AOK Guide to Sedona, Arizona

travel blogger Amanda's OK guide to sedona, arizona

Hey, what's up, hello! Long time no blog post, eh? I have taken a little step back from blogging (and social media in general) in 2020 and it has been so refreshing. It has allowed me to focus on figuring out my new job, nurturing my marriage and learning to love life and myself again. All good things! I have very much enjoyed my two month blogging break.... it reminded me that it's OK to spend little less of my time with my face in my phone/computer. That being said, I still value this little corner of the internet and love getting to share my life and travels with you all....whether that be in my own backyard, around Oklahoma, around the country or around the world! I kind of want to shift my blog to me more travel focused moving forward as that is where I find the most inspiration and feel the most passion!

For my 30th birthday C and I spent a long weekend in Sedona, Arizona and absolutely fell in love. It was one of those places that truly took our breath away. It was not only beautiful, but peaceful, relaxing, active, delicious.....all the things. I can say without a doubt that Sedona is one of the most beautiful places I've seen in the United States (and I've seen a lot of places). I can't recommend it enough!

blogger Amanda Martin travels to Sedona Arizona and hikes Devil's Bridge

OKC blogger Amanda Martin's guide to Sedona, Arizona

Sedona Travel Tips
Pack Appropriately for the Time of Year - Sedona is a high desert where the sun beats down during the day but it gets chilly at night! We visited in January so the weather was absolute perfection (highs in the 60s, lows in the 30s) but definitely pack accordingly depending on what time of year you visit... I'm sure it is crazy hot in the summer. If outside during the day, be sure to pack sunscreen (remember you can still burn in the winter) and bring water with you if you hike! If visiting in the summer, I'd recommend hiking at sunrise or sunset to avoid the harsh sun and heat.

Rent a Car (or drive) - we flew into Phoenix (a direct flight from OKC on Southwest) and rented a car. It was a two hour drive, so not bad at all! You could most likely Uber/Lyft around Sedona itself, but you would need a car to get there from any major airport.

Make Reservations - it seemed like most of the nicer restaurants in Sedona were packed! I would recommend making reservations ahead of time unless you want to hover over the bar and wait for a seat to open up.

airport mesa is the best place to watch the sunset in sedona
Airport Mesa Vortex 

What to Do in Sedona
Hike - the number one reason we chose to visit Sedona! The hiking oportunities and outdoor activities are endless. I shared my favorite hikes below.

Visit a Vortex - Sedona is known for its vortexes! A vortex is a swirling center of energy used for healing, meditation or self exploration that leave people feeling inspired, uplifted, at peace or recharged. Sedona as a whole is considered to be a vortex, but there are specific sites within Sedona where the energy is most intense: Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon. Do I necessarily believe in the powers of a vortex? No. But I did find Sedona to be one of the most peaceful places I've ever visited and after visiting Airport Mesa (where the above photo was taken), I felt so balanced and at peace with myself, my mind and the world! The whole trip left me feeling more relaxed and reharged than any other vacation I've been on. I'm usually full of travel anxiety, but not in Sedona! Maybe it was the vortex or maybe it was my #newyearnewme mantra?

Visit a Winery - when I think wine tasting, Arizona isn't the first place that comes to mind..... but just outside of Sedona there are a handful of little wineries and vineyards you can visit! It would be perfect for a girl's trip or bachelorette party. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the wine tasting we did at Page Spring Cellars. It was the only winery we had time to visit, but there were lots of others in the area to choose from or to make a day of.

Relax at the Spa - Sedona is known for it's relaxing environment! We didn't visit a spa ourselves so I don't have specific recommendations for you, but if you want to relax and pamper yourself, there are lots of hotel spas in town.

Go on a Pink Jeep Tour - we didn't have time to go on a tour but I have heard amazing things! Pink Jeep Tours take you out into the desert to climb over the red rocks where only suped up 4x4s can go. They will even take you to the Grand Canyon if you have an extra day to commit to it.

Get Outside - we chose to hike, but there are a lot of other activities you can do outside in Sedona like bike rides, horse back rides, etc! Just prowl around uptown and you will find plenty of tour companies / rental companies with lots of options.

Watch the Sunset - seriously, earth is cool! We drove up to Airport Mesa to watch the sunset and WOW! I would suggest getting there early to claim your spot if you want to watch from the vortex itself because there isn't a ton of parking. However, you can pay to park at the airport and walk to the edge of the cliff. Both views are beautiful!

Oklahoma blogger Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK explore Sedona, Arizona
Airport Mesa at Sunset

Where to Eat in Sedona
Creekside Coffee - brew with a view! We stopped here every morning before going on a sunrise hike.

Indian Gardens Cafe - maybe my favorite meal of the trip! We ate brunch at Indian Gardens post sunrise hike and it Maybe because I was ravenous after hiking all morning or maybe because it was just that good! This cafe is located just outside of town on the side of the highway in what looks like an old convenience store but it boasts the most beautiful garden patio. They have blankets at every table so you can sit outside even when it is chilly. I ordered the breakfast burrito and YUM is all I have to say about it!

The Coffee Pot - another post hike breakfast spot! The Coffee Pot is just a good old diner with literally 100+ omelets, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, etc. It's nothing special, but it was quick and  hearty.

The Secret Garden Cafe - this little restaurant is located in the Tlaquepaque Village and is such a cute, upscale cafe! It was kind of expensive for what it is, but I'm still thinking about their southwest corn chowder. I believe they serve all three meals but we ate here for lunch!

The Hudson - the perfect date night spot! The Hudson is a more upscale neighborhood restaurant. It was super popular and packed on a weekend. We didn't have reservations but were able to hover until a few bar seats opened up. Their spicy margarita gets all the stars + the mushroom burger...... Lord almighty, ya'll. I felt like a pig because I gobbled up every single solitary bite.

Others I didn't make it to: Wildflower Bread Company, Tii Gavo, Elote Cafe, Mariposa, Saltrock, Oaxaca, Oak Creek Brewery, Etch..... I think another trip is in order, don't you?

Indian Gardens Cafe in Sedona Arizona is a a must eat!
Indian Gardens Cafe

Travel blogger Amanda's OK devours the breakfast burrito at Indian Gardens Cafe in Sedona
Indian Gardens Cafe

The Gardens at Indian Gardens Cafe in Sedona make for the perfect patio seating
Indian Gardens Cafe

the spicy margarita at The Hudson in Sedona gets all the stars!
The Hudson

Where to Hike in Sedona
We chose to hike at sunrise or sunset for photo purposes but we ended up loving the experience and plan to do that again in the future! The sunrise hikes had much fewer people and made for a more enjoyable it is just cool to be in nature as the world wakes up! The sunset hikes were much busier, but still beautiful. During the summer, it can be too hot and dangerous to hike mid-day so keep that in mind! 

Devil's Bridge Trail - Devil's bridge is the iconic photo spot in Sedona! I would recommend starting before sunrise if you want to beat the crowd....if you don't, there will no where to park and the trail will be absolutely packed! The parking lot is quite a ways from the trailhead so you will be walking down a dirt road for a very long time. Once you reach the trailhead, though, the hike is beautiful! It wasn't toooo difficult until you started to climb up to the bridge itself, then it was just steep. It took us about two hours and (including the trek from the parking lot) was about 4.35 miles out and back.

Cathedral Rock - this hike was awesome but it was HARD! I wasn't prepared for how steep and slick it would be.....but the view was 100% worth it. I wouldn't recommend this hike for young kids, elderly folks, or people who are out of shape. I would definitely recommend you wear grippy hiking shoes if you have them because the rock is very slippery and there isn't much to grip or hold onto in some of the steep areas. I was terrified I was going to slip and knock out a tooth haha! That being said, I'm so glad we did this hike! We went at sunset and although the view at the top was beautiful at sunset behind the red rocks, it was reeeeeeeally busy up there. If you wanted to be more secluded, sunrise or early morning might be more enjoyable. The hike is about 2 miles out and back and it took us just over an hour to complete.

Soldier's Pass - I enjoyed this hike because there was something interesting to look at around every corner! It was a relatively easy hike (mostly flat until the turnaround point) and would be fine for kids. We hiked at sunrise but this could be done at any time of day, weather and heat permitting. This hike was just over 3.5 miles and it took us about two hours. Along the trail you will find a giant sink hole, the seven sacred pools, and the Soldier's Pass cave. I wasn't able to get into the cave due to a bad shoulder, but my husband was able to pull himself inside and said it was really neat! The sink hole is what wow'd collapsed in 1989 and again in 1995. It continues to grow due to rain dissolving limestone under the surface and creating caves underneath it. Crazy!
Note: the Soldier's Pass parking lot has strict hours and the neighborhood in which this trailhead is located does not allow cars to be parked on the road. To ensure a parking space, arrive right at 8 a.m. when it opens! 

I also wanted to hike Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon and explore the Birthing Cave. Next time!

Travel blogger Amanda Martin crossing Devil's Bridge in Sedona Arizona
Devil's Bridge

Travel blogger Amanda's OK is excited to be hiking in Sedona
Cathedral Rock

travel blogger Amanda's OK overlooks the Sedona sunset from Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock

travel blogger Amanda Martin has her morning coffee overlooking sunrise at the seven sacred pools in Sedona, AZ
The Seven Sacred Pools on Soldier's Pass Trail

the devil's sinkhole on soldier's pass trail in sedona, az
Devil's Sinkhole on Soldier's Pass Trail

Where to Shop in Sedona
Uptown - basically Sedona's "downtown." This is where you will find the tourist shops, boutiques, etc. Be sure to pick up some prickly pear gummy candy while you're there, yum.

Tlaquepaque Village - a really pretty area to walk around in (or take pictures in)! This village has restaurants, art galleries and a few eclectic high-end boutiques. It is nestled under the most beautiful sycamore trees on the banks of a creek.

travel blogger amanda's ok goes shopping in Tlaquepaque Village
Tlaquepaque Village

Tlaquepaque Village is the perfect photo location in sedona, arizona
Tlaquepaque Village

And that wraps it up! I absolutely loved my time in Sedona and 100% recommend it as a travel destination. I for sure want to go back.....or maybe move there, haha. Have you been to Sedona? If so, tell me what you love about it!

Thanks so much for reading and happy travels!

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