Sometimes you find a place that speaks to you; it calls your name and asks you to stay awhile.
I found that place on a family road trip to Sedona.
Now, you know that I love a good theme park. ?Especially if there’s a castle involved. ?I adore the crowds and the noises and the food- oh gosh, do I love theme park food!
But I wasn’t always like this. ?My parents were anti-theme parks for the very reasons I love them. ?Too crowded, too loud, too busy. ?They preferred to slow things down and take in nature’s beauty.
I guess some of that stuck.
We took two trips to the red rocks of Sedona this summer: the first with a bit of reluctance (because, hey, no mouse ears were involved!) and the second with enthusiasm.
I’ve come up with my top 5 reasons to visit Sedona and Slide Rock at least once in your life.
1. ?The Weather
Our visits occurred in July and August. ?I distinctly remember telling my cousin she was INSANE to come to Arizona in July. ?I mean, who does that voluntarily?
Imagine my surprise when we reached Sedona and appreciated the gorgeous temperature in the dead center of summer.
Y’all: low to mid-80s and no humidity. ?I never wanted to leave.
2. ?World Class Resorts
There are many to choose from in the area, and the price ranges from a value to a 5 Star level accommodation.
Because I was dragging my feet on this trip, we made reservations last minute at a hotel that couldn’t meet our needs as a larger family. ?Okay, as a larger family who also likes a certain level of luxury. ?Ahem. ?It was pretty bad, y’all.
Thankfully we had no problem making other reservations at the Sedona Hilton Resort at Bell Rock.
Guys: this was the view from our balcony.
The hotel had everything you could ask for: full spa, great pools, a concierge desk, and soft but not too soft beds.
Did we say we wanted luxury? ?We found it.
We only stayed one night but were regretting that decision as soon as we walked into the lobby.
Our room was enormous and perfect for our family.
Anytime I can get two rooms (sofa bed in the living room with a dining room and kitchenette), I’ll take it! ?This hotel is going on my “when can we go back?” list.
3. ?Outdoor Fun For All Ages
Sedona’s secret that will keep you coming back is it’s captivating beauty. ?The red rocks that it’s famous for do not disappoint. ?I’ve never seen such vibrancy in nature.
Our family decided to hike a few of the trails in the area, so we picked up a map from the tourist information center in town.
The trails were easy enough for #OhLucy, age 4, to navigate on her own, but challenging enough to keep my 12-year-old son entertained.
We also made a visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Roman Catholic church located on the side of a mountain.
This is a must-see if you are visiting the area. ?It’s free and open to the public.
The parking situation is a bit tight, but the staff will helpfully guide you to an open spot.
We spent a little time?inside the chapel as well.
4. Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock gets its own shout out. ?It’s the coolest “water park” I’ve ever visited.
The water was freezing! ?But on a warm Arizona day, I don’t think anyone cared.
The park is open daily during the summer, and you pay by the car-full. ?This is a great deal if you load up all the kids and head in for some cool summer fun! ?But arrive early as they cap how many cars can enter, and this cap is reached quickly upon opening.
Slide Rock is a natural water slide formed from red sandstone. ?It’s slippery, wet?fun that cascades into a fantastic swimming hole!
And when I say slippery? ?Trust me on this. ?While trying to capture the PERFECT shot, I got a little too close to the action and went sliding down the slope unintentionally.
With my phone.
Into the water.
Where it remained for about 5 minutes.
Guys. ?This needs a whole other post covering the waterproof claims of a LifeProof case, the kindness of strangers, and answering the question, “Will Ramen Noodles do the same thing as rice when you need to dry out a phone?”
Stay tuned for that story.
On the second visit, I stayed high and dry when I had the phone in my hand, which is why you see the pictures you are seeing. ?It’s the best I could do!
5. ?And finally: ?Sunsets
I love the sunsets in Arizona and if you’ve never experienced them, please, come out and visit! ?Almost every day I’m outside wondering at the live action show God puts on for us. ?It’s truly a kiss goodnight.
But I’ve never seen anything as beautiful as the one we watched in Sedona.
Sedona stole my heart, and we didn’t get to experience half of the offerings. ?We will be back with plans to stay a bit longer.
Have you dreamed of visiting Sedona? ?What would you like most about it?
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)