I visited Sedona with my mother and two sons on during our Arizona road trip this winter. Be sure to read about the whole trip. This article is my no means a complete guide to Sedona— I was only there a short time. But as I do, I spent a fair amount of time researching and talking to locals. I felt as though our time was well-spent. We wanted to stop here after hearing about this hippy town settled among canyons and red buttes. Some of the strongest energy vortexes in the world, drawing spiritual seekers.
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Basic information about Sedona Arizona
Coming into Sedona from Flagstaff on the very winding Highway 89A, we first drove through Oak Creek Canyon which is a mountainous forest full of Ponderosa Pines, cute lodges and inns. Much of it is part of the Coconino National Forest- not desert at all! Continuing south, we hit the hip and modern Uptown Sedona with upscale shops and restaurants. If you continue down that road you will end up in the older Rainbow’s End which is where we stayed. There is a turnoff to 179 which brings to you much of the famous hiking, like Bell Rock and heads you towards Phoenix.
Hotels in Sedona
We didn’t have much time to enjoy the spa-vibe of Sedona. What we wanted was a cheap place to stay for the night. We were thrilled with the very inexpensive, but still charming in a desert-sort-of-way Southwest Inn at Sedona. It is a motel set right on a busy road, but was cheap, cute, had an outdoor hot tub and breakfast included.
Eating out in Sedona, Arizona
Although we visited in the middle of winter most of the restaurants were booked solid. If you visit in season- spring or fall- be sure to book a table for dinner will in advance. Across the street from out motel, we stumbled upon Relics Restaurant in Rainbow End which had no wait.
Which is a bigger draw to Relics in Sedona— Excellent beef stronganoff or ghosts?
The food at Relics is good— some of the best beef stroganoff that I have ever had— though a bit expensive. The character of this place is perfect if you love to see a town’s history, old western movies and spookiness. Opened in 1946, it is the longest running restaurant in Sedona. After dinner we got treated to a tour of the place including the western stars that celebrated here in the 1950s and 1960s including John Wayne. The owner is an antiques collector, which you can peruse or buy here. But the biggest draw is that this place is certified haunted! It was featured on the Travel Channels The Dead Files! In order to keep the haunting to a minimum, they still set a table for the ghosts.
Easy hikes in Sedona
I traveled with my mother and two boys on this trip. Since I am not an energy-seeker, the real reason we came to Sedona was to explore the famous red rocks. We had pretty limited time, but I think we found the best views around.
Airport Loop Trail
If you are looking for an easy hike for families in Sedona and want to get an overview of the scenery, this is the ideal spot. This 3.3 mile trail is very close to the middle of Sedona on Airport Road. It is a bit steep to hike up to the Airport Overlook, but it gives you a vantage point of Sedona from most directions and you can see most of the famous rock formations. The parking lot which you will find on the left-hand-side of the road is the biggest problem as it only holds 12 cars. We got the last spot during our winter hike.
Bell Rock/Courthouse Butte Loop Trail
This is a longer trail in the area off of 179 in Sedona. It was right on our way out-of-town headed to Phoenix and was the perfect way to end our taste of Sedona. Bell Rock is the structure that I had most heard of before visiting Sedona and this hike was recommended by the hostess at Relics. Read more about spots to hit on Highway 179.
If you would like to explore Sedona by helicopter or jeep tour, shop for tours here.
Note: You will need a parking pass for most hikes in Sedona. Check out the forest’s website for more information.
Have you been to Sedona? What is your favorite hike there? Please let me know in the comments. Are you headed north? Read about our visit to the Grand Canyon.