32. Treat yourself to the area’s best espresso drinks at Indian Gardens
Indian Gardens is a local gem in an area overpopulated with tourist traps just looking to take advantage of one time travelers. Indian Gardens is different – they have a wonderful garden patio, the friendliest servers, and consistently good coffee and food. And, everything is reasonably priced. Aside from the most delicious and best value breakfasts in the area, Indian Gardens is also home to the best espresso drinks.
Their mochas and Americanos are outstanding, and you will easily find yourself coming back here to sip your espresso in the beautiful lush courtyard surrounded by trees and even a few red rock views. After tasting the coffee here, it really is hard to go back anywhere else! On the 4th Friday of every month, they offer coffee cupping classes where you will be able to taste a variety of coffees for free! Indian Gardens is located along beautiful Oak Creek Canyon Scenic drive (89a), which is an activity in and of itself!
33. Hike through majestic aspens on the Weatherford Trail
The Weatherford is one of Flagstaff’s best trails because you can venture out as far as your comfort level, from a casual 1.5 mile out-and-back stroll just to see the golden aspens in the fall, to an all day 10 mile high altitude adventure, where the views just seem to keep on getting better. Like most other hikes in the area, a day out on the beautiful Weatherford Trail is the perfect budget friendly day activity: an excellent fitness workout, a peaceful day out exploring nature, & a wallet friendly attraction all rolled into one!
34. Take family photos in the wildflowers
Late summer after a heavy monsoon season typically brings lots of colorful wildflowers throughout town. August is typically the best month to visit as the trails and meadows surrounding the mountains will be loaded with all sorts of colorful flowers. Around this time of year, you will see many families taking photos by these gorgeous flowers- it really is the perfect setting for all sorts of photography – and the perfect fall greeting card background! I-80 on the way to Snowbowl, Buffalo Park, and the Sunset Crater scenic drive are some of your best bets.
35. Keep an eye out for local wildlife on the Kendrick Mountain Trail
The Kendrick Watchable Wildlife Trail is an area hotspot for wildlife watching, hence the name. A peaceful scenic drive on Hwy 180 takes you to this serene wildlife watching area. A choice between two really easy trails (a quarter of a mile and 1.5 miles) make this more of a nature outing rather than a workout trail like most in the area. Instead of a rough fitness session, you will have the opportunity to see all sorts of wildlife including pronghorn antelope, mule deer, elk, and coyote. Early morning and late evening when animals are most active are your best bets for sightings. Oh, and there are some great mountain views too!
36. Stroll around the summertime community markets
During the summer months, a farmer’s market is held each Sunday morning near downtown in the City Hall parking lot. It’s a nice opportunity to get outside for a bit to enjoy the mild summer weather and try out a few samples of local specialties like Prickly Pear Tea and fresh, local honey. Numerous craft vendors are also on hand, selling affordable gifts such as homemade soaps. After the market, you can stroll around adjacent Wheeler Park or take a leisurely stroll downtown before the afternoon crowds hit.
37. Trade in old books & movies for free coffee
Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange offers a unique program where you can trade in used entertainment goods in exchange for free coffee credit at their on-site cafe, featuring beans from local roaster Firecreek. Their espresso drinks are actually quiet good, so this really is a steal. The quiet cozy bookstore ambiance and friendly baristas make it one of the nicer places in town for a coffee. So bring in those dusty old books and DVDs you no longer watch and trade them in for a great cup of espresso which you can enjoy for free today! What a fun weekend morning activity which costs absolutely nothing!
38. Browse The Old Town Shops
The Old Town Shops is a collection of novelty independent stores in a little plaza downtown next to Heritage Square. As you stroll around, you’ll see all sorts of local souvenirs and hand made gifts including the cutest variety of handmade specialty soaps, which make for the perfect creative gift or stocking stuffer.
When you tire of browsing, head over to Mix, a fresh soup and salad bar, for a healthy make your own salad lunch. Or if you are craving something a bit sweeter, pick up a handmade chocolate truffle or candy apple at the Flagstaff Chocolate Company.
39. Enjoy 2 fun filled weeks of science and nature events
Every year, the city puts on a popular free community event known as the Flagstaff Festival of Science. Free star gazing and astronomy programs are offered all week, in addition to free guided nature walks and more, as part of 10 days of 100 free events. These events are all to celebrate Flagstaff’s distinction as an International Dark City. 2016 dates are September 23rd-October 2nd.