Looking for a spiritual getaway in the sun? As you watch the setting sun’s golden light spill over the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, it’s a seductive scene. Just 2 hours from Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, Sedona has endless vistas and sunshine galore, even in winter. It’s no surprise that Hollywood’s elite first made Sedona their private playground in the 1950’s. Bask in the final rays of the sun’s warmth as you hike past stunningly beautiful ‘wind sculptures’ and impossibly balanced rock formations. Luckily, Sedona’s many charms only begin with the scenery.
After hiking one of the many red rock trails, mountain biking, or visiting Slide Rock State Park, be sure to sample a boutique Arizona cabernet, perhaps as you drink in the sunset from your balcony at the aptly named Enchantment Resort. Make time to go horseback riding by moonlight and take a day trip to visit nearby Indian ruins—you’ll need to tear yourself away from your rustic casita and resort amenities: multiple swimming pools, a high-quality tennis program, and the unique Camp Coyote for kids. Book a tour to Deadman’s Pass or the nearby scenic vistas frequented by the likes of John Wayne, Walt Disney and others.
Find a quiet corner and perhaps you’ll feel the spiritual vortex locals swear by. Certainly, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for healing, meditating on nature, and unwinding by a glowing fire after sundown. Go upscale for dinner at Dahl and DiLuca, a newer Italian eatery whose dark, romantic interior will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the Italian Riviera. Round out the evenings with a nightcap at one of the rustic local watering holes, or take in live music at a local club. Don’t miss L’Auberge de Sedona, another spectacular spot.
Wake early for a panoramic sunrise view from a hot air balloon, plan an upscale spa day, take a peaceful labryinth walk followed by a cup of steaming hot coffee, or enjoy a fun morning exploring galleries and picking up authentic Native American jewelry. There are over 100 backcountry trails for hiking, and an array of opportunities for exploring, fishing, horse riding and mountain biking. Further south, the quirky town of Jerome perches atop a sheer canyon wall, waiting for the return of the gold rush. Meanwhile, its become a mecca for antique hunting, old west memorabilia, art galleries, and funky Arizona culture.
If you make Sedona your base, be sure to plan a side trip to the Grand Canyon. It’s only 2 hours away, and a scenic drive up stunning Oak Creek Canyon makes a great entree to the national park. A stay at the historic lodge El Tovar is a must, but you’ll need to plan months in advance as it’s always fully booked. Be sure to at least tour the lobby, and the amazing indian handicrafts shop nearby. Adventure travelers can inquire about raft trips down the canyon itself.