SEDONA ARIZONA – A RELAXING GET-A-WAY

Sedona, Arizona has been a vacation retreat for my spouse Burt and me for many years. Its location in Northern Arizona makes it a desirable drivable destination for residents of Southern California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Photo by Burt Davis

The scenery and tranquility are primary attractions, but there is much more to do there. Our most recent visit was in October of 2020. Sedona is a safe place to visit during these troubling times. Due to the virus, signs demand that you stay masked in stores. In fact, you are required to be masked anywhere except when dining, and more than 90% of the visitors adhere to these smart safety restrictions.

Sedona Visitors’ Center volunteers are knowledgeable and helpful. Photo by Burt Davis

VISITORS’ CENTER

We recommend the Visitor’s Center in downtown Sedona as an early stop. The volunteer staff members (mostly amicable seniors) are knowledgeable and the hand-outs are helpful. Tell them what you want to do or see and they will steer you in the right directions. If you aren’t sure, they’ll help you identify and prioritize some good options. There’s more to do than you may expect and you may find yourself planning your return visit.

Tours on The Sedona Trolley include live commentary on the area. Photo by Dianne Davis

We rode the Sedona Trolley from downtown to The Chapel of The Holy Cross and were impressed with their attention to safe practices on this enjoyable excursion. Full precautions included wiping down the trolley between trips, limited seating, masks required, and returning to the same seat when re-boarding. The ride included interesting live narrations of area history and facts. There are two other 55 minute tours offered. Other non-hiking options include jeep tours

The Chapel of The Holy Cross is a popular tourist attraction Photo by Dianne Davis

RED ROCK FORMATIONS

The red rock formations in and around the city are a primary attraction. Many of the rock formations have names. Snoopy Rock and The Coffee Pot are some of the more well known formations.

We often enjoy the tranquility of sitting on our balcony at our time share (Sedona Springs) unit in West Sedona, breathing the fresh air, and looking at the mountains. Photo by Burt Davis

HIKING

Hiking and walking opportunities abound and the trails are well marked. According to The Sedona Chamber of Commerce there are116 marked trials in the area. This could be called the hiking capitol of the USA.

Bell Rock Photo by Dianne Davis

We enjoy “easy to moderate” hikes so we opted to take the Bell Rock and Soldiers’ Pass trails. Bell Rock is about 15 minutes south of downtown. The flat trail winds around a huge rock that looks like a bell – just another rock formation with a name. It is perfect for beginning hikers.

We enjoyed a pleasant hike at Soldier’s Pass Photo by Burt Davis

The Soldiers’ Pass Trail winds through woods and rocks and includes the Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole and the Seven Sacred Pools rock formations.  

Most trailheads have information posted. Photo by Dianne Davis

The Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole is huge – measuring approximately 150 by 90 foot and 50 foot deep. It was formed by the collapse of gigantic underground caverns in the red wall limestone rocks. The seven sacred pools are small to medium size sink holes. They are a popular spot to visit. But the scenery is the best part of the hike.

DINING – INSIDE AND OUTSIDE

Dining choices are abundant. Options from reasonably priced burgers to gourmet foods are available. Most restaurants offer outdoor patio dining. Due to social distancing requirements during our visit, space was limited. So be sure to make reservations.

One of our favorite restaurants is The Cowboy Club. It features Southwestern food including rattlesnake bites, fried cactus, bison steak as well as a variety of standard steak, seafood and barbecue items.Photo by Burt Davis

TLAQUEPAQUE ART & SHOPPING VILLAGE

If you enjoy shopping and browsing through art galleries and unique shops, then a visit to Tlaquepaque is a must. Tlaquepaque is the most distinctive Sedona shopping experience to be found in the Southwest. Authentically fashioned after a traditional Mexican village, Tlaquepaque, meaning the “best of everything,” has been a Sedona landmark since the 1970’s. Its vine covered stucco walls, cobble-stoned walkways and magnificent arched entryways give you the feeling that Tlaquepaque has been here for centuries.

You could spend hours browsing in the shops and art galleries at Tlaquepaque Art & Shopping Village. Photo by Burt Davis

Tasteful galleries and unique shops live in harmony with its lush natural environment where giant sycamore trees stand in testimony to the care taken in preserving the timeless beauty of the Tlaquepaque grounds. It would be hard to find more beautiful surroundings anywhere to create a pleasurable experience. There are more than 50 shops and restaurants here and you could spend a full day on just browsing, shopping, and dining.

Photo by Burt Davis

The main street ( No. State Rt 89 A) is populated by shops that sell things you don’t need – but want! And if you haven’t visited the Grand Canyon, you might want to include a day trip to the South Rim, a 2 ½ hour drive.

VORTEX

Sedona is known worldwide for its vortexes. So what is a vortex? A vortex is an area that emits swirling energy.  Many people attest to the healing effects of this energy that is emitted. Frankly, Burt and I have not spent any time at the many vortex sites. But, we have spoken to folks who have and attest to the healing powers.  

People gather daily at the airport to watch a Sedona sunset. Photo by Dianne Davis

The people are friendly, the walks and hikes of various levels offer amazing views and scenery, the shopping is fun, the dining includes great variety, and the feeling of tranquility is in the air. Sedona is simply a beautiful, peaceful spot to visit during these trying times.

Photo by Dianne Davis

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