Scottsdale has achieved national status as a world-class vacation destination, famous for its deluxe resorts, trendy fine dining, upscale shopping--not mention some of the best golf in the world. This thriving desert metropolis also makes a perfect base for exploring other scenic corners of Arizona. Located just two hours north of Scottsdale, Sedona makes for an easy and memorable Arizona day trip. Here we recommend some can't-miss sights as you voyage deep into the heart of Arizona's red rock country.
Explore the history and natural beauty of Slide Rock State Park, a popular Sedona attraction. — Photo courtesy of flickr/Edwin Davila Photography
Stop and Stretch Your Legs at a Unique National Monument
Located about an hour and a half north of Scottsdale in the town of Camp Verde, Montezuma Castle National Monument offers a fascinating glimpse into the Sinagua culture that once called this part of Arizona home. The monument is not a castle, but an ancient cliff dwelling built approximately seven centuries ago. The self-guided, 1/3-mile loop trail guides you past the five-story cliff dwelling and a grove of sycamore trees.
Visit One of Sedona's Most Popular Parks
For the nature lover's and history buffs in your group, plan a visit to Slide Rock State Park, one of the jewels in the Arizona State Parks system. This 43-acre historic apple farm is located in beautiful Oak Creek Canyon. The park is home to one of the last remaining homesteads in Oak Creek Canyon, a testament to the region's rich agricultural past.
The park is named after a slippery stretch of sandstone creek bottom that allows visitors to slide down the creek. The park is also famous for making appearances in classic westerns, including "Broken Arrow" with James Stewart and "Angel and the Badman" with John Wayne.
Experience the thrill of off-road exploration with a Sedona Pink Jeep Tour. — Photo courtesy of Pink Jeep Tours
Sip and Relax at Sedona's Award-Winning Brewery
Take a break from the trails at the Oak Creek Brewery, Sedona's only microbrewery and home to award-winning craft beers like the Oak Creek Amber Ale and the Horseshoe Hefeweizen. If you're hungry, head to the brewery's satellite location at the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village for mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers, bbq ribs and top-notch appetizers in a beautiful, Old World setting.
Take a Rollicking Jeep Tour of Red Rock Country
Only have a few hours to spend in Sedona? Go on a Pink Jeep Tour of the city and surrounding area for a fascinating look into the region's history and iconic scenery. There are numerous tours to choose from, including the popular Broken Arrow tour, which takes visitors on a heart-racing, off-road tour designed to showcase the natural beauty of Sedona.