For Spring Break 2018 we decided to take a family vacation to Sedona, Arizona.
Why Sedona??? Well, when my husband and I were dating we were given a free weekend getaway trip to Sedona for listening to a timeshare presentation – we did end up buying a timeshare, but more on that later. We both loved Sedona and the Grand Canyon and knew we wanted to come back one day with our family. We also knew that we wanted to the kids to be old enough to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of this amazing place. With the kids now old enough, we decided to book the trip!
Research shows that March though May or September through November are the best times visit Sedona and the Grand Canyon. This is when the weather is nicest and you can avoid the peak tourist season of summer.
We stayed at our timeshare, The Sedona Summit, which we loved! They have huge units with full kitchens and washers and dryers along with several pools and activities. They do rent out rooms to the public, so if you are traveling with a family, this is a great option.
Highlights of the trip:
The Grand Canyon is an easy 2 hour drive from Sedona. Once you get to the Grand Canyon National Park entrance, there is $25 entrance fee per vehicle, you can then park your car in several locations throughout the park and catch the free shuttle buses that will take you to all the scenic overlooks. You have the option to walk to each overlook if you prefer to walk the rim or don’t feel like riding the shuttle to each stop. The buses run about every 10 minutes. The views are amazing and all the kids really loved it! We did end up getting snowed on, which was not in the forecast! It made for really cold end of the day, but all in all, we all had an amazing and unforgettable trip to the Grand Canyon!
Out of Africa Wildlife Park
This was a last minute add-on to our vacation and I must say that it was the most amazing experience! It’s a 45 minute drive from Sedona and well worth the trip! We decided on doing the VIP – Behind the Scenes Tour where the founders, Dean and Prayeri led us though the park, which offered up-close and personal encounters with all the animals. You could see how much love the animals had for Dean and Prayeri and vice versa! They would call the animal’s names and the animals would come to them no matter how far away they were and they were so excited to see them!
They have so many animals at the park that I can’t even name them all, but here is a list of them all. Our favorites were the giraffes, the sloth, and three baby lions that were just born – adorable!
They also have zip lining at the park, so we had to that, too! The Racing Raptor Zip Line was so fun and we zip lined right over the animals!
Pink Jeep Tours
The Pink Jeep tour was a thrilling adventure so much fun! Wow, what an experience! We chose a combo tour – The Broken Arrow/Scenic Rim Combo. The Broken Arrow was by far the better of the two parts. The Broken Arrow has you climbing and descending the red rocks of Sedona and it was thrilling for sure! You also have the opportunity to get out of the jeep twice for breathtaking view and pictures. Our driver, Pete, was an amazing driver, photographer and full of Sedona knowledge. The Scenic Rim portion was a very bumpy ride which only took us to a half-way point scenic lookout. We found out that if you book just the Scenic Rim tour, then you go all the way up to the top for the best view. So, I recommend that you either do just the Broken Arrow tour or the Scenic Rim tour and not the combo. And, if you choose just one, then I recommend the Broken Arrow tour for sure! The whole family agrees on that one!
Sedona offers so many areas to hike. The hikes range from easy to difficult, so you can decide on what works for you and there is something for everyone. Many of the hiking paths have free parking access, but some hiking spots have parking where you need to buy a day or week pass and you can get those passes at the local Circle K’s or visitor center. We found enough free parking hikes that we did not need to buy a pass. We did a really fun one that was an easy 2 mile loop called the Pyramid Loop, which offered amazing views. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see a video of the hike.
Sedona had some really amazing food! Here are our favorite’s…
The Cowboy Club Grille
Casual steakhouse. This was a super fun place for whole family. Very friendly staff, fun décor, and delicious food. We had to try the cactus fries! It was so good that we dined here twice.
American Fare. The food was amazing and the outside patio had the best view of Sedona! Everyone agreed that we need to go back here!
The Red Rock Café
Best Breakfast. The food was so amazing and well worth the 45 minute wait to get a table! We all wanted to go back! They have a 3lb cinnamon roll that we just had to get! I had the special skillet of the day and it was the best skillet that I have ever had! The ranchero sauce was the best and really made the dish!
That pretty much sums up our trip! This trip got a big thumbs up from the whole family!
Please share your stories and favorites of Sedona and the Grand Canyon in the comments below!