Other than the airline, the Southwest isn’t an area I think much of for travels. So when one of my good friends suggested that we do a spontaneous weekend jaunt, I didn’t expect that I would enjoy the Southwest as much as I did.
After narrowing down a weekend date in October, we promptly began a fun and spontaneous Google Flight search with the “I’m feeling lucky” button. We gave ourselves 24 Hours to find and commit to a destination and as our self-imposed deadline came upon us, we whittled through a list of great Fall bargains (Portland, Calgary, NYC, Austin) and landed with Sedona (after finding a GREAT deal for RT plane tickets to Phoenix for less than $150).
The criteria for this spontaneous search:
- New destination or experience for one of us
- Activities that allowed us to bond for a girls weekend!
Sedona became then the perfect escape for us to road trip, hike, yoga, spa & get connected for the weekend.
Sedona is about 120 miles away from the Phoenix airport (approximately 2 hour drive). Fly into Phoenix (PHX) for affordable fares and rent a car to get to Sedona. You can also fly into the Sedona airport but fares may be pricier.
Renting a car is wise for Sedona, especially if you want to see all the Red Rocks, sites and hike.
We stayed right in the heart of Sedona at the Hyatt Pinon Pointe. The views from this hotel/timeshare were incredible and the location was centrally located along the State Route 89. This was pretty central to us getting to some of the most iconic hiking spots (Cathedral Rocks & Sugarloaf Mountain) and was also a great place for us to walk into downtown for dinner.
However, there are plenty of other inns, Airbnbs & hotels throughout Sedona that will give you easy access to all the sites.
Saltrock Southwest Kitchen – This was our treat dinner after a long day of hiking & yoga on Saturday night. This restaurant is located within the Amara Resort & Spa (a Kimpton property) within Sedona. With southwest inspired fare, this place definitely offered up dishes with Southwest inspired flare with some of the most delicious craft margaritas I’ve ever had (and I’m not really a margarita or Tequila fan). Combined with a well lit veranda and delicious views of the mountains, this is a great stop for an dusk lit dinner.
Cafe Paleo Brio – While a mouthful to pronounce, this place was a great lunch spot after a 3.5 hour morning hike with yoga. This cafe is located along the State Route 89 and offers health aficianados (and Paleo dieters) delicious meal offerings that will make you feel nourished & satisfied.
The decor of this place is incredibly interesting (think Rainforest Cafe meets the Southwest) but the waitstaff here is INCREDIBLY friendly and welcoming and the food is so tasty, you’ll forget you’re eating something healthy. Try: The Bulletproof Bone Marrow Shots. Sounds soooo odd but it is oddly satisfying (especially with a build your own Paleo bowl!)
Creekside C0ffee – THIS is the place you come to in Sedona for REAL espresso based drinks AND amazing views of the mountain. Located right off the 89 roundabout, this cute little cafe offers cozy couches and unobstructed views of the mountains. Some lighter fare is also offered here and local art is featured on the walls.
Wildflower Bread Company – Located at the shops at Pinon Pointe, this regionally based cafe chain offers more than just delicious bread. This place is a relatively affordable, quick and convenient quick service cafe for Breakfast or Lunch. We were impressed with the variety of savory to sweet breakfast options, desserts, pastries, pies and prepared dishes. This was a great spot to fuel up before our big hike up Cathedral Rock!
Yoga – Yogi aficianados come from afar to practice amongst the vortex energy of the rocks in Sedona. There are plenty of yoga studios in town or better yet, hire a Yogi to do a Vortex Yoga experience amongst the rocks! (see below)
Hike – Hiking has to be one the top reasons why one would come to Sedona. The Red Rocks surrounding the area are not only picturesque, they offer a sense of wonder and bewilderment once you’re immersed in the intense color and structure of the rock formations. There are a couple of great hikes that we did (follow below!)
Day 1: Sugarloaf Mountain – This trail has a nice easy ascent and leads you to great views of the valley overlooking Coffee Pot rock. This was a great starter hike for our first day and we even did a one hour yoga session on the rocks. Budget at least three hours for a good yoga sesh and the hike!
Day 2: Cathedral Rock – This is one of the most iconic rock formations in Sedona (and potentially most photographed). Located centrally in the Red Rock state park, this hike is particularly steep but short. I would highly recommend this hike in the morning (as the heat and incline can wear you out quickly) and wearing good hiking shoes. The hike is worth the while (even if there are a lot of tourists on the trail!) Budget at least three-four hours to hike, rest and enjoy all the views!
Hiking Tip – Look for the caged pile of rocks. These rock cages indicate the trail path (that would be otherwise difficult to find) in all the rock paths.
Spa/Massage at Namti – Locals come to this understated spa for massages. While this is not the resort fancy spa you might find in the local resort hotels, this is where the local Sedonians or snowbirds go when they need good body work for a great deal!
Shop at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village – This quaint shopping center is filled with specialty shops specializing in local crafts, art & jewels. While we didn’t shop much here, we did marvel in the architectural aesthetic of the village and cute picture opportunities throughout the village. As you wander through the walled village, you’ll get to marvel in art, sculpture and Spanish inspired architecture that make fore great insta worthy shots!
After spending 48 hours in Sedona, I can definitely say that I must go back for another weekend getaway. This weekend getaway was not only great from a physical, mental and spiritual standpoint, but was also just what we needed to get our girl time bonding on with lots of laughter and adventure.
Any good girlfriend weekend getaways you’ve come across?
With Joy & Wanders,