Natural history in Northern Arizona.

By Travel + Leisure
August 29, 2012
Courtesy of National Park Service

Two of northern Arizona’s most unique attractions lie within minutes of each other. One, the site of a meteorite that crashed 50,000 years ago, is sure to please nature enthusiasts, while the other is more suited to history buffs: cliff dwellings that were once home to prehistoric peoples. It’s a double dose of culture, and the perk is that it’s affordable to bring the whole family.

La Posada Hotel

This restored 1920s Spanish-Colonial property, filled with antique hand-carved Mexican furnishings and hammered-tin mirrors. The on-site Turquoise Room restaurant is known for its upscale southwestern cuisine.

Meteor Crater

The otherworldly Meteor Crater just east of Flagstaff is one of the best-preserved meteorite crash sites on earth (NASA astronauts have trained there before heading off on moon missions).

Wupatki National Monument

Check out the fascinating pueblo cliff dwellings, where prehistoric Puebloan and Sinagua peoples made their homes.

Galaxy Diner

A nostalgic assemblage of neon, 50s tunes, and American comfort food.