Arizona is a Land of Contrasts

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000

At last, I had the opportunity to travel this weekend, an activity that has escaped many of us this past year. The trip was a short one. But a welcome chance to visit somewhere different with an overnight stay in Flagstaff. It is only a two-hour drive from North Scottsdale to Flagstaff, Arizona, but it is a world away in character.

For those of you that think of Arizona only as a hot, dry, dusty desert you will be surprised to know that the State of Arizona is truly a place of environmental contrasts. While southern Arizona resides predominantly in the Sonoran Desert, northern Arizona is a land of pine forests, high mountains, and of course the Grand Canyon, one of the world's natural wonders.

The City of Flagstaff lies at approximately 7,000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in North America. Flagstaff is at the same time, one of the sunniest and snowiest cities in the United States.

The reason for my visit to Flagstaff was for the wedding of two dear friends. The young couple had planned to be married in April of 2020, but as we all know the pandemic brought the world to a halt. The venue where the couple had booked their wedding, a country club in Flagstaff, closed and they were forced to postpone their nuptials to a later time. A year later in April 2021, the couple was able to finally have the wedding of their dreams.

On this beautiful April day, with the temperature hovering around 70 degrees and a clear blue sky. We gathered at the Forest Highlands Golf Club, a historic golf club and residential community, amidst the green grass and tall pine trees with a spectacular view of Humphreys Peak. Humphreys Peak is the highest natural point state of Arizona with an elevation of 12,637 feet. A full mile higher than the city of Flagstaff.


Humphries 1



As you can see from the picture Humphreys Peak still had quite a bit of snow, which many years lasts all year long.

Flagstaff offers wonderful hiking, skiing, golf, and a fun historic downtown with quirky souvenir shops and dining options to meet anyone’s tastes.

One of the wonderful things about living in Arizona is that you can choose your environment. cactus, desert, mountain, forest, you name it. All these choices within just a few hours ride.

Flagstaff Wedding 1

Flagstaff Hotel 1

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Comments (16)

Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376


What a lovely place to have a wedding. Many couples had to postpone their weddings because of COVID-19. I was just reading the other day that many couples were planning small weddings during the week as they had so many difficulties booking a place because of the backup.  Beautiful post 


Thank you for your entry in our  Active Rain April Challenge 

Apr 19, 2021 06:36 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning joseph. Nice to get out of town and see something new. The wife and I are planning to do just that soon. Enjoy your day.

Apr 20, 2021 05:43 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a wonderful overview of the differences that can be found in Arizona. It sounds like the couple had an amazing day for their wedding!

Apr 20, 2021 05:55 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Joseph, sounds like a great time!  Glad you were able to get away, and Flagstaff is much like Denver, so beautiful! 

Apr 20, 2021 06:30 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Joseph-What a lovely venue for a wedding!!!   I forget how diverse in terrain and geography AZ is. 

Apr 20, 2021 06:45 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

We also made that drive on the way up to the Grand Canyon.  The center of Flagstaff had a small college as well.

Apr 20, 2021 06:45 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Joseph I began my real estate career in Flagstaff.  At that time Forest Highlands was just being built out and I spent many a day/evening out there for business meetings. Fabulous place for a wedding too!  Glad you had a great time. Always so refreshing to be back up in Flag, especially during the summer months.

Apr 21, 2021 03:55 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, I love this venue for a wedding, Joseph! What a gorgeous place! 


Thank you for your entries into this month's challenge too!

Apr 22, 2021 06:54 AM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Don't you just love the opportunity to escape to a completely different environment within Arizona!  Love the fact that we can do that.  Most don't know that Arizona has 5 climate zones, a lot more than just dusty desert.  Great post! 

Apr 22, 2021 09:16 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude



What beautiful photos! I suspect you are right, that many think of Arizona and hot and dry desert and forget about places like Flagstaff, and Sedona. Have only been to Flagstaff once for a visit to guess where, but would love to go back and see more.


What a beautiful setting for a special wedding!



Apr 22, 2021 08:32 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

It is so exciting to think of how we can all start traveling again soon!  Thanks for an inspiring post 

Apr 23, 2021 07:20 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Joseph,

A lovely place. Not bad in winter either. So many places to go again, once we can.

Apr 23, 2021 09:25 PM
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Hi Joseph, I have another reason to go to Arizona. I'm glad you shared this , thank you and be safe😉

Apr 24, 2021 05:54 AM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Well written post, Joseph! It is indeed true most folks not from Az do not realize we have everything here but the ocean! Forest Highlands is just beautiful, and what an idyllic day to have an outdoor wedding. I was at a wedding at Pine Canyon, also in Flag, in October and it was a sunset wedding, also outdoors. It was very comfortable until the sun began to set. Man did that temperature drop! We were all shivering by the time the ceremony ended!

Apr 25, 2021 02:36 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for telling us about your experience and the area.

Apr 30, 2021 04:32 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

Yes, so many different ways to enjoy your area. The one thing I would definitely miss is seeing sunsets by the ocean, but your views must be incredible too!

May 09, 2021 07:30 AM