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First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

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First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

We are very excited to visit the Sedona area June 9 -16! We (hubs, myself, kids - 20, 17, 16) are arriving in Phoenix (late evening) on the 9th, driving to Sedona and staying at the Sedona Summit. I have a couple of general inquiries. I've read the TQ's and the Top Restaurants list doesn't really offer the specific info I'm looking for. Here are my questions:

1. Some of the comments regarding driving in the evening have me wondering if we should just spend our first night in Phoenix. My hubs is a great driver and we've seen our share of crazy road conditions and terrain but I'm wondering if this won't really matter.

2. Any favorite restaurants that can handle dietary restrictions? We do love yummy breakfasts, Mexican and great steaks. We can splurge on a couple of dinners ($150-200 for a family of 5) but prefer to stay fairly budget friendly for the rest of our stay ($50-75).

3. I'm a jewelry designer and have been dying to shop for wholesale beads at a fab gem store in AZ. I don't want to make the drive to Tuscon. Any thoughts on where to go within an hour or so of Sedona?

4. I've seen photos of people standing in an amazing swirling/smooth rock formation...what/where is that???

5. Unfortunately, I have a condition in my spine that prevents me from doing a bunch of hiking/walking. What are the best low-key sights, activities and day trips? We do plan to get up a couple hours before dawn to head to the GC for the day. Yep, we are only staying for the day and heading back before dark.

6. Is there a location where we can swim/jump into a spring or natural pool/waterfall? We are regular travelers to Cozumel/Riviera Maya and have been to Maui and LOVED finding great places to enjoy a quick jump in the water.

I think that's it for now. :) Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. We can't wait!!

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1. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

Definitely spend the first night in Scottsdale or Anthem. You won't want to miss the drive in daylight.

Slide Rock SP, Red Rock Crossing and Grasshopper Point are the best swimming spots.

Bell Rock/Courthouse trail area, Yavapai Vista, Fay Canyon, Upper Red Rock Loop Road are all great places to enjoy views with minimal walking. Others in your group can continue, while you wait.

While Red Rock State Park is not a must see spot, it may suit your family situation for part of a day.

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2. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

4. I think you're talking about "The Wave" which is a few more hours north of the Grand Canyon. From my very little research, I think its a pretty tough hike with only very few permits are issued each day.

5. Driving the loop around the South Rim of the canyon will take most of the day,there are several overlooks to stop and look plus a few trails you can walk around the rim without going down into it.

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3. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

Book your first night in Phoenix or Anthem. You can’t imagine the darkness you’ll encounter once you leave Phoenix, and you really should make the drive in daylight. The scenery is awesome as you climb nearly 5,000 feet through a variety of desert environments.

Sounds like you’ve seen photos of the Wave, on the AZ/UT border. Tough hike, limited to 20 hikers per day, by permit issued in two advance lotteries. You won’t be going there. Don’t worry. Plenty of great scenery at Sedona.

Lots of wonderful eateries too. For moderate prices look at The Hudson, Corner Cafe’, Cowboy Club and plenty of others.

On your Grand Canyon National Park day trip, enter the park east gate at Desert View and exit the main gate at Tusayan, leave at least 2 hours before sunset to arrive safely back in Sedona in daylight.

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Grand Rapids...
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4. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

Thanks a bunch for the great info. I looked up Red Red Crossing and couldn't find anything on TA. Did you mean Red Rock Canyon? If so...that looks like a perfect spot for us!

Grand Rapids...
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5. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

Thanks for the restaurant recommendations...they look fantastic! We are still torn about driving at night. Are the roadways abandoned enough that we wouldn't encounter other drivers? It will be about 9:30 pm.

Central Florida...
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6. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

Red Rock Crossing is also called Crescent Moon Park, try that. The issue with night driving is not the lack of other cars, rather it is the abundance of wildlife that think they own the road! They will dart in front of you before you can see them. We’ve had many close encounters with deer, even in daylight. There is no ambient light, and it is difficult to see past your headlights. Some roads are curvy, single lane roads. You will be fine leaving Phoenix, but you don’t want to approach Sedona in the dark. Stay a little north of Phoenix in Anthem if you must. It’s not worth a late check in to your Sedona lodging.

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7. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

In addition to SwimFans advice about darkness, the scenery between PHX and Sedona is not to be missed. Do it in daylight.

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8. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

I had same concerns about driving from Phoenix to sedona after dark after research on here but we had a week booked in sedona.

We drove at 7-9pm-no problem. Quiet a few other cars in the road and we were able to see the view on way back during the day

Really was a fine choice for us

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9. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

Here is the link to Red Rock Crossing.

You can literally spend a good bit of time there walking thru the various areas, going into the creek and enjoying the views. Lots of places to have a picnic lunch, Clean restrooms

placestoseeinarizona.com/red-rock-crossing/

Don't miss the Coffee Pot Restaurant for breakfast. You will be amazed at the selection of omlets. Other reasonable priced places to eat - We enjoy PJ's Pub in the Village of Oak Creek. Good food and friendly people and music on certain nights. The Old Sedona Bar and Grill might fit the bill for your kids as they offer a lot of music and decent food. Oak Creek Brewery Brewery located in the Village of Talaquepaque.

There is also a shop in Talaquepaque that sells a lot of beads. Quite a nice selection. I don't make jewelry so not familiar with prices but at least have a look at it. You will all enjoy Talaquepaque.

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10. Re: First Timers Sedona/Phoenix/GC

Good advice so far.

I just have a comment about your budget for meals. Be sure to look at menus on-line with prices before deciding where to go. You might find it a challenge to stay within that budget for a family of 5 unless you are planning on eating fast food for most meals. For example, breakfast at the Coffee Pot will around $10-12 per person. It is a favorite of ours for breakfast, Lunch at Hudson will be around $18-20 per person. This is assuming an entree and soda/coffee, no dessert or appetizer. Dinner will be more. You might consider picnicking for your lunches and eating breakfast in your hotel room to stay on budget. Dinner at Cowboy Club would be in the splurge range and I would only do it for convenience or if you are looking for somewhat of an atmosphere. The food is average.

Recently, we started eating at Mesa Grill (at the airport) and it has quickly become a favorite with our guests. For dinner a surprising favorite has become Gerardo's (Italian). Both were very accommodating with a finicky eater who also has dietary issues.

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