by: Editor on 10/22/2016
One of the best parts of celebrating Halloween in Sedona is the weather—there’s no freezing in costumes, and you’re guaranteed to have a ghoulish night of revelry or trick or treating. In the nearby ghost town of Jerome, the city comes alive on Halloween with guided “spirit walks” offering tours of historic buildings along with some of the town’s sordid past. Group tours can accommodate up to 200 people but do sell out, so book your trip early.
Spook Hall has been Sedona’s biggest costume party for years, helping to raise funds for the local fire department. After 30 years of spooktacular fun, the event planners have this haunt down pat. The party rages until 2 a.m., and nearby bars and shops also participate, decking out the entire street in ghastly decorations. A cash bar and costume contest with themes being added each year make this adults-only party a must.
Treats and Tricks
In downtown Sedona, early trick or treating on the big day is offered compliments of local shops and vendors. Bring the little ones to a dusk gathering where many treats, and a sprinkling of tricks, can be found. You can also go door to door in one of the many neighborhoods, checking out decorations and sizing up costumes.
The Cliff Castle Halloween Costume Party on October 31 is another favorite option, where you can showcase your best garb in between playing slots or your favorite table games. Plus, the dining at the Cliff Castle is truly to die for!
by: Editor on 10/19/2016
From sushi to teriyaki, Sedona is home to a handful of Japanese restaurants—and they’re all battling it out to be crowned the best! You can try all three, and decide for yourself which dishes are the winners. At Takashi Japanese Restaurant, you’ll find classic dishes for dinner with lunch options on Tuesday and Friday. Try the gyoza pot stickers, yakitori broiled chicken or ikapon sliced squid for starters. Choose from steak, chicken or salmon for a teriyaki platter, or go with the teppan yaki with scallops, beef, chicken, steak or veggies.
Minami is popular for their long list of sushi rolls and laid back environment. Here, you can choose from the chef’s special concoctions, or stick with your classic and favorite rolls. Open for lunch and dinner every day, it’s popular with locals because of the selection, prices, and friendly service.
Hiro’s Sushi and Japanese Kitchen has a separate sushi menu as well as a traditional Japanese dish menu. Entrée options include the unagi bowl with barbequed eel, chirashi with freshly sliced tuna, salmon, albacore and more, as well as the sashimi combo with a variety of sliced seafood selections. You’ll also want to check out their drink menu for a selection of hot and cold sake, shochu, beer and wine.
From appetizers to dessert, and everything in between, Sedona does Japanese fare right, but only you can decide which restaurant suits your palate best. Available for dine-in or carry out, try them all!
by: Editor on 10/5/2016
Mark your calendars! October 8 and 9 is the annual Sedona Arts Festival at Red Rock High School, the “only festival in the world that’s out of this world.” Tickets are $12 at the gate or $10 in advance, and children 12 and under are free. Open 9 – 5 on Saturday and 10 – 4 on Sunday, it’s the major fundraiser for art education in Sedona. To date, over $300,000 in scholarships have been awarded from the event, and over 125 artists from around the nation are expected to gather in 2016 to compete, sell and showcase their artistry.
With the red rocks providing a work-of-art backdrop of their own, it’s the perfect weekend to discover new artists and pick up a keepsake from your Sedona trip. A myriad of mediums are available including ceramics, mixed media, photography, sculpture, drawings, metal, paintings, wood, fiber art, and jewelry.
At the “Art” of It All
For over 25 years, the Sedona Arts Festival has been a hub for artists and art lovers around the country. Many attendees flock from all parts of Arizona to take advantage of the biggest festival in town. Best of show winners are crowned at the culmination of the event, and you’ll have another chance to peruse the winner’s offerings.
Volunteers are the pillar of the festival, and you’re welcome to get involved with set up, gate management, artists’ support, work the info booth, sell raffle tickets on site, help with the KidZone, cleanup, and much more. Don’t miss out on this legendary gathering that’s family-friendly and close to your Sedona hotel.
by: Editor on 10/1/2016
When a hike has “devil” in the title, you know it’s going to be bad in all the right ways! At the end of a steep trail that must be driven, you’re faced with a terrifying looking butte that hovers over the canyons. Start the drive early, otherwise one of the devilish tricks of the trail is battling the Arizona sun in your eyes the entire time. The trek from the parking area to the tip of the trail can be challenging in the heat, but well worth it.Keep in mind that going “all the way” can be terrifying and a little dangerous for those who aren’t used to demanding hikes. It is likely not the best option for those with kids, pets, or anyone who isn’t confident in their hiking abilities. There are no safety rails at the danger zone! However, there are avid hikers who take dogs and even newborns in slings to the very end.
A Hike to Remember
There’s an easy hike “just” to the bridge that’s very family friendly. If you’re renting a vehicle, opting for four wheel drive is a smart move. The roads are rough and difficult at times, which is why some ATV riders love the area. Keep in mind that the parking lot can fill up by about 10 a.m., so early risers are handsomely rewarded with a quiet, cool experience.
Pack a picnic lunch for the ride back or tough out the break area if you can handle the heat. You’ll be rewarded with views like no other, so don’t forget the camera. Most hikers say it’s well “worth it,” which means you definitely have to work for the end results. Are you up for taking on the devil?
by: Editor on 9/18/2016
The 8th annual Sedona Winefest kicks off September 24-25 where great food, music and, of course, wineries come together to celebrate the perfect glass of vino—and a weekend of fun! Tickets are available now, and securing them early is wise as this event can sell out. The 2016 Winefest is open from 11a.m. – 5p.m. both days at the Posse Grounds Park in the middle of Sedona. Local Arizona wineries are the headliners, along with food vendors highlighting some of the best and most innovative grub in the region.
Enjoy stunning views of the red rocks as you sip on the best wine of the year (and years past!). Tickets are on sale until September 23 at early bird prices of $25, and admission may be available at the door for $30. Saturday is the busiest of the festival, and door sales do temporarily close when the event is at capacity.
Every admission includes eight tasting tickets as well as a commemorative glass. You can purchase additional tastings, including a special 24-ticket bundle for just $20. Parking is plentiful and free, including a number of handicap accessible spots. This year is slated to be the biggest and best yet, hosted by Sedona Pines Resort, and with Verde Valley and Southern Arizona wineries pouring up specialty wines that you can’t get anywhere else.
Head to the Education Tent for a number of mini seminars from wine experts, and don’t forget to enter the raffle drawings throughout the day.
by: Editor on 9/17/2016
Sedona is rich with southwestern type, all-America cuisine (often with strong Mexican influences), as well as wholesome, organic and locally sourced restaurant fare. However, sometimes all a traveler wants is traditional comfort food via their favorite Chinese dish. Luckily, Sedona is home to Szechuan Sedona, half-Chinese restaurant and half-cocktail lounge, but 100 percent the perfect spot for lunch, dinner and late nights.
Explore the full sushi menu, or dive right into the variety of dishes on the dinner menu. For appetizers, try the tempura shrimp, chicken lettuce wraps with special house sauce, or BBQ pork spareribs. Tofu or shrimp lettuce wraps offer a lighter treat, and the pu pu tray has a little something of everything.
A variety of soups are available, including the extra spicy hot and sour soup, but many regulars come for the famous egg foo young with your choice of protein or a vegetarian option. Choose from a selection of shrimp, pork, chicken, beef or tofu-based dishes, or head to the noodle and fried rice menus for the house special crispy noodles or cashew shrimp with a side of pineapple rice.
For dessert, there’s sliced coconut cake, fried sweet banana, or exotic ice creams including mango, red bean and green tea. Try it with a plum wine, sake, or one of the specialty drinks like the Geisha Girl or Blue Ninja.