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 8/22/2016
Indian cuisine can be difficult to come by in Arizona, but Sedona boasts two authentic, delicious options for those craving saag paneer, Goan (?) curry and mango lassi. India Palace is a casual eatery open for lunch and dinner specializing in chicken and lamb dishes, curry, and rice dishes. Some of their top appetizers and starters include veggie pakoras and samosas, tilapia pakora, and mulliga taluny soup.
Their full tandoori dinner includes chicken tikka, sheeshkababs, lamb tikka, tandoori chicken, a veggie curry, naan, rice, and coffee or tea for $16.95. Try out their generous seafood menu featuring shrimp masala, mahi-mahi vindaloo and tandoori fish masala. Their lunch buffet, just under $10 for adults, offers an eclectic mix of their most popular dishes.
Dine Like a Local
The ChocolaTree offers authentic chai tea along with other favorite Indian dishes. All organic using local, seasonal ingredients when possible, you’ll find saag paneer right beside their famous Green Goddess Salad. It’s a true fusion destination where the bean chili soup, a southwestern staple, is served up with the chilled carrot ginger soup.
If it’s Indian food you’re craving, you’re in luck in Sedona. Customize your heat levels, and enjoy a truly local touch with innovative dishes.
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!