by: Editor on 1/18/2017
Throughout Arizona, national parks are waiving entrance fees on Martin Luther King Jr. Day so you can make the most of the holiday—and see the incredible beauty of the state. The Grand Canyon is by far the most famous destination with waived fees, but don’t forget to check out numerous national monuments, parks and more on a fun-filled weekend trip from Sedona.
Only on Monday, January 17th, fees will be waived as an homage to Dr. King’s life work. Visit Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano and more. The National Park Service is boasting over a dozen fee-free celebrations in 2017, but the kickoff weekend is in January. Find out more about fee-free days at the official website.
Traditionally a “day on, not off, of service,” there are numerous options for volunteering in the Sedona area. One-day volunteer efforts are popular and a great way for visitors to connect with their adopted city. Head over to the local Volunteer Match website to connect with an opportunity that works with your schedule, or check out the Sedona Wish List for ways to donate.
However you celebrate, from heading to a park to checking out Dr. King’s works at a local library or volunteering, make the holiday weekend count.
by: Editor on 12/9/2016
Sedona transforms into Tinsel Town in December at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village in uptown. Each evening from dusk until 9 p.m., this free event lets attendees walk through incredible light displays. Visit the ancient Sycamore tree grove, and dance to music that changes every 15 minutes. Open to the public through January 1, this is a tradition for many holiday and New Year’s Eve revelers. There are different pop-up events nightly, many kept a surprise, so keep coming back to see what Tinsel Town has in store for you!
Hosted by the City of Sedona, there are a number of holiday-infused events this month. You’ll also want to check out Breakfast with Santa on December 3 from 8 – 10 a.m. at the Hub at Posse Grounds Park, hosted by Sedona Parks and Recreation. The two-hour event includes a hot breakfast, decorations and, of course, a meet and greet with Santa.
Sedona Does the Holidays Right
You can ice skate in Sedona December 30 and 31 at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, too! The outdoor synthetic skating rink is a favorite holiday tradition! It’s open from 3 – 9 p.m. both nights, and admission is free to all. Parking is available nearby, and complimentary shuttle services are available.
There’s no rule that a winter wonderland has to include snow. If you’re spending the holidays in Sedona, there are many options to get into the spirit of the season!
by: Editor on 12/1/2016
Let the holidays begin with the annual tree lighting and visit from Santa at Canyon Breeze Plaza in uptown Sedona on December 2nd. The two hour event starts at 5 p.m. and is free to the public. The huge 20-foot tree is gorgeously decorated and lit throughout the month of December, but being there for the inaugural lighting is extra special. Plus, Santa has a grand entrance to help Sedona begin the holiday season—and he’s available for visits and photos, too!
Bring the kids while you listen to holiday carolers from around the region. Youth music groups are especially popular, and nothing pairs better with your favorite holiday song than a cup of cider, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. Hosted by the Sedona Main Street Program and the City of Sedona, for many the holidays don’t start until this event takes place.
Small Town Holiday Charm
Throughout the year, Main Street is committed to offering a pedestrian-friendly experience to all residents and visitors to the city. A destination that “embraces the beauty of the surrounding red rocks and creates a unique experience for all” is at the heart of their vision. They also partner with area businesses who will be offering holiday specials and deals, including at the tree lighting ceremony.
Bring your wish list for Santa, your sweet tooth for indulgences, and get ready to make Sedona your home away from home this holiday season.
by: Editor on 11/21/2016
Want to start your Thanksgiving in a healthy and fun way? The Sedona’s annual Turkey Trot is now in its seventh year and has become a Red Rocks tradition! It loops from the Posse Grounds Park where you’ll find plenty of nearby parking and comfortable amenities on site. Registration is just $35 during the month of November and $40 on race day. However, keep in mind that for the past six years, this race has sold out, so reserve your tickets early!
An easy out-and-back trail with a little loop along Soldier Pass Road means this is truly a fun run for the entire family. Every runner is pro timed compliments of Run Flagstaff via RFID chip technology. Packet pick-up happens on November 23 at the Sedona Running Company from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and same-day pick-up is November 24 from 8 – 9 a.m. The race is staggered from 9 – 10:15 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day with the awards ceremony kicking off at 10:15 a.m.
Wobble Before You Gobble
Want an even bigger challenge? Try the Iron Turkey, which requires you to take on the course all while carrying your turkey (it’s recommended that the turkey isn’t cooked yet, but that’s your call—some runners get hungry along the course!). Last year, there were five Iron Turkey challengers, and there will surely be more this time around!
Medals are given to all finishers, and trophies are dished up to the winners in each category. Two water stops are located along the course, with light snacks for finishers including the basics like bagels and fruit and, of course, slices of pumpkin pie.
by: Editor on 11/2/2016
The Red Rocks are renowned for hiking, mountain biking and exploring, but don’t miss out on Bell Rock, one of Sedona’s smaller hidden gems. It’s a short, accessible hike at just 0.75 miles long and takes you up the northern face of the aptly named Bell Rock. The trail is marked clearly and begins at the Bell Rock Pathway. At the peak, you’ll take a loop before gently descending.
This is a favorite short hike for locals and can be a popular pick on weekends and holidays. It’s best to tackle this outing early mornings or on off days, such as weekdays and key holidays (Thanksgiving is a perfect pick!). Many rock climbers also try to take on the rock itself.
A Rocking Good Time
The slide area is a unique challenge that some hikers like to attempt, and to the east is a spot where you can try to climb even higher. Getting to the peak of the spires is an obstacle nervier hikers attempt, but you’ll need plenty of experience for this. To go above and beyond turns Bell Rock into a hazardous and strenuous hike. However, the rewards are incredible with views you can’t get anywhere else in Sedona.
The short trails and numerous options make Bell Rock a great choice for groups with a variety of skilled hikers. Take the northern parking lot to the base of Bell Rock for a simple hike, or choose the Lower Bell Rock Trail. A moderate hike can be made via the Upper Bell Rock Trail, or try the Ascent if you’re an experienced hiker.
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.