Downtown Flagstaff -- along Route 66, San Francisco Street, Aspen Avenue, and Birch Avenue -- is the city's historic district. These old brick buildings are now filled with shops selling Native American crafts, works by local artists and artisans, Route 66 souvenirs, and various other Arizona mementos such as rocks, minerals, and crystals. Don't miss Jonathan Day's Indian Arts, 21 N. San Francisco St. (tel. 928/779-6099; www.traditionalhopikachinas.com), a small shop with what just might be the best selection of traditional Hopi kachinas in the state. Puchteca Indian Art, 20 N. San Francisco St. (tel. 928/774-2414), is also worth a visit for its interesting Native American jewelry and pottery. Fans of old books should be sure to check out Starrlight Books, 15 N. Leroux St. (tel. 928/774-6813), which is full of first editions and other hard-bound books. There's a good selection of Southwest titles. The Artists Gallery, 17 N. San Francisco St. (tel. 928/773-0958; www.flagstaffartistsgallery.com), which is full of art by local artists, is also worth a visit. The historic district is worth a walk-through even if you aren't shopping. If you need any outdoors gear, head to Babbitt's Backcountry Outfitters, 12 E. Aspen Ave. (tel. 928/774-4775; www.babbittsbackcountry.com).
Grand Falls: The Chocolate Niagara
Calm down all you chocoholics. Grand Falls, 33 miles east of Flagstaff, only looks like liquid chocolate; it isn't a real chocolate waterfall. This said, it's still worth the drive out to see it. At 185 feet tall, these falls on the Little Colorado River are higher than Niagara Falls, although the falls do not carry nearly the volume of water that Niagara does. In fact, for most of the year, there's no water at all in Grand Falls. These falls run only during the spring snowmelt season (in years when there has been any snow) and after summer monsoons. Consequently, to see these falls, you need to have good timing. You also need a high-clearance vehicle, because the last 10 miles of the route are on a washboard gravel road that can be impassable if it has rained recently.
To find Grand Falls, drive north from Flagstaff on U.S. 89A, and turn east on Townsend-Winona Road. Drive 8 miles to Leupp Road, and turn left. Follow this road 14 miles to Indian Route 70, which is immediately after the sign marking the boundary of the Navajo Reservation (you may see a sign for GRAND FALLS BIBLE CHURCH). Turn north (left) onto this gravel road and drive 10 miles north to the Little Colorado River. Now turn around and go back 1/4 mile to the unmarked rough dirt track on your right. The falls are a few hundred yards down this dirt road.
Join an Archaeological Dig
Elden Pueblo, on the north side of Flagstaff on U.S. 89, is a small archaeological site that is open to the public free of charge. Although these Sinagua ruins are not much to look at, you can help out with the excavation of the site if you're interested. Each summer, the Arizona Archaeological Society (www.azarchsoc.org) operates the Elden Pueblo Field School (tel. 928/527-3452). Field schools cost $100 to $150 per week (plus AAS membership dues).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.