliff city more than a thousand years ago. Back then it was very habitable with a year round water stream in the canyon bottom, sheltering rock overhangs converted into rooms, and plateau top gardening areas. Bring your binoculars because you’ll be able to zoom in on many of the dwellings from the path.

Places to stay: If you’re not a fan of Holiday Inns, and Airbnb isn’t your thing, then check out The Inn at 410, a homey B&B with a great breakfast and conveniently close to Lowell Observatory.

Places to eat: Fat Olives for craft beers and pizza. Or wander over to Satchmo’s for BBQ and Cajun style dishes.

Categories: Tips

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