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!
by: Editor on 7/17/2016
Home to some of the most impressive vortexes in the country, a Scientific Vortex Tour takes place year-round, including the Major National Retreat in July, with complete instruction on tapping into the spiritual/meditative power of vortexes. There are 2.5 hour tours offered every Monday in the Coconino National Forest with guided reflections.
Customize a Vortex Briefing for Groups, or mini-retreats and extra sessions are also available for smaller groups of four or less(?). Vortexes are energy locations that are “enhanced” and prime for meditation, prayer, and mind/body healing. Although often compared to a magnetic and electric force, that’s not at the core of vortexes. Their real explanation is on the outskirts of today’s known science.
One of the most comprehensive recent coverage on vortexes can be found on the Nova program on PBS, which claims that vortexes have energy flows in the deeper dimensions. Some believe this allows your “soul to soar” more easily, allowing for more inspiration and easier stress reduction. Many have found relaxation and peace while visiting the vortexes.
Sedona is unique because all major vortexes are located in a relatively small geographical area. Overlapping into the metro of the city, it’s easier to see how a visitor’s spiritual life intersects with their everyday experience.
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.