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Escape the Heat: Your Flagstaff Weekend Itinerary

By Rebecca Kleinman

Flagstaff scenery photo courtesy of the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau


As Valley temps start to soar, Flagstaff doesn’t need to sell itself. The growing city’s abundance of festivals, outdoor activities and independent shops, restaurants and breweries are mere bonuses that seem to get better every season. Take a drive up north with these places in mind.

Stop 1
Prospective residents participating in Pine Canyon’s Discovery Visit program can experience the exclusive golf community through its new Club Cabins (from $1,050 for two-night packages; 1201 E. John Wesley Powell Blvd., 928.779.5700). A couple of rentals with contemporary or rustic interiors by Arcadia Design Group are ready for springtime jaunts. Both accommodate large parties too, since each features a main unit with two bedrooms and a full kitchen connected to separate end suites for several combinations totaling up to 3,500 square feet.

Stop 2
After ending a popular lunch rush due to its small staff, Coppa Cafe (1300 S. Milton Road, 928.637.6813) introduced happy hour three days a week. Patrons are reunited with lemon oil-cured pickle plates, a three-bite version of the Reuben sandwich and those addictively famous “Frenched” fries (try them with cactus creme fraiche dipping sauce). Foraged local elderberries creep into cocktails about this time; though some days call for a stiff martini whose ponderosa pine-infused vodka could be gin’s cousin.   

Pine Canyon

Pine Canyon’s Club Cabins

Stop 3
A couple of transplants from Austin, Texas, are upping the city’s sustainable style game with Fool’s Gold boutique (109 N. Leroux St., 512.829.8990). Do your part by purchasing ethically sourced women’s fashions, like Eve Gravel’s pastel-printed frocks, as well as the in-house collection of wood wall hangings and 3-D-printed brass jewelry. The owners’ backgrounds in architecture and engineering show in the minimal setting with natural birch and copper pipe displays.

Stop 4
Post-hike and parched, meander down the newly minted Flagstaff Brewery Trail. Trail Crest Brewing Company (1800 S. Milton Road, 928.440.5085), its latest addition, christens its Bavarian copper tanks for summer-light ales, with plans to expand into porters and sour beers highlighting Arizona flora like prickly pear. Sixteen taps also pour guest brews and at least one cider and one mead, while the full bar’s housemade schnapps and liqueurs with locally sourced produce sate the cocktail crowd.

Lotus Lounge

Lotus Lounge

Stop 5
Landlocked sushi lovers’ prayers have been answered with Lotus Lounge (106 N. San Francisco St., 928.225.8030). Valley culinary import Stewart Weinstein runs up a huge FedEx bill for daily shipments of pristine seafood like ruby-red bigeye tuna from Hawaii and bluefin toro from Mexico. Crab Rangoon stuffed with real snow crab (he eschews imitation anything) and homemade gyoza— from pork to hamachi—are also among the izakaya’s small plates.