First Sedona, Arizona. Well….we were not expecting what we found. With all the hype that everyone talks about Sedona, we were anxious to get there and explore. We’ve been trying for a couple years now to get to this town but things just never lined up quite right. This time, we left Cottonwood early (Sedona’s only a half hour drive) so we would have the whole day to explore.
The drive in to Sedona was beautiful. The red rocks and high peaks, gorgeous. When you get into town, not so much. While we were there on a weekday and it was not crowded, we did find it more difficult to get around than we had thought. We were hoping to just park and stroll around the streets but the way Sedona is laid out, you really do need a car or you’ll be walking quite a bit.
The thing that disappointed us most about Sedona was how touristy it was/felt. There was this one area of shopping that you could get out and walk around easily, but the shops were filled with cheap t-shirts, magnets and trinkets galore. There were booths set up on the sidewalk to take Jeep tours and helicopter tours and all sorts of tours. And let’s face it, if you have been to Sedona, you know how expensive everything is/can be. We looked around for a place to have lunch and it was crazy the prices they were charging out there. Too touristy for us. We ended up leaving Sedona and having lunch back in Cottonwood. As far as Sedona, we feel we were disappointed with what we thought we were getting into. The surrounding area, yes, a definite great place, great hiking. The town itself, we don’t see a need to go back.
UPDATED ADDED: Based on comments posted below from what seems to be from people that work or live in Sodona who do not know us vs readers of our blog, we wanted to add this…
Thanks for your comments. Some of you more than likely came here based on someone mentioning this post somewhere as you surely do not seem to be readers of an RV travel blog. If you were, you would clearly know that we go everywhere and post about everything and we call it like WE see it. We all have our opinions and that is what makes traveling great as well as being about to write about the experience. We have been doing this from 2008 and are one of the top RV travel blogs.
Yes, our experience was less than wonderful with the town that we had built up in our heads as something more. This build up more than likely is from the marking your town does.(So kudos to them.) But it is that same town that let a Del-Sol, a worldwide, only found in tourist areas, t-shirt place setup shop so that says something about direction. When you are then flooded with people trying to get you to take tours and come to a time share, again, tourist area comes to mind. You want a better experience to be posted, ask your town tourist association to clean up on that type of experience and ask the tour companies to better reflect the town and area with colors that fit the area. There are rules for the buildings and how they must look, the same should be true for the businesses. We do applaud not having major chain restaurants as we always seek out mom and pop places to eat as that we find is the best experience. And yes, some good food can surely be had!
You know also what we kind of found interesting in the comments made, it seems that the only ones disagreeing with us, for the most part, is the local business owners or workers that somehow found this post. This blog gets picked up all over the Internet in may areas that deal with RV and traveling and looking at comments in other places, well, we seems to have hit it mostly on the head so it is not just us. When people tend to agree with liking a small ghost town like Jerome better than a major stop with all it’s marking that draws people in. That says something.
Yes, Sedona has some great views, great trails, great art and that is what we came for. However that was quickly ruined, for us, by what is allowed to take place by the town.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment on behalf of Sedona. You do have some nice points.
Jerome, Arizona on the other hand was wonderful. We read that this was an old Copper mining town and now they tout it as an old ghost town. Well…it is an interesting old town that is nestled inside a mountainside. Ghost town, I’m not so sure of as it still is a working town that people still live in.
The drive up to Jerome is incredible. The views are a plenty and when you get closer, their is a great pull off scenic overlook area that you really can see the whole town and the Copper mines below. At the scenic overlook it also has some signs telling you the story behind Jerome.
Jerome was actually cut out of the mountain. So the streets run literally up and down the mountainside. It’s an easy town to get out and walk around but remember that when walking, you are at a higher elevation than you were in Cottonwood where you started. Plus, the hillsides and the steep inclines of the streets make for quite a little hike. Due to the 30-degree incline of the mountainside, gravity has pulled a number of buildings down the slope. A lot of great information can be found here about Jerome and it’s history.
We very much enjoyed walking around this town. So much so, we went back a couple days later. The views alone are totally worth it. The quaint little shops were good and we did not get that touristy feeling, even though this is a “tourist” town.
One of the really interesting things in Jerome is all the old historical buildings. They are everywhere up there. One neat one we found interesting was the old Liberty Theater. It was the original theater that opened in 1918 and featured silent movies and vaudeville acts. It was passed around to different owners and eventually sat empty for years until the current owners bought it and are in the process of restoring it to its original glory.
There are quite a few restaurants in Jerome and the two that we went to were both good. The first day we went to Grapes, a restaurant that was the original Pony Express Station back in the early 1900’s. They have good food and they help you pair local wines to your order.
However the next time we went up to Jerome we found Haunted Hamburger. It got great reviews online and it certainly did not disappoint.
Their burgers were wonderful and they make a super yummy shake that was plenty to share.
They have a wonderful outdoor patio with a great view of the Verde Valley and the San Fransisco Peaks that are 50 miles away!
It was a bummer that the outdoor patio was full when we went there. We ended up sitting at the bar for lunch. Which is not bad because everywhere you sit in the restaurant, you can still get a great outdoor view with their giant floor to ceiling windows.
So would we go back Jerome? Yes, for sure. We very much enjoyed Jerome and all that it had to offer. In the two days that we spent exploring Jerome, we never did get to the many museums and historical parks that they have.
We had to save something for next time after all.