Arizona Travel Guide: Sedona, Phoenix, Horseshoe Bend

If you follow me on Instagram, you’re probably sick of all my pictures from my recent trip to Arizona but #sorrynotsorry. Logan and I decided to do something different and travel to Arizona for our first wedding anniversary. I’m normally used to traveling to Europe or going somewhere tropical but I decided to branch out. We just recently came back from Cancun in November so I had already had my fair share of the beach.

I feel like everyone I follow on Instagram has been traveling to Arizona and I wanted to hop on the bandwagon. Whenever we think of traveling, we think of exploring a new country but hey what about exploring our own country! I honestly fell in love with the state and was so happy with our trip. We didn’t get to check out everything on our list so we will definitely be coming back. I’m already planning out a trip to Utah… I mean who am I?!

I strongly recommend checking out the wild wild west (LOL), which is why I am sharing this travel guide with you guys. I also want to thank some of my Instagram followers for giving me amazing recommendations and did not disappoint!

Four Day Visit to Arizona

Day 1

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We flew into Phoenix and arrived at 2 pm on a Friday. We rented a car through Hertz and went straight to our first destination, Sedona. We kicked off our road trip by stopping at In-N-Out of course! Sedona is about 1.5 hours away north of Phoenix and it was a super easy drive. I was so in awe of all the cacti, mountains and red rocks- so beautiful! Once we arrived we got straight to business and went on a hike to find the Devil’s Bridge.

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My friend Sharon recommended this to me a few weeks before my trip and I was so anxious about it. I kept searching for photos on Pinterest and my hands started sweating just by looking through all them. The hike overall was about 5 miles roundtrip. If you are driving an off road vehicle, you can get a little closer to the trail and it’s probably 2 miles round trip. It was all pretty flat until you got to the very end. It was so steep but not too crazy! Once we got there, I honestly did not think I could do it. We saw people walk in and out and snap some pictures but I was not ready. I talked to a few girls and they said it wasn’t that bad once you’re on it. Well, they were right! You can’t even tell once you’re on the bridge and I even went on it twice to get the perfect photo 🙂

The next thing on our list was visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was recommended to my by my co worker. We got lucky because we got there ten minutes before it closed (closes at 5pm). It was truly so beautiful!

We checked in to our hotel, Kimpton Amara, and could not be any happier. We had amazing views and the hotel was super clean! Another hotel I recommend is L’Auberge if you’re looking to splurge a little.

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View from the hotel patio and pool.

For dinner we made reservations at Mariposa and absolutely loved it! It’s a latin inspired steakhouse/grill and the views were breathtaking. I recommend checking it out especially if you go there for lunch and sit on the patio and enjoy the views of the red rocks.

Day 2

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We knew this was going to be our longest day because it involved a lot of driving and checking out a lot of places, which is why we went to bed early. We woke up around 6 am and started driving around 6:30 am. Oddly enough, there was a forecast of snow along our journey so we knew we needed to get on the road ASAP. On our list we wanted to check out- Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the Grand Canyon (I know, a little ambitious).

A snowstorm and 2.5 hours later, we made it to Horseshoe bend- probably my favorite sight! We got there pretty early so it wasn’t super crowded.

 

Antelope Canyon is only 5-10 minutes away so this was next on our list. Sadly, the Lower Antelope Canyon was closed for maintenance so the Upper Antelope Canyon was our only option. Unfortunately, we did not get to go because of the weather and it was a higher priority for us to check out the Grand Canyon before the storms got bad.

If you do go, I hear the Upper Antelope Canyon is the place to go and get there before 10 am so you can see the beautiful light beams. I also heard to bring cash! It’s about $30 to enter.

We then made our way back and stopped at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I took a quick nap and before I knew it, Logan told me we were turning back around. I woke up and there was a blizzard! We were already inside the park and we’re only 20 miles away from the Grand Canyon itself. Sadly, we had to turn around because we weren’t going to see anything with all the wind and snow.

We headed back to Sedona and got a late lunch at the Hudson, which was super cute! For dinner, we went to Elote Cafe, which was super popular on Yelp and also recommended by one of my followers. The elote appetizer is to DIE FOR! There’s always a wait, FYI (we waited for an hour).

Day 3

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Cathedral Rock in Sedona

We really contemplated going back to the Grand Canyon but decided to just visit it another time. Instead we slept in and got all packed up for our drive to Phoenix/Scottsdale.

Before we headed to Scottsdale, we stopped for a hike in Sedona and checked out Cathedral Rock. The hike was about 1.5 miles round trip so it was super short but totally worth it! This hike was also steep towards the end and you had to do some rock scaling but we did it! Views were amazing and it was not crowded when we went in the morning.

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After our hike we headed to Phoenix and had brunch at the Parlor. I had a delicious breakfast pizza and an amazing prosciutto bloody mary! Later, we stopped by OHSO Brewery to watch some football and enjoy some local brews.

We checked in to the Mountain Shadows resort and again it was a total hit! It was BEAUTIFUL and just recently renovated. It was super modern and trendy and I LOVED their rooms. I STRONGLY recommend checking it out.

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Hotel and our Premium King Room

We made reservations at Mora Italian, which is owned by Chef Scott from Chopped. We had such a wonderful experience! The Rose snow cone was amazinggggg! We also tried the charcuterie board and I had the pomodoro pasta. It was the most perfect meal!

Day 4

Day 4 was all about relaxing and enjoying our last bit of our vacation. We had breakfast at Snooze, which was amazing as all the other places I checked out. This place has various locations and SUPER popular but we got lucky going on a Monday morning and only waited ten minutes. We did a little walking afterwards and got my photo with a cactus, because duh that’s why I came here. (JK)

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All in all, it was a wonderful anniversary trip and I couldn’t have asked for anything else. We had such a great time and had perfect weather. Arizona is beautiful and has SO MUCH to offer. We will definitely be back! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or message me on IG or my email address! Hope you guys enjoyed.

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Georgia peach living life to the fullest in Atlanta. Always obsessing over fashion, travel, dogs and sour candy.

5 thoughts on “Arizona Travel Guide: Sedona, Phoenix, Horseshoe Bend

  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip and definitely somewhere I’ll have to visit! I’m planning to visit the US this summer so maybe I’ll squeeze in a visit. I’m glad you found a little time to travel locally, there’s so much to see in the US so you don’t always have to travel overseas for some adventure 🙂

  2. Loved your pictures and takes me back to the Southwest where I was raised. Wouldn’t mind going back . Thanks again for sharing your first anniversary pictures with us.
    Love you guys.

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