Things to know before Moving To Flagstaff Az [2023]

Imagine stepping into a city where sustainability meets natural beauty, where the night sky is protected, and where eco-friendly practices are actively promoted.

Welcome to Flagstaff, Arizona – a vibrant city known for its commitment to the environment and high quality of life.

With its ideal stargazing conditions, diverse food scene, and abundant outdoor activities, Flagstaff offers a unique lifestyle that combines urban convenience with a connection to nature.

If you’re considering a move, let’s explore what makes Flagstaff the perfect place to call home.

Key Takeaways

  • Flagstaff is a city committed to sustainability, with initiatives to reduce light pollution, promote eco-friendly practices, and conserve energy.
  • The city offers a high quality of life, with ideal skies for stargazing, a diverse food scene, a range of housing options, and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities.
  • Flagstaff is a resourceful city, providing up-to-date information and resources for moving to other Arizona cities, as well as assistance with home searches.
  • Flagstaff’s climate and geography, including its high elevation, four seasons, scenic backdrop of the San Francisco Peaks, and proximity to national forests and parks, make it an ideal location for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, skiing, and camping.


Flagstaff, AZ has a diverse population, with 77.21% being White, 8.18% Native American, and 6.12% identifying as Two or more races, among other racial groups.

If you’re considering moving to Flagstaff, you’ll find a community that embraces different cultures and backgrounds. The city’s demographics reflect its commitment to inclusivity and diversity. Whether you’re looking for a place with a strong Native American presence or a melting pot of various races, Flagstaff offers a welcoming environment for all.

Moving to Flagstaff means joining a community where different perspectives are valued and celebrated. With a population that speaks a variety of languages and a rich cultural scene, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a vibrant and diverse community.

Cost of Living

To get an idea of the cost of living in Flagstaff, you’ll find that housing expenses are higher than the national average. The median home value in Flagstaff is $323,200, which is significantly higher than the national median of $204,900. Renting is also a popular option in Flagstaff, with over half of the occupied homes being rented. The typical renter in Flagstaff spends $1,200 per month on housing.

When it comes to transportation costs, 77.60% of commuters in Flagstaff drive to work, which is lower than the national average. The average commute time is 15.7 minutes, shorter than the national average.

Health care costs in Flagstaff are also higher than the national and state averages, with out-of-pocket expenses for a single adult amounting to $6,185 per year. Additionally, the cost of child care for two children in Flagstaff is $17,221 per year, higher than the state average.

Crime Rate

With one of the highest crime rates in America, residents in the city face a one in 25 chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime. According to NeighborhoodScout, Flagstaff has a crime rate of 40 per one thousand residents, ranking it among the top 25% most violent U.S. cities.

However, people who live in Flagstaff generally consider the northwest part of the city to be the safest, with a lower chance of being a victim of crime, as low as 1 in 33.

It’s important to be aware of the crime rate when considering a move to Flagstaff and take necessary precautions to ensure personal safety.

Despite the high crime rate, Flagstaff offers a range of other appealing factors such as its commitment to sustainability, outdoor recreational opportunities, education institutions, vibrant cultural scene, and a growing economy.


If you’re considering living in Flagstaff, you’ll be pleased to know that the city’s economy is experiencing significant growth, with a future job growth rate of 46.6%. Flagstaff offers a diverse range of industries and businesses, providing ample job opportunities.

The key industry sectors include advanced manufacturing, astronomy, bioscience, craft brewing, digital/e-commerce, entrepreneurship, healthcare, retail, and tourism. This thriving economy creates a dynamic environment for both established professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Flagstaff’s ranking as the 7th best place to start a business in Arizona further highlights its potential for economic success. With a low unemployment rate and a wide range of industries, Flagstaff attracts both remote workers and those seeking employment in outdoor recreation and hospitality sectors.

However, it’s important to note that the cost of living may be higher compared to other Arizona cities.


Flagstaff offers a range of educational opportunities, with top-rated schools and a renowned university. The city is home to 34 elementary schools and 21 high schools, with an average ranking of 6/10, placing them in the top 50% of Arizona public schools. Some of the top-rated public schools in Flagstaff include BASIS Flagstaff, Charles W Sechrist Elementary School, Sturgeon Cromer Elementary School, and Weitzel’s Puente De Hozho Bilingual Magnet School. Flagstaff Christian School and San Francisco De Asis are among the top-ranked private schools in the area. Additionally, Northern Arizona University (NAU) is located in Flagstaff and offers a diverse range of academic programs. NAU’s main campus is known for its welcoming community and its proximity to the great outdoors.

Type of School Top-Rated Schools in Flagstaff, AZ
Public Elementary BASIS Flagstaff
Public Elementary Charles W Sechrist Elementary School
Public Elementary Sturgeon Cromer Elementary School
Public Elementary Weitzel’s Puente De Hozho Bilingual Magnet School
Private Flagstaff Christian School
Private San Francisco De Asis
University Northern Arizona University (NAU)


Flagstaff offers quality healthcare options including Northern Arizona Healthcare, Flagstaff Medical Center, and North Country HealthCare123. These healthcare facilities provide a range of services to meet the needs of the community.

Northern Arizona Healthcare is a leading healthcare provider in the region, offering comprehensive medical care and specialized treatments. Flagstaff Medical Center is a renowned hospital that provides advanced medical services and state-of-the-art facilities. North Country HealthCare123 is a trusted healthcare provider that offers primary care and specialized services to residents.

With these options, Flagstaff residents can access top-notch healthcare close to home. Whether it’s routine check-ups, emergency care, or specialized treatments, Flagstaff’s healthcare facilities are dedicated to providing quality care and improving the overall well-being of the community.

Housing Market

Looking to find a place to live in Flagstaff? The housing market offers a variety of options to suit your needs and preferences. The median rent for all bedrooms and property types in Flagstaff is $2,650, which is $505 more than the national median. Some affordable neighborhoods in Flagstaff include Greenlaw Townhomes, Tanglewood, and Mount Elden Foothills. On the other hand, Pine Canyon, Downtown Flagstaff, and Southside are some of the more expensive neighborhoods. Flagstaff ranks 13th out of 267 places in Arizona for the best places to live and 2nd for the most diverse suburbs. It also ranks 8th for the best places for young professionals and 9th for the best places for outdoor activities. This shows that Flagstaff offers a range of housing options and a desirable quality of life.

Job Market

If you’re considering a new job, you’ll be pleased to know that the job market in Flagstaff offers opportunities in various industries. These include advanced manufacturing, astronomy, bioscience, craft brewing, digital/e-commerce, entrepreneurship, healthcare, retail, and tourism.

Here are three things to know about the job market in Flagstaff:

  1. Diverse Industries: Flagstaff’s job market is diverse, with opportunities in fields such as advanced manufacturing, where you can contribute to innovative technologies. You can also explore the world of astronomy and be a part of cutting-edge research. Additionally, the craft brewing industry is thriving, offering chances to work in a creative and growing sector.
  2. Healthcare and Retail: Flagstaff has a strong healthcare sector, providing job opportunities in hospitals and medical facilities. Retail is another prominent industry, with various stores and establishments that cater to the needs of residents and tourists alike.
  3. Tourism and Hospitality: As a popular tourist destination, Flagstaff offers a range of job opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry. From working in hotels and resorts to guiding outdoor activities, you can be a part of the vibrant tourism scene.

With its diverse industries and growing job market, Flagstaff provides ample opportunities for individuals seeking new career paths.

Public Transportation

To get around the city, you can take advantage of Flagstaff’s public transportation system, which includes the Mountain Line bus service.

Mountain Line operates nine routes that traverse Flagstaff and provide access to jobs, schools, healthcare facilities, shopping areas, and entertainment venues.

You can easily find information about Mountain Line’s routes and schedules on their website or the City of Flagstaff’s official website.

Additionally, Flagstaff has a bicycle program and a pedestrian program, making it convenient to explore the city on foot or by bike.

For those with special needs, the Mountain Lift special needs transportation options are available.

If you prefer ridesharing services, both Uber and Lyft operate in Flagstaff, allowing you to request a ride and pay for it through their respective apps.

Tax Rates

The sales tax rate in Flagstaff, AZ is 9.181%. It consists of 5.6% Arizona state sales tax, 1.3% Coconino County sales tax, and 2.281% Flagstaff tax. When making a purchase in Flagstaff, you need to factor in these tax rates.

Here are three things to keep in mind about tax rates in Flagstaff:

  1. Arizona state sales tax: At 5.6%, the state sales tax is a significant portion of the overall tax rate. This tax goes towards funding various state programs and services.
  2. Coconino County sales tax: With a rate of 1.3%, the county sales tax contributes to local government initiatives, such as schools, hospitals, and roads.
  3. Flagstaff tax: The 2.281% Flagstaff tax is specific to the city and helps fund local projects and services. This tax directly benefits the community and contributes to the overall quality of life in Flagstaff.

Understanding these tax rates will ensure that you are prepared when making purchases in Flagstaff and will contribute to the continued development and improvement of the city.

Weather and Climate

When you visit Flagstaff, you’ll experience a wide range of weather and climate, including cool summers and snowy winters. The average temperature in Flagstaff during summer ranges from 64°F to 88°F, with July being the warmest month with an average high-temperature of 82.8°F and an average low-temperature of 60.4°F. During monsoon season, Flagstaff receives heavy afternoon rain most days. In winter, the average temperature ranges from 17°F to 44°F, with December being the coldest month with an average high-temperature of 44°F and an average low-temperature of 17°F. Flagstaff experiences intense sunny days as well as an average of 100 inches of snow during the winter months. To give you a clearer picture, here’s a table showcasing the temperature ranges for each season:

Season Average High Temperature Average Low Temperature
Summer 64°F – 88°F 60.4°F
Winter 17°F – 44°F 17°F
Monsoon Heavy afternoon rain

Pros and Cons

Pros and cons of living in Flagstaff include:

  • Unique high elevation lifestyle and stunning natural beauty: Flagstaff’s high elevation of 7,000 feet offers a cooler climate and breathtaking outdoor scenery. It is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and those who enjoy experiencing all four seasons.
  • Opportunities for family activities on a budget: Flagstaff provides numerous hiking and biking trails, as well as proximity to the Grand Canyon for adventurous outings. The city also offers affordable family activities such as stargazing, skiing, and camping, making it a great place for families to bond and create lasting memories.
  • Inviting community atmosphere: Flagstaff has a warm and welcoming community atmosphere. There is a strong emphasis on education and a vibrant arts and music scene, making it an engaging place to live.

However, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Challenging job market: Flagstaff may have a challenging job market compared to other cities in Arizona. It is important to research employment opportunities before making a decision to move.
  • Higher cost of living: Flagstaff has a higher cost of living compared to other cities in Arizona. It is important to factor in housing, transportation, and other expenses when considering living in Flagstaff.

Bars and Restaurants

Now that you’ve explored the pros and cons of moving to Flagstaff, let’s delve into the city’s vibrant bar and restaurant scene.

Flagstaff offers a diverse range of dining options that cater to various tastes and preferences. Whether you’re in the mood for Mexican and Latin American flavors, Italian cuisine, upscale dining experiences, casual comfort food, or modern American dishes, Flagstaff has it all.

Here are some notable establishments to check out:

  • Palace: A family-run Mexican restaurant known for its hearty breakfasts and famous chilaquiles.
  • Criollo Latin Kitchen: An eatery that emphasizes sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, offering dishes inspired by Latin American cuisine.
  • Pizzicletta: An Italian-style pizza restaurant with a wood-burning oven and unique toppings like gorgonzola and charred kale.
  • Tinderbox Kitchen: A newly renovated dining spot with a contemporary American menu and an extensive wine list.
  • Tourist Home All Day Cafe: A historic cafe known for its coffee, sinful sweets, and a variety of sandwiches.

These are just a taste of the many options available in Flagstaff to satisfy your culinary cravings.

Things to Do

Explore the wide range of activities and attractions available in Flagstaff to make the most of your time in this vibrant city. Immerse yourself in the remarkable natural beauty by embarking on hiking trails with stunning views or mountain biking trails for thrill-seekers.

For a more relaxed outdoor experience, enjoy a round of disc golf in picturesque surroundings or go camping under a star-studded sky. If you’re an aquatic enthusiast, take advantage of boating expeditions on shimmering lakes and waterways, with opportunities for water sports that cater to all ages.

Don’t miss the chance to explore nearby natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument, and Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. And when you’re ready to embrace Flagstaff’s rich cultural heritage, discover remnants of Route 66, visit museums showcasing Native American culture, or stroll through the historic downtown area, where locally-owned shops, delightful restaurants, and captivating galleries await.

Indulge in the culinary experiences that highlight the region’s diversity, and immerse yourself in the art and creativity that permeate the city. Create lasting memories as you uncover the depths of Flagstaff’s beauty.

Best Neighborhoods

Discover the best neighborhoods in Flagstaff that offer a range of housing options and stunning views of the San Francisco Peaks. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful and family-friendly atmosphere or an active community surrounded by hiking trails, Flagstaff has something for everyone.

Doney Park, located northeast of Flagstaff, offers a variety of home styles and large lot sizes, with easy access to forest trailheads.

Flagstaff Ranch, a private golf community near Downtown Flagstaff, features stunning architecture and amenities like a clubhouse, fitness center, pool, and tennis courts.

Highland Meadows, adjacent to National Forest lands, offers affordable homes with breathtaking views of the San Francisco Peaks.

Additionally, Flagstaff has quiet neighborhoods perfect for raising a family and active communities with opportunities for outdoor activities.


So, if you’re ready to embark on a new adventure, Flagstaff, AZ is calling your name. With its commitment to sustainability and its appeal as a desirable place to live, this city has it all.

From its breathtaking night skies to its diverse food scene, you’ll be enchanted by all that Flagstaff has to offer.

So pack your bags, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and get ready to embrace a life of outdoor exploration and environmental responsibility.

Welcome home to Flagstaff, where dreams come true under starlit skies.

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