(credit: Thinkstock)

Flagstaff, Ariz. is a quick four hour drive from Las Vegas, but the climate and attractions are so different that you’ll feel like you’ve had a full vacation getaway in one short weekend. Weather in Flagstaff is mild to cold in the winter (temps at night can get down to the teens), warm in the summer (low 80s), and it can be unpredictable in the early-to-mid fall, when you should make sure you pack your swimsuit and some clothing layers in addition to a light jacket to be ready for any changes in the temperatures outdoors.

Getting There

From Las Vegas, take the Eastbound 215 to the I-515S/US-93S/US-95S exit that heads toward Boulder City. Stay on the US-93 South as you reach Kingman, AZ, where a left turn will keep you on the US-93S until it merges with the I-40. Remain on the I-40 as it becomes Route 66, then jump on the I-17 as you enter the city of Flagstaff for a fast track into the heart of this metropolitan area.

Stopping in Kingman, Arizona

If you fancy a stop for food while you are on the road to Flagstaff, a popular place to pull over for a bite is Kingman, Ariz. The city sits just about at the halfway point of your journey. This city has a number of highly regarded independent restaurants where you can score some off-the-beaten path road chow.

Sirens’ Cafe & Catering
419 E Beale St.
Kingman, AZ 86401
(928) 753-4151

Sirens’ Cafe is a family-run locals’ favorite that serves professional, modern deli-style food––like sandwiches, soups and spreads––that leans toward Italian cuisine in its ingredients and flavors. When embarking on a weekend getaway, try to hit this popular sandwich shop for your early afternoon Friday stop on the way in, because this family lunch restaurant is only open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and is closed Sundays.

Scotty’s Broasted Chicken and Ribs
4120 Stockton Hill Road
Kingman, AZ 86409
(928) 757-8770

The standout dish at this tiny restaurant is the broasted chicken, which is prepared fried in a pressure cooker, and the BBQ ribs come in at a close second. This affordable Southern-style restaurant is open all week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays.

Where To Stay

Hotel Monte Vista
100 N. San Francisco St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-6971

Once you arrive in Flagstaff, check out Hotel Monte Vista for a place to rest your head. Fans of historic hotels, especially those hotels reportedly rife with paranormal activity, can experience chilling haunted history at the Hotel Monte Vista. This hotel is located a short walking distance from popular local stores and mall shopping. Hotel Monte Vista has a long roster of past famous guests, including Jon Bon Jovi, Clark Gable and John Wayne. This hotel has a wide selection of room types, with suite rates ranging from $95 to $175 per night, double suites at about $120 per night, and smaller one-bed rooms without private bathrooms starting at $50 to $60 per night.

What To Do

Lowell Observatory
1400 W Mars Hill Rd
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-3358

Each year, 80,000 people pass through this remarkable observatory to marvel at the place where astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto back in 1930. Visitors can embark on tours of the observatory, view telescopes, see exhibits and multimedia shows and learn about the history of astronomy.

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park
409 West Riordan Road
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 779-4395

The historic Riordan Mansion was built in the early 1900s and allows visitors a glimpse into Flagstaff’s past. The Arts and Crafts style residence was designed by architect Charles Whittlesey, the same man who envisaged the Grand Canyon’s El Tovar Hotel. Tours through the mansion allow visitors to see antiques, original artifacts, hand made furniture and personal items which once belonged to the Riordan family.


Offbeat, locally crafted gift shopping opportunities and quirky independent local restaurants make Flagstaff a regular stomping ground for weekend vacationers. Many of the most intriguing local offerings are in and near the busy city center and downtown areas.

Related: Best City Escapes From Las Vegas

Black Hound Gallerie
120 N. Leroux
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774 2323

Fans of edgy, counterculture fashion will skip happily among the wares at Black Hound Gallerie, a custom framing shop that also sells clothing. This store has predominantly women’s clothing, but also carries t-shirts and novelty gifts. This store is located in the Old Town Shops.

Fizz Bath Shop
5 E. Aspen Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
(928) 526-4827

At Fizz Bath Shop, located in the Flagstaff Mall, you can pick up luxury bath scents and body care products. This renowned local shop is a good location to pick up gifts for your loved ones at home, or for yourself back at the hotel. Many of the wide variety of scent blends are geared toward specific aromatherapy purposes, like headache relief, energy and digestion.


Criollo Latin Kitchen
16 N. San Francisco St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-0541

For an affordable meal made from locally grown or farm fresh ingredients, check out Criollo. This trendy restaurant is a hipster foodie haven because of its commitment to providing high quality, Latin-inspired food. Popular entrees include the pork tenderloin and stuffed peppers. A meal at this restaurant will generally run about $12 to $25 per person. This restaurant is open for weekday lunch and dinner, and weekend brunch and dinner.

Black Bart’s Steakhouse
2760 E. Butler Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004
(928) 779-3142

If you favor a little singing with your food, Black Bart’s Steakhouse, Saloon and Musical Review is an entertaining Flagstaff stop where you can grab some hearty grub. This unique restaurant is located inside an RV park. Servers perform songs on the dining room floor while patrons dine on steakhouse fare, like filet mignon, New York strip and porterhouse, as well as seafood picks like shrimp kabobs, broiled salmon and fried shrimp. A full meal at this restaurant will often run about $45-65 per person. It is open daily for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Related: Best First Date Spots Around Las Vegas

Heather Bliss is a writer living in Las Vegas. Before she wrote about the Las Vegas area, she wrote articles about news, politics, movies and music in California. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts in the Visual and Performing Arts from CSU San Marcos and studied Journalism at Moorpark College, where she received her A.A. degree. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.