Tasty Southwestern eats and striking scenery await you in the high desert
It’s only a matter of time before Sedona trades its hippie aura for a hipster one. Located smack-dab in the middle of the Grand Canyon state, the low-key desert outpost seems primed for lovers of all things small-batch, artisanal, and vintage. Of course, it continues to draw visitors with its energy vortexes and crystal shops. Whether or not you believe in all that metaphysical stuff, you can relish hiking in Sedona’s colorful forests, gazing at its stars and red rock cliffs, and dining on locally grown and foraged foods. (Want more? Book a hair-raising guided tour in a bubble gum–colored Jeep.) Here are our favorite things to do in Sedona.
8 A.M. At Pump House Station Urban Eatery and Market (pumphousestation.com), cozy up to the stone fireplace and linger over delicate sugar-cinnamon crêpes with homemade sage sausage and a lavender latte.
9 A.M. Drive scenic State 89A about 10 miles north to West Fork Trail (928/203-2900). This shady path winds through sandstone cliffs and oak and bigtooth maple trees. You’ll cross the creek 13 times if you hike the entire 6.6 miles out and back, but there’s no beauty lost in turning around at any point. Wear shoes built for water—and bring $10 cash for parking.
12 P.M. Park the car and snap a few #nofilter photos on the northeast side of Midgley Bridge, a 374-foot-long steel arch that carries traffic from cliff to cliff some 500 feet above Wilson Canyon.
1 P.M. Back in town, refuel at Indian Gardens Café & Market (indiangardens.com), a 1940s general store that’s now a coffeehouse and shop adored by locals. Enjoy chicken posole and fresh-pressed cider for lunch. Try to save room for the vegan double-chocolate espresso cookies.
2:30 P.M. Go off-roading with Pink Jeep Tours (from $59; pinkadventuretours.com) for a close-up of iconic rock formations. For example, on the Broken Arrow Tour, guides armed with geology facts take you four-wheeling past Submarine and Mushroom Rocks. Reserve ahead, bundle up, and hang on.
4:30 P.M. Wander Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village (tlaq.com), a pueblo-style arcade where must-stops include Eisenart Innovations (928/ 204-6443) for funky metal sculptures and Esteban’s (estebanssedona.com) for wind chimes and pottery made in town. Across the street, commission a souvenir picture of your aura at the Center for the New Age (sedonanewagestore.com). This is Sedona, after all.
5:30 P.M. Sip a dusky-pink prickly pear margarita from the terrace and watch the red rocks turn purple at Che Ah Chi (928/204- 6000). Tuck into braised bison with sweet-potato purée and search for the Kachina Woman hoodoo atop Boynton Canyon. Bonus points if you feel the energy vortex.
PERFECT NIGHT At affordable and convenient Red Agave Adventure Resort (from $179; redagaveresort.net), you get A-frames with kitchenettes, day hikes out the front door, and evening campfires for s’mores.