Best Things to do in Sedona for a Weekend Escape
Now that the temperatures have dipped in northern Arizona, it’s time to turn attention to warmer Sedona. October and November are perfect months for Sedona hiking, touring or just hanging out on an outdoor deck overlooking the spectacular Red Rock Country. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to spend three adventure-filled days in Sedona tasting exceptional food, experiencing new adventures and relaxing at the fabulous Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. Here are my recommendations for the best things to do in Sedona, and how to hit them all during your weekend escape.
Top Things to do in Sedona
- Sunset dinner at Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill
- Pink Jeep Tours – My favorite is the “Broken Arrow Tour”
- Full Circle Body Treatment at eForea Spa
- Helicopter tour of Sedona’s iconic red rocks by Sedona Air Tours
- Hang out the bar at Cuchina Rustica for the world’s best appetizers
- Have breakfast in bed at Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock and then confer with their hiking concierge for the best hikes
- Sip some suds with the locals at Oak Creek Brewery’s hidden tasting room in an alley off Coffee Pot Drive.
- Visit the Coconino Red Rock Visitor Center and Ranger Station for interactive displays and tons of hiking information
|Bell Rock in Village of Oak Creek, Sedona, Arizona, USA|
THINGS TO DO IN SEDONA: DAY ONE
I stop into the Coconino Red Rock Visitor Center and Ranger Station after my 30-minute drive to the Village of Oak Creek. The friendly National Forest Rangers give me free trail and road maps and offer advice on some of the newer trails. The Red Rock Country geology display and “Honor the Past: Human timeline of the Verde Valley Area” pull the curtain back on the mysteries of Sedona, even for those of us who have visited many times. Outside the modern facility, I take a selfie with Smokey, the Bear and chat with Japanese tourists. I’m reminded that Sedona truly is a world-class destination and people from all over journey to see what we have here in our own backyard.
|My favorite bear (don’t tell Yogi) and me at Red Rock Visitor Center|
|Lobby of Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock|
BEST THINGS TO DO IN SEDONA: DAY TWO
|Sedona Air Tours over Red Rock Country|
We debrief about our thrilling air adventure at lunch at the Sedona Golf Resort, home of the “Most Photographed Par 3 in the Southwest.” After lunch, I head back to my suite to change into something more comfortable for a relaxing afternoon in the eforea spa at the Hilton Sedona Resort. The 25,000-square-feet of fitness, wellness and spa amenities delivers a full-service spa experience for resort guests and club members alike. I’m scheduled for a “Cupping Massage” demonstration and then a 90-minute Signature Full Circle Treatment that focuses on indigenous ingredients and techniques that reflect the region of Sedona and the greater Southwest.
|Sedona Golf Resort, home of the “Most Photographed Par 3 in the Southwest.”|
Certified therapist Joanne teaches us about the ancient healing practice of cupping. Awareness of “Cupping Massage” has been heightened by the recent Olympics in Brazil where high-profile athletes like swimmer Michael Phelps used the therapy to increase physical performance. But not many know that cupping is an age-old treatment found in nearly almost all the world’s ancient cultures. Joanne asks “What could I help you with today?” I explain that I have pain in my left hip. She analyzes the problem and discerns that silicone cups would be the best method to relieve my pain. The silicone cups were developed to work around joints.
|Cupping Therapy at eforea spa|
|The Full Circle Treatment is inspired by Native teachings|
|Stacey Wittig and Chef Lisa Dahl, Cuchina Rustica|
TOP THINGS TO DO IN SEDONA: DAY THREE
Pink Jeep Tours picks us up from the lobby of the Hilton at o’dark thirty. Actually it is only 7:30 a.m. but it was oh, so, convenient to stumble down from my room – coffee in hand – to the awaiting chauffeur. The concierge at Hilton Sedona made arrangements the day before, so I didn’t have to worry about how to get to the tour company in Uptown Sedona, find parking once there or stand in the dreaded line for tickets. Just like on a cruise, tours can be charged to your hotel room. We bounce and laugh through spectacular red rock country on the off-road Broken Arrow Tour. Our guide, David Hartlerode is a trained 4×4 and driving specialist (unlike my husband Dan) and Certified Interpretive Guide. So we hear unusual stories about the landscape and hoot at his sense of humor. We’re still high on the Adrenalin rush when the Pink Jeep chauffeur drops us back at the Hilton. Pink Jeep Tours are definitely one of the top things to do in Sedona.
|Travel writers yuck it up with Pink Jeep guide David Hartlerode|
|Salmon salad at neighborhood hangout Village Grind|
|Brewmeister Jim Strelau at Oak Creek Brewery|
|Outdoor table at Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill|
When You Go:
Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock 90 Ridge Trail Drive, Sedona www.hiltonsedonaresort.com
Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill https://dahlrestaurantgroup.com
Oak Creek Brewing Company 2050 Yavapai Dr, Sedona, AZ 86336 http://oakcreekbrew.com
Pink Jeep Tours https://www.pinkjeeptourssedona.com
Red Rock Visitor Center and Ranger Station 8375 Arizona 179, Sedona, AZ 86351
Sedona Air Tours www.sedonaairtours.com
Village Grind, The http://thevillagegrind.com
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey is a travel writer based near Sedona, Arizona. Disclaimer: this trip was hosted by Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock and others. All opinions expressed are her own.