Though there are lots of things to love about Flagstaff (like our distinct four seasons, diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation, or tight-knit community), perhaps one of our favorite things about our beautiful mountain town is that even in a relatively small city of 70,000 people, there is such a wide variety of neighborhoods to settle down in, each with its own distinct personality and unique features and amenities. A diverse population, set of landscapes, and multi-faceted local culture means that no matter who you are or what you’re looking for, Flagstaff probably is the perfect spot for you to call home.
A guide to the features and amenities of Flagstaff neighborhoods
In a recent blog, we told you all about Flagstaff’s most popular areas to buy in right now, many (though not all) of which are actually just outside the limits of Flagstaff proper. This time around, let us tell you about some of Flagstaff’s other, more historic, more central, but equally beautiful neighborhoods closer to the heart of the city. If you’re worried about finding yourself too removed from nature, though, no need to worry. With more than 24 developed parks, 50 miles of urban trails, and of course, our beautiful Ponderosa pine forests that border the city in every direction, Flagstaff residents are never far away from outdoor relaxation and recreation.
Located on the northwest side of Flagstaff, just off of Highway 180 (one of the primary routes to Grand Canyon National Park), the Cheshire Neighborhood is a quiet, beautifully wooded area great for outdoor activities, whether at 13 acre Cheshire Park — which includes a playground, tennis court, basketball courts, and a picnic ramada — or via the Flagstaff Urban Trail System, which extends up throughout the area via the unpaved 3.6 mile-long Karen Hooper Trail, as well as other shorter, paved routes. Not only that, but Cheshire is also only a short drive from Flagstaff’s famous San Francisco Peaks (inclusive of Humphrey’s peak, the highest in the state) and Arizona Snowbowl, our ski resort.
The Cheshire area is also home to some of Flagstaff’s best and largest cultural institutions, including the Museum of Northern Arizona, and just down the road, our Pioneer Museum, and the Coconino Center for the Arts (which features rotating art exhibits, live concerts, classes, and workshops throughout the year). Although Cheshire doesn’t have as many restaurants or other local businesses as other parts of Flagstaff, it’s also near downtown Flagstaff, giving it a great combination of proximity to both nature and all the great amenities Flagstaff has to offer.
Just northeast of downtown Flagstaff, Sunnyside is great for residents looking to be smack dab in the middle of all Flagstaff has to offer. In the Sunnyside neighborhood, residents will find 20-acre Bushmaster Park, host to a variety of amenities and features, such as a playground, tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, basketball courts, picnic ramadas, a permanent restroom, skate park, roller-skating arena, and four horseshoe courts.
For our canine friends, the nextdoor Barkmaster Park is also available, with 1.5 acres of fenced-in property and a seperate area for small dogs. Not far away, the Flagstaff Aquaplex, Starlite Lanes bowling alley, and Flagstaff’s beloved 215-acre Buffalo Park offer additional opportunities to stay active and engage in a variety of recreational activities, both indoors and out. Hungry after all that exercise? Local restaurants such as Fratelli’s Pizza, Fat Olives, and White Dove Coffee Shop are just the beginning of a variety of popular dining establishments nearby. For books, music, movies, and many other community resources, residents can pay a visit to the East Flagstaff Community Library, which is also in the neighborhood.
Bordered by both Interstate 40 and Interstate 17 on the southwest side of Flagstaff, University Heights is the perfect neighborhood for those seeking easy connections to Flagstaff’s major roads. But don’t be put off by the fear of being too close to the hustle, bustle (and occasionally, noise) of the rest of the city. A quiet and peaceful wooded area, residents also have easy access to Flagstaff’s Urban Trail System (including the 5.7 mile-long Sinclair Wash trail, which traverses much of Flagstaff) and the University Highlands park (including a playground, picnic tables, and grassy sports field), as well as Flagstaff’s historic Fort Tuthill County Park (a great spot for archery, equestrian activities, biking, disc golf, and outdoor concerts in the summer, as well as sledding and snowshoeing in the winter), which is just a short drive away.
There are not a lot of restaurants in this neighborhood, but local favorites like Dehli Palace as well as popular chains like Olive Garden are only a short drive away. And of course, as the name suggests, the neighborhood is only a stone’s throw from Northern Arizona University’s campus too.
Nestled alongside the east side of downtown Flagstaff, one of the best things about the Cherry Hill neighborhood by far is its location. Walkable, bikeable, and with easy access to public transportation — namely, Flagstaff’s Mountain Line bus system of 9 different routes, living in Cherry Hill makes getting around Flagstaff a breeze. It’s a great option for those looking to shorten their commute.
Close to beloved local watering holes like Rendezvous at the Hotel Monte Vista and restaurants like Martanne’s Burrito Palace, Cherry Hill is a great neighborhood for residents seeking top-notch dining, drinks, and local arts and entertainment. For outdoor enthusiasts, Cherry Hill is also not far from the expansive and highly popular Buffalo Park (featuring perfect views of the San Francisco Peaks). It’s also a great location for professionals still working and living full-time in Flagstaff, being close to a variety of Flagstaff’s largest employers like Flagstaff Medical Center (making access to medical care easier, too) and NAU.
Located just off of Interstate 40 (as well as historic route 66) on the west side of Flagstaff, Presidio in the Pines is one of Flagstaff’s newer neighborhoods — solely populated by homes built after 2014 — with prime access to the great outdoors. Here, residents can make use of Flagstaff’s 200-acre Arboretum (home to over 700 native species of plants, as well as birds, butterflies, and other creatures) for a fee of $10 per adult per day or $40 per year (to become a member).
The Arboretum is also known for hosting a variety of popular events in Flagstaff, including their annual summer concert series, fall pumpkin walk and pumpkin carving events, and even more classes, camps, plant sales, and special tours that go on throughout the year. Nearby Flagstaff Ranch Golf Club offers scenic opportunities for golfers, too. Close to both Coconino and Kaibab National Forests, a ton of hiking trails, as well as being one of three neighborhoods in Flagstaff with a dog park, Presidio in the Pines is a fantastic place for tree-huggers, animal lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and the like.
Just next door to Flagstaff’s Cherry Hill neighborhood, Switzer Canyon homes offer a lot of the same benefits as other neighborhoods close to the downtown area; plenty of things to do and places to eat, drink, and socialize, while still not being far removed from nature and Flagstaff’s beautiful mountain scenery. Residents here benefit from easy access to the Urban Trail System (including the eponymous mile-long Switzer Canyon Trail, as well as nearby connections to the 800 mile-long Arizona National Scenic Trail), Flagstaff’s YMCA, as well as being just a short drive (or walk, using the urban trail) from Buffalo Park and the Jay Lively Activity Center (Flagstaff’s ice arena, skating center, and home to the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks men’s ice hockey team).
Switzer Canyon residents also have access to the nearby McMillan Mesa Park, which has both a playground and a basketball court. Though the Switzer Canyon area does not have a lot of restaurants, it’s just up the street from Flagstaff’s Agave Mexican Restaurant (rated as one of the best eateries in town), and is close to both downtown and the Sunnyside neighborhood, both of which have many of Flagstaff’s other most popular spots for dining out.
New Neighborhoods to look out for:
Situated alongside historic Route 66, would-be residents of this up and coming new Flagstaff neighborhood will soon be able to enjoy living in the first International Dark Sky housing community in the world. Full of community amenities while also being built with a respect for nature, Timber Sky strives to find the perfect balance of all that Flagstaff has to offer.
Offering a combination of peaceful wooded scenery and location-based convenience, the new Woodshire on Butler homes will only be minutes away from downtown Flagstaff and NAU. At Woodshire on Butler, one of Flagstaff’s most highly anticipated new builds, homeowners will have the option of a variety of affordable 2-story bungalows.
Whether you want to be as close as possible to Historic Downtown, Flagstaff’s most popular district for shopping, dinner, and evening entertainment or you prefer a neighborhood with as many parks and trails as possible, a dog park or a skate park, a tennis court or a basketball court, a walkable neighborhood or a hikeable neighborhood, or everything all at once, Flagstaff has it all. And although we’re experiencing a red hot real estate market at the moment, there are always homes for sale in Flagstaff, Arizona. For more information about real estate in Flagstaff, Arizona, don’t hesitate to contact the Elite Team at RE/MAX today.