The Sedona Guide
Visting Sedona was a magical experience I will always cherish and remember. I love the proximity you have to nature while also being able to explore some beautiful sites in town, shop for beautiful handmade artwork, gemstones and souvenirs, as well as eat delicious organic food, get pampered at the spa and hike the beautiful mountains. This combination of activities make for an ideal trip for me and I would love to return again - probably in the spring or summer when it is not as cold.
Below is a list of recommendations on where to eat, shop, hike and spa on your trip to this beautiful mountain town in northern Arizona.
One of the best hotels I have stayed in for healthy and activity oriented guests. The rooms remind of a mountain cabin, complete with fireplace and large soaking tub where it is great to unwind with some epsom salts after a long day of hiking. The hotel spa, Mii Amo, is amazing for its countless list of activities that happen all day every day. Start your day with a morning ritual complete with burning sage and Native American blessings in the grotto, then continue on to a yoga or a bootcamp class. Enjoy a delicious healthy breakfast that is friendly to any kind of diet - think smoothies, ginger shots and protein pancakes. There are so many activities to do at Mii Amo, you won't want to leave the resort. Afternoons are filled with lectures on mindfulness, healthy eating and guest speakers from all over the world. Then there are the treatments which range from spiritual rituals - I tried the inner quest - to the more familiar experiences like the prickly pear scrub. The facilities include a number of indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, hammams and so much more!
A beautiful hike surrounded by a tibetan stupa with buddha statues and flute players along the way. Be prepared to stop to read hidden messages in the crystals and quotes people have hidden along the trail.
This was the funnest hike to do but also the most challenging because you are actually rock climbing to the top. The good thing about Sedona is that it attracts a lot of tourists - even parents with children - so it doesn't feel as intimidating to be climbing a rock in the middle of a mountain with zero cell service. Again, the views from the top are so worth it and you get amazing exercise while breathing in the fresh air.
A longer hike that took about 2 hours to complete if you stop to take pictures. The payoff is worth it though as you reach the top and take picture on the bridge (and below it - if you can find the secret path).
Seven Sacred Pools
One of the shorter hikes I had done on this trip, but the seven sacred pools are beautiful and I have an affinity for the number 7 so this hike had to make the list. You also have an option to continue on to reach the Devil's Arch which is another hour or so away.
Paolo Soleri was an Italian architect who built a model village in the middle of nowhere in Arizona. Today, this village acts as an artist-in-residence ceramic and clay workshop where artisans from all over the world come to learn and work. The village contains a workshop, hotel and cafe where you can purchase some of Soleri's famous clay works and hanging bells. A must stop for architecture fans on your way from Phoenix to Sedona.
A somewhat touristy stop but worth it nonetheless to experience the architecture of the adobe houses typical to the area. The gift shops vary in items but I liked their assortment of vintage Navajo and Zuni jewelry, blankets, rugs and crystal shops. I even picked up a cashmere scarf that has been my saving grace on this trip as I was not at all prepared for the cold weather.
A beautiful crystal shop selling everything from smudge sticks and tarot cards to an impressive collection of rocks and gems. Sedona is known for their crystal and gem shops but this store is not in the touristy downtown area where the authenticity of certain items can be questionable - this shop is actually closer to the Enchantment Resort and a great place to stop to pick up a gift for yourself or a loved one.
This coffee shop doubles as a wine bar but they serve pour overs and healthy-ish baked goods like vegan and gluten free scones. You can also enjoy avocado toast with amazing views of the Red Rocks from the cafe's floor to ceiling windows.
Although Mii Amo serves delicious healthy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I decided to venture out to try this healthy tonic and juice bar. Serving everything from matcha and bulletproof lattes to avocado toast, grain bowls and overnight oats, this is a great place to pick up breakfast or lunch on the go.