by: Editor on 6/3/2016
Travelers coming to Sedona for a special graduation don’t need to haul their gifts from afar. Sedona is home to many top-rated gift shops, so carve out some time for shopping and find the perfect present for the graduate in your life. Start at Hummingbird House, a local favorite where there are collections from local artisans and crafts makers. Accessories, arts and antiques, bath and body gifts, home décor, kitchen goodies, and garden/patio delights are just part of what you’ll find here.
Sedona Green Gallery and Gifts is known for eclectic collections, where you’ll find something for even the pickiest of grads! Dreamcatchers, a unique t-shirt collection, prisms and hanging ornaments with a Sedona touch, red rock jewelry, candles, and more are all available. Local artists create many of the items you’ll find here.
At Red Rock Candle & Gift, you’ll find Arizona sandstone items, bath and body products, and of course, more candles featuring natural and local ingredients than you can imagine. From votive to ribbonwick, there are also perfumes, soaps and knickknacks available so you can put together a fabulous gift basket.
Peace Place Gifts and Reiki Center is another option for gift seekers looking for a local touch. Celebrate one of life’s greatest achievements with a thoughtful, quality and local gift your grad is sure to love.
by: Editor on 6/1/2016
Spending Father’s Day in Sedona is a great reason to really enjoy the outdoors, the local cuisine, and indulge yourself in everything this magical town has to offer. Book “A Day in the West,” an adventure from the oldest family touring company in the area. Choose from a Jeep tour, horseback rides ending with a BBQ cookout, winery outings and much more. Cowboy and Indian guides are always local and are happy to reveal Sedona’s best kept secrets.
See the famous red rocks from an entirely new perspective with a Red Rock Balloon Tour! If hot air balloons aren’t dad’s passion, there’s also an Aerial Nature Walk, offering sky high treks that will make you feel like you’re soaring. Natural wonders abound, around you and below you. Schedule a sunrise flight with champagne, breakfast and a complimentary video to really make the day special.
The Wild West is the perfect place to “steak” your claim with some of the best steakhouses in the country. Head to Relics Restaurant and Roadhouse, a popular banquet space and authentic estate perfect for the holiday. There’s also Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits for the dad who prefers a low-key outing.
Silver Saddle at the Cowboy Club, Rainbows End Steakhouse and Saloon, and Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill are also fantastic options. Book early!
by: Editor on 5/21/2016
Spending the long weekend in Sedona and want to pepper in some patriotism? You’re in the right place! Explore one of the many hiking trails in and around the city, but start early. Average temperatures this time of year are in the 70s, and if you really want to see all the beauty the desert has to offer, get out there early. Ask your friendly desk agent what their favorite hike is!
Take a Sedona tour, but act fast—these tours fill up! You can choose from kayaking, desert guided hikes, pub hopping, a double decker bus tour, and more. Just remember that for the holiday weekend, there are more tourists than ever, so if you want to snag the best tours for you, reserve early, and show up early if you don’t have an assigned seat.
The Great Outdoors
Red Rock State Park is one of the most popular local options for cycling, hiking, picnicking and more. There’s also Dead Horse Ranch State Park (don’t let the name put you off), ideal for fishing and swimming. If you’re en route and need essentials, swing by the local Bashas’ for picnic goodies and supplies.
You’ll need a Red Rock, Golden Age, Golden Access, or America the Beautiful Interagency Pass for Red Rock access and for many more parks. As a high impact recreation area, you can pick these up at a number of convenience stores in the area. No matter how you spend this three day weekend, make it count with careful planning and early bookings.
by: Editor on 5/15/2016
Sedona may be famous for authentic southwestern Mexican cuisine, but don’t overlook the Greek system in Sedona! There’s plenty of Greek and Mediterranean options to whet your appetite, all of which are especially refreshing on those hot spring and summer days. Start at The Greek Café, a counter-serving deli that’s authentic and delicious. Healthy options are galore, and the high-end olive oil makes a number of the dishes stand out.
Taverna is a favorite amongst locals, open daily with happy hour and reverse happy hour so you can wine and dine all night long. Try the mezze platter, Taverna fries, and fresh pita and pasta bowls. Everything from burgers to salads, pizza to desserts, including ciabatta bread pudding, is on hand here, so come hungry.
A Greek Affair
Pita Jungle is a fast, casual option with happy hour options and tapas galore. “Healthy food burgers,” oven-fired pizzas, homemade hummus, and innovative smoothies are top picks. There’s also a kids menu and featured specials constantly changing to keep you and your appetite guessing.
Still want more? Marino’s Corner Bistro with hand battered zucchini fries, fried calamari, Greek nachos, and sampler plates are sure to satisfy. Pizzas, steaks, and entrées like the Gyro Plate are what keeps locals coming back for more.
by: Editor on 5/5/2016
On May 7, the famous Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off, hosted by the local Rotary Club, takes place at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. Part of the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta weekend, 2016 welcomes a new Mayors’ Challenge as Mayor Diane Smith Joens of Cottonwood takes on Mayor Sandy Moriarty of Sedona. There’s also the much loved Fire Chiefs’ Challenge. This year it features the Chief of Camp Verde/Montezuma Rimrock Fire District, Terry Keller, against last years’ champ and the Chief of Sedona Fire District, Kris Kazian.
A number of awards are at stake, including the Peoples’ Choice Award and Judges’ Award, which go to restaurants eager to show off their best chili recipes. There’s also the Best Booth Décor Award. This year’s competing restaurants include 89Agave, a Sonoran Mexican taqueria, Café Paleo Brio Health Food Restaurant, and Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge (and many more!).
The Hideaway House is back, a country Italian restaurant that brings fresh flavor to a southwestern classic dish. The Hudson is also in the running, along with Timo, a wood-fired oven eatery and wine bar. Will Vino di Sedona (a craft beer haven), Verde Brewing Company or Whole Foods Market take home the trophy this year?
All proceeds benefit the Rotary’s charitable programs, especially the Imagination Library which offers free books to 400+ children in the Sedona area. There are also scholarships supported by the cook-off, and END POLIO NOW receives some of the proceeds too.
by: Editor on 5/1/2016
Sedona is spilling over with pampering, spa and treatment centers offering Mother’s Day specials, but don’t forget about some of the best brunches the city has to offer. The Sedona Golf Resort is offering its annual Mother’s Day Special with an endless buffet and complimentary mimosas. Adult admission is $25, and children seven and under dine for free. Enjoy an omelet station, prime rib, bacon and turkey sausage, a chocolate fountain, and quiche Lorraine.
The Arizona Biltmore Afternoon Tea Party is an event worthy of all moms. Over 85 years of tradition is steeped here, dating back to the opening in 1929. You’ll find a selection of teas, scones and finger sandwiches, along with a great excuse to wear your most festive hat. Seatings are at noon and two throughout the week, including Sunday, and tickets start at $39.
Mom Gets More
At the aptly named Mama-Rama, the National Comedy Theater caters to Mother’s Day with audience participation. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the Saturday before the big day with shows at 7:30pm and 9:45pm. Tickets are just $12-14, and while you can sometimes score at the door, it’s best to reserve tickets in advance.
For those with moms who are no longer with us, the local Mother’s Day remembrance is a great way to celebrate the life and joy of a special woman in your life. Hospice of the Valley hosts this annual event and encourages attendees to bring mementos and photos of the mom(s) who have moved on.