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Celebrating the Spirit of Travel with a Flagstaff Staycation

National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition for the U.S. travel community, and this year, Discover Flagstaff is inviting area residents to further embrace the spirit of travel by supporting local businesses and helping neighbors that are playing a key role in rebuilding our community. The spirit of travel isn’t only found in far-off places.

Now, more than ever, members of our community must come together, support each other and remind one another – friends and family, and even business associates – that even through the most difficult times, the Spirit of Travel cannot be broken, and Flagstaff is the ideal destination. Every citizen benefits from travel and tourism, which sustain our economic vitality and overall quality of life.

Travel is one of America’s largest service exports and is among the largest private-sector employers in the United States. Flagstaff tourism supports thousands of jobs, generating millions of dollars to the local economy. According to the Arizona Office of Tourism Economic Impact Study, tourism provides economic stability to the community with an annual real tax savings of approximately $1,360 per household. Travel builds the very foundation to so many things we value, including lasting memories and connections with those around us. The travel industry helps position Flagstaff as a great place to visit, discover and grow. National Travel and Tourism Week is May 3-9; let’s celebrate our community with a Flagstaff staycation. Flagstaff offers unique and engaging activities for creating memorable moments and experiences. Now is the time to plan your staycation as we settle in and stay home.

For staycation ideas, visit discoverflagstaff.com and flagstafflocal.com. Listed below are the top 10 that are little to no cost and also have excellent educational value.

Creative Spirits Virtual Painting Events

Get your paint on and bring out your inner Bob Ross! Register for painting sessions of your choice at creativespiritsaz.com, and if you don’t have all the supplies, just call Michael’s Craft Store to arrange a curbside pickup for any missing essentials.

Museum of Northern Arizona: Online Events

The Museum of Northern Arizona’s live streams are fun, informative and occur multiple days of the week. Enjoy virtual tours of the museum, plant and garden talks, features on artists, and even art days. Start looking today to find your ideal at-home activities.

Download the Flagstaff Coloring Book

Have fun coloring a variety of pages featuring your favorite places around town. There is also an information key at the end, explaining the history of each location in the coloring pages, and a word search, too. Download at discoverflagstaff.com for this fun time-passer for all ages.

Walking Tours

Flagstaff has so much to DISCOVER. Get outside to take advantage of self-guided tours and learn more about our beautiful, history-rich city. With many to choose from: Route 66 Walk This Talk Tour, Haunted Walking Tour, Historic Downtown Walking Tour and a Selfie Trail Walking Tour, which unique walking tour best suits you?

Discover Flagstaff Webcams

Flagstaff residents and visitors can enjoy the transforming scenic views throughout the seasons. These webcams allow you to watch downtown activity or even capture the summer green fade to the brilliant gold of fall, and into a blanket of winter white. Access Flagstaff webcams at discoverflagstaff.com.

Nature Walks through the Arboretum

The Arboretum at Flagstaff will be open for the season to the public from May-October. Roam miles of scenic pathways and admire an abundance of 750 species of plants in greenhouses, gardens and natural habitats, all located on 200 acres deep within the Coconino National Forest for miles of scenic pathways to be enjoyed.

Picture Canyon

Picture Canyon offers free guided tours that include a three-mile loop with viewing, photography and educational opportunities. There are iconic sites along the way including Flagstaff’s only waterfall, Northern Sinagua petroglyphs and dwelling sites, and the Rio de Flag.

Disc Golf

Stay active and take advantage of any of the six disc golf courses offered in Flagstaff, dispersed at several park locations. Okay, maybe disc golf isn’t your thing, but the multipurpose fields are still open, as are trails and grassy areas for any fun activities of your choosing, like picnicking, hiking and biking.

Lowell Observatory for Beyond Bliss and Stargazing Re-imagined

Lowell Observatory offers several opportunities for kids to stay engaged and continue their science education through online live streams, live premieres and other digital content. Several times a month, they will debut a new in-home science challenge for kids, too. Stay connected to science by visiting lowell.edu.

Turn Your Staycation into a Bookcation with Top Flagstaff, Arizona Authors

Looking for a great book to read from some of the most popular authors right here in your hometown? Dive into an adventure, history, nature, children’s books, gardening or inspiration – whatever your genre, Flagstaff authors have you covered. There is nothing more comforting than staying home and settling in with a few good books for a bookcation. Visit Bright Side Bookshop and Starrlight Books or the Flagstaff Public Library.  Also, plan to discover a literary extravaganza at the annual Northern Arizona Book Festival scheduled every autumn.  Here are three Flagstaff authors to get you started.

Diana Gabaldon is the daughter of a state senator from Flagstaff and she escapes to her family home in Flagstaff to write. She is the author of the award-winning, No. 1 New York Times bestselling “Outlander” novels.

Austin Aslan is the author of the highly acclaimed sci-fi eco-thriller, “The Islands at the End of the World” and its sequel “The Girl at the Center of the World.” He is a Northern Arizona native, grew up the son of a firefighter and was elected to a four-year term on the Flagstaff City Council in 2018.

Linda Kranz is a Flagstaff local treasure specializing in the children’s literature realm with top-selling titles that include “Only One You,” “You Be You,” “Love You When” and “Where I Belong.”


And, when we are all back on our feet, consider furthering your staycation plans in Flagstaff. Book an overnight stay at one of our relaxing hotels, zipline in the trees at Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, enjoy the Flagstaff Brewery Trail with a craft beer at our award-winning breweries, stargaze at Lowell Observatory and attend a concert at the Orpheum Theater. By booking a staycation in Flagstaff, you will help rejuvenate our local economy faster! FBN

By Meg Roederer

Meg Roederer is the communications specialist at Discover Flagstaff.

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