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An October week in Sedona--what to see and do?

Discussion in 'US - Western States Timesharing' started by tartanwood, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. tartanwood

    tartanwood TUG Member

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    In another thread, I asked for suggestions for a one day trip between Phoenix airport and Sedona. Thanks to everyone who replied to that thread. Now I am looking for suggestions for a full week in Sedona, itself.

    We will be there from Oct. 8-15 at the the Ridge on Sedona Golf Course. We do not play golf, so we will use this as a base for other activities in the area.

    I believe this resort is a few miles from the main part of Sedona. Are there shops, galleries and restaurants close to the resort or will we need to drive into Sedona for that sort of thing? We welcome suggestions for restaurants and galleries anywhere in the whole area.

    The Grand Canyon is high on our list. We bypassed it on our cross-county honeymoon road trip assuming we would get back there someday. Well, it's been 46 years, so we are excited to finally get there!

    We think it will be more relaxing to let someone else do the driving, so we are considering a tour. We read about Pink Jeep. Is that a good tour or any other suggestions?

    Even though we want a tour for the Grand Canyon, we will have a car and can get to other sites in the region on other days. Are there any "must see/do" things we should not miss? Are there "don't bother" things we could skip?

    Any advice about the resort itself? We are going on an exchange, not as a member in the Diamond system.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can share.
    Bonnie
     
  2. mpumilia

    mpumilia Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We drove everywhere. Montezuma. The Petrified Forest National Park, which I loved for the Painted Desert and the Blue Mesas. We drove to the Grand Canyon no problem. Great day there. We drove to Flagstaff to see the observatory and the big crater. We enjoyed the shops and art galleries and a few restaurants in Sedona. Hiked a bit - early morning to avoid heat - in the Red Rocks. My husband and son did a desert ATV tour. We explored Oak Creek Canyon.

    Not familiar with your resort. We stayed right in Sedona at Arroyo Roble. Was a wonderful vacation.
     
  3. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I would also suggest a drive up to Jerome.
     
  4. drumdr

    drumdr Guest

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    I live near Sedona, got married in Sedona, and probably spend at least 1 weekend a month there, sometimes more. As a professional photographer, I spend a lot of time there.
    Sedona is the best in the fall. Bring a jacket, it might get cold at night.
    For great fall colors you'll want to hit West Fork Trail one day. Wear shoes that don't mind water and get there early. After 9am, you won't find a place to park.
    Tlaquepaque is a must for just wandering around. Don't miss the walk to the creek across the little bridge (Los Abrigados Resort). You can play a round of mini-golf by the creek and take some great photos. Oak Creek is home to the Mandarin Duck, the most colorful duck in the world. You're likely to see one down there.
    If you're going to take a drive up to see the Canyon, make sure you take a day to visit Lockett Meadow just outside of Flagstaff. You'll be arriving at the perfect time to see all the Aspens in full regalia. It's like walking in a yellow wonderland. Check Coconino County's facebook page for the fall color leaf index.

    There's ways to access all the Pink Jeep points by foot. Schnebley Hill road is accessible by any car up to a certain point. From the parking lot, you can hike up or down. However, one of the better hikes is the Little Horse Trail. This trail takes you right were the pink jeeps park and let everyone off. About 45 min to the lookout point. You can also hand a left and go to the Chapel of the Cross by foot. Cool area. However, if you want to relax, you may want to take in a helicopter tour. The Pink Jeeps tours are not "smooth". The roads they travel are extremely bumpy.

    Another hike most people don't know about is the Turkey Creek Trl hike to Cathedral Rock (from the creek). This view gives you outstanding photos of the formation from the water. Most of the famous shots you see are from this point.

    Jerome is a fun time, but if you're going to make the drive, you might as well visit Prescott as well. You can always take Highway 89 from Prescott up to I-40, go through Williams (also very fun), take the cutoff at Flagstaff, and back down 17 to Sedona. The whole loop would take maybe 3 hours.

    The best places to eat in the entire area are: Cucina Rustica (Italian) is actually in the Villiage of Oak Creek, worth the 20 minute drive. Rene's, in Tlaquepaque. Order the Antelope...sooo good. Thai Palace Uptown is good if you like ethnic. For a good show, hit Sound Bytes and get the tickets to see Esteban perform. If in Jerome, check out the Flat Iron for breakfast, and Grapes for dinner.

    There's lots to do around Sedona. If you get bored and want to hear the authentic local Indian tribes do ceremonial music (not for public viewing) you may catch them between the Little Horse Trail and the Chapel of the Holy Cross on weekends. Tuzigoot is interesting as is Montezuma's Castle. You can hit Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff or see if Prescott has something going on downtown (which they do almost every day during the fall).

    Hope you have a great stay. We may run into you, and not even know it!
     
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  5. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We hiked all week the year that we went in October. Oak Creek Canyon was our favorite. We also did the hikes in the area where the pink jeeps take their customers. It was quite a disappointment when our Pink Jeep tour returned to the same spot where we had hiked the day before. I was not a fan (it was surprisingly slow, imho), but if you won't be hiking, the pink jeeps will get you into a beautiful part of Sedona.

    I also second the Turkey Creek Trail (I didn't know what it was called - thanks drumdr!). Sedona in October is stunning.
     
  6. mjm1

    mjm1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thanks drumdr and klpca for sharing that. We will be in Sedona from Nov 12-19. Will the fall colors still be on display or will they have failed by then?

    This will be our first time staying there for a week rather than just a day trip from Phoenix. Looking forward to it.

    Best regards.

    Mike
     
  7. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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  8. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I haven't been in November, but the only area where I really remember having fall color was Oak Creek Canyon. The rest of the hikes will be just as beautiful in November, I imagine.
     
  9. Ty1on

    Ty1on TUG Member

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    Chapel of the Holy Cross is always a must for us, beautiful architecture and views. Tlaquepaque is worth several hours if you like to browse, particularly art. There are also your standard tourist tchotchke and dining places on 89 around Jordan Road. We had a really enjoyable dinner at Golden Goose one Christmas Eve. View 180 at Enchantment Resort offers the most breathtaking dining view in town by my experience.
     
  10. dagger1

    dagger1 TUG Member

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    IMG_2196.JPG View from our patio..
     
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  11. Luanne

    Luanne TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I also suggest a drive out to the Enchantment resort. Lunch there is wonderful.
     
  12. vikingsholm

    vikingsholm Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Lots of good suggestions above that I won't repeat, but here's some others too:

    Start by stopping in at the visitor center in the little shopping mall near the Hyatt downtown, lots of good resources and info about trail passes that are needed at some hiking trailheads for your car there, if you go hiking.

    Dine at Elote (casual Latin, my favorite Mexican style in Sedona) and Mariposa (more upscale Latin with great views and outdoor patio).

    Stop in at Wildflower Bread Company, in the same shopping complex as the visitor center, near the Hyatt. Nice homemade bread, brunch, and sandwiches.

    Train ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad. Very scenic. Both open air cars and enclosed cars on train.

    Drinks at the airport dining room up on the plateau. Wide ranging views from up there around town.

    Chair lift at Arizona Snowbowl north of Flagstaff if still running, and especially if fall colors are peaking. Great hiking trails up that way too, an easy one called Aspen Nature trail with tons of, you guessed it, colorful Aspens in the fall and views of San Francisco peaks. Fall colors usually come earlier to Flagstaff than to Sedona.

    Walnut Canyon national monument near Flagstaff - some native american ruins via a short loop walk in scenic canyon. It does have slopes though - not a flat hike.
     
  13. JerseyDeb

    JerseyDeb Guest

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    Hi Bonnie,

    First let me say that I am so jealous! We have been to Sedona 3 times and really love it. It is magical! In fact, I think it is calling me back for a visit soon. We stayed at the Ridge all three times. First as an anniversary gift from a friend with extra time share weeks and later on a discovery package from Diamond Resorts. Be forewarned, they are hard sell if you go to a presentation and get nasty when you say no. We did not buy in after the initial trial but think that it was money well spent at the time since we got a few nice vacations out of it and t introduced us to time share. We eventually bought Wyndham.

    If you do a presentation at the Ridge they may offer you a jeep tour as a "gift". We did that the first time. We returned with out kids and rented a jeep from Barlow Jeep Rental in Sedona. They were much cheaper and very helpful but you do the driving. If you are adventurous it is a great time. They provide very detailed maps and instructions. But I will admit it was a little hairy at times!. Third time I found a Groupon or Living Social coupon for a jeep rental. It was either "Red Rock Jeeps" or "A Day in the West". I think they may actually be the same company. I highly recommend over Pink Jeeps. Slightly smaller vehicles with less people crowded on and a more personal experience. And, if you can get a Groupon or Living Social deal, much cheaper! Our driver Sid was the best!

    We also did the Grand Canyon on two of our trips and stayed overnight at one of the hotels on the Rim. That allowed us to hike part way down the Bright Angel trial. My advice, start just before sunrise if you plan on a longer hike. But I found the hiking around Sedona more enjoyable. Favorite is Bell Rock/Cathedral Rock loop. The concierge at the Ridge was great and gave us lots of hiking information. Ask for Nicole. She works the desk there and is fantastic.

    A trip to Jerome is always fun. We ate at the Haunted Hamburger. We also visited a few wineries in Page and in Jerome. If beer is your thing you must check out the Oak Creek Brewery which is near Coffee Pot Rock. There is a restaurant in Tlaquepaque (I think) with that name but if you want a great casual, inexpensive, watering hole that locals visit, go right to the brewery. The prices at happy hour are insanely cheap and the beer is fantastic. Great place to go after a hike.

    All the other places mentioned here by fellow Tuggers are great as well. We ate at Cucina Rustica and thought it was fantastic. And being from NJ we are picky about Italian food and are usually disappointed by "Italian" cuisine outside our area. We also ate a "Ken's Creekside" and found the food very good but I have heard mixed reviews from others. But we were sitting at an outside table overlooking Snoopy Rock just at sunset and saw beautiful colors followed by the moon rising over the rocks. Like I said, the place is magical!!
     
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  14. JerseyDeb

    JerseyDeb Guest

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    Whoops! Almost forgot to ditto the suggestion to head out to the Enchantment Resort. It will be a bit of a drive from the Ridge. It's where I want to stay when I win the lottery!! The resort is tucked away in a canyon and is gorgeous. We went for drinks at sunset one evening and sat on the patio around some couches and tables. Had the most wonderful prickly pear margarita and ordered some fantastic appetizers. Kobe beef sliders were delicious and enough to fill us up. May be cold in October to sit outside after sunset though but I seem to remember a fire pit too. Dinner there would be pricey but if you can - go for it! The Ridge is extremely close to Cucina Rustica since that is in Oak Creek as well.

    I also second the Lowell Observatory as a nice day trip. Hubby is an engineer and really into that stuff but I enjoyed it too. You may also want to check out Sunset Crater National Monument in Flagstaff. It is on the way to the Grand Canyon if you take the scenic route through Flagstaff. A short detour takes you on a road that lets you see the Painted Desert. Again, the staff at the Ridge can map it out for you. Just depends on how much time you want to spend on the trip to the Canyon.

    We liked the Ridge. You are a short drive into Sedona proper and yet away from the touristy traps on Rt 89. They have a few pools and a hidden hot-tub in one area that is away from either pool. Great place to bring a cocktail in a plastic cup and star-gaze.

    Sorry, I guess you can tell by how long winded this is that I really LOVE Sedona. In fact, I found a week was too short because there is so much to do.

    Enjoy!!
     
  15. dagger1

    dagger1 TUG Member

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    If you drive up to Flagstaff to visit the Lowell Observatory, check out Garland's on the left side of the road about 3-5 miles out of Sedona. Fantastic selection of Native American jewelry.
    Mariposa is a wonderful restaurant, a little pricey but worth it.
     
  16. drumdr

    drumdr Guest

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    The colors will likely be gone in Flagstaff by November, almost certainly at Lockett Meadow, however Sedona should still be in late Autumn. Oak Creek gets cooler because the elevation rises and the creek itself. We usually start to see the end of Autumn around Oct 31. It used to be that every year around Halloween we would get one day with heavy winds and it would knock all the leaves off the tree overnight. This has changed a little in recent years, but I wouldn't count on fall colors into November unless we have a warmer Indian summer.

    Good suggestions above with Enchanted Resort, Haunted Hamburger (Jerome), and Verde Canyon Railroad, and Wildflower Bread Company (some of the best views). There's a lot to do in the area, it just depends on what a person wants to focus on. My wife & I travel a lot, so we understand you can't do everything in one trip. Here's some overall helpful tips in AZ if you're a fan of:

    Landscape Viewing:
    Grand Canyon (must see), Monument Valley, Sedona, Blue Canyon (hidden gem no one knows about), Thumb Butte (Prescott), Perkinsville Rd cutoff all the way to Jerome (nice fall colors by the railroad bridge over the creek and an adventure...4x4 only), Painted Desert (only at sunset...boring otherwise), Meteor Crater, Humphrey's Peak (Flagstaff which includes the ski lift), Lockett Meadow (Autumn), Hoover Dam (about the same distance as the Grand Canyon), North Rim Grand Canyon...which also takes in Glen Canyon (just the northeast end of the Grand Canyon). In one day I've fit in Bryce Canyon, the Escalante Staircase, Glen Canyon, Monument Valley, and took the Ferry back over Lake Powell and into Page by sunset. Just be sure to check your time difference in Utah from AZ for the ferry. If you're feeling really crazy, drive up to Moab, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, and Deadhorse State Park. Drive the back way through Valley of the Gods and drop off that 3,000ft cliff. Awesome. You can also drive northwest and hit Havasupai Falls. You have to have a permit, so check before you plan. If you go west, hit Lake Havasu and visit the London Bridge.

    Shopping and Meandering:
    T'laquepaque, Uptown Sedona, Downtown Prescott on Whiskey Row (visit the Palace where Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp frequented), Hyatt Pinon Point shopping district (Sedona), Williams (downtown district), Old Town Cottonwood (this is actually an up & coming yuppie/urban hangout now with nice restaurants & wine tastings), Jerome of course with its cliffside appeal. Lots of shops and old ghost-town buildings (I remember when it mostly vacant. The best food is at the Asylum in the Jerome Grand Hotel), just 1.5 hour drive south is Scottsdale. Be sure to visit old-town and wander north...you'll hit all sorts of shops & restaurants.

    Food:
    There's good food everywhere. Sedona is expensive unless you know where to go. Hiro's Sushi used to be at the location where Sound Bytes is now, but they still have great food. If in Prescott, hit the Barley Hound for dinner, avoid Murphy's unless going to happy hour (nice bar-side atmosphere), The Hassayampa Pub is actually quite charming in downtown Prescott as is Cafe St. Michael, and of course the Palace for ambiance (food...meh). Lots of great restaurants in Scottsdale like Malee's Thai, Geisha a Go Go, etc. People have mentioned the best spots around Sedona for food but no one mentioned L'Auberge. L'Auberge de Sedona is a high-end, fine dining resort with a fabulous Sunday brunch. Get a reservation. Williams has some great BBQ at Cafe 66 as does Bobby D's in Jerome. Prescott Valley is largely a waste of time, but if you're driving 89A through the backside toward Prescott, absolutely stop at Maya's Mexican behind Robert's market. It's the best Mexican food anywhere in the region. If you hit it on Thursday or Saturday, they do roadside chicken (OMG...the best). There's also a pretty good little Thai joint right across the street if you happen to be driving back at night. It's very small but good food. If you're at the Grand Canyon there's actually not many places with fabulous food. Most of the employees and servers are jaded from the millions of visitors every year. Be patient and encouraging, it'll go a long way at the canyon.

    Motorcyclist:
    89A...all the way. Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Mingus Mtn., Jerome, Prescott Valley, Prescott (via Pioneer Parkway to Williamson Valley Rd), Iron Springs Rd over the mountain (or take White Spar Rd down the "Spars" or the curves), (Granite Mountain...highest peak in north Prescott) down the curves to Kirkland, through Yarnell, out to Wickenburg, then head to Phoenix and back up I-17 to the Sedona exit.

    If I were doing a week in Sedona visiting, I would spend a few days just enjoying Sedona. There's a lot to do and see. Plenty of hiking, biking, sight-seeing, walking, helicopters, pink jeeps tours etc. Look at it this way, I've been in the area my whole life, and my wife & I go to Sedona at least once a month for a couple of days and we stay there for at least a full week every year. Why? Because it's awesome. I would certainly visit the Grand Canyon for an entire day if you've never been. Drive the road from Mather Point all the way up to Desert View. I think the best hike is Kaibab Trail. It's not busy because they don't let anyone park where the residents live, but it's a short hike from the roadside parking spots. It's also not super steep like Bright Angel and there's a nice "half-way" spot to hike to going down. I would also visit Prescott for a day, hang out downtown, take a nap on the grassy lawn of the courthouse, go see the Sharlot Hall Museum, hike the short trail up Thumb Butte, take the back way on 89A returning to Sedona (via Sedona) and stop at Mayas for some take-out chicken on Thursday! I would also take a day to drive north and hit Monument Valley. It's a full day but you'll be able to take in Glen Canyon and even Blue Canyon (if you're brave enough to wander back into Indian territory... just kidding. The people are all very nice.) It's desolate and 20 miles from anything on a dirt road, but awesome. I would also hit Antelope Canyon on the way up to Powell.

    Some of my photos below:
    Blue Canyon
    Blue Canyon.JPG
    Lockett Meadow
    IMG_6489 (Medium).jpg

    Cathedral Peak Sedona
    IMG_9476-1 (Medium).jpg

    Cathedral from the interior saddle. Yes, that's me.
    IMG_2815 (Custom).jpg

    Sedona looking north at Sunset from some trail I was on
    IMG_3008 (Custom).jpg

    Thumb Butte Prescott
    IMG_7238And35moreblended_Large.jpg
     
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  17. mjm1

    mjm1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Drumdr, thank you for your insights. We will definitely keep a look out for those places. Looking forward to spending a week there.

    Best regards.

    Mike
     

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