An Arizona travel guide to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, and Sedona. Where to stay, eat, and do!
- Itinerary -
- DAY ONE -
FLY – For this trip to Arizona you will most likely fly into Phoenix international airport, it’s a large airport that is relatively easy to navigate and is a quick drive to most destinations.
DRIVE – grab a rental car, our preferred car rental company is SIXT, they offer this German-based car rental company at most major airports and I like that you can pick out your car ahead of time.
FUEL UP – You maybe a little hungry after your travels, I suggest making a pit stop at the WholeFoods in Phoenix which is conveniently located next to the Trader Joe’s. Pick up some easy snacks here, like seeded crackers, trail mix, apples, etc. for your road trip to the Grand Canyon.
ROAD TRIP – Start the 3-hour drive up to the Grand Canyon. The drive is very beautiful as you drive from the desert through the Verde Valley. We made a great road trip playlist, rolled down the windows, and took in the diverse topography Arizona offers.
ARRIVE – Under The Canvas Grand Canyon.
- The GrandCanyon -
-Where to stay -
Under Canvas -Grand Canyon
Located near the Canyon’s South Rim and nestled among the Franciscan mountain range, this campsite offers everything! Including tents fully equipped with bathrooms, organic bath products, towels, king-size beds, little fire stoves for nighttime when the temps dip, and AC for the hot desert days. Under the Canvas offers free activities to guests such as sunrise yoga with Lululemon mats, live music, fire pits, and s’more stations in the evening. The staff at Under The Canvas are very knowledgeable and can help you plan your hike for the Grand Canyon and book activities like jeep tours, or helicopter rides if that’s your thing!
DINING - GRAND CANYON
Dining Options are slim pickens in the Grand Canyon, that’s why we loved staying at Under The Canvas. Under the canvas has a fully equipped kitchen and offers a small but varied menu for guests and is accommodating for any food allergies one may have. They also have a snack bar fully equipped with granola bars, trail mix, fresh fruit, etc.
Hike - Grand Canyon
The Canyon is not an easy hike, the trails are a series of semi steep switchbacks that take you down into the Canyon. Try the Grandview Point to Horseshoe Mesa hike if you want a serious challenge. If you find this trail too steep, enjoy the walking path around the south rim of the canyon.
- Note On The GRand Canyon -
The Grand Canyon is beautiful and truly vast. It’s almost a touch overwhelming and looks fake in many ways. I am super glad we made the quick trip up to see the Canyon, and I believe it should be on everyone’s bucket list. There is not a whole lot to do at the Grand Canyon besides hiking, jeep tours, etc. If hiking is not your thing, I would suggest doing sunset or sunrise at the canyon take in the views, walk the paths and be on your way to Flagstaff.
- DAY Two Grand Canyon, Flagstaff & Sedona -
SUNRISE – Wake up early and catch the sunrise in the desert. Do sunrise yoga and enjoy a cup of coffee and fuel up for the morning spent in the Canyon and the drive to Flagstaff.
HEAD TO CANYON – Hike a trail or walk the South Kaibab walking path and take in the vast views of the magnificent canyon.
DRIVE TO FLAGSTAFF – When your time at the canyon is complete, hop in the car and head to Flagstaff.
TAKE IN THE PINES – Get out and stretch your legs in this stunning mountain town. It’s filled with what feels like millions of pine and Birch trees. We decided to hike the Kachina trail in Flagstaff since the canyon was too steep for my fear of heights. I personally preferred the hiking and typography in Flagstaff to that of the Grand Canyon.
HIKE OR RIDE – As previously mentioned, we hiked Kachina Trail, however, there is also an amazing gondola ride you can take near Kachina if your all hiked out from the canyon.
NOURISH – Flagstaff has great restaurants and a great grocery store called Natural Grocer if you need to make a stop to fuel up after a busy morning.
SEDONA TIME – Make the 45 min drive down to Sedona. Be sure to take the Oak Creek Canyon route, it’s a stunning drive that takes you from the white rock mountains down into the red rock canyons of Sedona all along a beautiful winding creek bed.
ARRIVE – Arrive in Sedona just in time to watch the sunset fall amongst the red rocks, and get ready to take in the starry night.
- Pit Stop Flaggstaff -
- Hike OR RIDE - Flagstaff -
Take a ride, on the Arizona Gondola at Snowbowl. Experience all the views such as the San Francisco Peaks, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and the red rock formations of Sedona!
- DINING - Flagstaff -
Do breakfast or lunch at MartAnne’s. Fuel up on all things Mexican-American and try the chilaquiles, apparently, they are out of this world!
Think burgers and fries, but elevated. Enjoy 100% local grass-fed burgers with all the toppings. They also have a mean veggie burger. All the wine and beer are sourced to pair with the burgers as well.
- Itinerary -
- Days Three Through Five | Sedona -
HIKE – Sedona is crazy beautiful, hiking really allows you to take in the red rocks and stunning landscape.
SPA & RELAX – Make sure to carve out time to hit up Mii Amo, a truly one-of-a-kind spa experience located in the Enchantment resort property.
STARGAZE – Sedona is a dark community, meaning they limit building and street lighting. It can be quite dark but the night sky is truly magical and stargazing became our favorite nightly activity.
BE TOURISTY – Well Sedona is truly stunning, the town is a bit touristy, spend about 45 mins to an hour here, grab a sweatshirt or Sedona hat, maybe a crystal from the many crystal shops and be on your way!
DINE – Sedona offers some great restaurants, most are offering locally sourced and often organic ingredients.
CHILL OUT – Something is in the Sedona air, that will make you want to just chill out and really rest. Make sure you schedule in time to just relax, read a book, take a nap, or do whatever you desire to zone out.
- Sedona -
- Where To Stay -
This resort is truly magical! Situated within the red rock of Boynton Canyon. The resort is a bit remote from downtown, but that’s the point. Hike, relax at the pools and spa, and find your inner zen at The Enchantment.
The L’Auberge is also a great option for those who want to be a bit closer to downtown. It’s nestled right into the oak creek which offers plenty of shade and respite from the strong sun and has a really pretty “Summer Camp” vibe.
- Dining In Sedona -
This eatery and market place is whipping up a menu that’s 100% organic and gluten-free. You can sit and eat or grab healthy lunches. Think salads, smoothies, chia puddings etc. to take on hikes! Call to check on hours, due to the laid-back vibe of the staff we found the hours could be off from google.
- Hike, Rest & Repeat Sedona -
- Shop Sedona -
While Sedona and shopping are not synonymous. We did absolutely love the Hike House. They have everything you could possibly need for hiking adventures etc. Think hiking boots, Patagonia, backpacks, hats, sunscreen, they have all of it. The staff is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and will give you the inside scoop on the best hikes in the area.
I was honestly blown away by the beauty of Arizona and how vast and different the state’s biome is. One minute you’re in a desert, the next a thickly wooded pine forest. Sedona is truly a special place, the energy, red rocks, and clear blue skies are pure magic. We were disappointed by the town, it’s very touristy and “t-shirt – shoppy”. The crystal stores and palm readers seemed very exploitive so no need to shop them! This is not a trip to find or buy cool items or souvenirs. We did do a quick day trip to the Verde Valley and went to the towns of Cottonwood and Jerome. These are also not worth the trip and I would not suggest doing them. Overall, I loved our brief stay and experience at the Grand Canyon, I truly loved Flagstaff and would go back to just hike and ski Flagstaff. Our time in Sedona was beyond, truly a stunning destination to explore, rest and recharge your batteries!