Sedona, Arizona is one of the most enchanting places you can visit in the American Southwest. The whole region is said to be home to many energetic vortices, and anyone who has even the slightest spiritual inclination has probably flocked there to meditate or practice yoga in these sacred spaces.
I like to say I'm spiritual-lite, while slightly skeptical, but even I feel like I've just had half a glass of wine the moment I enter the valley.
Sedona is great for hiking, biking, swimming, relaxing, yoga-ing, meditating, eating, walking and so much more! There's even a small wine country area about a 30 minute drive away in Cottonwood, AZ.
Where to Stay
There are a variety of options for accomodations in Sedona. They range from campsites to Airbnbs to fancy hotels. Here are some of my favorites.
What to See
Hike: I have two favorite hikes in Sedona. Fay Canyon Trail and Bell Rock Trail.
Fay Canyon is an easy 2.3 mile trail that takes you winding through one of Sedona's loveliest and most breath-taking canyons. The area was sacred to the Yavapai native people and houses one of their oldest sacred sites. The end of the trail offers some opportunities for climbing and bouldering where you'll get to see some spectacular views of the valley.
Bell Rock is a unique walking path that is about a mile to the base of the rock. There are opportunies to climb up to different levels on the rock where you can sit and meditate if you so choose. Bell Rock is one of Sedona's famous Vortices. (That's plural for Vortex.)
Swim: Slide Rock State Park is a fantastic to place to cool off, especially if you're traveling with young ones. The creek makes for a natural water slide along the smooth rock cliffs. There are opportunities for jumping into the deep pools as well! $20-$30 parking fee depending on day.
Crescenet Moon Picnic Area also has many lovely places to swim, wade and float. There is a $10 parking entry fee, but it's woth it!
Wine Taste: Cottonwood, AZ is just a short drive from Sedona and is host to several lovely wine tasting rooms. It's the heart of the Verde Valley Wine trail and is a great place to day trip. I love Burning Tree Cellars, Winery 101 and Alcantara Vineyards.
Get Your History On: Jerone, Arizona is just a short 30 minute drive from Sedona and it's one of the oldest mining towns in the region. It's a great spot for vintage shopping, ghost tours, and there's a fabulous museum, visitor's center and state park.
Where to Eat
I will admit that I've never had a bad meal in Sedona and I've been there a half a dozen times in the last decade. I do have a few favorite places to each and each one has a specific reason. Due to it's location, you won't be surprised that Sedona offers delicious Southwestern and Mexican cuisine. Here are a couple of gems you don't want to miss.
89 Agave makes one of the best Jalapeño Margarita's I've ever had. In fact it is so popular in my circle that it inspired my mom to try to re-create it as what she refers to as the "Paula-Rita". The food here is also fantastic. You truly cannot go wrong with any menu item. Also the views on the patio are truly spectacular.
One of the best views you can have while having dinner is at Sedona Mesa Grill right next to Sedona Airport. Both the restaurant and the airport are located up on top of a large mesa and the views up there cannot be beat! Plus it's fun to watch planes take off and land. Leave time to watch the sunset either before or after your meal.