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Arizona adventures

Recently on this site I have been touting some of the benefits of planning a trip to Phoenix and the “Valley of the Sun,” including last month’s coverage of the Cactus League spring training baseball season. However, I surely wouldn’t want to suggest visiting Arizona in the springtime without also including some time in the north/central part of the state. 

Conveniently located just a couple of hours north of the Phoenix area via I-17, this fascinating region encompasses the Verde Valley, Mogollon Rim, the colorful Sedona Red Rocks Country, and of course, the incomparable Grand Canyon. 

One of the advantages of using either Sedona or Flagstaff as a “base” for exploring everything the area has to offer is the convenience of being able to unpack and “settle in” for an extended stay. Although Sedona is more expensive, such is to be expected due to its widespread recognition as a very scenic, upscale resort community.  

I am partial to the Kokopelli Suites, a smaller property, conveniently located with very attractive accommodations, great service and attractive rates, which makes it an ideal location for a superior “hub & spoke” vacation. 

Flagstaff, the commercial center of Northern Arizona and home of Northern Arizona University, boasts a wide variety of lodging choices in every price range. My favorites include the full-service Radisson Woodlands Hotel for upscale groups, the Drury Inn & Suites in the moderate range, and the Aspen Inn Suites for more economy-minded travelers.

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America.  He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small.  He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see.  He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible.  His blog, “Travels with Bob,” appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”.

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at or by calling (435) 590-1553.

Cholla cacti and Sedona red rocks

Sedona Red Rocks Jeep Tour

Verde Canyon Railroad Excursion