Northern Arizona University acronym set against mountain range

Things To Do in and Around Northern Arizona University

There are many great places to go in and around the Flagstaff campus.
September 19, 2022
6 mins read

Northern Arizona University is located in Flagstaff, Arizona. The campus sits alongside the famous Route 66 and has a stunning view of the San Francisco Peaks. The campus first opened in 1899 as a teacher’s school and has since expanded into a larger and broader campus that features a variety of degrees, programs and certificates. The campus of Northern Arizona University, as well as the surrounding town, provides many things to do and see.

On campus, you’ll find locations such as:

1899 Bar & Grill

This restaurant is located on the edge of the north campus. The building it is in is actually one of the first built on campus, giving it some historical significance. The 1899 offers appetizers, lunch, dinner and happy hour. Though the menu may look expensive, the restaurant accepts dining dollars, making it the fanciest place to dine on campus.

The 1899 Bar & Grill is also a valuable resource to Northern Arizona University’s Hotel and Restaurant program, as many students work as cooks, waiters and staff there.

Old Main

Old Main is also located in the scenic northern part of the university. As the name suggests, it was the first building on campus back when Northern Arizona University was Northern Arizona Normal School. With its brown brick buildings, it is a very scenic spot; no place on campus is more beautiful than Old Main when there is snow on the ground.

Old Main also houses the Clara M. Lovett Art Museum, which is a place worth checking out if you love art and want to support local artists.

Morton Hall

Since it is a student dorm, Morton Hall is not accessible to the public. However, it is one of the more aesthetically appealing dorms. Like the 1899 and Old Main, Morton Hall is located on the north side of Northern Arizona University and is therefore made of brown stone.

Many places have a supposedly haunted location, and this remains true for the university; Morton Hall is rumored to be haunted, with its notable ghosts being those of a former student who was found in the stairwell and a baby found in the maintenance room. Though these hauntings are up for debate, what makes Morton unsettling is how it is filled with mirrors at every corner.

Wild Blue

This spot in the Union offers different kinds of sushi, including imitation crab for those who don’t like raw fish. The sushi here is made fresh daily and includes maki, nigiri and temaki, among other kinds. Though sushi isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, Wild Blue is a spot worth checking out if you are a sushi lover. Sadly, they do not accept meal transfers. However, they will accept dining dollars and other forms of payment.

The DuB

If the Hotspot is the main eatery for the north side of campus, the DuB is the main one for the south side. Though tastes may vary, some agree that the DuB has better food. Outside, there is a Starbucks, a Subway and The Coupe, which sells chicken wings. Inside, there are many places to eat, including the Smokehouse & Grill, which serves excellent barbecue and several dishes called “simple servings” for those who have any dietary restrictions.

There are many great spots to visit off-campus and around Flagstaff, too, including:

The Toasted Owl Cafe

The Toasted Owl Cafe is a restaurant located in downtown Flagstaff. It is open seven days a week, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas. The restaurant serves classic American breakfast foods such as pancakes, bacon and fried eggs. It also offers omelets and Mexican-style breakfasts, such as tamales, burritos and tacos. Lunch items include sandwiches and burgers. The menu makes sure to include vegan and gluten-free dishes for those with dietary restrictions.

The restaurant has indoor seating and dog-friendly outdoor seating as well. Be aware though — it is first come, first serve, and the restaurant can get very crowded.

Brightside Bookshop

Brightside Bookshop is also located downtown and, as the name implies, is a bookshop. It is independently owned and puts local authors on display. The store has a wide variety of books, including fiction, nonfiction, essays, poetry and a children’s section. If you can’t find what you’re looking for inside the store, you can always order it online.

Flagstaff Public Library

If you aren’t an Arizona or Coconino County resident, you can still get a library card using your dorm address. The library is a great resource to use, especially if you’re taking literature classes; you can save money on books by borrowing them from the library. In general, a library card is a must-have even if your major has nothing to do with books. It is located downtown and so it is in a convenient location.

Riordan Mansion

The Riordan Mansion is one of Flagstaff’s historical locations, as well as an Arizona State Park. It was first built in 1904 by the Riordan brothers, two men who managed the influential Arizona Timber and Lumber Company. The brothers lived in the house with their families, hence its large size.

The mansion is very well-preserved and offers a step into history. It is also an example of the Arts and Crafts architectural style. Because of this, the Riordan Mansion is a must-see for history lovers and architecture lovers.

Lowell Observatory

The Lowell Observatory is another of Flagstaff’s historical sites: Pluto was discovered here by a man named Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. The Observatory is still in use, reflecting Flagstaff’s status as a dark sky city. The Lowell Observatory offers tours and also has a great gift shop. This location is worth a visit if you love history, astronomy or both.


Bookman’s is a used bookstore that buys and sells books, along with music CDs and tapes, video games and instruments. The store offers credit or cash in exchange for these used items, which can be used at the Bookman’s cafe. Notably, this store was in the news in 2020 for returning a signed “Star Wars” record to Mark Hamill. The Flagstaff Bookman’s is located near Sprouts and Target, so you can check it out while on a grocery run.

Melissa Wade, Northern Arizona University

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Melissa Wade

Northern Arizona University

Melissa Wade is a student at Northern Arizona University. She is majoring in English and minoring in studio art.

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