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I have traveled to quite a few beautiful places in my lifetime, but Sedona, Arizona is something special. Everywhere you look, there is an amazing view. And there are so many things to do that everyone in your family will come away from the trip with something special.
Typically, I am all about a vacation that requires a book, sunscreen and a lovely chair by the pool where I can park it for several days. But while the resorts are top notch and each pool seems to be equipped with a kid-friendly splash-pad, Sedona has so much more to offer.
Where to Stay in Sedona, AZ
In my most recent trip, we stayed at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock, which is really great. The Shadowrock restaurant on site was delicious and had lots of fire pits to gather around in the evenings to roast marshmallows or sip on wine. The Hilton also has a great pool (with a kids splash pad) and a relaxing spa, which was a real treat after spending a few days hiking.
The Sedona Hilton is also really close to iconic Bell Rock which has over a dozen trails surrounding it that you can hike. If you have a family member who would rather pass on red rock hiking, the Hilton has a pretty good golf course too!
I also had a couple of friends recommend The Amara Resort as a great place to stay. This seems like a great place to stay if my husband and I ever go sans kids. Daily yoga classes and a location right in the heart of Sedona sounds like a pretty great time to me.
Other places to stay in Sedona:
Hyatt Pinon Pointe – On the main drag in Sedona’s tourist area. Great views.
L’Auberge Sedona – Located in the canyon just below the main tourist area in Sedona.
Where to Eat in Sedona, AZ
There are a lot of restaurants in this small town, so you do have a lot of good eats to try. One of the best things about all of the restaurants in Sedona, is that even if they are ‘fine dining establishments’, the dress code is always super casual. So you can walk off the trail and into any restaurant you please and you won’t be given a single judgemental look.
- Wildflower Bread Company – The food here is similar to a Panera Bread, but the views from the outdoor patio are 1,000 times better than any Panera I’ve been in. We sat outside at Wildflower one evening and watched the full moon come up over the red rocks. You will love the pastries here. And you get to have as many as you want because you are #carbloading for those hikes! I think that is how it works…
- The Hudson – I didn’t actually get to eat here because they were jam packed every time we stopped by. But The Hudson was recommended to me by multiple people (both locals and visitors), and the views (as I could see them from the lobby) were amazing. Make reservations prior to your trip!
Other places to eat:
Dahl & Diluca – Make reservations in advance here too. It is nice but you can still come in your hiking attire.
Picazzos Pizza – Pizza after hiking is what the doctor ordered (probably).
Cowboy Club – Nice patio that would be fun for kids!
Things to do in Sedona, AZ
Obviously, you saw this one coming. Sedona is famous for its red rock mountains (hills?) that are absolutely gorgeous and also create some of the best hiking trails around. Beware – the red dust all over the trails will may your clothes and certainly your shoes. Get some good hiking boots (these are awesome) and try to wear shorts if you can.
I also recommend bringing a backpack to hold your water bottle and an extra supply of water. Arizona is an arid desert, so your sweat evaporates almost immediately, which makes it harder to realize how much water you have lost and you can become dehydrated. A backpack like this is perfect for hikes between 3-5 hours long. You can even pack snacks and enjoy lunch in a scenic spot!
Trails to Hike
- Bell Rock – There is very little shade on this trail, but you can climb up Bell Rock and get some breathtaking views.
- West Fork – This one is a little further north of Sedona, but you hike through a foresty canyon and everything is actually amazing. It is a little cooler and you are walking beside water the whole time. It was my absolute favorite hike. You have to pay $10 to park and $2 to enter the park, but it is worth it for sure!
- Fay Canyon Trail – This one stays pretty flat the whole time, but there are lots of areas where you can climb up a bit and get great views. Fay Canyon would be really great for a family with young kids.
Slide Rock is a natural rock formation that is similar to a slip and slide. It is an 80 ft long natural water slide that is a great way to cool off after a hike.
I haven’t done slide rock, but my parents went to Sedona a few years ago and did this and they loved it. It would be fun for the whole family to try! You will need to bring a swimsuit and some towels for this adventure, but you will certainly make memories.
Pink Jeep Tours
Did you even go to Sedona if you didn’t do a Pink Jeep Tour?
There are 7 different tours to choose from so be sure to stop by the Pink Jeep Center on the main drag of Sedona. The staff there will help you pick out the best tour for your family. We went on the Scenic Tour, which was described as “a little bumpy”, which is similar to when my doctor told me a procedure would cause “some minor cramping” and I spent the rest of the day laying on a heating pad.
But the views are awesome and you get to see a lot more of Sedona cruising around in a monster jeep.
The great views don’t stop when the sun goes down. Sedona is pretty remote, so the stars shine brightly. There are a few stargazing tours you can go on, but pretty much every hotel has a telescope for guests to use and some even have a designated staff member to help guests identify constellations. Save your money and check with your hotel about stargazing spots on the property.
No matter what you do in Sedona, you are going to have a blast. There is beauty everywhere you look and your kids will love all of the activities.
Have you been to Sedona? Let me know what your favorite activities were OR if you haven’t been, let me know what sounds the most fun to you in the comments!