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 7/1/2016
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!
by: Editor on 5/5/2016
On May 7, the famous Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off, hosted by the local Rotary Club, takes place at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. Part of the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta weekend, 2016 welcomes a new Mayors’ Challenge as Mayor Diane Smith Joens of Cottonwood takes on Mayor Sandy Moriarty of Sedona. There’s also the much loved Fire Chiefs’ Challenge. This year it features the Chief of Camp Verde/Montezuma Rimrock Fire District, Terry Keller, against last years’ champ and the Chief of Sedona Fire District, Kris Kazian.
A number of awards are at stake, including the Peoples’ Choice Award and Judges’ Award, which go to restaurants eager to show off their best chili recipes. There’s also the Best Booth Décor Award. This year’s competing restaurants include 89Agave, a Sonoran Mexican taqueria, Café Paleo Brio Health Food Restaurant, and Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge (and many more!).
The Hideaway House is back, a country Italian restaurant that brings fresh flavor to a southwestern classic dish. The Hudson is also in the running, along with Timo, a wood-fired oven eatery and wine bar. Will Vino di Sedona (a craft beer haven), Verde Brewing Company or Whole Foods Market take home the trophy this year?
All proceeds benefit the Rotary’s charitable programs, especially the Imagination Library which offers free books to 400+ children in the Sedona area. There are also scholarships supported by the cook-off, and END POLIO NOW receives some of the proceeds too.
by: Editor on 5/1/2016
Sedona is spilling over with pampering, spa and treatment centers offering Mother’s Day specials, but don’t forget about some of the best brunches the city has to offer. The Sedona Golf Resort is offering its annual Mother’s Day Special with an endless buffet and complimentary mimosas. Adult admission is $25, and children seven and under dine for free. Enjoy an omelet station, prime rib, bacon and turkey sausage, a chocolate fountain, and quiche Lorraine.
The Arizona Biltmore Afternoon Tea Party is an event worthy of all moms. Over 85 years of tradition is steeped here, dating back to the opening in 1929. You’ll find a selection of teas, scones and finger sandwiches, along with a great excuse to wear your most festive hat. Seatings are at noon and two throughout the week, including Sunday, and tickets start at $39.
Mom Gets More
At the aptly named Mama-Rama, the National Comedy Theater caters to Mother’s Day with audience participation. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the Saturday before the big day with shows at 7:30pm and 9:45pm. Tickets are just $12-14, and while you can sometimes score at the door, it’s best to reserve tickets in advance.
For those with moms who are no longer with us, the local Mother’s Day remembrance is a great way to celebrate the life and joy of a special woman in your life. Hospice of the Valley hosts this annual event and encourages attendees to bring mementos and photos of the mom(s) who have moved on.
by: Editor on 4/20/2016
The fourth weekend in April marks the annual Sedona Open Studios Tour from 10am-5pm both Saturday and Sunday. Visit artists in their natural environment and enjoy live music, appetizers and great company as you go from studio to studio. Get to know a deeper level of artistry, watch the masters work, and maybe even fall in love with a piece that’s the perfect keepsake from your Sedona adventure.
The Sedona Visual Artists’ Coalition is the host of the event, now in its 13th year. A celebration of all artists in the greater Verde Valley, the artist-operated non-profit welcomes thousands of visitors each year. Artists’ participation fees fully fund the tours, which makes it a free community event for all.
A Real Work of Art
In 2016, more than 40 studios will be participating, and every imaginable medium will be on display. Enjoy ceramics, fiber, watercolors, painting, sculpture, photography, and even jewelry making. The Coalition was founded in 1996 with nine artist friends who were passionate about conversations and the sharing of creative ideas.
A common bond can strengthen each individual artist. Now, there are more than 150 shows hosted by the Coalition each year. In 2006, the group gained non-profit status and has been featured in the Sedona Monthly magazine. Show your support, and indulge in a weekend of artistry to see another beautiful slice of Sedona.
by: Editor on 4/8/2016
Sedona is home to some of the best, most authentic Thai restaurants in Arizona. Check out Thai Spices Natural Restaurant, where a special veggie menu is available and Chef Pearl’s latest specialties are always featuring innovative dishes. The latest include Shitaki and Sea Vegetables, Thai Duck Curry, Fish Curry Fillet, and Three Herbs Vitality.
At Thai Palace Uptown, you’ll find Asian inspired cocktails to go with their lunch and dinner menu. Enjoy their Pad Prig King, Thai BBQ Chicken, or their super Spicy Noodles. For dessert, Golden Deep Fried Bananas with Honey, the Palace Banana Wrap or Coconut Ice Cream are all decadent choices.
Locals love Tara Thai Restaurant where specialties include Pra Rham, Steamed Fish, the Coconut Princess, and Thai Suki. Plus, this destination is part restaurant, part Thai massage parlor! Before dinner, pamper yourself with a Traditional Thai Massage, Deep Tissue Massage, or Reflexology treat.
Red Chopstick offers the Mandarin House Flaming Platter Combo, Shark Fin Soup, Spicy Honey Shrimp, and Golden Scallops. Separate beef, pork, chicken, and veggie menus are a must to hold this expansive selection. From curries and tofu dishes to battered fish fare, there’s truly something for everyone at this diverse diner.