Feb 27th, 2013, 12:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1

The historic downtown strip is only about 3 blocks long, however since its picturesque quaint old town days, rapid growth has spawned the development of strip malls, upscale restaurants, hotels, motels, jeep rides, gift shops, etc. up and down Highway 89A and 179. The beautiful red rocks are still there in the background, but the overall feeling of nature is being overshadowed by commercialization. If you plan to take a hike back into the canyons, expect to pay to park if you can even find a space. Illegally parked cars will be ticketed. This place is crowded and there are always lots of people on the shorter trails. Traffic tickets are also a significant income source for the city. Sedona does not collect property tax on their many multimillion dollar houses and that revenue loss is offset by income from tickets and fines generated by their 32 member police staff. Merchants are complaining that the strict overzealous police enforcement is hurting their business. I have to agree, sudden speed drops such as 40 to 15, 25 to 5, and some unbelievably low inappropriate speed limits, accompanied by hidden police, all seem like revenue generating speed traps to me. Additionally, there are so many traffic circles one after another with confusing double and single lanes, pedestrian and bicycle right of ways, making driving hazardous for people unfamiliar with them. In summary for those who have never visited Sedona before, it is not like the old western movies, prepare for the commercialization that I have described. Have an expensive meal, get a parking or speeding ticket, get lost or have a wreck in a traffic circle and imagine what it used to be like here. As for myself, I have vacationed in Sedona numerous times since the 70’s and definitely DO NOT plan to return.
RichardForsythe is offline  
Feb 27th, 2013, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,351
Welcome to Fodors. Sooooo - inquiring minds want to know, just how many tickets did you get, and did they keep you in jail overnight????
janisj is online now  
Feb 27th, 2013, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,776
Did you get to Oak Creek Canyon or Jerome? I try to avoid the touristy bit in the middle and hit the edges and beyond.
sheri_lp is offline  
Feb 27th, 2013, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Too bad you did not stay in the Village of Oak Creek, and enjoy the small community atmosphere there and the neighborhood restaurants and people there too. And it is close to Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock areas, n the outskirts of Sedona. Totally different than stayinn in Sedona, but the red rocks are right there.
emd3 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 04:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,477
If you just stop in the town of Sedona, you will be disappointed. It is not impressive. If you are a hiker, you will have a wonderful time. There are many hikes with great views of the red rocks and no crowds. We didn't have trouble with parking but we did buy a parking pass to park at the trailheads. I don't remember the cost but we bought it at the hotel.

We did visit in February which is the offseason but got a great rate at the Enchantment Resort. What a place to stay. We had one of the suites that includes the kitchen and livingroom with the murphy bed and huge patio. We were surrounded by Boynton Canyon. What a fabulous location.
LindainOhio is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Linda, I agree. People do not go to Sedona for the town. They go for the red rocks and incredible scenary. And that said, staying in uptown is not a good thing, IMO. It is much nicer to stay in Oak Creek, or out in west Sedona, or in Oak Creek Canyon. Those locales are much more a part of the red rocks and communities than the very touristy uptown area.
emd3 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2013, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Welcome to Fodors, Richard. Did you also go to every other travel forum to post your rant?

I have also been going to Sedona since around 1970. Back then, the Village of Oak Creek was nothing more than some mobile homes and a couple of real estate offices.

Yes, the area certainly has grown and, yes, the town has lost its appeal. But the scenery is as awesome as ever and it is not at all difficult to get away from the crowds.

I love that traffic signals have been replaced, in large part, by traffic circles. It used to be very stop and go all the way from the southern edge of VOC to uptown or west Sedona. Now traffic flows much more smoothly. Except, of course, when people like the OP don't have a clue how to drive through them.

Since about 2001, we have been visiting Sedona for at least a week every year and we will continue to do so. We have the Senior National Parks Pass, so no other fee is required to park at Trailheads. In any event, I think a pass for a week is something like $15, hardly a budget buster.

I am not aware of any "sudden speed drops" as described by the OP. Just as in any other town, yes, there are r3eductions in speed limits when you approach congested areas. But my recollection is of going from 40 to 35, then to 25 as you approach Sedona from West Sedona. And, from VOC, the speed is 35 the whole way right until you get into Sedona, where it drops.

I agree, the OP's rant is probably due to him getting speeding and parking tickets. Tough, but obey the laws and you will have no problems. I have never gotten a ticket in Sedona, although I once received a warning for going too fast coming down the last hill from West Sedona into Sedona.
MikePinTucson is offline  
Mar 10th, 2013, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 121
Thank you Richard for your honest review on Sedona. It becomes tiresome reading many sugary, glowing reviews of a location that certainly must have some negative aspects.
jamamac is offline  

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