I’ve spent 5 days in Sedona and I love it. I’ve never spent a night. Why? Because it is so much cheaper to stay in Flagstaff and it’s such a gorgeous drive between the two through the canyon that I love that part too!
The scenery in Sedona is truly unreal. It’s similar to Moab, another place I will cover in some depth. Red rock giant sculpture everywhere and hiking in every backyard. Some are farther out, but seriously, some are in peoples backyards. I certainly haven’t done them all, or even put a dent in it and so that’s why I’ll be back. Plus Sedona is a 6 hour drive from my house!
The time to be in the area is sunrise and sunset to get the photo’s that you see. The rock just glows. The best pictures I have are when it was questionable if anything was going to happen as the sky was so cloudy, but then I could see an opening in the clouds and we waited… and bingo – the sun popped out right at sunset and we had rainbows and mist and I was in photo heaven. The spot – airport mesa. But I don’t think that’s the only spot to get amazing sunset pictures, but it is a nice one.
This is how I like to scope an area out. First stop at a place that is going to have a lot of postcards, I look and see what I want to see and find out where those shots were taken and we go. I was shocked when we went to Canyonland (Moab UT) to find out that the spot I’ve always wanted to shoot (Mesa Arch) was a drive up, walk a block, and you are there. It looks like you had to be helicoptered there! Never assume.
Favorite Hikes – so far… not in any special order.
- Coffee Pot Rock
- Fay Canyon – easy, but the side trip to Arch is steep loose rock
- Cathedral Rock – from both sides – depending on timing.
- Devil’s Bridge trail – do this earlier in day. At sunset it’s in the dark.
I haven’t hiked in Sedona in heat. Snow yes! I’m not a hot weather person, so this was heaven for me. Be sure to look at the daily averages before planning a trip to see if you can handle the weather. Summer is hot, (get out early in day) but higher than Phoenix, so a little cooler.
Stop at the visitor center… try not to stop at a tour office or timeshare presentation and get maps and advice. If you are not a hiker – there are jeep tours. Most are pink jeeps. So much to do in this town; biking, ballooning, golf, climbing, fly fishing, and of course, shopping.
I love the Tlaquepaque shopping mall. (I will not try to pronounce that.) It’s really the most gorgeous shopping place I’ve ever been. 40 unique shops, you aren’t going to find a Victoria Secret here. They say it’s designed to look like an authentic Mexican village, but it’s not like any Mexico I’ve been to! More like the Med, and nicer than that too. It looks old, but it’s rather new (and growing across the street). We happen to be there before Christmas on a day they had musicians through out. A violinist in the chapel, Victorian carolers in a courtyard. And free food all over. What a treat.
Normally I would not recommend a chain restaurant, but we stumbled on Wildflower Bread Company which has locations around metro Phoenix and Flagstaff. I like them at least 50% better than Panera. I’ve tried many things (try the roasted sweet potato sandwich!) and the only thing that was not fab was some Bakery goods, but we bought them in the late afternoon and that was just dumb of us. Dried out as they were made in the morning. GREAT place to get a lunch for the hike and take it with you. The dining area has a wonderful view, so nice to dine in too. Prices normal, in a pretty spendy resort town, that’s a nice find.