By Roseanne Jennings
Sedona, AZ – If you’re looking for reasons to visit the sun and red sands of Sedona, here’s an idea: romance. In a new survey from New York Travel Guides, Sedona, Arizona earned the title of the second most romantic city in the US, just behind Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. The top ranking is mainly thanks to Sedona’s art galleries, wine-tasting opportunities, red rock buttes, and luxury destinations. The survey also highlighted Sedona’s “world-class” spa resorts and accommodations, many of which won national accolades in the past year.
Previously, Sedona came in as the eighth small town and 23rd best place in the nation in the US News & World Report ranking. Sedona was also placed as the 15th most popular US travel destination for 2023 in Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards. If these accolades have enticed you to visit Sedona’s red rock country, stick around. Below, we’ll share some more tips for making the most out of a trip to the red desert:
What to pack
Before planning your Sedona itinerary, getting your packing list in order is important. While clothing will depend on where in Sedona you’re going, a general rule is to be prepared for the heat — T-shirts and some pants or shorts will do. At the same time, don’t forgo layers like jackets and vests, as nights in the desert can get chilly.
For sun protection, a decent pair of sunglasses is essential. Thankfully, these aren’t hard to come by, from the classic Ray-Ban Aviator for a rugged look to more high-luxury offerings like the yellow tortoise Dolce & Gabbana to match your desert surroundings. When you’re out enjoying Sedona’s sun, you’ll be thankful you have some shades handy.
You’ll also want to have sunscreen with you, as higher altitudes risk higher exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun. This is especially important if you’ve got hiking trails in your itinerary, but it’s also just good practice to wear sunscreen daily.
Enjoy local festivals
If you want an immersive Sedona experience, look up local festivals or events that coincide with your trip. Sedona is home to various festivals and events for every interest you can think of, including arts and crafts festivals and beer and bike festivals. Our website is a good starting point for keeping up with past and upcoming local festivities, so be sure to check out other posts.
For fans of food trucks, we recently wrote about the Sedona Food Truck Festival in November — just one of Sedona’s many festivals and events. An annual celebration, guests enjoyed a wide variety of foods from a mouthwatering food truck lineup and indulged in craft beer and wine from the Rotary Club of the Red Rocks. Music and entertainment were provided courtesy of retro DJ Lounge Lizard D and live band Llory McDonald and Combo Deluxe.
Visit vortex sites
Aside from romantic activities and local festivals, you may have heard of Sedona’s spiritual and energetic sites — known as vortexes. These sites are deemed places that have “potent and invisible energy that amplifies meditation and connection with the divine.” While vortexes certainly aren’t unique to Sedona, the small town has become increasingly popular for its vortex craze in the past few decades.
Visitors who come to these energetic sites have described feeling grounded and excited. Of course, these may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for alternatives to museum trips and festivals, vortexes will be a unique travel experience.
Wine and dine
Finally, the best part of any travel experience is the food and drinks you experience. Visiting Sedona should be no different. Sedona’s food scene is a mix of Southwest cuisine from top chefs to lesser-known dining spots for more intimate dining experiences — all complementing the red desert’s beautiful sunny landscape.
You can check out Tii Gavo — meaning “gathering place” — at the Enchantment Resort, which has an outdoor terrace and fire pits overlooking the red rocks of Sedona for delicious chicken flautas and carne asada tortas. For a more “traditional” experience, The Cowboy’s Club’s saloon look matches its weekend offering of pecan-smoked prime rib and elk chops or bison pot roast all week.
Article written by Roseanne Jennings