Hi Lovelies. We made another trip worthy of a travel guide. I have plenty of fun options for Sedona. Unfortunately, we were on a budget and didn’t eat out much, so I don’t really have restaurant recommendations this time around. We are blessed to own a timeshare that allows us to travel for such great prices. We stayed at the Hyatt Pinon Pointe which is right in downtown Sedona. We had a full kitchen and just planned most of our meals at the hotel and packed meals for our long days out.
North Pole Experience
The North Pole Experience is what brought us to Arizona. We had heard great things about this holiday experience. Here is the break down and all of my tips for the perfect North Pole Experience. You board a bus bound for the North Pole Portal. You drive to the destination and visit Santa’s workshop. As you tour each room be sure to look for the elves hidden throughout the shop. Each room is fun and is very interactive. The kids will assemble bears, dance, enjoy cookies and hot cocoa, finishing their visit with a stop with Santa. Now for my tips to make the most of your North Pole Experience. Plan your trip so you are there at dusk or evening hours. The Christmas lights at the Little America Hotel are a part of the experience. Purchase an ornament from the gift shop and as you travel to each room you can gather signatures from the elves and Mr. & Mrs. Clause. The buffet dinner that you can purchase through the little america hotel was pretty great. They had a full Christmas dinner with lots of kid friendly options and yummy dessert choices.
Red Rock Jeep Tours
This was awesome! We had such a great tour guide that made the adventure amazing. I highly recommend the 2 hour sunset tour called “Old Bear Wallow”. This was a semi-rugged terrain trail that ended on a ridge with a beautiful view and lots of stunning rock features along the way. If you are taking this tour in the winter season be prepared to be a bit chilly. Bring all your winter gear, but know that they have lots of blankets for you to snuggle up in. I think we had 4 of them out bundled around us. LOL.
Sunset Crater & Wupatki Indian Ruins
Sunset Crater had some great hiking trails out over the lava flows and with views of the crater. We were in a bit of hurry so we didn’t make it all the way out. I definitely think the crater and indian ruins could be a trip all by themselves. Due to a sickness that hit us, we had to bundle this together with our Grand Canyon tour. If you love history and have an inner nerd like I do, you will love the ruins. I could literally stare at these all day. It is so fascinating that these buildings are still standing. Over 700 years old, and you can walk through them and still see the remains of the items they used for every day living.
Obviously this had to make my list. Although, I am not as fascinated with the Grand Canyon just standing on the rim looking down. It’s a beautiful site, but I think the Grand Canyon is something that needs to be experienced. I would have loved to hike down in a ways and really get a feel for the canyon. It’s so hard to just look down in this deep canyon and not wonder what’s happening all around you. The deep cuts and vast valleys are so overwhelming when you are just standing on the edge. We hope to make it back and take in a little bit more adventure on another trip to Arizona. My recommendation here is to make it to the El Tovar hill and the village at South Rim. It’s a great little area with perfect walking trails and lots of photo opportunities. If you have time to drive around, keep an eye out for wildlife. We saw elk and deer along our journey.
I have one big recommendation for all of the National Park stops. Head to the visitor centers and pick up their junior ranger guides. Your children will get a printed handout with questions that target their age group. They simply fill them out and turn them in. When they turn them in, the ranger will go over it with them, they will say a pledge and receive a park ranger badge for the park they are at. We did two of three parks we visited and the girls were so excited. It’s a great way to take the information they are seeing and help them better understand what they are looking at.
Another little tip. Bring allergy medication if you traveling in the winter. We learned the hard way, that it’s juniper season, which is high allergy season for Sedona. So, if you have allergies or any sort of sinus stuff going on, head out prepared.