Our Sedona adventure began with with an early morning drive under clear skies from Phoenix to Jerome for breakfast with beautiful vistas in a funky mountain town with a rich mining history. Breakfast at the Mile High Grill in Jerome was worth waiting for. It is a historic, laid-back restaurant with an impressive collection of comical signs adorning the walls that serves very good food at reasonable prices with friendly, attentive service. 4*
From Jerome we headed north to Sedona, where our home was the Adobe Grand Villas, an absolutely lovely and very well run B&B two blocks north of 89A in South Sedona. Each villa is very spacious and uniquely decorated. Our villa, the Red Cinder, was complete with rustic decor, brick floors and walls, a very large bathroom with whirlpool tub and walk-in shower, and other thoughtful features such daily fresh baked bread in your villa! The proprietors truly have thought of everything to make your stay as relaxing and comfortable as possible. The Adobe Grand is located in a residential area, away from the more crowded and touristy section of North Sedona but close enough to get to any restaurant or attraction in just a few minutes. The staff treated us to a surprising welcome gift, a basket of fruit and cheese. Each afternoon we spent time by the pool which was very peaceful. A delish full breakfast each morning poolside is included with your stay, or you can dine in your villa if you prefer. On our last day we treated ourselves to massages at the spa on the property – quite possibly the best massages we have had. Thank you Robin and Kris. 5*
A drive along Upper Loop Road provides a very scenic drive through the red rocks, and provides you with a sense of place. There is a small park at Red Rocks Crossing in Coconino National Forest where you can take a short walk to one of the vortices in the area. (A vortex is a place in nature where the earth is said to be exceptionally alive with energy. The term vortex in Sedona refers to a place where the earth energy swirls and draws to it’s center everything that surrounds it like a tornado.) They say you either feel the energy or you don’t. We gave it a try and thoroughly enjoyed the landscape, but no energy sensation for us.
While it may seem a bit odd, one of the best sunset views is at the Sedona airport. Be warned, it is very crowded but the view is worth it.
And it follows that sunrise at the airport is also a gret view worth getting up early for. There is a short hike up a spur off airport road; here you can enjoy an amazing 360 degree view of Sedona.
One of the reasons we chose this area of the Southwest was for the great hiking. We started off our hiking adventure on the West Fork trail, an easy/moderate 6.5 mile round trip hike. Located in the Call of the Canyon recreational area, West Fork trail is a very beautiful canyon hike touted to be one of the best trails in Arizona. It definitely lives up to the reviews.
Day two of hiking and we head to the Boynton Canyon trailhead. We thought the West Fork trail would be hard to top, but honestly the Boynton Canyon trail is even nicer, albeit a little more challenging. A spur off the trail leads to another vortex. We heard there is a man who is often at the vortex playing the flute and sharing heart-shaped rocks but we missed him this time. The trail abuts the Enchantment Resort for a while and is approximately 2.5 miles one way, with a moderate climb to an overlook at the end. The view at the end of the trail is so worth it! Walking across the shelf above the canyon at the end offers one awesome view after another. We highly recommend hiking this trail if you find yourself here.
Our third and final hike, Brins Mesa trail – another sunny Sedona day and another fabulous hike! This moderate trail is approximately 5 miles roundtrip hike but can be extended by joining trails (such as Soldiers Pass trail). You begin with a hike up a canyon with cacti in bloom all along the trail. At the top you are treated to a 360 degree view of Mormon Canyon and the red rock formations. Again a must hike when in Sedona.
Our restaurant recommendations:
L’Auberge de Sedona – one of the nicest, most romantic restaurants we have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Serene dining creek-side (Mark watched trout dine on caddis flies while we sipped champagne) serenaded by a very talented duo. The price-fixe dinner offering and service were top notch, rivaling the best of NYC and LA. While pricey, we highly recommend this restaurant. 5*
Mariposa – dining al fresco with a fabulous view. Beautiful rustic restaurant with tasty Latin-inspired cuisine. The fried avocado appetizer is outstanding! 4 1/2 *
The Hudson – an eclectic American eatery in a chic urban setting that is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Be sure to try their delicious corn chowder. Offers a great vista from the deck. 3 1/2*
And so our getaway sadly comes to an end, but the memories remain.
… Mark & Dana …