7.2 out of 10

Flagstaff

35.1969189426034 -111.61891561741
Great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Gym & Fitness
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
2yrs+
Editors Choice

"College town with a healthy hippie twist"

I've been in Flag for 5 years (almost 6!) and consider myself fairly well assimilated in to the Flag community. I moved from Boulder, CO and fell in love with this town. IMO, Boulder is getting a little big for its attitude. Flagstaff is small, people are well-connected, healthy and friendly. If you stop and ask someone for directions, you're likely to get a tour of the town.

Traffic bottles up on weekends and during the evenings - but since the City of Flagstaff is only a few miles long, it generally takes less than 20 minutes to get from edge to edge, even in traffic. Many residents choose to bike.

Home to Northern Arizona University and Coconino Community College, there is a great student presence in Flagstaff: About 20,000 undergrad students live in town, with a couple thousand more in various graduate programs.

Downtown is where the lifeblood of the town flows. Local shops, restaurants, bars, and a great community of craft-beer aficionados. Think Fort Collins, CO or Bend, OR - but much smaller.

Crime overall is low and Flagstaff is generally a liberal town, contrasted with the rest of Arizona which is typically much more conservative. We do see a lot of guns here, but very little gun violence. Violent crime is typically at its highest during the summer, when people escape the heat of Phoenix and bring their issues to Northern Arizona. Even then - we stay well below what large cities encounter.

Tourism during the Winter is driven heavily by the Arizona Snowbowl: our local skiing area. During the summer, visitors (by the busload) travel through Flagstaff to visit the Grand Canyon and myriad other natural wonders of Arizona. We are situated in the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the lower 48, which means the forest is a part of life here. During the fall, the Forest Service regularly conducts prescribed burns to maintain a healthy forest and prevent HUGE forest fires (IE the Schultz fire of 2010)

Weather is fairly predictable. The low in Phoenix is the high in Flagstaff. Summers in the 80s and 90s. Winters get cold: lows regularly in the single digits. We average 110" of snow between late October and early May. Despite this and the 3 month summer monsoon season (lots of rain), we average about 300 days of sunshine each year.

Obesity is low in Flagstaff - this is a health-conscious town with lots of great options for outdoor or gym exercise. Mountain biking, skiing/snowboarding, swimming, hiking, camping, you name it, we got it. There is also a fairly large focus on organic and natural foods, both in large retailers and the farmers market which meets each weekend during the summer.

Business is typically conducted in jeans and t-shirts, with a small minority sticking to business casual dress. Arizona was recently ranked #5 in the nation for "business creation rate" and #8 for the best state to start a business. Flagstaff exemplifies this with a core culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Plenty of resources exist for the small business owner: Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce, Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET), Small Business Development Center, SCORE, and more!

Cost of living is an issue here. We average about 49% higher than the national cost of living. Not much to say about that than it's true - living in Flagstaff is expensive, but it sure is beautiful!
Pros
  • Craft Beer
  • Outdoorsy
  • Friendly and fun
Cons
  • Cost of Living
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students

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