A group of small, locally owned, businesses in Sedona, Arizona is excited to showcase the area’s family-friendly adventures.
SEDONA, ARIZ. — Summer vacations are a cherished tradition for many families. For those seeking profound natural beauty, a vibrant cultural scene and a balance of adventure and serenity, the small city of Sedona, Arizona may offer the ideal destination. Located two hours north of Phoenix at an elevation of 4,500 feet, Sedona enjoys warm, sunny days and refreshing nights during the summer, as well as fewer crowds than may be found at other times of the year. From thrilling jeep tours that explore the rugged landscape to uniquely Southwestern boutique inns, several small, local businesses have joined forces to welcome families (including pets!) to Sedona this summer and highlight the area’s multitude of activities for visitors of all ages.
Explore Red Rock Country with Jeep Tours
Among Sedona’s most popular attractions are jeep tours, which carry visitors to destinations within the majestic wilderness of red rock country that are inaccessible to most passenger vehicles. Kids in particular will love the roller coaster-like ride as the jeep bounces along the rocky terrain, while passengers of all ages will marvel at the breathtaking views and enjoy learning about the history, geology and wildlife of the region.
One trusted local tour provider is Arizona Safari Jeep Tours, which has been offering personalized excursions that range from mild to wild for more than 15 years. From the sweeping vistas of the Western canyon lands and the Mogollon Rim to the magic of Sedona’s famous vortexes, Arizona Safari Jeep Tours gives passengers the opportunity to explore the region’s natural wonders under the direction of some of the most experienced tour guides in the industry. The company welcomes passengers aged one and up to their jeeps, all of which have been specially outfitted for passenger safety and comfort.
Visitors seeking a more hands-on way to discover the area’s less-traversed backcountry might consider renting a trail-prepped jeep from Barlow Adventures. Founded by Southwest native Nena Barlow, who has been in the jeep business since 1996, Barlow Adventures allows visitors to rent jeeps for private, self-guided tours of up to 24 hours. With the freedom to customize treks based on their own interests and timetables, families can enjoy hiking on less-accessed trails, picnicking, star gazing, enjoying sunsets and sunrises from remote hilltops, and more — all from the comfort of a climate-controlled jeep. Barlow Adventures has pet-friendly vehicles available for those planning to explore with their four-legged family members. The company also offers guided jeep tours, as well as the opportunity to learn technical four-wheel driving skills from a certified instructor.
World-Class Shopping and Dining
As an arts and cultural hub, Sedona boasts a diverse array of world-class art galleries, shops and restaurants. Many of these may be found at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, a unique destination nestled along the banks of the beautiful Oak Creek near Uptown Sedona. Designed to embody the charm of a traditional Mexican village, visitors will be enchanted by Tlaquepaque’s cobblestone paths, distinctive architectural features and towering sycamore trees. In addition to a toy store as well as several other shops and galleries, Tlaquepaque is home to a variety of family-friendly restaurants offering options to suit any palate, from light lunches to sweets to authentic Mexican cuisine. Leashed pets are welcome at Tlaquepaque, and some of the restaurants feature pet-friendly patios.
Another family-friendly dining destination in Uptown Sedona is HP Café American Bistro, which offers a casual, comfortable environment and a diverse menu of dishes using the freshest ingredients. Established in 1939, this beloved local restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a boutique wine list, full bar, onsite barista and seating on a covered garden patio. After a meal at HP Café, visitors can meander across the courtyard to shop for Southwest-inspired treasures at Gifts Galore. This unique shop features artisan pottery, jewelry, clothing and other items that serve as excellent mementos of the beauty and spirit of Sedona.
After a long day of exploring all that Sedona has to offer, visitors can recharge at one of the area’s incredible hotels. Staying in Sedona also provides the ideal base for day trips to other Arizona hot spots, including Phoenix (two hours to the south), Flagstaff (less than an hour north), and one of the most quintessential destinations for a family summer vacation: the Grand Canyon, situated two hours northwest of Sedona.
For visitors seeking lodging within steps of Sedona’s arts district, El Portal Sedona Hotel offers the perfect location. As a AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel with only 12 uniquely appointed suites, El Portal has earned a reputation for providing unpretentious luxury and a distinctively Southwestern experience. El Portal proudly welcomes family members of all ages, including pets, who are greeted with a special pet basket that includes treats, a blanket and doggie bags. Additionally, several rooms have outdoor fenced pet patios, and there is never a fee for four-legged family members. Guests will enjoy browsing the complimentary selection of books, games and snacks in El Portal’s cozy lobby, or relaxing under the stars in the spacious courtyard.
Providing easy access to some of the area’s best hiking and biking trails, Sedona Real Inn and Suites is another pet- and family-friendly option for lodging. Sedona Real features a variety of spacious rooms and suites to accommodate different needs and family sizes, as well as free WiFi, a complimentary hot breakfast buffet, an outdoor pool and hot tub, and a one-third-acre family and pet park. In this grassy onsite park, guests will find a bike washing station, plenty of seating and a barbecue area, which is ideal for family gatherings and enables price-conscious guests to prepare their own meals. Sedona Real is currently offering special summer rates with the promo code FLEX.
Another excellent option for families staying in Sedona is A Sunset Chateau Boutique B&B, a small boutique inn situated on a hillside with sweeping views of the red rocks. All of the luxurious, spacious suites at A Sunset Chateau are appointed with one-of-a-kind art and décor, as well as kitchenettes, separate dining areas and complimentary high-speed WiFi. The inn is adjacent to several hiking trails, including the popular Airport Mesa Loop Trail, but guests do not even need to leave the property to experience the natural beauty of Sedona: the inn features lush gardens with panoramic red rock vistas and a diverse variety of native flora and fauna, which range from flowers to pine trees to cacti. Guests can also savor the views from the onsite saltwater pool and jacuzzi.
With an endless array of activities, a distinctive spirit and world-renowned natural beauty, Sedona offers all the elements needed for an unforgettable family vacation.
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