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Arizona.. Where to start...?

Chicago, Illinois
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Arizona.. Where to start...?

I am beginning to plan a vacation to Arizona and I am basically looking for the most picturesque spot to spend a few days. I would most likely be flying into Sky Harbor and then renting a car from there.. Should I be looking at Sedona or are there other area's I should be adding to my list? I am thinking end of October beginning of November because I do not like the heat. Is this an ok time to visit? I don't plan to do much hiking, mainly driving and photo ops. I've been to the Grand Canyon and wouldn't mind making the trip again but I want to see some things that I have not seen and make them a priority. (painted desert?)

I also don't care to stay at an expensive resort. An inexpensive (for the area) clean hotel would do just fine. Perhaps I need to look at driving through rather than creating a "home base" in Sedona as it looks like Painted Desert and National Forest type places are quite a bit away from Sedona.. Hmmm...

Can you all point me in the right direction? Tips? Opinions? Comments? All are welcomed!..

And as always, thank you in advance!

Edited: 11 June 2012, 18:00
Sedona, AZ
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1. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

Sedona is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque places in the world, let alone Arizona. Late October is possibly the very best time to visit. Look at lodging links from the Sedona forum page. Don't be surprised to find many places fully booked already, especially on the weekends. Sedona has lodging for all tastes and budgets, but you'll need to make a commitment and book soon.

You can do day trips to places like Painted Desert and GCNP from Sedona, but you'll spend most of a week just in the immediate surroundings and not run out of subject matter.

Evanston, Wyoming
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2. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

Have you ever been to Lake Powell? Lake Powell (Page) is about 3 hours' drive from Sedona, 5 hours' drive from Phoenix. Lots to see and do. Popular activities are boating on the lake (either by tour or rental boat), the Colorado River Discovery Float trip, Antelope and other slot canyons, tours of the Glen Canyon Dam, the John Wesley Powell museum, just to name a few. Late October/early November is usually a good time to visit the area. Probably too cold for swimming in the lake, but other activities are still operating. Beautiful scenery and at that time crowds are definitely thinning. Video ->: http://youtu.be/sgA2TWxGir0

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

I am not so much into the water activities.. I looked up Lake Powell and didn't have much of an interest.. Good to hear that the crowds are thinning around that time though!..

Wickenburg, Arizona
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4. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

Monument Valley ... Canyon de Chelly ? ?? Arizona has so much to offer .. depends a bit, too, what your interests are ... Sedona is certainly a good choice - from there you could also see Jerome and Prescott

Sedona, Arizona
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5. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

"most picturesque spot" = Sedona. And from a Sedona base, you can be to the Grand canyon in 2 hours, with Flagstaff and Jerome closeby.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

Alright, I wasn't able to swing the trip in October..

How is the Sedona/Flagstaff area during the end of February, beginning of March? Appears the weather would be nice.. Foliage? Vegetation? Crowds? Etc?

Marina, California
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7. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

Flagstaff will be cold with a high chance of snow. Vegetation will be very little. Trees in Flagstaff are mostly evergreens, with a spattering of aspens in the higher elevations, but those will have no leaves at that time.

If you plan on coming at that time, I would stay central and south, unless you're okay with the cold and snow.

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

Hmmm.. ok.. Moving a couple weeks forward then.. Going to start checking on fares, etc for perhaps March 6th through the 13th.. I am just fearful of it getting too hot for my liking.. 80 is about the max I want it to be.. I don't really want to run into Spring break either or any other types of crowds.. Hmmm.. Second week of March STILL too early?..

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

Ahhh.. Now I see the problem.. Sedona is going to be PERFECT for me at that time and Flagstaff is going to be FREEZING!.. lol.. Geez.. How does everyone get around THAT!?... Hmmm.. I am going to have to find a compromise somewhere i am afraid.. Just not sure where..

Alright.. Mainly I am heading up to Flag for the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert.. The rest of the time will be spent in Sedona.. So maybe 3.5 days in Sedona and 2.5 in Flag?

Anyone have any more input here for me? What I was thinking was land at Phoenix airport, rent a car (ridiculous prices), head to Sedona, do all that we can there for a few days and then head up north to Flag and stay there for the next few days to do the Grand Canyon thing and painted Desert before heading back down to Phoenix and coming back to Chicago..

Doable? Suggestions? Advice?

Sedona, AZ
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10. Re: Arizona.. Where to start...?

Divide your time between Sedona and the Grand Canyon NP. Stay inside the park for GCNP. Two nights there will be plenty.

www.grandcanyonlodges.com. 888-297-2757