On our trek from sea to shining sea, we’ve driven past some beautiful scenery and changing landscapes. We’ve passed through the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, seen the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, experienced the Ozarks in Missouri, and watched the flat, green landscape of Oklahoma turn into the desert of New Mexico and Arizona. With all the gorgeous scenery the US has to offer, how are we possibly to choose which routes are absolutely necessary to drive and which are okay to skip?! Well, we’ve found that there is one road that is definitely worth the 45 minutes it takes to drive: Scenic Highway 89a. This scenic road takes you from Flagstaff, AZ to Sedona, AZ, through the lush Ponderosa Pine forest and into the Oak Creek Canyon.
The road is full of switchbacks and steep curves hugging the canyon, so unfortunately the driver (in this case Dan) didn’t get to take in the magnitude of the gorgeous views as his eyes were glued to the road to ensure that our car didn’t go tumbling off a cliff. Be prepared to follow speed limit signs and take your time navigating this one.
Along the way you’ll see mesmerizing red rock cliffs, tall and lush green pines, and a gently trickling blue creek. Vacation homes and Inns dot the entire drive, and there are multiple places to pull over and snap a few photos of the landscape (although you do have to pay a parking fee to do so). The short drive of Scenic Highway 89a ends in the quaint town of Sedona, the perfect stop for picking up some Native American crafts or just grabbing ice cream in relief of the heat. Definitely plan to spend some time on this road if you can—there are multiple hiking and picnicking options ready to lead you into tranquil relaxation!
*Disclaimer: We are about a week behind on our blog. With limited access to internet and trying to get our documents ready for Taiwan, we’ve fallen a little behind. So even though we’re blogging about Arizona, we’re currently in Santa Cruz, CA :-D