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 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 9/2/2016
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.
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.