As the summer comes to a close, make sure to end it with a bang. The sunshine and scenery of Arizona make for a memorable vacation destination. On your way, North from Phoenix, make your way through the Coconino National Forest and stay in spectacular Sedona. Known for its towering red rock formations, steep canyons, and thriving art scene; this beautiful city has plenty to see and do – so don’t forget your camera!
Where to stay:
For the best views of the red desert landscape stay at one of Sedona’s impressive resorts. Orchard Inns and Sky Rock Sedona offer all the luxuries you could look for in a resort, as well as loads of discounts on activities around town. If you’re trying to stay on a budget check out the city’s trendy Air BnB apartments or pack your bags and head down to Manzanita Campground to get in touch with the Arizona nature. The campground is small so leave the RV and bring a tent along to enjoy swimming, hiking, and fishing against the red rock backdrop.
Where to Eat:
Guests staying at the Enchantment Resort can enjoy fine dining with a view at the luxurious Che Ah Chi restaurant. For something a little more low-key, try Soundbites grill. They offer the best seafood in town (Lobsterfest is on until the start of September!), an impressive plant-based menu, and live music events all year long. If you plan to hike the trails through the countryside, be sure to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy atop Doe Mountain. The notoriously flat-topped mountain makes a great spot for al-fresco dining as you enjoy the expansive Arizona vista.
What to See:
Sedona is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in Arizona. There is so much to see, allow us to suggest some of the best sights. In the Verde Valley, you will find the historical ruins of Montezuma’s Castle. Take the guided tour or explore on your own to get a good look at the ruins, artifacts, and wildlife. While you’re in the valley check out the V Bar V Petroglyph Site to examine the ancient cave drawings and rock art. And don’t miss Cathedral Rock, one of the area’s most beautiful rock formations, surrounded by hiking and biking trails. After a long day of sightseeing, catch the panoramic view of the sunset from Sedona Airport Mesa hiking trail. In the evening, make the most of Sedona’s “Dark Sky” rating to enjoy some of the most spectacular star-gazing in the country. Make the most of the night with a professional astronomer as your guide, equipped with telescopes and binoculars to see the solar system on Sedona’s Star Gazing Tour.
What to Do:
If you’re looking for adventure, sign up for one of the many options available at Pink Jeep Tours. The exciting tours are fun for the whole family and offer a variety of options for all of the best scenic views of Sedona. In the afternoon, cool off with a dip in the natural water slides at Slide Rock State Park. Not your cup of tea? How about a refreshing glass of vino on one of Sedona’s private wine tours and tastings. Try a selection of local wares in the countryside vineyards and strike a pose for the complimentary photo package to commemorate your vacation. Of course, you can’t visit Sedona without stopping in at one of the city’s many art galleries. Take yourself on a tour of the amazing Arizona art scene from the Exposure Gallery to the Sedona Arts Center, the Gallery of Modern Masters, and many more! If you want to try an unforgettable experience and learn a new skill make sure to sign up for a glass blowing class at the Melting Point.
How to Save:
Trying to stay on budget while enjoying your trip? Sign up for a Sedona savings card to receive discounts on restaurants, accommodation, tours, and shopping. Be sure to check out Visit Sedona for discounts and coupons toward local activities and events. Then take advantage of free events like the “1st Friday” event (one the first Friday of each month) from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm at participating galleries around town -check here for details. Save yourself the price of a domestic plane ticket and drive the memorable Route 89A towards Flagstaff, along the Oak Creek Canyon. Stop one mile north of Sedona to pose for a photo with the charming Midgley Bridge.
Where to Shop:
When it comes time to say goodbye, take home a special souvenir of your unforgettable adventure. Tlaquepaque Hispanic-style arts and crafts village claim to have the best of everything from clothing to jewelry and locally sourced cuisine. For one-of-a-kind prints, ceramics, sculptures, and more check out the Sedona Artists Market.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com