Sedona is all about mind, body and soul. People come to this Arizona haven seeking solace, healing and adventure. No doubt, no one goes home disappointed. The moment your eyes set on the massive red rocks, the awe puts you on the path to transformation.
Nothing is ordinary in Sedona, which lies two hours north of Phoenix and 30 miles south of the Flagstaff peaks. At Red Rock State Park you can take a guided hike with SPEX Sedona Philosophy Experience. Start your walk with meditation by a gurgling creek and let the adventure begin — and, possibly, the tears flow. You think you’re merely going to make your way to the top of a peak, but it’s much more than that as you tell your life story and learn from the wisdom of great minds like Socrates, Descartes and Aristotle shared by your guide. Suddenly things make sense.
Keep the flow going with a visit to one of the 15 spas. A Spa for You Sedona Day Spa and Sedona’s New Day Spa prove two of the best. Don’t expect what you’ve experienced elsewhere. At Sedona’s New Day Spa, treatments include Native Wisdom Spa Rituals like Wheel of Life Gem Stones Reading, Sweat Lodge and Vision Quest. The Desert Nature Body Treatments feature Turquoise Sage Mountain Arnica and the Cedarwood Citrus Wild Chapparal.
Not only can you feed your soul in Sedona, but the cuisine is impressive, too. You’ll discover places like Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill, Cress on Oak Creek and Elote Café showing off the area’s finest gastronomy. But then there’s the quirky, comfortable, make-you-feel-good ChocolaTree Organic Oasis restaurant with its gluten-free, vegetarian, no-processed-sugar, ultra-healthy, tasty, creative food. Its marketplace offers food, supplements, essential oils, local artists’ crafts and jewelry, books and more. What makes it really special is the backyard and a patio area with tables and chairs for dining and gardens which provide some of the food used in the restaurant. There are a couple of hammocks and aerial space (think Cirque du Soleil) where people can “play at their own risk.” The restaurant offers educational programs including meditation, gardening (so people can learn to grow their own food), food as medicine workshops, live food classes, om chanting and more. All that and they make awesome, healthy chocolate. It’s so Sedona. Sweeter still, you can visit wineries and breweries in the area.
No trip to Sedona is complete without soaking up the sacred vortex energy said to open your mind and have healing powers. Sedona boasts the distinction of having five vortices. The favorites are at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon. Each is unique; some rev you up, some put you in chill mode. After your encounter, expect to feel different, rejuvenated. Enhance your experience with great talk during your exploration. Take a guided tour with Sedona Soul Adventures.
There’s no shortage of places to do yoga in Sedona — even at a vortex — through Aumbase Adventures. Similarly, you can find reiki treatments, meet with psychics and get tarot readings in this town. The sky is so clear you’ll want to take the Sedona Stargazing tour with astronomers.
If you prefer therapy of the retail variety, no worries; you can find an array of art galleries, boutiques and shops to cure what ails you. As for places to serve as your home away from home, they range from uber luxe resorts like L’Auberge de Sedona and villas to creekside cabins, Airbnbs and everything in between. For sure the Sky Ranch Lodge features one of the best Red Rock views, overlooking Sedona 500 feet below.
As much as Sedona is about peace of mind, it embraces tourism, which comprises about 70–75 percent of the economy. The goal is continuous improvement. “Three new hotels are likely to open in the next 18–24 months; we’re exploring ways to make the community even more bikeable and walkable and to expand our bike lanes and come up with better parking solutions,” said Molly Spangler, director of economic development, City of Sedona. In the next two years many organizations and the U.S. Forest Service Red Rock Ranger District will work on the Western Gateway trail system project to give hikers, bikers and equestrian riders 27 new miles of trails, according to Kegn Moorcraft, director of communications, Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Board.
What makes Sedona a great place for business or pleasure? Said Moorcroft, “Your spirit will soar and rejoice in the silence of nature when you explore Red Rock Country. Seek off-the-beaten-path sites and reconnect to the Earth, your family, your partner, your children and your friends.”
While not technically a scenic drive, this tour takes you off the road and into Sedona’s red- rock landscape. With Pink Adventure Tours, visitors can wind through Sedona’s scenery in pink Jeep Wranglers, with 17 different tour options available in and around Sedona.
Sedona boasts an abundance of gorgeous fall foliage, highlighted against its red-rock backdrop. Take a half-day ride through Oak Creek Canyon along State Route 89A, named one of the most scenic routes in the country. Take 89A north 15 miles from Sedona to the top of Oak Creek Canyon, where a scenic viewpoint will offer vistas of the changing leaves. Continue on I-17 and either visit Flagstaff or return to Sedona.
Since you are in Arizona, should your schedule allow, allot a full day to visit the Grand Canyon. Pass along the south rim of the canyon off of SR-64, with a historic lookout tower at Desert View. Drivers can also travel through a Navajo reservation as they head back toward Flagstaff and Sedona.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through Charleston, South Carolina, with us.
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