Heading into Flagstaff from the south, I-17 becomes Milton Rd., which leads past Northern Arizona University. Eventually it merges with Historic Route 66, hangs a right, and then runs parallel to the railroad tracks through downtown, where it intersects with San Francisco St., downtown’s main street. Humphreys St. leads north out of town toward the San Francisco Peaks and the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.

Downtown Flag, as the residents abbreviate the town’s name, is the city’s historic district, an eclectic mix of bistros, breweries, bookstores, bars, and boutiques, to say nothing of outdoor sports shops and New Age stores, all speaking to the various constituencies that make the town their home. Its old brick buildings now hold shops selling Native American crafts, works by local artists, Route 66 souvenirs, and various other Arizona mementos such as rocks, minerals, and crystals. Puchteca Indian Goods, 20 N. San Francisco St. (tel. 928/774-2414) has some really interesting Native American jewelry and pottery; across the street, the Artists Gallery, 17 N. San Francisco St. (www.flagstaffartistsgallery.com; tel. 928/773-0958) is full of art by local artists. Bibliophiles should check out Starrlight Books, 15 N. Leroux St. (tel. 928/774-6813), which sells first editions and other hard-bound books as well as contemporary work, including plenty of books about the region. If you need any outdoor gear, Babbitt’s Backcountry Outfitters, 12 E. Aspen Ave. (www.babbittsbackcountry.com; tel. 928/774-4775) has an extensive inventory of equipment for just about any outdoor pursuit.

Desert Sunset Panorama

For an unforgettable sunset view, head south of town to what people hereabouts call the Edge of the World: an overlook at the head of Ariz. 89A as it climbs out of the Verde Valley over the towering Mogollon Rim. There you’ll see the red rocks of Sedona spread out far below, colored even more vividly by the setting sun.

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.