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.
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.
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.
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
RED ROCK FORMATIONS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.