First of all, I would like to thank all of the previous posters here who made our frist trip to Sedoan so enjoyable. Your helpful suggestions and comments made it most rewarding to say the least. Being as I benefitted from the information placed here, I thought that I would add my two cents worth in the hopes that others can gain insight from our experience.
First off, BRING A CAMERA, as you will want to be able to show others only a portion of the beautiful scenery you will enjoy during your stay. The photos won't give the real views any justice, but you can at least have something to show people. Although I am a photo hobbiest, I ended up taking over 800 pictures over the 7 days we were here. A few will shortly be hanging on our walls at home.
Bring a good pair of hiking or running shoes! You will want to explore Sedona properly, and that means taking a number of hikes on the fabulous trails they have to offer. I bought a pair of new running shoes in Phoenix at a local Costco after we landed and they were my best investment. Cost me only $15, abused them through the week on the hikes and left them there being as the Red Rock clay was surely enbedded for life in those things.
There are too many trails to venture upon while in Sedona, but ones I would recommend are: Red Rock Crossing - BOTH paths, Sunset Mesa by the Airport (First parking area you come to), Cathedral & Bell Rock, as well as Boynton Canyon. All were pretty easy to navigate for the most part, although on a couple you will need to climb a bit. Find or invest in a good walking stick.
Other items that are a "must do" are:
What else - the Pink Jeep Tour. Took the most popular one, the Broken Arrow Tour and went on the last one for the day at 4 PM to enjoy the sunset views. Although it will cool down a bit in the valley parts, a light jacket or sweater will get you through ok. Our driver's name was Pete and he did a great job in providing us with information on the history of Sedona, the vegetation, and everyone who suggested that you take this tour early in your stay was right! Best way to get to know a bit about Sedona before you explore it more fully on your own.
We also took a Helicopter Ride - 20 minutes long around the town that was breathtaking. Great way to get an even more detailed look at the surrounding rock formations, as well as some of the beautiful homes that reside in the area.
Places to eat? Others on this forum suggested AWESOME places and we agreed on all of them. "Sedona Memories" for their sandwiches - can't be beat! Best ones we enjoyed, although the Safeway by our resort served up a great sandwich as well and at a great price too. ONE TIP - with regards to the Safeway in West Sedoan, sign up for their Club Card and SAVE BIG on a lot of items.
Had dinners at Troia's - nice place, fast service and the food tasted great. Our consierge at the resort recommended it, and we enjoyed it there.
Open Range - nice place in the back of one of the little shopping nooks of town. We ordered 3 of their Appetizers with drinks and we were FULL. Good food as well.
If you need just something quick to take back to your place or eat in as well, Picasso's Pizza was great.
Barking Frog - actually passed on it one night as we thought we were underdressed as witnessed by some in the parking lot as we drove in, but came back another night and found that there are two areas to sit in and clothing is pretty casual. Really enjoyed their food and ambience. Tried a couple of Tapas appetizers along with an entre and with drinks, we were once again happily full. Liked the nice touch of the tortilla chips and salsa as a welcome snack.
Wildflower Cafe - read anyone else's comments and you will see that this is a great place to go to as well for a quick bite. Located in the Hyatt Resort, amongst other shops, they serve up a great Soup and Sandwich combo that is fabulous. When we went, they had a Vegetarian Corn and Green Chile bisque that was out of this world. If you can stay, try their soup in the bread bowl - delicious.
Last but not least, if you enjoy eating Crab, and I mean "ALL that you CAN EAT" - don't miss the special at the Airport Cafe at Sunset Mesa. Thursday Night is the day of the week for this special, and it is well worth it. Make sure you get there at least by 5:30 PM and take advantage of the drink specials before 6 and then enjoy the seafood. We left there VERY full as well.
Wow, didn't realize how much I have rambled on here, but there was so much that we did that I would need to go on for pages to fully explain the MANY things that there are to do while in Sedona. ONE LAST ITEM - take the drive to the Grand Canyon and enjoy one of the seven wonders of this beautiful earth. AMAZING views and make sure that you have at least one meal - we had lunch - at the Eltovar Hotel. Great experience!
Hope this helps someone out there looking for information on this jewel of a place in Arizona.
THANKS SEDONA! We WILL be back soon!