The heat is here! Today is the first day of summer, there is an excessive heat warning in effect for Phoenix. And according to Good Morning Arizona’s meteorologist April Warnecke, we’re in for a couple of scorching months ahead.
This got me thinking about one of my favorite places to escape the heat this time of year: Sedona. It’s a quick 2-hour drive from Phoenix and the majestic red rocks and earthy vibe of the place are unlike any other.
“God created the Grand Canyon but he lives in Sedona,” as the locals say.
If you’re wondering what to do with your time, I’ve created a list of my 7 favorite things do to in Sedona:
1) Stay at Sedona Forest House
About 9 miles north of Sedona you’ll find a tree house-like resort in the upper Oak Creek Canyon. There are 16 cabins to choose from, sleeping anywhere from 2 to 10 guests. Most of the houses have patios and fire places and some sit right on or above Oak Creek. It’s like you’re in your own world up there but you’re still a quick drive into the city. Book early because this place is popular!
2) Take a hike
Sedona is one of the most beautiful places to hike and with good reason: you can’t beat that backdrop! Some of the more popular trails are West Fork, Cathedral/Templeton and Courthouse Butte/Bell Rock. Many of the hikes in the area lead to Sedona’s famous vortices, where the energy is supposed to feel different. I prefer Devil’s Bridge trail for the iconic photo opp, but I’ll refer you to this page for more info:
3) Shop in Uptown Sedona
Shopping is the number two attraction in Sedona (after hiking) if you ask me. So many tourists flock to the stores in Uptown Sedona, where you can find clothes, art, antiques, home décor, Native American specialties and the famous Sedona gemstones.
4) Wander around Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
Another not-to-be-missed Sedona experience is exploring the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. Its vine covered stucco walls and cobblestone walkways make you feel like you’re in Old World Mexico. You’ll find artists, artisans, galleries, handcrafted goods and other shops and restaurants.
5) Grab drinks with a view at Mariposa
Voted one of the best al fresco restaurants in the U.S., Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill has a view you won’t forget. Be sure to catch it during daylight hours, taking it in from the patio with a cocktail in hand. And if you’re feeling snacky, order a side of the yuca fries with pimentón aioli. Hands down, the best I’ve ever had (and gluten free)!
6) Dine during sunset at Sound Bites Grill
Another restaurant with a view also offers fun live entertainment. Sound Bites Grill is conveniently located in Uptown Sedona and the patio is the place to be. The food is topnotch, the owners are friendly and the 6-nights-a-week live music features acts like the legendary Esteban.
7) Play games and gather at ShadowRock Tap + Table
A new addition to the area this year, the ShadowRock Tap + Table has a new look, new chef and new menu after a $2 million face lift. Located in the Hilton Sedona Resort in Oak Creek, the big winner is the patio featuring fountains, fire pits, ping pong, cornhole, shuffleboard and more.
What’s your favorite place to visit when in Sedona?