Local Atmosphere

Flagstaff, AZ
Tuition (in-state)
$20,364 ($8,008)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: There's a lot to do around Flagstaff including outdoor activities and indoor activities like rock climbing. Downtown Flagstaff is also very fun and interesting to tour and the local atmosphere is great. Everyone is so chill and friendly too.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Having lived in Phoenix for a majority of my life, I find that Flagstaff has everything I want. Most everything I do is within walking distance, but the buses are always another option if you're tired. The downtown area is great for off days and the overall atmosphere is so comforting.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: I enjoy the cultural events. I learn new things about different cultures religion,daily living practices, and how have they affected the present. Local attitudes toward students is fair and respectable. The rules concerning safety is very strongly enforced on campus.

3 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: I definitely felt safe living in Flagstaff, but it is one of the most boring towns in the country. Coming from a major city, the subpar restaurant quality and distinct lack of shopping and cultural attractions proved irritating. If you want to visit major attractions, you will probably have to do a bit of driving. Students compose a huge portion of the local demographic during the academic year; in summers, the place feels deserted. The rest of the year, it's jam-packed. If you can, avoid driving in town. The infrastructure has yet to catch up with the population swells brought by the university.

3 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Flagstaff is a tough place to make a living.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Audrey Hirschl
Tempe, AZ
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Due to its place alongside the historic Route 66, downtown Flagstaff is filled with all sorts of history and charm. Surrounded by miles and miles of nature in every direction, the city is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The world famous Grand Canyon is in the neighborhood, and Phoenix, the state's capital and one of the largest cities in the country, is a short drive down the freeway. Flagstaff has been able to really balance the additions of modern day while still retaining the old-school look and feel of its Route 66 past. Plus, there’s a ton of hippies. Awesome.

Downtown has plenty of quirky, hole-in-the-wall shops and stores that really add to the town's flavor. Incense, beads, international furniture—some of the items you'll find may surprise you. Flag is very laid-back and a very easy community to become comfortable living in. If you're a fan of outdoor sports, you are in luck: Snowbowl has a lot of great runs for both snowboarders and skiers. Also, give yourself the opportunity to drive around and see some of the great geologic beauties in the surrounding area. There are tons of fantastic picnic spots and plenty of picture opportunities, so you can send Mom and Dad proof that their money isn't going to waste. Because college students pretty much dominate the population, summertime is really when to explore and see what the area has to offer while everyone is away. Hiking is really nice to do until the snow hits, but there's always snowshoeing, right?

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. In 1996, Flagstaff was named the world's first international "Dark Sky City." Because of its altitude and influence in the astronomy community, Flagstaff limits light pollution so that the stars are always visible. This means that all the restaurants, bars, stores, etc., in Flag have to have a certain wattage on their lights so they don't light up the sky too much.
  2. In its May 2007 issue, Kiplinger's Personal Finance singled out Flagstaff as one of the "great college towns."
  3. In its September/October 2005 issue, Organic Style magazine named Flagstaff the eighth healthiest city in the nation.
  4. Men's Journal ranked Flagstaff second on its list of the top 50 places to live.
  5. The world-famous Lowell Observatory, located atop Mars Hill, is credited with first discovering the former planet Pluto.
Notable Natives
  • Bruce Babbitt - former governor of Arizona
  • Ted Danson - actor
Local Slang
  • 66: The historic Route 66 that runs straight through town and "down the hill," which is how Flagstaffers refer to the I-17 drive to Phoenix
  • The Flag: Endearing term for Flagstaff
  • Monty V: The historic Monte Vista Hotel
  • The Observatory: This doesn't define the actual Lowell Observatory itself, but an overlook right before entering it. Students like to hang out here and look at the city and stars at night.
  • Phoenicians: Locals from Phoenix
  • South of the Tracks: The notoriously shady neighborhood of Flag
  • The Valley: Term for the Phoenix area and the surrounding suburbs
Points of Interest
  • Arizona Snowbowl
  • The Grand Canyon
  • Grand Falls
  • Historic Downtown Flagstaff
  • Historic Route 66
  • Lava Tubes
  • Lowell Observatory
  • Meteor Crater
  • Monte Vista Hotel
  • Montezuma’s Castle
  • Monument Valley
  • Museum of Northern Arizona
  • Oak Creek Canyon
  • Red Rock State Park
  • Riordan Mansion
  • Sedona
  • Sunset Crater
  • Williams, AZ
  • Wupatki National Monument
Shopping Centers
  • Downtown Flagstaff
  • Flagstaff Mall
Movie Theaters
Harkins Theatres Flagstaff 11
1959 S. Woodlands Village Blvd.
(928) 774-4847
Major Sports Teams
  • Arizona Cardinals: NFL
  • Arizona Diamondbacks: NBL
  • Phoenix Coyotes: NHL
  • Phoenix Suns: NBA
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Las Vegas: : 4 hours
  • Phoenix: : 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 210 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 210 responses

  • 3% Painfully remote.
  • 3% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 30% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 60% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 4% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 210 responses

  • 58% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 19% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 23% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 209 responses

  • 28% No way.
  • 57% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 15% Totally.



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