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itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

Boston
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itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

Planning a family trip from Boston to Sedona and GCNP for early August, would appreciate advice/feedback to see if my initial itinerary ideas are on the right track. Family includes 8 people: 85 year old grandmother, 4 middle-aged adults and 3 teen girls (ages 13 - 16). Will be first visit to Arizona for all of us. Grandmother has some mobility limits: walks slowly, tires somewhat easily, uses a cane or walker if ground is uneven. We will have a handicap parking placard.

Here's my initial outline:

Day 1: Flight to Phoenix - overnight at hotel near PHX airport

Day 2: Rent 2 cars - or maybe an 8 pass van? Drive to GCNP - arrive by early afternoon.Overnight at Kachina or Thunderbird Lodge.

Day 3: Tour GCNP early. Finish by mid-pm. Drive to Sedona.

Overnight & Days 4 - 7 or 8: Sedona. Staying at Enchantment or Los Abrigados (maybe) ? Need a full kitchen and would like activities on site so grandmother can participate in some or give family options if some split up to go hiking etc and others stay behind.

Day 9: Drive Sedona to Phoenix Airport. Early pm return flight to Boston.

Alternate itinerary idea is to drive right to Sedona on arrival day. Stay in Sedona for 7 nights and make a day trip to GCNP.

I'd appreciate any advice/suggestions you may have . Thank you!

Cape Girardeau, Mo
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1. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

First, stick with your overnight plans on the Grand Canyon. Three reasons:

1) Grandma moves slowly making it less likely that you will see everything in a day trip.

2) A day trip is a very long day, and will be tough on all, especially grandma. Plus, organizing and getting there early with 8 people will be hard to coordinate.

3) Sunrise and sunset are the two most magical times at the Grand Canyon. A day trip will not allow you to experience them. (Not unless you awaken at 4am and don't return till 10 or after. Highly unlikely with 8 people including an 85 yr old).

Secondly, I would opt for Los Abrigados. Enchantment is the premier property in Sedona no doubt. But it is going to be 15 minutes from the center of town. Anything you do will more than likely require either loading up everyone and heading to town or finding activities around the resort. If you choose Enchantment, then I would HIGHLY suggest 2 vehicles, cause otherwise whomever stays behind is totally stranded until your return.

Los Abrigados, while not the same premier type of property, is located in the heart of Sedona, and right next door to Tlaquepaque, the main shopping area. A free shuttle, (the Roadrunner) runs between Uptown (the tourist area), Tlaquepaque and the Hillside (another shopping area). All the galleries are in the latter two areas also. Staying here would allow lots of choices for old and young alike while some may be off hiking.

I personally would give up some glitz for the convenience Los Abrigados affords such a diverse group. Plus, if you stay here, one large vehicle (Van) would suffice which would be cheaper than 2 vehicles, and Los Abrigados will also be less than Enchantment. This gives you more funds to spend on activities.

Edited: 09 December 2010, 16:42
Boston
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2. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

Thank you. Very helpful. I will try to keep the overnight at GC. Only reason to skip it would be challenges of moving grandmom and 8 people/luggage in and out of multiple hotels. Easier to settle in one place. Maybe fall back could be to settle in Sedona for a week and double book: Keep Sedona lodging full visit and still stay 1 night mid-trip at GC with limited luggage. If I can keep car rental and lodging somewhat reasonable this might work.

I will look at Los Abrigados rather than Enchantment. We aren't really spa people and don't need luxury - really looking for multi-bedrooms w/kitchen and some on-site activities. Any other lodging options you can suggest for this type diverse group? I see Best Western Arroyo Roble may have villas - or Sedona Summitt - not sure if that location would be good for us.

Cape Girardeau, Mo
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3. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

Sorry, I haven't stayed at any of the places you are looking at, so I am not familiar with ammenities. For info, look at the left of this page for traveler reviews and ratings. In addition, see www.visitsedona.com for info on lodging among other things such as restaurants and things to do.

One thing I would do is Google "Sedona" and look at the map of the town. It is laid out in a "Y" configuration. Then look up www.roadrunner.az.gov and this will bring up the site for the roadrunner shuttle. You can see where it goes, allowing your family a lot of areas to shop in or visit.

As to the GC, maybe you could toss everything in the vehicle and just take in a couple of small carry on size bags to the lodge. Really, you only need something to sleep in and a toothbrush/toothpaste and change of underwear. So don't worry about changing clothes--any sweat will immediately evaporate in the dry AZ air. Make-up is optional as most people are hiking in and around the canyon and not worried about how they look. Do that, and plan your visit either before Sedona or after. That way, you don't have to pack up, go the the Canyon, then pack up to go back to Sedona. Either begin or end your trip with the Grand Canyon. That will reduce the packing/unpacking.

Edited: 09 December 2010, 20:42
4. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

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Chicago
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5. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

Also, keep in mind, the best time to view GC is around sunrise and sunset and the hour or two before and after. It's not about viewing the sun, rather the colors in the valley. Thus, the benefits of the overnight.

Sedona will be a perfect place for you. Look into a timeshare rental as well, perhaps, to handle your "crowd".

Enjoy!

Harleysville...
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6. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

Hi and welcome. We took my MIL to the GC when she was 86 and another family friend at a different time who was also nearing 80. For both of them we rented a wheelchair which was a godsend. It made getting around for all of us easier.

Many drugstores rent wheelchairs. Since you are flying in and out of Phoenix you could do that if you wished. There is a large Super Walmart off 17 at the Anthem exit 229 and you could inquire there to see if they rent them. I think that the exit 223 before then is for Carefree Highway and if you go east on Carefree, there are shopping centers with Walgreens, etc. who would also have them. August is crowded at the canyon and it would be safer, in my opinion, for her not to be bumped by someone else who is not paying attention.

Cottonwood, Arizona
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7. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

First off, I would not recommend that you stay anywhere near the airport as it really is not the best area.

Are your flights booked and if so, what time are you arriving Phoenix? I ask because I may suggest you switch things around a little and start with Sedona. If you get in in the afternoon or early evening, driving to Sedona is about 1.5-2 hours max.

You could do day trip to GC, but I would not suggest it considering all that you said. The first and foremost important thing to do is to secure accommodation IN GCNP if possible. If not, you may get some run of the mill motel in Tusayan, but could consider staying at a B&B in Williams.

Enchantment Resort is a really amazing place and I just drove there yesterday for the first time. It is very removed and in a secluded area which makes it ideal (IMHO) for conventions and groups, not so sure it is the best place for you and your family. Los Abrigados is much more centrally located. Remember that there are 1001 things to do all over the Verde Valley in Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome and Camp Verde.

Boston
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8. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

Thanks for the advice. These links are great, give me a better sense of the town layout. The shuttle could come in very handy. I've never before tried to plan a trip for a group this size or diverse in needs. Seems minor, but I think the details of things like luggage/packing and transportation could make or break the trip.

Boston
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9. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

Great suggestion to rent a wheelchair. We thought about trying to rent at home and bring one along, but I think renting in Phoenix or even Sedona would be much easier. Thanks for the tip.

Cottonwood, Arizona
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10. Re: itinerary advice Sedona/GCNP - Family (elderly&teens) trip

I am sure you could buy a wheelchair on Craigslist for cheaper than it would cost to buy one...