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Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

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Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

I've been reading some of these forums and getting more confused than ever! Feeling like we should have a better itinerary. We're kind of laid back. My husband and I and 2 teenagers will be arriving Phoenix on a Thursday in July late morning. Planning on just driving straight to Sedona where we're staying for a week in a tymshare. The day we arrive, maybe hit the grocery store, have dinner and just relax or get our bearings around town. Speaking of town and dinner, all reviews for restaurants sounded good but we like to eat at the places the locals go. Can anyone just give me 2-3 places that are a "must"?

Friends from Colorado will be joining us the next day to stay for the weekend. Planning on driving to the GCNP but husband feels we shouldn't go there on a weekend thinking it will be too crowded. I can't imagine that place being crowded mid-July! Anyway, with our friends, we were planning on going to GCNP for a day (should we take a bus tour or drive ourself?) and another day visit Chapel of the Holy Cross and Oak Creek Canyon. Is there anything else we can fit in?

When friends leave Monday, we have 3 days left in Sedona and want to do the Pink Jeep Tour (Broken Arrow/Scenic Rim - do we need to make reservations now or can it wait?), visit Jerome, Montezuma Castle, Red Rock Crossing and maybe fit in a horseback ride. Not sure if that is all doable.

After our week is up on Thursday, we will be driving to Page staying there 2 nights at Lake Powell. Friday morning have reservations for Colorado River Discovery (can't wait!!). Any other things that are a "must do" while in that area? We leave early Saturday to catch our flight in Phoenix.

Thanks for any advice.

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1. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

Drive yourselves to GCNP. A tour will severely limit your time to 3 hours in the park and 2-3 of some 20 overviews. Get online and look at the maps of the park.

nps.gov/grca

July is a busy month at GCNP. Weekends are busier than week days. However with some planning it's always possible to avoid crowds. First, plan to enter by one entrance and leave by the other; there is a south entrance north of Williams and an east entrance north of Flagstaff. You can go either direction though I think it works better to enter by the south entrance and save the east drive overviews for when you leave.

Plan to leave early. It is a 2 hour drive. Skip the first viewpoint Mather until later as it's always crowded, and every tour bus stops there. Around 10-11 the shuttle stop for the west road to Hermits Rest gets very busy. There are two strategies. Arrive there early, or walk to the first overlook west and board there after people get off.

The central GC Village area is busy from about 10 AM to 3 PM, but it's still possible to see the attractions in that area. The east rim drive is usually less busy all day.

Edited: 10 June 2012, 00:14
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2. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

Thanks! That was very helpful. I'm currently looking at the maps now and was trying to figure out my best option.

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3. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

Where is your time share located? There is one grocery store in the Village of Oak Creek and two in west Sedona. That would help us give you some better tips on restaurants.

I would make reservations for the pink jeep tour as it does fill up quickly.

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4. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

Yes, which TS resort? The restaurants that are good are the same places the locals go. Do you think the locals like bad food?

The GCNP will be no more crowded on a weekend than a weekday in mid July. July is one of the busiest months though. I like entering the east gate and departing the main gate, contrary to Bob's route. This will have you avoiding the most crowded area near the main gate. Go to the GCNP forum and read all the Top Questions and replies on the right hand side of the page.

Agreeing that PJ, Broken Arrow trip should be booked in advance.

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5. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

For restaurants we need to know what you like and if you want splurge or casual.

Edited: 10 June 2012, 23:09
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6. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

Keep in mind that everything in Sedona is casual, but budgets can vary.

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7. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

Thanks for all your input. We are staying at the Arroyo Roble. We pretty much like anything as far as food; although, nothing too crazy expensive since we are paying for 4 of us (we have a vegetarian amongst us too). Maybe one nicer restaurant for the week but mostly middle-of-the road price for the rest. We more than likely will eat breakfast at our TS most of the time.

I copied the first day of one of the travelers that I read. Since we're arriving mid-morning, I thought we would stop at Walmart in Phoenix to pick up some food, water, snacks, etc., eat at Rock Springs Cafe for lunch and then hit Montezuma Castle. We'll head to Sedona after that. Also, someone suggested I buy a Red Rock pass.

Also, one more question... I wanted to shop for some jewelry but don't want to spend an exorbitant amount. A friend of mine told me to go to Oak Creek Canyon for that instead of the shops right in Sedona.

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8. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

There are several restaurants in the Uptown district near Arroyo Robles. Avoid Oaxaca like the plague. You'll find vegetarian options at every restaurant in Sedona. You'll probably drive to most restaurants at night anyway though. The hike up to the street level will wear out many travelers and you'll end up dining beyond Uptown.

Stop at the Ranger Center as you enter VOC and get some directions on hikes that you might want to do, and determine if you'll need a Red Rock Pass.

You can buy inexpensive jewelry and trinkets directly from natives in Oak Creek Canyon by the Dairy Queen or at the top of the headwall.

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9. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

Great, thank you. I want to buy at least one nice piece of jewelry but I was told Sedona's shops are very very expensive.

Thanks so much for your input. We're excited to see GCNP but we are really more excited about Sedona. I heard that while GCNP is incredible, Sedona is beautiful and relaxing.

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10. Re: Sedona Basic Itinerary - Lots of questions!

There are many places in Sedona to buy jewelry, depending on what your budget is. There's Garland's, which is up Oak Creek Canyon, or stop at the Northern Arizona Museum on your way to the GC. Both Garland's http://www.garlandsjewelry.com/ and NAM http://www.musnaz.org/ have high quality jewelery.

The Dairy Queen, also up Oak Creek Canyon, has an area set aside for Native Americans to sell their jewelry and things. You buy directly from them or a member of their families, Their prices for jewelry ranges from $10 to several hundred dollars. They start setting up about 9am, sometimes 10 am, on most days.

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