A week before my trip to Arizona, someone asked me if I was planning to go to Sedona. I looked at them puzzled, and asked: “What’s in Sedona?” They told me Sedona is one of the most beautiful places in the country. I absolutely had to go there. I spent approximately five seconds googling this place and realized I 100% had to go there. Two hours of research and planning later, a day trip to Sedona was adding to my itinerary.
Sedona is located approximately 2 hours from Phoenix. Surrounded by red rock mountains and canyons, the scenery in Sedona is unbelievable. Around town, you can find an abundance of hiking trails, spa resorts, and unbelievable food!
Some fun facts:
- Sedona sits an elevation of 4500 feet above sea level!
- Sedona is home to vortexes of concentrated energy that are popular with new age thinkers
- The canyon walls feature 9 different layers of rock, from 9 different geological eras, dating back millions of years
- 4 million or more people visit Sedona every year
- Oprah Winfrey has a home in Sedona, as do Jerry Seinfeld, Cameron Diaz, and other celebrities!
Where to Hike
Surrounded by red rock formations, there are not many people who would come to Sedona and not hike a single trail. I’m not an experienced hiker at all – but I love to hike when in a mountainous destination. A simple, beginners hike is good enough for me. I think it really helps me get a feel for the destination. Sedona was no exception.
While hiking in Sedona, I was astonished by the beauty. The hike I selected was much more advanced than I anticipated and my fear of heights made me wonder more than once if I would make it to the top… well, guess what, I did! I saw the most beautiful scenery fromt he top of Cathedral Rock!
Some of the popular trails include West Fork Trail, Cathedral Rock Trail, Devil’s Bridge, Soldiers Pass, Boynton Canyon, and Bell Rock. For more about these trails, check out Hiking in Sedona.
Even if it’s not hot out, don’t forget water and sunscreen. And if you intend on parking, you may be required to buy a $5 Red Rock Pass. No worry, there are meters at all of the lots by the trailheads that you can buy a pass at! I believe they also offer weeklong passes for a reduced rate.
What to Do
While Sedona has dozens of hiking trails to choose from, there’s more to this beautiful town than hiking. Shopping around downtown is very touristy. You can find some native American jewelry or unique pieces as well! We stopped at the local fudge shop to grab some goodies for the drive home, and I picked up some cactus jelly as a souvenir for my parents.
There are pink jeep tours of the canyons. Insider tip – on the offseason they are super inexpensive and I was told you can even ask for a shorter tour if you don’t have a full hour or two to commit.
We spent an hour heading to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This church is perfectly built into the red rocks. We parked near the top, and took in the views from the Chapel, peeked inside and experienced this unbelievable manmade wonder. Afterward, we drove up to the Airport Mesa to take in the views. Had we not needed to be in Phoenix earlier, we would have loved to watch the sunset there. I can only imagine how the rocks would glisten as the sun sets.
There is also M Diamond Ranch. M Diamond Ranch is a 100-year-old, family-owned farm that is known for horseback riding. Options include both daytime rides and sunset rides which are accompanied by a cowboy cookout barbecue. This is definitely on my to-do list for my next visit to town.
Another two hours North of Sedona is the Grand Canyon, making it an easy day trip if you were staying in Sedona for more than a day or two!
Where to Eat
I had a marvelous lunch at the Tii Gavo at The Enchantment Resort right on to outskirt of Sedona. They have a large patio with beautiful red rock views. People sit around the bonfire and enjoy appetizers and Tii Gavo’s specialty drinks.
Similarly, Mariposa is a Latin restaurant that also has red rock views and an outdoor patio. It is a little closer to the town center than Tii Gavo, and they take reservations!
Dining al fresco seems to be a must in Arizona. Sitting outside, enjoying the fresh air and red rocks… there’s no better way to spend the day in Sedona! A nice hike, a stroll around town, and a delicious meal to top off the day. That’s the way to really do Sedona…
Have you been to Sedona? What recommendations do you have? Let me know in the comments below! I already can’t wait for my next visit to the land of red rocks!