Our Enchanted 2017 Multigenerational Vacation in Sedona, Arizona at the Enchantment Resort and the Grand Canyon: Part III The Best Itinerary for Sedona, the Enchantment Resort, and the Grand Canyon

Once the entire multigenerational family agreed on location and travel arrangements, this Grandma went to work on the best itinerary for the vacation in Sedona, at the Enchantment Resort, and for the Grand Canyon.  Tripadvisor is a great resource.  It is this Grandma’s first choice.  I also check Conde Nast Traveler on line, Travel and Leisure on line, New York Times Travel on line, and at least one local website for the location, such as an Insider guide or local magazine.  I star those activities, attractions and restaurants that appear on more than one guide.  I send each adult a draft itinerary several months before travel, and include links to websites and restaurant options, for their input.  Ultimately, Grandpa and I decide on the final itinerary.

Day 1 Arrival

After pickup of rental vans at the Phoenix airport, the drive to Sedona, Arizona, averages two hours by highway.  We did not take the scenic route, as grandchildren in cars tend to be on electronics and not paying attention to scenery, no matter how beautiful.  Leaving the highway, once we hit the south end of Sedona proper, the Sedona red rocks become visible and electronics are turned off.  We drove past Bell Rock, a vortex site on our way to central Sedona, and planned lunch in Sedona at Hillside Shopping Center at Javelina Cantina.

Here is the description of Javelina Cantina from the internet:

“Named for the area’s hairy, stinky peccaries (wild pigs), this lively joint serves kids’ meals as well as quesadillas, fruit cocktails, tacos, burritos or enchiladas. Adults may prefer the ceviche, carne asada (roast meat) or salmon tostada (grilled salmon) with mango and black bean salsa. Finish off with churros (deep-fried Spanish pastry) or honey-topped, cinnamon-sugar sopapillas.”

They have a children’s menu and gluten free options.  There was something for everything and everything was delicious.  The service was prompt and able to handle large groups.

Javelina Cantina, 671 Highway 179, Sedona, AZ, 86336, 928-282-1313

Daily 11:30AM-9PM and. . . .

For supplies, water, and snacks, on the way to the hotel, we stopped at:

Safeway 2300 W. State Route 89A

There is a Whole Foods just a blocks away toward the Enchantment.  Whole Foods Market 1420 W. State Route 89A l

It was twenty minutes to the hotel and, after a morning of travel, this Grandma planned that the remainder of the day would be spent exploring and enjoying all that the resort had to offer.  We could enjoy the beautiful sunset and see if they were going to have an Indian Ceremony, which we saw the first time we were at the Enchantment.

We ate dinner outside overlooking the amazing scenery at the reasonably priced casual restaurant with Southwestern specialties, a children’s menu and gluten free options.  Tii Gavo has a firepit and heat lamps too if it becomes to cool.

Our evening family activity was “Twilight: Stargazing,” an activity provided by the Resort.

Day 2 The Resort and Pink Jeep Tour

The morning was spent enjoying all the resort offered.  In the afternoon, this Grandma scheduled the Pink Jeep Tour, listed on Tripadvisor as the number one activity in Sedona.  The family decided to go bumpy and short, an hour and a half tour, the Pink Jeep Scenic Rim Tour, described in detail on their website.

PINK JEEP TOURS: 204 AZ-89A, Sedona, AZ 86336 800-873-3662


The grandchildren and the adults LOVED this tour.  The grandchildren said they considered this ten stars, and equal to the helicopter over the Grand Canyon!

The tour was closer to two hours.  David, the tour guide and driver, was rated ten stars by everyone.  Parking is a problem in North Sedona where the tour is located, and the company will pick up and deliver you for free.  This is a very touristy area of Sedona and we wandered around after dinner at Saltrock Southwest Kitchen, 100 Amara Ln, Sedona, AZ 86336-5174, a top rated restaurant. It is one of top new restaurants and has an extensive children’s menu and gluten free options.   It was fabulous.

Menus can be found here.

Walking around North Sedona tourist shops, we stopped for what is considered the best ice cream in Sedona at the Black Cow Café, 229 N State Route 89a, Sedona, AZ 86336-4219. 10:30 am – 9:00 pm.  The lines are always out the door and the ice cream is worth the wait.  We buy the grandchildren playing cards with scenes from our various travels.  We brought Sedona playing cards for each family with beautiful Sedona scenery.  They were hard to find, and sold out at many of the shops.  The parents of our grandchildren have continued this tradition of buying scenic playing cards on travel on their nuclear family vacations, which makes Grandpa and me happy.

Day 3 The Resort and Family Hike

There is so much to do at the Enchantment for everyone of all ages, and we took advantage of everything.  There was face painting, sundae bar, tennis, pool, bocce ball, ping pong, movies, the spa and so much more.  See previous post, Part II and the link to the Enchantment website showing activities.

We had planned a family hike for mid morning, but those adults who had hiked and gone mountain biking the previous day recommended early morning to avoid the sun and heat.  From the Enchantment website:

“ The canyon has long been known as a place of spiritual inspiration and healing. According to Yavapai-Apache legend, it is where First Woman – with the sun and rain gods – restored the tribe to their long-cherished land. This vivid landscape was and is home to a variety of Native American tribes including the Hopi, Yavapai, Apache and Navajo.”

The Boynton Vista trail up to the mother vortex natural stone spire is the shortest trail at the Enchantment, 1.2 miles roundtrip, and easily navigated by all members of the family, including the six year old.  From the top, you get vast views of many rock formations, including Deadman’s Pass and Mescal Mountain to the east; Capitol Butte, Chimney Rock, and Courthouse Butte to the south; and Boynton Canyon and the Enchantment Rock.  There is a locked gate near the spa which gives you direct access to the trail from the resort.  The gate is opened with your key.

We enjoyed lunch outside at Tii Gavo and ate dinner at a local Italian restaurant, voted new #1and best gluten free restaurant on Tripadvisor, which also had a wonderful children’s menu, fifteen minutes from hotel.  They did not take reservations, but accommodated us in minutes in their outside terrace seating.  The food and service were outstanding.  We could easily have eaten there every day.

Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen. 1855 W State Route 89a, Sedona, AZ 86336-5557  928-282-4140

Day 4 A Day At the Grand Canyon By Air and Land

Grandpa and I are into experiencing the Wonders of the World, and introducing them to our grandchildren.  We had previously been to the Grand Canyon by air and land, and feel that seeing all of the Grand Canyon by air allows you to better understand why it is a natural wonder.  It was also affording our grandchildren their very first helicopter ride.

Using the highway route, it is a two hour drive north to the Grand Canyon Airport.  Despite trying to avoid scenic routes, the first part of the drive is through beautiful Oak Creek Canyon, and slow going, with windy narrow roads and mountain vistas.

GRAND CANYON BY AIR: Maverick Helicopters, AZ-64, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023 Phone:(928) 638-2622

Researching safety records, and reviewing Tripadvisor reviews, this Grandma chose Maverick Helicopters for our previous flight over the Grand Canyon, and were very satisfied, so chose them again for the entire family.  We watched the video of the helicopter with each of our grandchildren during the planning stage:

We warned everyone that the initial helicopter ride is over the forest and then, all of a sudden, the ground drops from under you and you are several thousand feet over the canyon.  The helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon with Maverick Helicopters is a wonderful way to experience this natural wonder of the world. The helicopter ride was considered spectacular by the entire family and received ten stars from our grandchildren.


The website is very informative and gives you maps and detailed information on the Grand Canyon.

From the airport, it is an additional twenty minute drive north to Grand Canyon Village.  Maswik Food Court at Maswik Village affords every member of the family choices for lunch.  There are four individual food stations with hot and cold food, hamburgers and hot dogs, hot sandwiches and deli sandwiches.  Open 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  We found it adequate for a quick lunch.

Seeing the Canyon from Mather Point near the Visitor’s Center is where we went next. Mather Point viewing area is quite extensive, the point has two narrow, railed overlooks built on projecting rocks.  It is over the oldest area of the Grand Canyon.

From the Visitor’s Center, there are shuttle bus routes from 50 minutes round trip to hours to various viewing points and to the Museum, and instructions on how to hike portions of the shuttle bus routes.

We planned to do the Orange Route shuttle bus, the shortest shuttle route. “This figure-eight route provides transportation between Grand Canyon Visitor Center and five scenic viewpoints, including Yavapai Geology Museum, which looks at the Grand Canyon’s rich geologic history. “ However, everyone voted to go back to the Enchantment, as seeing the entire Grand Canyon from the helicopter, was more exciting than from the ground.

That night we splurged on the award winning restaurant at the Enchantment Resort, Che Ah Chi, where the ambiance, food and service were outstanding.  There is a wonderful children’s menu.

Day 5 Slide Rock State Park and Kahina Dolls

A dear friend, who grew up in Sedona, suggested that the family go to Slide Rock State Park, about thirty minutes from the Enchantment.  Slide Rock State Park has a natural rock formation that acts as a water slide of sorts.  You must go early as the small parking area fills up quickly. The grandchildren loved the slide but commented that the water was freezing cold.  A ranger said it was 47 degrees.  Our friend recommended that the grandchildren wear jeans and they said it was a great idea, as it gave them traction on the rocks.  The park is in Oak Creek Canyon with beautiful views of the red rocks.  We adults all took bets as to how long the grandchildren would slide and swim in that cold water.  This Grandma planned one and one half hours at this park, and won the bet.

Slide Rock State Park, 6871 N. Highway 89A, Sedona, AZ, 86336, 928-282-3034

Daily 8AM-5PM $10 vehicle entry fee

Our friend also told us about the Garlands, an old family from the Sedona area, and that we should eat and shop at Garland’s family stores. Garland’s Market was on the way back, about a mile from the park, and, for lunch, we enjoyed delicious sandwiches and desserts, selected at a self service counter and then delivered to the garden area with tables in the back.  We met locals there who asked how we found this gem.

Garland’s Indian Gardens Cafe & Market 3951 N. State Route 89a Sedona, Arizona 86336

(928) 282-6632 Hours: 10am-5pm Daily http://indiangardens.com/

Next door, there was a Garland’s shop.  The shopkeepers were very pleasant to the children and taught them about several items in the store.  Each grandchild was able to learn about select an inexpensive original Kachina doll as a souvenir of their stay in Indian territory.  Learn about Kachina dolls on their website.

What was interesting was the hand painted doll each grandchild selected, which was spiritually appropriate to each child.  What a wonderful experience with helpful, informative, and patient sales help.

Garland’s Indian Jewelry, Inc. 3953 N. State Route 89A Sedona, Arizona 86336

Our friend told us about the Rainbow Trout Farm, about a half mile toward Sedona, where for a dollar the grandchildren can fish at the farm (which is much easier than fishing in the river).  They give you bait and rods to use so you don’t have to worry about equipment. There is no catch and release so you also have to pay for the fish –they will clean them for you but if cooking fish is not on your itinerary so maybe you can ask them if you can donate the fish when you catch them.  We did not stop as the grandchildren were not interested in fishing after lunch, nor did we stop at her other Garland suggestion.

Rainbow Trout Farm

3500 N Highway 89A Sedona, Arizona 86336 Phone (928) 282-5799

Garland’s Navajo Rugs. 411 State Route 179 Sedona, Arizona 86336 (928) 282-4070 |

The remainder of the afternoon was spent at the Enchantment Resort, which you can see had enough to keep the grandchildren busy for days.

Dinner was off the resort property again, exploring Sedona, about ten minutes away at a restaurant described on Tripadvisor as one of the best new restaurants, the Golden Goose American Grill, which was wonderful.

The Golden Goose American Grill. 2545 W State Route 89a, Sedona, AZ 86336-5255


We left the next morning and all agreed that Sedona, The Enchantment Resort, and The Grand Canyon was the best multigenerational vacation yet.

Consider making it one of yours.









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