An excellent spot for those who enjoy nature and hiking, Sedona has a mild desert climate and is therefore good for vacations year round. Though there is a small cityairport, most commercial flights land an hour and a half away in Phoenix. If travelers are making the 30-minute drive from Flagstaff, they should take the Oak Creek Canyon road by way of Hwy 89A to get to Sedona. The aforementioned route is the most scenic, but can be a bit frightening for those who dislike heights. If one is not bringing their own vehicle, renting a car is advised as public transport is generally lacking in the area.
Those who are getting an early start for their three days in Sedona should try the popular Broken Arrow Trail, which is at its least crowded before 8 a.m. Two to three hours are needed in order to complete this well-marked trail. Hikers should exercise caution on their journey as they will be sharing the road with ATVs. Those who prefer traveling with groups and riding rather than hiking should try the Pink Jeep tours instead.
Upon arriving back in town, travelers should stop at Elote Café for their traditional-style margaritas and the lamb adobo. Once lunch is over, browsing the shops nearby is a good way to spend the afternoon. Some excellent places to look for souvenirs are the Kachina House and the Mystical Shop. If hiking supplies are what one requires, Canyon Outfitters or the Hike House are excellent venues. The latter business also has trail experts that will help visitors find the perfect trails for them to hike the next morning.
Grab a delicious coffee and a couple of cookies from the Hike House’s Energy Café and head for the hills in order to catch the unforgettable sunset at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It is best to take a shuttle up to the chapel rather than drive because at times traffic can be particularly bad. Once done observing the sunset, one can either catch the rock and roll show at the Encore Theater or check into their hotel for the night.
After breakfast, one should set out for their recommended trail with their newly refurbished gear and enjoy spectacular views over the Sedona area. Travelers can next stop by the Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market where tasty, affordable sandwiches and pastries are on the menu. There is a nice outdoor garden space in which guests can eat their meal if they choose to do so.
When finished with lunch, visitors should give hiking a rest and drive over to Oak Creek Canyon in order to enjoy the beautiful scenery if they had not done so on their way into town. There are a number of trails in the area if one isn’t too tired, but most of the excellent views can be seen from the safety of one’s car. The Bell Rock area is a good place to stop next. If one is feeling refreshed, this is an easy hike and perfectly suitable for families.
For supper, the stylish Dahl & DiLuca serves up large portions of tasty Italian fare such as homemade pasta. The décor may not be to everyone’s taste, but the food is good. Diners should definitely try the classic lasagna or the seafood bruschetta.
Another excellent, but less formal, option is Simon’s Hot Dogs. Friendly service and tasty hot dogs are par for the course at this eatery. Simon’s has a good beer selection but the parking is somewhat limited. They also have vegetarian and vegan options available. Unfortunately, finding the restaurant is a bit difficult.
A short 15-minute drive will bring guests from the city to the Sedona Star-Gazing observatory for their night tours. Blankets and lawn chairs are provided for visitors to sit on while the knowledgeable guides give their presentation. There is a large telescope set up for viewing the cosmos as well. Some visitors have mentioned that is a good idea to bring snacks and beverages as none are available on-site. On very cold days, parkas are provided, but guests should still be sure to dress warmly.
If one has not already done so, journeying out to Cathedral Rock is an excellent idea for the last day in Sedona. After taking a few snapshots or doing some more hiking, one should stop by L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek for a three- or four-course French-style meal. Lunch here is very tasty, albeit on the more pricy side of things. Though the eatery can be difficult to find, there is free valet parking provided upon arrival. Tables by the creek are definitely worth the wait.
On the way out of Sedona, head over to Slide Rock State Park to enjoy the rock slide and the swimming holes there if the weather is warm enough. Bathrooms are provided as is parking, but the sites can become crowded at times. If the weather is chilly or one doesn’t feel like swimming, a tranquil and refreshing last stop is the Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park.
Do you have any other recommendations for three days in Sedona, USA?