An October 2004 trip
to Arizona by chasindaylight
Quote: We visited the Grand Canyon and Sedona this past fall. We flew into Pheonix, rented a car, and drove up to the GC. We stayed there overnight and then drove down to Sedona, where we stayed for 5 nights. Superb scenery everywhere you look.
Hotel | "Hyatt Pinion Pointe"
We didn't use the pool, but it looked nice. They had a gas fire pit near the pool area that was lit each night—toasty warm! We had a red rocks view from both balconies. The concierge booked reservations for dinner and tours—excellent service and follow-up. The maid service was outstanding. They have a kids’ day camp, fitness room, and limited spa menu.
We had a perfect stay and will definitely stay here again.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 2, 2005
Hyatt Pinon Pointe
1 NORTH HIGHWAY 89 A
Sedona, Arizona 86336
Hotel | "Yavapi Lodge"
The room we had at Yavapai was very, very basic. You could hear a lot through the walls, so it wasn't very quiet. The main door to the room was loud; you could hear when the neighbors left the room. Not a lot to do around there once it gets dark. There is a Yavapi Cafe adjacent to the lodge that serves food, and a gift shop is adjacent, as well. The post office is just steps away.
The money we paid was definitely due to the location and not the quality of the room. Regardless, it was a warm bed and a hot shower in the morning.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 2, 2005
Yavapai Lodge/Grand Canyon National Park Lodges
1/2 mile From the Rim
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
Restaurant | "Silver Saddle Room at the Cowboy Club"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 3, 2005
241 North State Route 89A
Sedona, Arizona 86336
This place is on a hillside, as the name suggestions, and has an outdoor dining area. It is located on the top level of the Hillside Shopping Center on Highway 179. The views of red rocks are great if you get seated by a window.
Their menu is varied. They have a good selection of seafood dishes and lunch sandwiches. They also have a dinner menu.
The service is slow and haphazard. We had to repeatedly ask for beverage refills. We were trying to work around a food allergy, and the wait staff/chef staff was less than helpful and didn’t seem very knowledgeable about their menu or the ingredients they use. They ended up serving my husband something he was allergic to. Luckily, we could tell before he ate anything.
On top of the poor service, the food just wasn’t that good for the price we paid. You can't get a specialty salad for less than $8.75. Most will run you about $11 or more. Their cheapest sandwich - a hamburger - will run about $8, and add-ons, such as cheese and bacon, will cost you $1 each.
The place was packed, but we weren't impressed. Maybe their dinner staff/food is better, but their lunch left much to be desired.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 17, 2005
Shugrue's Hillside Grill
671 State Route 179
Sedona, Arizona 86336
The décor is warm and modern. Low-hanging lights cast a glow over the dining area. A small balcony is lit only by candlelight. The décor seems to imply that you need to dress up, but casual is just fine here. Most of the people dining the night we were showed up in business casual. Their bar seemed to be a popular place for having an after-work drink.
We dined out on the small, open-air balcony. We had a front-row seat to catch the colors of the sunset and red rocks and then we enjoyed a candle-lit dinner. Their menu is casually elegant: they offer specialty pizzas, sandwiches, salads, pasta, and specialties including mushroom cannelloni and lobster ravioli. We tried the chicken parmesan and the filet. The parmesan was rather salty, but otherwise good. The filet was juicy and tender.
Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu and the wines they served, and he was very personable and attentive.
The prices are moderate. Salads, pizzas, and sandwiches will run you anywhere from $9-$14. Entrees go from $11-$18, with the most expensive dish being the filet at $27.
The inside dining area is quite spacious. There’s plenty of room, so reservations are not required.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 1, 2005
Bice Grand Café
101 Highway 89A
Sedona, Arizona 86351
Attraction | "Pink Jeep Tours - Ancient Ruins"
We haven't gone on any of the other tours offered by Pink Jeep, but if we get a chance, we will definitely choose this company again. Pink Jeep also has a Las Vegas tours outlet. Visit them at pinkjeeptours.com.
Pink Jeep Tours
204 North State Route 89A
Sedona, Arizona 86339
Our day started at 6:30am as we walked outside and got our first daylight glimpse of Arizona. We drove north to Flagstaff, watching the sun illuminate the rocks in the distance. My husband enjoyed the 75mph speed limit right outside of Phoenix.
Past Flagstaff, we saw what I think was a grove of birch trees, with yellow-gold leaves bright in the sun atop the long, skinny white trunks. A white-peaked mountain came into view soon after. Many people stopped off to the side of the road to snap pictures. I believe it was Kendrick Peak we saw. We then came across an area that had been damaged by wildfires. This was probably part of the damage caused by the Arizona fires a couple of years back.
The road to the Grand Canyon from Flagstaff is a two-lane highway with a 55mph speed limit, much to my husband's dismay. As we drove along, we noticed the color palette. It was subdued and spectacular at the same time. Rich, red earth peeked out between pine trees and yellow and green grass. Scenery changed quickly at times, from forest to desert and back again.
The Grand Canyon—to this day, I still have trouble grasping the vastness of this wonder. I stood at the edge and wondered how the settlers and Native Americans must have felt as they came upon this landmark.
Before setting out on our canyon adventure, we had lunch at the Bright Angel Restaurant. It's a casual dining experience with a friendly, family atmosphere. We had a short 10-minute wait. Once seated, my husband chose the Adobo Grilled Chicken sandwich and a margarita, and I had a Bright Angel burger with a soft drink. Would have loved to try the Chocolate Suicide Cake, but I was full, and the last thing I wanted to do was roll off the side of the canyon. Prices were just about what I expect to pay for lunch at home.
After satisfying our hunger, we took one of the free shuttles to the Canyon View Information Plaza, and then we walked along the Rim Trail back toward Bright Angel Lodge. We explored the gift shops and addressed a few postcards to friends. The lovely stamp machine at the post office didn't like our money, but luckily, one of the gifts shops sold stamps. So I was able to get the Grand Canyon postmark on the cards. Note to self: next time, bring your own stamps! Outside of the El Tovar Hotel, a kind woman offered to take our picture together in front of the canyon. By the time we got back to the Bright Angel, it was almost time for our dinner place to open.
The Arizona Room was recommended for dinner. As the place is rather small, we were told to get there early and wait in line. It was worth it. We were offered a table right next to the window, perfect for gazing at the wondrous canyon and the people. Even if the food hadn't been good, I could have sat there until it was dark, looking out that window. No worries—the food was fabulous, and again, the prices were fair. I went for the chicken this time—a half-roast with a pistachio rub—and my husband had the New York Strip steak. As always, we complemented our dinner fare with the house Cabernet. As the sun began to set, we took a few more pictures and headed to our Yavapai Lodge room, happy and tired from our full day of adventure.
We were driving along, and all of the sudden there was a canyon! The drive through Oak Creek Canyon is absolutely breathtaking. At every turn, I was craning my neck to take in everything. In October, the leaves were turning, adding to the sensory overload. It's a two-lane road, so there was traffic, but we weren't in a hurry to get anywhere. This is a location I would love to see in each season, especially winter. I took some amazing pictures during that drive.
We got into Sedona around lunchtime. Our room wasn't ready, so we left our cell number and headed to a cantina uptown. Vista Cantina suited the bill, as we were both ready for some margaritas. The view is superb; as we dined, we stared out the large windows at the magnificent red rocks.
While we waited for our room, we explored uptown. There were lots of shops and places to eat. We finally settled at a coffee shop with a perfect view of Snoopy Rock. Soon, it was time to go explore our room.
The in-town tour stops off at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and you are given some time to explore the chapel. There are plenty of opportunities for pictures. We learned about the history of the town and the driver gave us some good tips for places to visit on our own.
The trolley also stops in the Dry Creek Valley for photo opportunities of the majestic red rocks.
If you just want to take one tour, you can do so for $10/person. Get on the Trolley at the Depot in the middle of Uptown Sedona, or find the pick-up spot nearest your hotel. There's a good chance you'll get to ride along with the owner, Armor. He's just an all-around terrific guy and has owned the Sedona Trolley since 1993. He's spent 30 years as a tour guide in various places, so he knows how to do it right!
I highly recommend the Sedona Trolley as the "Best First Thing To Do In Sedona."