Over the next few months, I will be sharing a series of blogs that will highlight my favorite road trips. Each post will use one of the country’s largest or more popular higher education institutions as a starting point and is one that can be accomplished in a day. I know that your average college student is not clearing six figures, so each destination will also be cost effective.
What better place to start the series than a school that is consistently in the top five for total student enrollment …
School: Arizona State University
Road Trip: Sedona, AZ
Type: Leisure or Activity
Have you ever watched an old western movie? Or the movie Sedona? No? Well then it is unlikely you have ever seen or heard of Sedona, Arizona. Regardless of its absent notoriety, Sedona is one of the more exquisite places in the United States. Trip Advisor listed it as number thirteen on the “Travelers Choice 2013 Top 25 Destinations in the United States”
Leisure: Swimming Holes
While there are many different ways you can enjoy Sedona, relaxation is probably the most common. Start your trip by visiting one of Sedona’s many “swimming holes.” Between Grasshopper Point, Slide Rock, and “The Crack” on Bell Trail, (to name a few) you will find amazing places to post up for the day. Some of Sedona’s “leisure spots” may require a short hike to get to, but the seclusion and refreshing swim you take at the end are worth the energy.
Looking for a challenging and famous hike? Try Devil’s Bridge! If you are looking for the road less traveled, this may not be the hike for you. The traffic is not that of Mill Avenue on a Friday night, but it is one of the more popular hikes in Sedona. Devil’s Bridge gets its name from it being exactly what it sounds like: a high up, narrow, and natural bridge. The hike to get there is not for the faint of heart, nor the unprepared hiker. Make sure you travel with lots of water and snacks (especially in the summer). Words cannot describe views from this hike and photos will not do it justice, even though I’ll try …
Food and Lodging: Junipine Resort
When you have returned to the downtown area from your swim or hike, you will most likely stumble upon a masseuse who will inform you of all the “cosmic energy” in Sedona. Downtown is quaint, with many great places to eat with a view. Just a little north, however, the Junipine Resort has the accommodations you’re looking for. Off of the woodsy and windy state road 89A, the Junipine Resort has incredible views, along with an affordable menu (complete with Happy Hour). When booking in advance, you can find a room here for less than $200/a night.
When you leave campus for this trip, make sure you consider the following:
- Do not leave your dorm room unlocked! Sure the people on your floor may be your friends, but the people who might steal your laptop are not. Make sure you have renters insurance incase the unfortunate (burglary, fire, pipe burst, etc.) happens while you’re out of town. You can purchase a policy designed for student’s here.
- Pack food, lots of water, and proper gear. There are stories every year in Arizona of hikers who get lost and die of heat exhaustion. Let a few friends know when and where you are hiking and don’t try to climb a mountain with flip-flops on.
- Don’t leave your significant other behind! Sedona can be a fun spot for guy’s/girls weekend, but it is a much better place for a romantic getaway. Beautiful backdrops and wineries, do not say “dude’s trip” to me.
There are few places in the United States that provide the unparalleled beauty that Sedona has to offer. If you’re attending Arizona State, Grand Canyon University, or another school in the area this fall and want to explore the Grand Canyon State, you owe it to yourself to make the drive to Sedona. And if you don’t like it, you are welcome to hassle me in the comments section of this blog.