by: Editor on 8/12/2016
The Honanki Heritage Site is located in Red Rock country and, along with the sister site Palatki, are the biggest cliff dwellings in the area and are estimated to have formed circa 1200 AD. The Hopi ancestors, the Sinagua, called Honanki home and used the space to raise families, create tools and leather goods, and prepare meals. In the nearby area, the Sinagua hunted rabbit and deer, which are still found in abundance today. There are a number of nearby edible plants, too.
Today, the heritage site can be found on the outskirts of Sedona and is governed by the US Forest Service via the Red Rock Pass Program. The site is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here, you’ll find an interpretive site and restroom facilities. A Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass is required for all vehicles and can be purchased from a number of local retailers.
Rules of the Rocks
Pets are only allowed in the parking lot area. There are hiking trails throughout the area suitable for most ages and abilities. To access the site, head 17 miles northwest of Sedona on Highway 89A via West Sedona. Past mile marker 365, you’ll turn right onto Forest Road 525. Follow 525 for 9.5 miles past the Loy Canyon Cattleguard trailhead.
Many consider Honanki a spiritually rich site, and it’s a favorite for meditative walks. It’s a must for any Sedona visitor and a welcome respite from the bustle of the city.
by: Editor on 8/10/2016
The Starlight Ride is a seasonal tradition for many, leaving during the late afternoon on select Saturdays June through September. You will be whisked away on the local train across the riparian canyon through a stunning sunset and into the moonlight. The August event takes place on the 20th and admission starts at $59.95. From 5:30-9:30 p.m., you’ll be covered under a blanket of stars as you’re guided through the Verde Canyon to see the gorgeous vista in a way few Sedona visitors get to enjoy.
It’s a romantic getaway that takes you to the turn-around point at Perkinsville during just the right time to give you a glimpse into the nightlife of Sedona. Celestial bodies provide the perfect backdrop to once-in-a-lifetime sightings, such as bald eagles flying into the horizon, all while the Verde River flows below you, reflecting the unbelievable sunset hues.
The Romance of a Train
These Saturday night train tours are a popular choice for date night, but they’re also great for families. It’s also a great alternative, or complement, to a hike through the canyon, and the on-site menu, like the Prickly Pear Margarita, goes perfectly with the scenery. See the unspoiled beauty of the canyon up close in an intimate setting where you can kick back, relax and take it all in.
Tickets do sell out, so book yours early here.
by: Editor on 7/24/2016
Every Wednesday and Saturday, a complimentary guided walk is offered at the Red Rock State Park’s Center for Environmental Education. Meet on the viewing deck right above the visitor center, and a birding enthusiast will take you on a journey for all birding levels and nearly all ages/abilities. Whether you’ve never gone birding before or you’re a seasoned pro, this is a gorgeous way to get to know some of the feathered locals in the area.
Bring your binoculars and allow the Audubon Society’s designated Important Birding Area (IBA) to showcase some of the many bird species that call Sedona home. All walks are included with the requisite park entrance fee. Come to 4050 Red Rock Loop Road for a unique experience, or call 928-282-6907 for more information.
A Rocky Start
Red Rock State Park is home to the Mars-like red sandstone caverns that offer some of the best photography experiences in the area. Preserving the “riparian habitat” that runs along Oak Creek is the primary mission of the park governors, and offering birding walks is one of the many ways to share the beauty of the red rocks with locals and tourists alike.
If you don’t have binoculars, swing into one of the many outdoor stores in town, because you don’t want to miss this!
by: Editor on 7/17/2016
Home to some of the most impressive vortexes in the country, a Scientific Vortex Tour takes place year-round, including the Major National Retreat in July, with complete instruction on tapping into the spiritual/meditative power of vortexes. There are 2.5 hour tours offered every Monday in the Coconino National Forest with guided reflections.
Customize a Vortex Briefing for Groups, or mini-retreats and extra sessions are also available for smaller groups of four or less(?). Vortexes are energy locations that are “enhanced” and prime for meditation, prayer, and mind/body healing. Although often compared to a magnetic and electric force, that’s not at the core of vortexes. Their real explanation is on the outskirts of today’s known science.
One of the most comprehensive recent coverage on vortexes can be found on the Nova program on PBS, which claims that vortexes have energy flows in the deeper dimensions. Some believe this allows your “soul to soar” more easily, allowing for more inspiration and easier stress reduction. Many have found relaxation and peace while visiting the vortexes.
Sedona is unique because all major vortexes are located in a relatively small geographical area. Overlapping into the metro of the city, it’s easier to see how a visitor’s spiritual life intersects with their everyday experience.
by: Editor on 7/14/2016
It’s tough to narrow down the must-try Mexican restaurants in a city like Sedona where authentic, local favorites are constantly battling it out for who’s best. However, you can try—starting with the gourmet dishes at Elote Café where chef Jeff Smedstad has spent the past 15 years traveling and studying regional Mexican dishes. Guacamole with spicy almonds and fresh corn, duck flautas, lamb adobo, and a separate tequila menu make this a very special experience.
The Café Jose Restaurant is a local beloved chain offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. The chorizo and eggs, pollo con mole ranchero, diablo shrimp and Santa Fe ribeye style steak are just a few of the options at this casual joint. There are also giant tortas, like the Hawaiian, Mexican and Cuban offerings, that are sure to satisfy!
Sedona’s Top Picks
Oaxaca Restaurant features a special menu for tour groups, because they’re just that famous. Chorizo fundido, Oaxaca posole (which blends Mexican and Native American flavors), and the Blue Mesa trout are all popular. For dessert, you can’t miss the Chocolate Binge or Mexican Sundae.
At 89Agave Cantina, treat yourself to an upscale affair! They serve brunch, lunch, dinner, and a tequila menu. Famous for their grilled sweet corn, ceviche del mar and chicken tortilla soup, the only thing as mouthwatering as the menu is the stunning views.
by: Editor on 7/1/2016
Sedona is the perfectly patriotic place to be this Independence Day, with events, parades and firework displays galore. The party starts early with the All-American Weekend at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel in nearby Camp Verde. For adults who want to try their luck, five times per day a $239 Castle Cash hot seat drawing takes place with complimentary hot dogs, chips and soda from 4-9pm on July 4th.
There are face painters and a carnival for the kids, and fireworks at 9:30pm on the big day. The Sedona 4th of July Concert and Laser Light Show offers a special light show every hour on the hour at the Performing Arts Center, with food vendors and a concert from 10am-2pm at Sedona Red Rock High School.
Light It Up!
The nearby Prescott 4th of July Celebration has the biggest fireworks show in the area. They also have zip-lining, a carnival, water slides, climbing walls, bungee trampolining, and live entertainment. Fireworks begin at 9pm and there’s a free shuttle and parking at Embry-Riddle located on Willow Creek Road.
For something a little different, head to the 4th of July Rodeo Parade in Prescott followed by Whiskey Row Boot Racing and a parade. It’s all in downtown Prescott from 9-11am!