Sedona Serenity: Your Essential Travel Guide to Arizona’s Enchanting Red Rock Country

We recently took a family vacation to Arizona and it quickly has become one of our favorite new spots in the US. Nestled amidst the breathtaking red rock formations of northern Arizona, Sedona stands as a captivating desert oasis. We’ll get into the details shortly, but there are a few things to know right away. If you are looking for a mild winter getaway or a hot summer travel destination, Arizona is the place for you! With its charming art galleries and diverse culinary scene, Sedona offers a truly unique and rejuvenating vacation experience for all types of vacationers. Read along to be inspired by our essential travel guide to Arizona’s enchanting red rock country!

How To Travel

Being that this was a family vacation, we had groups flying in from different parts of the US. We all flew into Phoenix (it’s the cheapest option) and rented cars right at the airport. Our first stop was to the Desert Botanical Gardens – highly recommend! Although nothing was in full bloom when we went, it was still beautiful and had an incredible variety of cactus and desert plants.

We, then, drove 2 hours through immaculate red rocks and mountainous landscape to Sedona, where we stayed for 4 nights. There are so many fun ways to vacation in Arizona. You could very easily spend a night or two exploring the city of Phoenix or Scottsdale before heading to Sedona or vice versa. Both cities offer shopping, golfing and a variety of different cuisines to keep you entertained.

Where To Stay

We opted to stay at an Air BnB located on the south west side of Sedona, right off of the main road, 89A. The house was in the most perfect location for us. It’s a secluded and quiet area, and best of all, has easy access to tons of hiking trails. It was also less than a 5 minute drive into town, which made running errands and our daily excursions effortless.

If you are traveling with a smaller group or want to be closer to the live action in town, I’d recommend staying in West Sedona or as close to downtown as you can find. However, for us, being just outside of town was perfect.

What To Eat

We are foodies at heart, so we tried a lot of different restaurants during our stay. Some of our favorites include : Cowboy Club, Javelina Cantina, and 89 Agave Cantina (get the table-side guacamole). Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen had some of the best GF pizza I’ve ever had. A few of our favorite breakfast and sweet spots include : Karen’s Bakeshop (vegan/GF options), Sedonuts & Coffee, Creekside Sedona and the Hideaway House.

Things To Do

Within our itinerary, we used one full day to drive 2 hours north to the Grand Canyon. It was everyones favorite part of the entire trip! If you are looking for a cheap, casual and nostalgic breakfast spot, I highly recommend The Toasted Owl Cafe in Flagstaff. It was the perfect spot to fill up before a full day of adventures in the Grand Canyon.

While we were at the Grand Canyon, we drove most of the south rim road with a good mix of driving as well as parking our cars to walk along paved paths. The views were absolutely breathtaking! If you do get hungry while you’re in the park, there are a few small cafe’s near the visitor center as well as shops for souvenirs. I highly recommend prioritizing Yavapai Point and Geology Museum.

Back in Sedona, there are a few must see places that we stumbled upon. Heading to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, especially to see the sunset, was incredible! There are also tons of great hiking trails tucked back in the area. One of our favorites was the trail “Little Horse to Chicken Point”. Once we reached the top (not a steep incline), there were a lot of Pink Jeep Tours parked on the rocks. We didn’t do those tours, but we will next time for an elevated Sedona experience!

Sedona, Arizona was a beautiful vacation spot for our family to meet up and we can’t wait to go back! It was a perfect spot for all ages and abilities with a wide variety of things to do and see. From the jewelry shops, to the plethora of restaurants and hiking trails, it is a place that truly has it all. This essential travel guide to Arizona’s enchanting red rock country is just the start of exploring the southwest state. If you’re looking for more travel guides, check out our travel section on our blog to create inspiration for your next vacation!