This easy-to-reach Arizona destination offers something for everyone.
Arriving in Sedona, Arizona, a city about four hours north of Tucson, was like driving into a different state. I knew I was close when the mountains surrounding the highway started gradually changing from brown, green and tan, until all I saw were earthy red peaks. Rather than just cruising by them, it felt as if I were weaving through them, feeling completely immersed in the scenery.
During the three days I was there, I got a taste of the beautiful Sedona springtime.The sun was out, and Sedona was alive in its vibrant chestnut color.
The city offers countless activities for all seasons. For example, there are so many interesting trails that I feel unsatisfied if I don’t get any type of walk in. Options range from a five-minute cruise to an adventure that will take you until the sun goes down. In either case, the destination will be equally as beautiful.
One hike that took a large chunk out of my day — but was well worth it — was the Devil’s Bridge Trail, a 4.2- mile trek that goes up 564 feet in elevation. On the way in, there is a lot of uphill work to be done. I took a couple of breaks, letting the soreness of my legs ease and catching my breath, but every ounce of pain or discomfort subsided when I reached the top and saw the bridge. As Sir Edmund Hillary once said, “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” I had to agree!
Another sojourn I took that was shorter, but just as fulfilling, was the walk to Amitabha Stupa Peace Park, about a fiveminute walk from a parking lot on a level trail. I turned a corner and suddenly felt a wave of peacefulness sweep over me. The Amitabha Stupa is connected to the Buddhist religion, making this a place for people who are practicing spirituality to come, pray, meditate, sit, and think. But you don’t have to be Buddhist to enjoy the park, however. There are two Buddhist Stupas, a Native American medicine wheel and prayer trails (short paths lined with stones that all have quotes on them). Most of all, even if it is crowded, there is a serene silence throughout Peace Park.
According to some authorities on the subject, there are seven vortexes in Sedona, each one corresponding to specific human feelings and emotions. Maybe that’s why it’s a place where I felt truly connected to myself. There are seven chakras in the human body, and visiting each vortex in Sedona is believed to enhance the feelings associated with one of the chakras.
The whole city, which was named after Sedona Schnebly, wife of the town’s first postmaster, exudes spirituality. You cannot go past more than a couple stores without seeing one that offers Reiki sessions, crystal readings, tarot card readings, healing therapies and so on. For me, it was inevitable that I would develop a desire to delve deeper into my own spirituality. What better place to begin a spiritual journey than in Sedona, where all the resources are readily available?
NAMTI Spa & Salona was where I got a luxurious 60-minute hot stone massage, leaving me feeling refreshed, light, and utterly relaxed for only $99. You can choose from massage options such as couples, deep tissue, prenatal, crystal, body memory recall and more. NAMTI also offers other services like facials, acupuncture, manicures and pedicures, waxing and many kinds of energy healing sessions.
Whenever I’m in Sedona, I always come prepared to spend money, knowing that most of the shops contain handmade crafts such as jewelry, paintings, sculptures, essential oils, candles, furniture, clothing and many more items that you don’t see every day. As a bonus, you learn something in each of the stores you visit … a little intellectual wisdom, to go with the spiritual growth.
Sedona can be extremely overwhelming to some — it is a lot to take in. When someone wants to start getting into spirituality, it’s hard to know where to begin. Throughout stores in Sedona, there is signage explaining to customers what each item is, where it came from and how one uses it. Along with that, shop employees are more than willing to answer any questions one may have. It’s clear that they have heard it all and enjoy helping people on the path of enlightenment.
Whether you look at food as just a necessary part of life, or you believe it has spiritual importance, the many restaurants of Sedona are here to meet your needs. For me, it was obvious with every bite I took at each eatery that the food was made with love. There are restaurants of all ethnicities there, making it a lovely place to step out of the box and try new authentic foods. For example, India Palace was definitely a place I intend to go back to. You walk into the restaurant and immediately are swept up in the aromas of herbs, spices and dishes like the garlic naan. The menu is extensive, each dish having a complex array of clean, delicious ingredients.
Another restaurant that was enchanting was The Secret Garden Café. The small eatery is covered in flowers, plants, vines, and trees, so it’s easy to feel like you are dining in a fairytale. With a breakfast menu with the perfect combination of savory comfort foods and sweet dishes, as well as lunch and dinner menus with a multitude of options for all diets, one does not leave The Secret Garden Café hungry or unsatisfied!
And whether you fancy coffee or cocktails — or both put together —this is the place for you. The café’s espresso martini is rich, flavorful, and provides an extra boost of energy to take you through the evening.
One thing’s for sure — there’s nowhere like Sedona! If you like to try new things, add visiting Sedona to your list and maybe bump it up to the top. Hikers, spiritual seekers, and people who just want to see beautiful sights, eat great food and relax will each find what they’re after.