Coming to college can be a large leap for many individuals from all walks of life. For some, it may be the first time a member of their family has gone onto higher education, while for others it could be an adventure that was years in the making. Even when backgrounds come from so many different places, NAU students call the 829 acres of campus home. Finding activities and hobbies to do in the mountain town can be challenging as well. Students give their advice on what they believe to be the best parts of the Flagstaff community. 


Sierra Kaczocha 


Exercise science

“The gorgeous mountains and forests are what stands out the most to me in Flagstaff,” Kaczocha said through Instagram’s direct message. “Growing up in Phoenix, I was surrounded by dirt and cactuses, so being up north for college has been an amazing change of scenery. During my free time, I find myself wanting to explore Flagstaff and Sedona! Whether it is hammocking near Lake Mary or going on a hike, I love going outdoors to enjoy nature!

“My tip for just moving to Flagstaff would be to leave earlier than you think you need to! Whether it be snow, three trains passing through town or simply traffic on Milton Road, you should accommodate for something to slow your travel time.

“If you are new to our beautiful mountain town, my advice would be to take advantage of where you live! Time goes by much quicker than you want to believe, and you do not want to be left with all of these wonders about what you did not get to explore. Go on hikes, nature walks, eat at local restaurants and yes, even enjoy those heavy snows!”


Ryan Salemi 


Criminal justice 

“Being from San Diego, actually having a winter season stands out the most and it is very nice to enjoy,” Salemi said. “I like getting out and going on the back roads of Flagstaff to enjoy its beauty and I will also hang out with friends. I would suggest seeing all the attractions that Flagstaff has to offer. It is a small mountain town, but it does offer a lot of things to do when you look into it.”


Cole Kelley 


Civil engineering

“What makes Flagstaff and NAU stand out compared to other Arizona universities is being 30 minutes away from a mountain to ski and snowboard at,” Kelley said. “Also, the smaller class sizes and smaller campus gave me a better educational experience. I spend most of my free time in Flagstaff either up at Arizona Snowbowl or out in the Coconino National Forest hunting. 

“I like to hike, fish and play disc golf with my friends in my free time. Find an outdoor activity that you are passionate about and get outdoors to see what the outskirts of Flagstaff have to offer. Also, make friends in your degree to make the educational journey more enjoyable and, overall, improve your experience at NAU.”

Dylan Lundmark 

Junior CCC Student

Visual communications

“The thing that stands out to me the most about Flagstaff is the culture and the mountain,” Lundmark said. “I find myself spending the most of my free time in the forest or skiing at Snowbowl. I suggest buying a season pass to Snowbowl along with purchasing a four-wheel drive vehicle.”


Aspen Palieri 


Public health 

“What stands out to me the most in Flagstaff are the people,” Palieri said. “Everyone is so welcoming and kind wherever you go, whether it is downtown or a random hiking trail. I find myself spending my free time usually outside or at a friend’s place. There are so many outdoor activities you can do in Flagstaff. I have found many great hiking trails and there are also some great places to set up your hammock and just enjoy what Flagstaff has to offer.

“One suggestion I would give to someone who just moved into town is to not be afraid and go out on your own. You can meet so many people by just walking around town. Enjoy your time in Flagstaff by getting out and going on adventures.”


Terry Heming 


Spanish linguistics

“There is so much to explore in Flagstaff,” Heming said. “I am still encountering new businesses and nature paths every single day. If I am not working or studying, I spend a decent amount of time at the Walkup Skydome either working out or simply relaxing. I also tend to hit up the bars along San Francisco Street every weekend.

“In general, it is a much larger town than you will realize at first. Honestly, just take a day and drive all the way from the movie theater all the way to Walmart and see what catches your eye. There is bound to be something.”


Alyssa Farnsworth 


Public health 

“The community stands out the most to me,” Farnsworth said through Instagram’s direct message. “It is so tight-knit and laid-back, and there is truly nothing else like it. As a full-time student with a job, free time is few and far between, but when I do have free time, I typically spend it with my roommates. I try to go to Sedona or Prescott as much as possible to explore and hike.

“Explore as much as possible. There are so many amazing sights in Flagstaff and the surrounding areas, so make the most of it. Try new things, go new places and enjoy the local restaurants and bars.”