3 Unique Day Trips from Sedona, Arizona
You might find Sedona’s beguiling red rocks and stunning scenery difficult to tear yourself away from for a day, but should you find the strength, here’s a trio of other incredible natural delights and one quirky destination we think you’ll enjoy. Ask about organized tours and acquire other information about these day trips from Sedona at Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock.
LOWER ANTELOPE CANYON
Equal parts moonscape, dreamscape and living hourglass, Lower Antelope Canyon is a surreal otherworldly sight! It’s a slot canyon sitting on Navajo land, and the only way to see it is to join a tour. Ken’s Tours leave every 20 minutes and span 1 hour and 15 minutes in length.
You’ll walk through low hanging rocks, dips and narrow passageways that have been carved out by the forces of wind and water and formed into all sorts of shapes. Some of the formations have names; your imagination will surely conjure up more. If that doesn’t sound exciting enough, visitors scramble down narrow and sometimes steep ladders to reach parts of the canyon.
The guides are very experienced and fun. Plus, they not only know the best spots for photo opportunities in a setting where every photo is stunning, they can also recommend camera settings to really make your photos pop! The canyon is easily accessible going in and out. Our kids were ages 11 and 14 and they managed just fine on this hike. The youngest child in our group was approximately 5 years-old.
DISTANCE: Lower Antelope Canyon is an almost 3-hour drive from Sedona, so you’ll be setting out early whether you decide to join an organized tour to the area or make a reservation to go on your own.
GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM
Majestic, massive, and stunning, the incredible Grand Canyon South Rim can be described with many adjectives, and no two people will use the same ones. Despite its grand scale, the sight of it is a personal and intimate experience. It is different for each visitor.
While there are no bad viewing points for taking in this natural wonder, don’t miss the first one inside the park, the Desert View Watchtower. Yes, you have to walk down to it from the parking lot, and your children may complain about that, like mine did. However, the view is so incredible that I have high hopes your kids will be reduced to stunned silence just as mine were!
Adjacent to the viewing platform rails is a 70-foot tower with a bookstore. Its upper floors serve as observation decks which offer magnificent views of the canyon and the Painted Desert. Many of the floors also contain murals and other artifacts representing the area’s early Indian residents. There is no charge to climb the stairs, and by doing so you’ll be rewarded with an even more vast perspective of the breathtaking view than you get from the platform below it. The structure is historic and cool, and the view is amazing!
DISTANCE: A nearly 2-hour drive from Sedona, this is another excursion where you’ll need an early start to fully enjoy it.
Read more >> Visiting the Grand Canyon with Kids
Dubbed America’s most vertical city due to its location atop Cleopatra Hill, Jerome is fun and funky and its residents seem to like it that way! Once known as one of the wickedest towns in the west, this former copper town is now home to an artist’s colony where cool little eateries, gift shops, galleries, wine tasting and historic lore line the streets. It is also home to a large ghost town.
The signs marking the way out to it are the first indicator that you are headed toward an unusual experience. Once you’ve arrived, there’s no confusion or mistake about it, the sign on the front of the place even says, “Ghost Town” in big red letters.
This ghost town has a gorgeous and vast view below it. If you let yourself, you could get actually lost in it and forget you’re standing in a supposedly haunted place.
My kids brought me back to the mission at hand: checking out the nooks and crannies of a place that, while advertised as ghostly, was really home to an auto junkyard, a handful of goats and chickens, and a few bearded characters running a functional machine shop.
Still, there was a lot to explore: a dentist office, a barber shop, and gas station were among the things we checked out. It was an amusing place to visit and one of those places that can rev up your imagination. Where were the drivers of all of the cars, buses and tractors abandoned there? Sounds like the plot of a cheesy horror film, doesn’t it?
DISTANCE: The shortest drive in our day trip trio, Jerome is less than 1 hour from Sedona.
You may also enjoy:
- Sedona Jeep Tours
- Favorite Sedona Hiking Trails
- Top 7 Things to do in Sedona with Kids
- Read about all of our family vacations to Sedona
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Kristine lives in Mountain View, California, where she is the mother of a gifted girl athlete and a special needs charmer. Like almost everything in her house,…