We then drove to Sedona (2.5 hours). You could skip this side trip if you needed to shorten the vacation or wanted to visit Sedona as part of another trip to southern Arizona. You would simply drive on to the Grand Canyon. But I will say the drive is beautiful coming from that direction. The road winds through, up, and over a forest and warns of suicidal deer and elk who risk jumping into the road at every turn.
You can find a lot of places to stay in Sedona so that is really just personal preference. Sedona is a great place to walk around and see the town. Or we have done the Pink Jeep tour in the past which the children will love as they take you up into the red rock portions of the area and very quick decent back down (parents holding on tight while the kids were laughing and holding up their arms).
For lunch, we stop at Sedona Memories Bakery. It’s a block off the main path and seems to be a favorite with locals. They make sandwiches like their Turkey/Cranberry which is humorously large. So if you plan your trip right you can be in Sedona by lunch; enjoy a sandwich on the bakery patio complete with backyard plastic chairs and end your day with a Pink Jeep Tour or shopping at the Tlaquepaque Village.
For dinner, the Enchantment Resort restaurant will take reservations whether you are staying there or not; and has a sweeping views of the valley and cliffs as the sun sets on their large patio facing the red cliffs. You can even play a game of Bocce ball on the lawn with a beer or glass of wine after dinner as the sun goes down.
And for more details on surrounding areas see our full itineraries for Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, New Mexico/Arizona or Moab/Dunton Hot Springs or destination notes for the Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, Zion/Bryce Canyon, Amangiri/Slot Canyons, Route 66, Arches, Canyonlands, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Tucson, Phoenix, and Albuquerque.