There is definitely something special about Sedona, Arizona. One of the most beautiful and intriguing sceneries in the world, this city boasts red rock buttes and sacred vortex formations that will leave you wowed at worst, and spiritually awakened at best. A vortex is a natural geomagnetic point where energy is entering into, or radiating from the earth's plane, and moves in a spiral, forming unique rock formations and twisted plant life. There are other vortex sites throughout the world, including Stonehenge, Ayers Rock, Machu Picchu, and the Great Pyramids, but Sedona's vortex energy is reported to be among the strongest. These beneficial energy sources are said to facilitate balance, prayer, healing, and intuitiveness.
Traveling back from the Grand Canyon, it was an easy decision to add Sedona to our Arizona adventure. Sedona is located two hours from Phoenix and two hours from the Grand Canyon. The stunning landscape, Southwest inspired grub, vibrant art scene, and overall way of life in Sedona easily made it one of my new favorite destinations.
Where to Eat
We stumbled upon some incredible eats while staying in Sedona. If you're a health nut, vegan, or just like fresh, organic food, The ChocolaTree was our fave casual place to dine. Their extensive menu covers everything from fresh juices, smoothies, and starters to energizing entrees and decadent desserts. A peaceful and inviting outdoor space equipped with tranquil water features, hammocks, and wind chimes is the perfect place to relax and recharge.
Mariposa Latin inspired Grill was an outstanding upscale dining experience that we encountered while exploring Sedona. The South-American inspired food, flawless service, and panoramic sunset views were beyond impressive. Architecturally striking, inviting fire lit outdoor spaces, contemporary decor, creative menu and sizable wine list, Mariposa is sure to deliver a unique and unforgettable evening. Chef Lisa Dahl has three other restaurants in Sedona, all of which are award winning and worthy of a visit.
For authentic Southwestern fare, we stumbled upon El Rincon, known as Sedona's best and most visited Mexican restaurant with a native Navajo flair. Tucked away in the picturesque Tlaquepaque (no, that's not a typo), El Rincon offers indoor/outdoor seating and the freshest Mexican cuisine and margaritas. Before or after dining, stroll through the charming corridors of Tlaquepaque, which is a great transition to the "What to Do" section.
What To Do
HIKING - Every morning we woke up before dawn to beat the heat on the hiking trails. Day one we hiked Bell Tower and Courthouse Butte, a moderate 4.5 mile vortex trail, popular among hikers and bikers alike. The circular rock formations here look extraterrestial, and coincidentally, several UFO sightings have occurred here. This is said to be one of the strongest vortexes, and no climbing is required. This rock formation is iconic in Sedona, and a must see. I also recommend hiking Cathedral Rock, another stunning vortex rock formation lined with twisted Juniper trees and agave plants. To reach the trails' end, it is definitely an advanced hike and climb, but absolutely worth it for the views.
BELL ROCK & COURTHOUSE BUTTE
GOLFING - My husband is an avid golfer, so when presented with world class golf courses and no humidity, he had to squeeze in a couple rounds. Seven Canyons at Enchantment Resort is the most acclaimed course in Sedona, with varying elevations surrounded by red rocks and ancient ponderosa pines. Sedona Golf Resort is another top notch course, winding around the famed red rock. Also renowned for it's stunning views, this course continually receives four star ratings from Golf Digest. We stayed at Poco Diablo, which offers a 9 hole par 3 course. While it was a nice bonus as a guest of the hotel, I wouldn't go out of your way to play there.
SHOPPING - Tlaquepaque is know as the arts and crafts village in Sedona. Be sure to carve out some time to discover everything this distinctive and charming shopping destination has to offer. Among the boutiques are 19 distinguished art galleries, precious-stone Kachinas, cask-aged vinegars, wines and spirits, and Native American jewelry, clothing and home decor. Several restaurants and sweet spots are scattered throughout, creating the perfect way to spend a day in Sedona. Another popular shopping destination is Hillside Sedona. This renowned plaza is home to a collection of fine art galleries, offering a diverse portfolio of art, sculpture, pottery and jewelry. Restaurants to please all palates, and distinguished shoe, fashion and home decor boutiques. Hillside Sedona also offers an array of services and excursion opportunities, including the Pink Jeep Tours (highly recommended), hot air ballooning, vortex bikes and hikes, ATVs, psychic readings, spa days, and so on. All of this amidst the red rocks backdrops, Hillside Sedona provides a unique and exceptional shopping experience for locals and visitors alike.
SEDONA WOLF WEEK - Coincidentally, we planned our trip to Sedona during Wolf Week (April 20 - April 23), and it was absolutely one of the highlights of our trip. Plan B, a nonprofit organization, works to protect, preserve and rescue wolves through advocacy, education and funding. The event was held at Poco Diablo Resort, also coincidentally, where we were stayed in Sedona. Plan B graciously allowed us to interact with the wolves, and learn about the importance of their protection and preservation. We highly recommend exploring this incredible and significant movement by visiting their website.