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Whenever someone thinks of Arizona it is easy to picture in your mind the giant desert landscape that takes up the central and southern portions of the state. Arizona is a hot environment, and the desert is a the best visual representation of that. However, not all of Arizona is a dry desert landscape. As you head north you will find plenty of areas surrounded by lush forest areas such as Flagstaff. This northern Arizona community is a great spot to visit to beat the heat and enjoy some incredible outdoor experiences. Flagstaff is also considered to be a dark sky city making sure that light pollution does not overtake the night sky. Locals know that the best spot to go stargazing is over at Lowell Observatory. Take a look at what you need to know during your next trip to Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff:

Ticket to the Universe

Observatories are incredible places that let you peak up into the night sky and peer into the universe that surrounds us. Lowell Observatory is no different and is a classic venue here in Flagstaff that is perfect for those wanting to go stargazing during your stay. A visit to the Lowell Observatory can be completed as early as noon during the week.

Lowell Observatory opens for general admission access that lets you enjoy tours of the facility. Get a firsthand look into the incredible equipment that the observatory uses during daylight hours. You might think there is little to see during the day at an observatory, but you will be delighted to know that is not true. Head over to the Giovale Open Deck Observatory where you can get a close look at the sun with the six state-of-the-art telescopes. Solar viewing is a safe way to see the sun that you otherwise would not be able to do.

You can also learn all about the universe by visiting the Rotunda Museum that is featured here at Lowell Observatory. Self-guided tours are available during select hours of the week allowing you to peek inside at the incredible exhibits. Unique artifacts and noteworthy items are on display such as Percival Lowell’s first telescope and an interactive OmniGlobe. The famous Saturn Lamp is suspended from the dome ceiling that is a stain glass light fixture created by Los Angeles Light Company back in 1918. You will learn all about the observatory from these exhibits.

Go Stargazing

Of course, the biggest draw to visiting any observatory is the chance to engage in stargazing. Looking up into the night sky will mesmerize you in more than one way. General admission into the Lowell Observatory is also good for the evening for stargazing. The observation deck will still feature the six state-of-the-art telescopes that will help you peer into the sky. Lowell Observatory will always post the weather to ensure you visit on a clear night that avoids any cloudy weather. You will be able to see distant planets, galaxies, and gas clouds from the 125-year-old 24-inch Clark Refractor that is still in operation. Lowell Observatory is famous for Clyde Tombaugh first discovering Pluto from here back in 1930. This is your ticket into the universe.

Premium Access

If you are looking for a premium experience here at Lowell Observatory you can purchase a premium access pass. This 75-minute experience lets you have the exclusive opportunity to experience Lowell Observatory’s newest telescope, the 24-inch Dyer Telescope. This is a private experience that can fit up to 10 individuals in your party to participate in. Staff will be on hand to point you in the right direction of distant celestial objects that you will be able to see clearly. Staff will also be able to provide you with all of the incredible knowledge about our solar system making this a must-see experience during your visit!

Special Courses and Events

Visitors can also join Lowell Observatory for unique courses that take place throughout the year. The Astrophotography course is an intensive course to help you snap the perfect pictures of celestial objects through the telescopes. You will even be given digital copies of your images and data that you gather! You can also book an LDT excursion that takes you behind the scenes in how the massive 4.3-meter telescopes are maintained throughout the year. Lowell Observatory also hosts a variety of tours and talks during all hours of the day. Don’t miss out on this stunning attraction found only in Flagstaff.

Get Ready for Your Own Flagstaff Adventure

Book a stay in one of our vacation rentals here in the area to see Flagstaff for yourself. Lowell Observatory is just one of many unique attractions that you will find in the area.

Winter comes, and a few things might pop into your mind: The weather is going to get cold, the days will get shorter, and the list of fun things to do seriously dwindles. Well, we are happy to report that this is an old-school way of thinking! Next time the winter season is fast approaching, we guarantee that all you need is a little change of mind and inspiration to enjoy your few months in the cold weather.

Although you might have only thought about visiting Arizona during the summer months, due to the hot weather, the winter is arguably one of the best times to come to this fun and vibrant area. You can partake in winter sports, cuddle up inside your luxurious home by the fireplace with your loved ones, and go shopping at the numerous shops that line the downtown historic area. The possibilities are truly endless! Check out our ultimate winter Flagstaff vacation guide and why this is a MUST visit location for you and your friends or family.

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Snowshoeing on the Miles of Trails

Not sure what to do during your time here? Well, the possibilities are truly endless when you book a holiday home here in this vibrant winter wonderland! First thing is first: The best way to explore the city and the rolling hills, lush green pine forests, and wooded trails is by snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is a fun and aerobic way to see all that the area has to offer, and you can stay fit on your holiday!

We recommend going to the Arizona Nordic Village to get more information on the trails, rent snowshoes and other winter gear, and get a map to use during your excursion. This village is less than 10 miles from the center of the city, so you can easily get there in less than 15 minutes from any one of our homes. Plus, once you’re done snowshoeing, you make full use of the amenities at the village, including snowshoe rental, a yurt to relax and chill out with a hot drink after snowshoeing, beer to chill out after an intense sweat session, or a hot chocolate for your kids.

Snowshoeing Flagstaff

Or, if you want to try somewhere new for your Flagstaff getaway, then we highly recommend going to Kendrick Park. Kendrick Park and Kendrick Peak are two great spots for you to head to for a full-day outing, including easy trails through the park and a towering mountain pass near the peak that is great for a hard hike to the top of one of the best viewpoints in the entire state.

Another popular spot that we love going for snowshoeing, relaxing, bird watching, or cross-country skiing is Humphreys Peak. This peak is the highest in the entire state, coming in at just over 12,600 feet at the tallest point. So, it is no joke! Even if you’re not a huge fan of heights, you can still do the paths surrounding the base of the mountain. For those who are keen on winter hiking or off-piste skiing, the slopes and snowshoeing options here are great. Take the 10+ mile Humphrey’s Trail to reach the top of the mountain, and don’t forget your camera for some of the best Insta-worthy photos of the entire trip!

The final mountain that we think is a must-do for your snowshoeing adventure is Slate Mountain! Slate Mountain offers a 4-mile round-trip hike that is a great way for beginners to become more comfortable with snowshoes and offers just the right amount of challenge for moderate alpinists. This 4-mile round trip path isn’t for the faint of heart, though; the uphill parts and the steepness make it a great workout that will have you sweating by the end! But trust us, the view from the top of Slate Mountain is well worth the effort.

Skiing Flagstaff


Skiing Down a Freshly Covered Mountain

The next must-do activity for those who come to Arizona from far away to get an adrenaline rush and enjoy the beauty of nature is skiing. We highly recommend starting with a day trip to the nearby Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort so you can check out the impressive views, large drops, and lush green pine forests that surround the resort and après ski lodging. You can choose from any one of the 700 acres of skiing meadows that work with your desired difficulty.

Once you want to try somewhere new, the Sunrise Park Resort that is a few hours north of the downtown of Flagstaff is a great spot for you to head to for a full-day or multi-day adventure. This resort near Greer offers the largest ski resort in the state, three towering mountain peaks, and ski schools for beginners.

Lastly, the Flagstaff Snow Park is a great spot for kids who want to go tubing instead of skiing! If you are not a fan of seeing your kids whizz down the ski slopes at break-neck speeds, then the Snow Park could be your best bet to still have an adrenaline rush, keep your kids entertained, and have fun in the process. The Flagstaff Sno Park offers the best tubing and food trucks for you to enjoy during your trip here.


Grab a Hot Cup of Coffee

The next must-do activity during your Flagstaff vacation if you are a bit cold after a full day of skiing or walking around the town is to grab a hot cup of coffee or cup of cocoa with your family! Luckily for you, there are tons of tasty and mouth-watering cafes that dot the downtown area of Flagstaff for you to check out during your vacation here. Mocha, anyone?

First off, you NEED to visit Lux North if you are in Flagstaff for more than a couple of days. Lux North is a little-known spot that is popular among locals, making it a great non-tourist destination that offers perfect coffee for take away when you are on the move to get to a nearby ski slope or snowshoeing path. We recommend getting one of their espresso-laden drinks, like a honey lavender latte with soy milk, and a flaky cardamom bun or croissant to pack in your backpack for a full-day skiing adventure.

The next stop on your caffeine journey should be Lund Canyon. If you have been on a Euro adventure in the past, you might be missing the cafe and coffee culture. In this case, Lund Canyon is going to be your new haven in Flagstaff, featuring an industrial-style cafe that is great for remote workers and reflects a Scandinavian vibe.

Another European-influenced cafe is Foret, a French cafe and coffee shop that also serves up some of the tastiest brunch dishes in the entire city. We recommend grabbing the avocado toast with an iced oat milk latte. If you want something on the go or a pastry to go with your coffee, the cinnamon bun with a hot cup of coffee is the perfect way to wake up from a long day of snowshoeing or snowboarding! Plus, if the weather is warm and the sun is shining when you get here, we recommend sitting on the patio to people-watch and soak in the perfect mountain views.

Coffee Flagstaff


Indulge in Brunch for a Post-Ski Treat

After a long morning of skiing, snowshoeing, or snowboarding, you might be a bit peckish. If just coffee won’t do enough to warm you up and fill you up, then we recommend going to one of the best brunch spots in Flagstaff to keep your vacation rolling in the best way possible.

Firstly, you need to go to Martanne’s at least once during your vacation here. Martanne’s is a local and tourist favorite due to its Tex-Mex dishes that hit the spot every single time. It doesn’t matter what you get – you are going to want to come back for more. We have tried the green chili chilaquiles and they are the perfect blend of cheese-goodness and spice to start your day! If you would rather have something less spicy, the huevos rancheros with eggs over easy is a savory and tasty way to fuel up for a big ski session later in the day. Plus, it is right in the heart of downtown Flagstaff, so you can easily walk here after you ski off the slopes or wake up after a night of partying and dancing in one of the local bars!

Next, we can’t recommend La Bella Via enough if you are an egg lover. Head here if you are in the mood for creamy and savory eggs benedict with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce. Even if you are more of a sweets person first thing in the morning, we guarantee that the pancakes here will truly curb your cravings. Plus, they make pancakes in the shapes of koalas for kids to be entertained with their food — and love the taste!

Another popular spot among tourists is the Tourist Home – they named this restaurant very creatively! We recommend going here when you want to get brunch or breakfast in bulk to bring back home for a nice treat, since they offer flaky and buttery pastries, deserts, and danishes every day of the week. Plus, you can get a hot cup of coffee, strong latte, or bloody mary if you dine in here for a morning treat. Sit outside if the weather cooperates and gaze at the people walking by on a Sunday morning!

Lastly, no Flagstaff getaway is complete without a visit to Toasted Owl. The Toasted Owl offers one of the best meals at any time of the day for tourists and locals alike in Flagstaff, since they offer a changing and rotating menu that works with fresh and local produce. The laid-back atmosphere and chilled-out vibe makes this a go-to spot for locals and tourists alike, featuring down-home classics like hearty sandwiches AND vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options for those who are a little pickier with their eating. Talk about convenience!

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Use Porter for Your Flagstaff Vacation Needs

Doesn’t a winter wonderland getaway in the beautiful mountain town of Flagstaff sound ideal? We think so, too! There is so much for you to do and see when you stay here. It isn’t just a getaway for the hot summer months, when you might also be overrun with tons of tourists. Instead, we think that Flagstaff is THE best spot for you to head to during the winter so you can enjoy a little bit of everything: shopping, restaurants, cafes, outdoor sports, and fun things to do.

When you book your vacation, you can rest assured that we take care of all of the hard work for you. When you use Porter, you never have to worry about the logistics or the convoluted travel details. We help you book the holiday home of your dreams, so all you have to do is choose the house, show up, and have fun!

We even have a local representative who will be with you every step of the way so you can always feel taken care of before, during, and after your stay. After all, with Porter, our number one goal in mind is your happiness! Contact us today to get started.

It has been an especially cold winter in Flagstaff this year, and we sure are ready for spring to get here. The spring season is a great time to visit Flagstaff to enjoy some unique activities while getting to explore the outdoors. One great holiday to use as a vacation getaway to Flagstaff is Easter. Many families celebrate Easter together, making it the perfect holiday for a family vacation. Flagstaff has many different Easter and spring activities scheduled this year to make the most of your trip. Here are some reasons you do not want to miss out on Easter in Flagstaff this year:

Easter Egg Hunts

One of the most important parts of any Easter holiday for children is always going to the Easter egg hunt. This activity lets children explore until their heart is content for lovely painted eggs or plastic eggs filled with delicious candy. Easter egg hunts have been a timeless tradition and continue up here in Flagstaff. Many local organizations put on Easter egg hunts in April that are typically free. The first is Downtown Flagstaff’s very own Easter egg hunt. Your children will be exploring the beautiful visitor areas around local businesses. Participate in the egg hunt and then find somewhere for your Easter brunch afterward. Or stop by The Peaks, a local senior living community, that also puts on its annual Easter egg hunt for families to enjoy. 2023 Easter egg hunt details will be made available soon so make sure to explore these local businesses for the full information when available!

Easter Brunch

While children love the Easter egg hunts adults often look forward to Easter brunch. This meal is often a combination of delicious food (and possibly a buffet) along with tasty drinks. Easter brunch is a tradition in most cities and continues that here in Flagstaff. Local favorite restaurant Oakmont typically features an Easter brunch that pairs incredible New American cuisine with handcrafted cocktails. During the week their menu typically features classic dishes such as charcuterie boards, burgers, chicken Sonoma, and various pasta dishes. But Easter brunch lets them provide a more traditional early morning menu that everyone is sure to love. Make sure to pair your meal with a cocktail such as a Bloody Mary or mimosa for the full experience. If you would like to enjoy brunch in a more casual setting Tourist Home will do the job. This New American restaurant is especially known for the baked goods and pastries that are sure to be a family favorite when you stop in. Their drinks are known to be some of the best in the city too. Easter brunch is always a busy time here in Flagstaff so make sure to place reservations in advance.

Another restaurant worth eating at this Easter is the Silver Pine Restaurant and Bar inside Little America. You can come here for Easter Brunch or for any other meal! You’ll love the biscuits and gravy or smoked salmon benedict paired with a morning mule or the house bloody Mary for breakfast and brunch, at lunch, you’ll want to start with the shrimp cocktail or the strawberry gorgonzola salad. Next for lunch, make sure you order the Caprese panini, Korean fried chicken sandwich, or fish and chips! For dinner, there is a wide selection of cocktails and wines available. For the main course, you can’t go wrong with the chicken piccata, Atlantic salmon, or filet mignon! Then end the night with a raspberry chocolate martini, an espresso, or some sweeter treats like chocolate cake or crème brulee. You’ll love having an Easter meal at Little America’s fantastic restaurant.

Spring Events

Your Easter getaway is also a great time to explore some of the spring events taking place around Flagstaff. First Fridays have returned in Flagstaff for this popular art walk. First Fridays are typically a monthly street party that takes place on the First Friday of every month. April’s First Friday will take place on Friday leading up to Easter letting you participate in one of Northern Arizona’s premier art events. From 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, many local businesses and art galleries will be open for special exhibits, live music, and plenty of exciting fun. The adults can enjoy many hot spots downtown after 9:00 PM for different drink specials.

April brings a lot of wind in Flagstaff, so it is great to know that Kite Day will be taking place on April 8th right before Easter. This event will be taking place all across Flagstaff as locals fly their kites in the skies. The Flagstaff Visitor’s Center and many other retailers will have kites for sale so you too can participate in the fun. Gaze up in the sky as countless kites will be flown on this popular event.

Final Ride Down Snow Bowl

Flagstaff has gathered a ton of snow this winter season, making our local mountain, Snow Bowl, feature the best skiing conditions yet. This year’s closing date for Snow Bowl is not expected to take place until the first weekend of May. This means that you and your family will be able to enjoy one final ride down the mountain when visiting for Easter. Enjoy the bunny hills perfect for beginners or take on the black diamonds for those who are more experienced. Local shops offer all the rental gear you need so you can leave your gear at home.

Easter in Flagstaff

Make a new family tradition for Easter this year and come to Flagstaff. Our Flagstaff vacation rentals are sure to keep you comfortable throughout your stay. Simply book your favorite today and enjoy Easter in Flagstaff!