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.
by: Editor on 9/16/2016
Head to Sound Bites Grill in Sedona every Wednesday to indulge in local wines and listen to a talk by wine experts, telling the story of each varietal’s journey. Choose the wines you want to try with four pours for just $10. Of course, the regular taps are readily available, too! Enjoy the views of Snoopy Rock, and watch the desert sunset while sipping on a new favorite glass of vino or pint of beer. It’s the perfect destination for date night or a company get together.
Sound Bites Grill is a leading Sedona lounge, nightclub and bar—but the full restaurant menu is what really keeps regulars coming back. Open for lunch, dinner, happy hour and late night, make sure to check out the dessert menu first so you know exactly how much room to save! The Angus beef sliders, ahi poke, and Fleetwood mac and cheese bites with smoked gouda and panko crusted parmesan are perfect to share.
Their coffee desserts and nightcaps are a treat in themselves. The Hot Tub Coffee features Irish cream, Frangelico, Kahlua and coffee with a whipped cream topping. The Keoke coffee has Kahlua, brandy, coffee and crème de cocoa with a thick whipped topping.
And for dessert? The pumpkin cheesecake and truffle trio are great to share. The martini cheesecake with granola and berry compote is divine, but the brown betty a la mode with granny smith apples in a caramel sauce with granola and ice cream really takes the cake (or pie!).
by: Editor on 9/2/2016
At Yavapai College (OLLI) in the heart of Sedona, September 9-11 marks the first annual Sedona Book and Arts Festival, with authors, actors and artists on site. This year’s theme is “a story runs through it,” and attendees will get the chance to get books signed and photos snapped with their favorite authors and artists. Theatrical energy runs strong at this event, with authors creating the words for actors to play out amidst gorgeous backdrops and with stunning visual images.
It’s a one-of-a-kind festival that blends the literary, artistic and theatrical world with a slew of workshops for attendees of all skill levels. Join a seminar to learn more about creative crafts, or head to an intimate reading with one of your favorite authors. This first year is an experimental one, and attendees are encouraged to share, explore and contribute.
Teaching the Craft
Distinctive teachers in a myriad of fields are coming together to make this year special. Wear flamboyant costumes if you like! Dress up as your favorite character from a book or movie—or simply come as yourself. Costumes aren’t required but are encouraged. This is an “anything goes” type of Sedona event that’s expected to grow and thrive in coming years.
Exhibitors are still welcome to apply, and you might be able to squeeze in last minute by registering online.