Sedona’s Devil’s Bridge
Every so often, everyone needs a friend getaway. Again, where do you go? There are so many options, but few offer sun, unique scenery and great food in one location. Sedona has the iconic red rocks and some amazing hikes, though you will not be alone. Having done a lot of research on this area, it seems to be busy year round, though the peak season is spring and fall.
1. How To Get To Sedona
If you do not live within driving distance, there are two major airports that are nearby; Flagstaff and Phoenix. From Seattle, American Airlines flight to Phoenix was the cheapest option for me and we transformed it into part of the trip, though there is a 1 hour and 54 min drive to Sedona. Flagstaff is only 43 minutes from Sedona and for a convenient option, there is a small airport in Sedona as well.
From Seattle to Phoenix was 2 hours and 23 min. This was an early flight, sigh, but found a restaurant, True Food Kitchen nearby for breakfast. All the food was amazing, fresh and organic. I forgot to take a picture of the gluten free banana pancakes with quinoa, but, wow, so good! After walking around the outdoor mall for a minute, we headed out.
2. Where To Stay
So this can be difficult. There are so many hotels to choose from in Sedona. There are different parts of town such as West Sedona, Uptown, and some on the edge of town options. Uptown does allow for a more walkable trip near shops and restaurants, but is very touristy and you miss out of some of the character of the city. West Sedona is just a mile or two away and is quieter, but you do need to drive for most places. We picked the Rouge hotel in West Sedona as it fit our budget, had a great pool, good reviews and was available for the dates we were traveling. There was a Safeway next door to grab some snacks and drinks and across the street a farmers market which was nice surprise on Sunday.
Basically, once you have your budget, see what is available during your timeframe and decide on whether you would like the convenience of walking, or would rather a quieter space. There are many AirBnB offerings as well in the area which can be nice for larger parties and sometimes offer more space.
3. What To See and Do
If you love nature, you have to do some hiking. The two hikes we were able to do in a weekend were Devil’s Bridge and Cathedral Rock. The first one, we got up at sunrise, 5 am and found easy parking, was cool in the morning and not many people at the top. This was an easy hike, though there were steep areas at the end. For the following day, we were too tired to get up early, so headed out about 8 am. It was a miracle we found parking, but someone was leaving as we showed up and voila. Cathedral Rock trail was a lot harder of a hike than I thought, but it is so worth it. Would be sure you are able to climb over rocks and are steady on your feet before trying this one.
The places we missed were Chapel of The Holy Cross and Slide Rock State Park, which I would love to come back and see. There are jeep tours and vans for some of the hikes, but we just drove our small rental car to the parking lot and worked out ok.
4. Where To Eat
The restaurants in Sedona are many, but it is extremely hard to get reservations for some of the most popular. All the research I did brought up Elote over and over, but due to covid restrictions or just the popularity, even 6 weeks out, none were available. We were able to get one for The Hudson which I highly recommend for both food and views. One of our travelers is gluten free and a pescatarian and the restaurant was very accomodating. SaltRock at Amara hotel was pretty good, views were amazing. Bottom line is, pick the food you like and see if you can get reservations. The availability will hopefully improve as restrictions lift, but I can see this place becoming more and more popular, so doubt it will improve much. One place we wanted to try was Mariposa, but again, unable to grab that elusive reservation.
5. What To Pack
- Sunscreen and a hat! As a natural redhead, this is a no brainer… but I forgot a hat and ended wearing a ridiculous hat after burning my scalp on day 1.
- Hiking shoes. All the hikes are dusty with smooth rocks. Good tread on your shoes is a necessity.
- Bathing Suit. Most hotels have pools and even if they don’t, head up to Slide Rock State Park and you will be glad you have this.
- Patience. The uptown area where the restaurants and shops are are filled with cars and the roundabouts are slow going. Plan plenty of time to get through there and it will be less stressful.
- Sense of adventure. This is truly a one of a kind place and getting out of the tourist area and enjoying Sedona is where you can connect and truly getaway. If vegan chocolate is your thing, Synergy is a great little place to stop and get some coffee, chocolate and an impromptu song by Ben Carnahan, who happened to be working and had his guitar ready to go. (CBD items are not my thing, but they do have this as well).
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