Grand Canyon and Sedona Trip Overview

  Ranking Details/Comments
Things to Do If you like to take in the beauty of nature, this part of the United States will be your haven. In addition to the various nature hikes and sites you will find beautiful resorts and spas along with adventurous activities. 
Lodging The lodging options in Sedona are beautiful and plentiful. Unfortunately, lodging in close proximity to the Grand Canyon is scarce, most filling up months in advance. The remaining hotels are 30+ miles away.
Getting Around   It’s pretty easy to get around. The roads are smooth and clearly marked. You will need a rental car.
Getting There    Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) is the closest to Sedona (~45 minutes) and The Grand Canyon (~90 minutes.) It’s a small airport so most flights connect through the Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport (PHX). The two most popular airports to use are PHX airport or McCarran International Airport (LAS). Sedona: ~Two hour drive from Phoenix Grand Canyon: ~Four hour drive from Phoenix/Las VegasSedona to Grand Canyon: ~Two hour drive

Family Reunion with a Scenic View

The Grand Canyon and Sedona have always been on travel with kids bucket list. So when I heard that our family reunion was in Phoenix, there was no way that I wasn’t going to make this into a personal vacation. Therefore, I added two additional nights to this trip to get a little taste of nature’s beauty. 

Getting to Sedona

Once landing at PHX Airport a little after noon, the family and I grabbed our luggage (and car seats), jumped into our rental car and headed straight for Sedona. It was a relatively smooth two hour drive to get there as our Grand Canyon and Sedona Family Vacation was beginning immediately. As soon as we arrived at our Airbnb, we showered and headed to our photoshoot at Crescent Moon Ranch.

Scenic Sedona Photoshoot 

There aren’t words to describe the beauty of Crescent Moon Ranch, located in the Red Rock State Park. It is perfectly seated beneath Cathedral Rock, offering an exceptional view of it’s beauty. This is the perfect place to come for casual relaxation for the day. Here you can take nature walks, fish, swim, have a picnic or just sit and take in the beauty of your surroundings.

Jess, our photographer, was absolutely amazing and patient with our young boys who just wanted to run all over the place. Lucky for us, motion shots are one of her specialities. The Cathedral Rock backdrop was beyond magical and the location was filled with so many unique areas to take photos. If you are in Sedona, I’d recommend using this beautiful natural backdrop for a photoshoot. Let our pictures speak for themselves. You can check Jess out here.

Sedona Airbnb

The views from this Airbnb, which you can find here, are breathtaking! The home is nestled in the panoramic region of Sedona offering unobstructed views of Cathedral Rock, Twin Butte, and Seven Sisters. The icing on the cake is the massive balcony and hot tub. The house itself had everything you could need: soaps, lotions, seasonings, etc. It was well kept and had a great luxurious feel. I honestly felt like I was staying at my rich cousin’s house, lol.

Honestly, Airbnb is the best option when we travel with family (our aunt and her family joined this portion of the trip.) Save $55 on your first Airbnb by using this code.

The view on this run was incredible! But man, my breath…

Not only did it offer an amazing view, but the actual location was convenient as well. It’s about a 15 min drive from Sedona’s commercial area, filled with grocery stores, restaurants, and boutiques. It’s walking distance to several hiking trails and I actually passed Red Rock State Park on my morning run. If you’re a runner, or even an amateur like myself, take the time to go for a run. You won’t regret it (although the altitude may get you 😉.)

Getting to Grand Canyon With A Tour Company

Choosing to use Great West Tours instead of driving ourselves took a bit of thought and consideration. The tour cost $360 for two adults and twin one-year-old, including lunch. What made us finally decide to go with the tour company was having the boys in tow. I personally didn’t want the stress of keeping them entertained for the four hour journey, each way, while helping my husband navigate the road. With the tour company we didn’t have to stress about anything at all, not even where we were going to eat. Plus, our tour guide was amazing! He had so much knowledge about our surroundings and the formations. On our own, we would’ve never learned so much or felt stress-free. 

I used TripAdvisor to find this tour company. Check out my “Things To Do On Vacation: Selecting Your Activities” post to learn the strategies I use when selecting things to do on vacation.

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The Rims of the Grand Canyon are paved so it was easy to use our GB Pockit Stroller. This is my go to stroller as they fold so small. We tucked them under the seats of our tour bus when we didn’t need them.

Lunch At Tovar Hotel

Our Dining View

We started the day at 7AM, where we met at a nearby resort. Of course, the highlight of the trip was The Grand Canyon. We started at the South Rim where we had time to grab lunch and explore the area. We chose lunch at El Tovar Hotel, a National Historic landmark which was built in 1905. The view of the Grand Canyon from the dining room was breathtaking. The food itself was just okay, nothing to rave about. BUT. THE. DESSERT…my goodness. It was beyond amazing! We actually ordered four desserts as it was included with each of our meal tickets. All four of them were a hit!

After lunch, we had the opportunity to walk some of the South Rim Trail and truly soak up the beauty of The Grand Canyon, and man was it magical! The geological history that we were witnessing was pretty mind blowing. It’s hard to imagine the power of the Colorado River and its power to cut channels through the layers of rock. After hopping back into the tour bus, we made several stops along the South and East Rims of the Grand Canyon, with each view being more beautiful than the last.

Sedona

I couldn’t write a post about Sedona without saying how cute and quaint of a city it is. I really wish we had more time to explore. However, I couldn’t leave Sedona without returning to Red Rock State Park the day of our departure. Upon entering the park, there is a classroom that introduced you to the various plants and wildlife that can be found in the park. We took a quick tour of the classroom and went straight for the trail which offered beautiful views. Surprisingly, it was pretty stroller accessible. There were a few points we had to pick the stroller(s) up, but for the most part, it was just fine. I can’t wait to go back!

I Wish We Had Time To Do

Sedona: Slide Rock State Park (fun adventure for the kiddos), Devil’s Bridge Trail (I would have to think if/how I could do this with the kiddos)
Grand Canyon (all without the kiddos): Helicopter Ride over the Grand Canyon (some even skydive), Whitewater Rafting, Skywalk (Grand Canyon West. I might do this with the kiddos)
Others: Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend (~Two and a half hours from Sedona and Grand Canyon)

The Grand Canyon and Sedona are perfect locations for a fun and educational family vacation.

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