Airline: United Airlines
Launch Date: March 31
Flights Per Day: Two
Price: Round-trip tickets start at $303
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Flagstaff sits within 100 miles of seven national parks and monuments. Some you’ve heard of—like a little place called the Grand Canyon—and some you likely haven’t, such as Sunset Crater, home to two known inactive volcanoes. Hike the mile-long Lava Flow Trail for the closest view of the crater. 6082 Sunset Crater Road
Meteor Crater Natural Landmark
Earth’s best-preserved meteorite impact site, the 50,000-year-old indentation awaits 40 miles east of town. The $18 admission fee grants you access to the crater’s rim and to an interactive discovery center with an actual Apollo test capsule situated just outside. Interstate 40, Exit 233, Winslow
Celebrate the first lunar landing (50 years ago this July) at Lowell Observatory, where scientists mapped the moon’s surface in preparation for the Apollo missions. Stay late (the observatory closes at 10 p.m.) to stargaze through the telescopes—though you don’t really need them. Light pollution ordinances keep Flagstaff’s night skies dark, the ideal condition for constellation spotting. 1400 W. Mars Hill Road
The Main Street of America cuts through Flagstaff, and the ’50s-themed Galaxy Diner, where soda jerks hand-dip more than 100 milkshake flavors, is worth a pit stop. But be sure to explore beyond the Mother Road; bits of Americana dot other downtown blocks, too, like the 25-foot-tall Muffler Man statue near Northern Arizona University’s Walkup Skydome Stadium. End your tour at the Museum Club, an original Route 66 roadhouse now hosting live country bands.
Flagstaff Brewery Trail
What Flagstaff’s burgeoning craft brewery scene lacks in Denver’s abundance, it makes up for in imagination. See: the lime-forward Daily Driver Session IPA at Mother Road Brewing Company and experimental suds such as Midnight Drive, a brown ale made with coffee and peanut butter, at Dark Sky Brewery. Get a map and passport at craftbeerflg.com or one of two visitor centers—which is also where you can pick up a free pint glass after hitting all eight spots.
Kevin Heinonen opened this fine-dining eatery a decade ago, and its ever-evolving Americana menu (look for the steamed mussels with apple cider broth) helped turn him into a local culinary star. He’s since launched two more staples on the same downtown block: the casual Tourist Home Cafe as well as the Annex Cocktail Lounge, known for how’d-they-think-of-that drinks like the Hip Stag, which includes grilled-pineapple-infused mezcal. 34 S. San Francisco St.
Like any good college town, Flagstaff boasts a pizza parlor on most every corner. Yet Pizzicletta appeals to taste buds slightly more sophisticated than the average dorm dwellers’. The wood-fired oven at the tiny spot spits out Neapolitan-style pies in under 90 seconds, often topped with luxe ingredients like cured Italian salami. Don’t forget a house-made pint of gelato on your way out. 203 W. Phoenix Ave.
The Weatherford Hotel
A favorite rest stop for weary pioneers, the 1900 hotel (standard rooms start at $105 a night) retains notes of frontier ruggedness, like burnished wood accents and antique claw-foot tubs in some rooms. Don’t spend all your time soaking, though. First-floor Charly’s Pub & Grill serves posole accompanied by the sound of local jazz quartets. End your evening with a nightcap on the third-story wraparound balcony of the Zane Grey Bar & Ballroom. 23 N. Leroux St.