I lived here for four years in college, and we come back to visit a few times a year. Every time we visit, I get sad that I don't live here anymore!
  1. The weather.
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    60 degree highs are my perfect weather. (Too bad I live in Tucson. 🙄)
  2. The views.
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    The San Francisco Peaks are incomparable.
  3. The amazing restaurants, bars, breweries, and venues.
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    It's a college town with a great vibe. A fun mix of hipsters, hippies, and outdoorsy hiker types.
  4. The elevation.
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    The whole city is about 7,000 feet high. It makes for clear air and blue skies. Just don't forget your sunscreen, especially if you're hiking up into the 13,000 foot peaks. The sun can feel super intense when you're this high! And be prepared to pant like an out-of-shape person whenever you go up a flight of stairs. 😝 Also - there's an observatory here, where they first discovered Pluto!
  5. The trees.
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    It's right in the middle of the Coconino National Forest! So the forest fire threats can be scary in summer, but the trees are green and gorgeous all year long.
  6. Did I mention the restaurants?
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    I always pack stretchy pants when we're coming here. Some of my favorite places are Burritos Fiesta, Diablo Burger, Mama Burger, Crystal Creek Sandwich Company, Pasto, and NiMarco's Pizza. Among many, many others. :)
  7. The history.
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    Within about a 30 minute drive you can tour a historic mansion built by a 19th century logging family, hike down into centuries-old cliff dwellings, or walk through the ashes of a volcano that erupted around 800 years ago.
  8. The activities.
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    There's always a show or concert or poetry reading of some sort happening at the NAU campus, if you're the indoors type. If you're the outdoors type, there's hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and rock-climbing galore!
  9. The scenery.
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    If you stretch your driving to 90 minutes, you can get to Sedona, Prescott, the Grand Canyon, Havasupai Falls, the Painted Desert, and all kinds of other beautiful places!!
  10. The friends and family.
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    People who manage to nab good jobs here tend to stay here. So it's so fun to come see people again over the years! Plus: cute niece and nephew.