Nestled between mountains, pine forests, and desert landscape, Flagstaff is one of Arizona’s go-to cities for outdoor activities and adventures. There are, however, plenty to do in the city too, as it has quite a few interesting museums worth a visit, and several attractions, including Lowell Observatory, the ideal place for stargazing, or Walnut Canyon National Monument, famous for its geological formations and cliff dwellings. If you’re a museum aficionado or would like to take a peek into the region’s history, arts, crafts, and traditions, Museum of Northern Arizona and Pioneer Museum of the Arizona Historical Society are a must. Read on, as we check out the top museums in Flagstaff, Arizona, so you know what to expect.
1. Museum of Northern Arizona
Whether you’re a museum aficionado, a history buff, or just looking to explore the area’s hidden gems, look no further. The Museum of Northern Arizona is a repository for natural history specimens and indigenous materials from the Colorado Plateau, including zoology, fine art, botany, geology, and anthropology collections. The museum spreads both indoors and outdoors, boasting a campus where visitors can explore several exhibitions that include native plants, animal habitats, and traditional art. Some of its most visited gardens include the Jaime Golightly Courtyard that features a Juniper woodland zone and a mixed conifer zone, but also the Colton House Garden with its stone house, flowers, and stunning vistas. Make sure to check out the updated visiting rules and regulations on their website before your visit.
Museum of Northern Arizona
Address: 3101 N Fort Valley Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Website: Museum of Northern Arizona
Opening hours: Thu - Mon: 10am - 4pm (closed on Tue & Wed)
Price: 12 USD
2. Fort Tuthill Military History Museum
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Fort Tuthill Military History Museum is a great attraction, especially if you’re traveling with kids, as it will trigger their interest and keep them entertained for a good chunk of time. The museum showcases over 100 years of military history in Arizona and has expanded since 2019, now spreading in two buildings. Visitors often describe the museum’s displays as very well-documented and preserved; although the museum is relatively small in size, it compensates in its military artifacts.
Fort Tuthill Military History Museum
Address: 2446 Fort Tuthill Loop, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Website: Fort Tuthill Military History Museum
Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon - Fri)
Price: 6 USD
3. Pioneer Museum - Arizona Historical Society
The Pioneer Museum is part of the Arizona Historical Society and has quite an intriguing story, as it was built in 1908, and has initially operated as a local hospital. Today, the historic site hosts the Pioneer Museum, which is home to permanent and temporary exhibits depicting the history of Flagstaff and Northern Arizona, as well as the developments and evolution of the region. Some of the permanent exhibits include the Decade Rooms, showcasing artifacts from the 1880s until the 1960s, The Grounds, where visitors can see a 1929 Baldwin articulated locomotive, and The Hospital, where guests can see the former operating and recovery rooms.
Pioneer Museum - Arizona Historical Society
Address: 2340 N Fort Valley Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 8 USD
4. Walnut Canyon Visitors Center
Located southeast of downtown Flagstaff, Walnut Canyon is one of Arizona’s natural gems, home to stunning rock formations and uniquely curved canyon walls. Taking a walk along the trails between the majestic cliffs will unravel signs of the region’s ancient inhabitants. The visitors’ center is the starting point for your Walnut Canyon visit and features interesting architecture.
Walnut Canyon Visitors Center
Address: Unnamed Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Website: Walnut Canyon Visitors Center
Opening hours: 9am - 4:30pm (daily)
5. NAU Art Museum
The Art Museum of the Northern Arizona University, also known as the NAU Art Museum, is home to a variety of collections and exhibits celebrating the artistic expression as well as cultural and community diversity in today’s art world. The museum hosts special exhibitions year-round, always bringing forward challenging, contemporary art pieces. Some of its permanent collections include the Marguerite Hettel Weiss Gallery, the Aaron M. Macy Memorial Collection, and the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation Study Collection.
NAU Art Museum
Address: 620 Knoles Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
Website: NAU Art Museum
Flagstaff, Arizona: Home to a variety of unique and interesting museums
Flagstaff, Arizona, is home to some of the most diverse scenery, as it is surrounded by mountains, desert landscape, and pine forests, but it also hosts a variety of unique museums, depicting the history, art, and culture of the area, along with a variety of artifacts showcasing a civilization and lifestyle long gone. If you’re planning to visit the region, here are the top museums in Flagstaff, Arizona, that you shouldn’t miss.
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