Weekend Travel Guide to Sedona, Arizona
Welcome to the VERANDA weekend guides, where we show you how to make the most of 48 hours in our favorite destinations. This time we enlisted the journalist and founder of luxury travel Dylan Grace Essertier to guide us through a luxurious and restorative weekend in Sedona, Arizona.
Sedona is Mother Nature at her best. From bright blue skies to iron-rich red rocks and emerald green junipers, everywhere you look is bold and beautiful. In addition to spectacular scenery, Sedona is known for its good vibes, which attract creatives, spiritual seekers and healers from around the world. Whether it’s spiritual enlightenment or a delicious prickly pear margarita (or maybe both!), Sedona delivers it in spades, making it the perfect weekend getaway. -end for the discerning traveler. Read on to find out where to stay, play and what not to miss in this unique desert town.
90 minutes from Phoenix Sky International Airport, The Sedona Inn is the perfect place to enjoy the sun, stars and sprawling landscapes. Nestled on the banks of Oak Creek in the Red Rock area of Sedona, the property offers sophisticated cottages, a spa, and a gourmet restaurant. Inside the newly renovated Creekside Cottages, interiors are more modern, with soothing creams and outdoor cedar showers, while Vista Cottages offer dark wood headboards and whirlpool tubs for two. As a bonus, the property generously offers incredible free activities, from s’mores to stargazing and monthly moon meditations to artist-in-residence talks.
Just down the road from L’Auberge, perched on a hill overlooking the Rust Orange Mountains, is the Latin-inspired restaurant Mariposa restaurant. Run by celebrity local chef Lisa Dahl, this reserve is one of the most coveted in town, and for good reason. Take a seat on the terrace and order one (or more) Peruvian palomas topped with Hawaiian sea salt before staying to enjoy Dahl’s Latin take on a soul food menu: think homemade empanadas, pork tostadas shredded and a velvety gaucho skirt steak. The best part? Dahl’s new cookbook A romance with food was recently released and features her best tips and tricks for cooking your own Latin fusion feast. It’s the perfect souvenir to take home to recreate a little piece of Sedona.
If you want to sample the region’s spectacular vistas without the tourist frenzy, Doe Mountain Trail is a low-key 90 minute hike with incredible payoff. With a distance of 1.5 miles, this manageable hike will take you to a mesa the size of a football field with just the type of jaw-dropping views that envy pictures are made of. Other popular options include devil’s bridge and cathedral rock Track.
After sweating, it’s time for lunch. With the motto “love your body, feed your soul”, Local fruit juices is a small health-focused store stocked with juices, bowls, tonics, and salads. Signature drinks include Oak Creek Greens (coconut water, spinach, kale, banana, blueberries, spirulina, goji berries, honey) and the Sex in the Desert (almond milk, banana, fresh turmeric root, cinnamon, black pepper, coconut crystals, house made chai spices, maca, almond butter, dates). Top it all off with PB+Cacao with gluten-free waffles covered in peanut butter, cocoa nibs and maple syrup. After lunch, spend time strolling through pretty downtown Sedona, which is filled with restaurants, bars, galleries, and New Age shops. Listen to live music as you sit under an ancient sycamore tree in Tlaquepaquea Mexican village with stucco-covered walls and cobblestone walkways.
Do you hear the spa calling you? U.S. too. For something really special, book a massage at’ The Apothecary Spa’s private tent by a stream and listen to the babbling of water as you choose from refreshing facials, restorative peels, cleansing body treatments, massages and integrative therapies, including cranial treatments sacred, holistic massages and reflexology.
Watercress on Oak Creek is not just a dinner, it is an experience. Weather permitting, sit on the deck and enjoy the view of the creek which sparkles in the sunshine by day and provides the perfect soothing soundtrack at night. As for the menu, it is seasonal, changes often and always features ingredients from the surrounding region. Every evening you can be served a salad with local mushrooms or roast duck with goat cheese crumbs and cherry tomatoes. The truffle fries are also a highlight.
For your final hours in Sedona, it’s only fitting to make the most of the spectacular surroundings. Pink Adventure Tours Off-road trips through Sedona’s backcountry roads and natural landmarks also help capture both the stunning scenery and the area’s long history. At the top of high elevations, your vehicle will crawl over bumpy terrain for some of the best desert views available. It’s epic to witness nature on this scale and a magical and humbling way to end your journey (until next time, of course).
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