State Guide: Arizona

Christmas 2018 was spent in California and for the part of the trip, we did a short road trip to Arizona – with a focus on Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

How many nights: 3

How we got there: Drove from Palm Springs to Sedona. It took about 7 hours but the views were worth the long drive. Driving back to Los Angeles took about 10 hours. I would recommend flying.

Where we stayed: We stayed in a lovely Airbnb in Cottonwood – the morning views were out of this world! The Airbnb was approx. 25-minute drive to the town of Sedona and all the hiking areas. Highly recommend!

Note, Arizona is one hour ahead of California, which means you lose an hour going out there but you do gain 1 hour on your way back to LA.


Sedona is known as a sacred place, and depending on your beliefs this might be appealing to you. I for one am all about energies, so I was intrigued to witness the vortexes of Sedona for myself.  In case you are wondering what the vortexes are (and to save you having to Google it), they are said to be swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation, and self-exploration. These places are where the earth seems more alive with energy.! If the vortexes sound up your street then they are found at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon. I recommend going to Airport Mesa at the end of your day so you can catch the sunset over the whole of Sedona – the views are breathtaking!

Other places I recommend you see include the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park (it really is serene!), Chapel of the Holy Cross (this is so high up that the views across Sedona are unreal), and explore W State Route as there are some cute vintage shops, arts and crafts, and new age shops in the area!

Grand Canyon

The south rim of the Grand Canyon is a 2-hour drive from Sedona, so we had to visit this absolute beauty of nature! I’ve always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon and I can say that it really does go above and beyond expectations – photographs do it no justice as it’s out of this world! You can walk around the canyon and get up close and personal with the views – I recommend leaving Sedona early to arrive at the Grand Canyon before midday. It’s also a great place to catch a beautiful sunset!

When we went to the Grand Canyon it was a government shutdown so it was free to enter but normally there is a fee to pay, per car.

I’m aware you can catch the Grand Canyon from Vegas (the west rim) but according to various blogs, the south rim is the better half! So I really do recommend you save a day to visit if you are in the area!

The travel to and from California meant I only had one full day in Sedona and one day in Grand Canyon but you can spend at least 5 days in Arizona allowing you to soak up the scenery and drive into Phoenix (it’s about 1.5 hours from Sedona).

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