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Getaway Bucket list ~ Sedona, Arizona

My love for Sedona’s natural beauty

Thinking on the destination of Sedona, Az, my mind floats to a small-town, new-age artsy community nestled as a cross-roads between the dry flats of the hot desert and the stunning red rock mountainsides that surround it. It is a charming long-weekend getaway destination to get you out of the city and surrounded by an unprecedented natural beauty – think girls getaway relaxing with wine on the patio as the sun sets on the patioside views of the mountains (click any to enlarge)mountainsides that just pop deep shades of reds and greys, or a more adventurous let’s-get-out-and-hike-these-mountains-and-see-the-views kinda weekend. Either way, Sedona has got to be on your getaway list!!

Whether you arrive in from Phoenix in the south (2 hours) and drive through the Sonoran desert into the Tonto National Forest area before encountering the rim of red rocks around Oak Creek, or you arrive to Sedona from Flagstaff (1 hour) in the north via the canyonous Highway 89, the drive will make you “ooo and aaah” at the spectacular sights.

What makes the red rocks of Sedona so unique?

The Sedona area was the bottom of an ocean 300+ million years ago. Natural iron oxide infused the limestone base that was created as the waters receded. The picturesque sandstone formations were created from the layering of ancient dunes in such amazing geology and landscapethe area that with continued water and wind erosion over the millennia sculpted the harder formations into some of the most fascinating and locally iconic landmarks we know today – Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Butte.

Whether the morning’s yellow hues or the transition to the evening’s redder sunset hues, the sunlight makes wonderfully subtle changes to the colorations of the rocks faces by the moment. We vote that a patio is required (with appropriately timed coffee, cocktail or wine) for absorbing the full vibrant intensity of the sight.

How to best experience Sedona’s beauty

Sedona’s landscapes and geologic awesomeness need best to be experienced up close and personal. How better to do that than on a hike or guided adventure.

grandeur of Cathedral Rock, SedonaCathedral Rock Loop Trail (from our Alltrails app) – A good days hike with a good mix of terrain from the lowland deserty scrub around to the sycamore grove near the creek into the mountainous pines. Timing didn't permit the added Cathedral Rock climb (we suggest you do) yet the hike offered a broad mix of sightlines and views of the area. Crazy mountain bikers on the steep descent and pathways barely wide enough to walk. Worth the effort to take the full circuit.

Bell Rock Trail (from our Alltrails app) – To see Bell Rock from a distance is a treat - to see it up close is amazing! An easy first half with trails that are well marked and easily followed. Once you arrive at the rock climb, the scrabble up the rock slopes is fun and the sightlines spectacular. A great way to see Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte.

what great hiking views of SedonaMunds Wagon, Cow Pies and Hangover Loop Trail (from our Alltrails app) - Our most enjoyable hike of the weekend three. Once you left the creek bed trail and began the Hangover Trail (we do suggest you take the route counterclockwise), every corner had an amazing view. I can't imagine myself mountain biking this great trail - a few of the climbs and thin trails would have shaken my nerve. Aside from a few Jeeps on the road paralleling the creek trail and a few mountain bikers, the trail was pretty quiet … and spectacular!

Pink Jeep toursif you’re looking for a less strenuous way to see the rock formations and experience some of Sedona’s rugged beauty, Pink Jeep Tours offers a wide selection of back-country tours.

Sedona Mystical Tourstry some new age exploration of the sacred earth energies and Vortex Phenomena that converges on the surrounding area. For the open-minded and curious.

What else is there to do in Sedona?

such a vibrant desert ecosystemBeing a great artsy town with a draw of people coming to experience the beauty of the area, there’s lots to do in Sedona if the weather doesn’t cooperate with your outdoor plans.

Shopping – down the main Arizona State Route 89A from the central traffic circle are the shops, restaurant and vendors to spend a few hours wandering the native American artistry, the crystal shops and the general tourist selection.

Art galleries – from studios, galleries and art events, this bohemian little town will spark some creativity and have you taking home some local treasures.

Spas – what’s a girls weekend without some signature spa treatments like L’Apothecary Spa’s Feet in the Creek treatment, Mii Amo’s Pinon Body Scrub, or Crystal in Sedona’s Desert Moisturizing Wrap – signature treatments taking in the essential elements of the local area.

Yoga classes – spas in Sedona with yoga classes – commune with the natural energies of the area.

majestic Chapel of the Holy Cross, SedonaChapel of the Holy Cross – a magnificent piece of architectural creativity that is a local Catholic Church. Inspired and commissioned by local rancher and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude in the 1930’s, it took over 25 years and a world war to find the right place and the right design to best compliment the surrounding area - a treat to visit and experience!

Jerome, Arizona – a fun rugged side adventure is a trek to Jerome, Arizona (45 min). Once an old copper mining town perched on the side of Cleopatra Hill, this ghost town turned tourist hot spot once labelled the wickedest town in the west has art shops, restaurants, a grand kaleidoscope store and a brothel turned boutique. We lunched at the Mile High Grill and Inn for some fun and a really good lunch (there rooms looked good and had some great rates too)!

Where to eat in this foodie town

Where there’s a great playground and lots of artsy activities is a great food scene. Sedona has some pretty great places to eat, here’s just a few of our finds:

Where to sleep around Sedona

You’ve hiked hard and enjoyed some great food. Now you want a great bed, some rest and a patio to have your morning coffee with a great view. You’re in luck because from almost anywhere in Sedona you can see a panorama, that, mixed in the right shade of sunlight … is breathtaking! Here’s a few places to get you a great place to sleep.

For us, Sedona was an epic bucket list destination to experience. From the truly spectacular panoramas of red-rock beauty to the cool, artsy vibe of this small-town locale, Sedona met our expectations and exceeded it with the beauty it delivered. To stand on a ridge between 2 mountains high above the town and see for miles this epic awesomeness, Sedona’s beauty etched itself into my soul and has begged me to return.

Got your interest piqued? More great info is available at Visit Sedona (and their Twitter and Facebook feeds) as well as Visit Arizona.

See more of our posts on our love for Arizona, its deserts and its rugged beauty:

Have you visited Sedona and been captivated by its sights and spirit? Let us know how it affected you and the laces you fell in love with. Drop a comment below and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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