Sedona, Arizona is one of my favorite places. Not because of the mysticism or the fancy tourist attractions…. but because of the geology, the dramatic red walls and the rich riparian stretch of Oak Creek Canyon to the north. My husband and I met and spent many happy years just north of here, in Flagstaff, while we both attended NAU. At that time Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona were quiet and remote areas we went to pick berries along the river banks, skinny dip in the hidden pools and hike in the splendor of these rock walls. Schnebly Hill… now called Bear Wallow for the purpose of high-priced jeep tours, was our favorite back road to Sedona.
When I visit now, I look beyond the parking restrictions and fee areas, beyond the tourist traps and hooha. I revel in the opportunities that still exist to hike away from it all and enjoy the rugged outdoors. At the end of the day you can enjoy some of the finest Arizona sunsets from any perch….. but some are more crowded than others.
During winter months, many of the campgrounds nearby are closed as nighttime temps can dip into the teens. This off-season is the perfect time to find discount getaways to the resorts in this area. My husband and I are timeshare owners elsewhere, so I look to our exchange club first for great bargains, but I have found similar offers online through reservation services. For around $300 we can usually book a studio or one bedroom condo for the week. A spacious living space with a complete kitchen pays off again when we avoid the high price of restaurant meals by fixing our own at “home”.
We enjoy hiking, golf, sunset chasing and short local road trips when we are here. If you have a couple of hours to kill listening to a condo sales pitch, you can also land yourself some extra fun activities, at their expense, as enticements. We did take in the timeshare enticement offer of a helicopter flight one morning this week. That sounded like a novel way to spend a bit of time sight-seeing on someone else’s dime 🙂
A good time to check out the local eateries (especially the breweries or bars) is at the end of a day – happy hour prices on tasty appetizers can make for a great light meal. Add a couple local brews and you are set!
Walking around the village after dinner, we found a fun local candle design shop where multi-layer globe candles are carved into glowing scenes of all types. They had a collection of “slightly imperfect” candles in the back storage area that sell for 60% off… we bought two!… they look perfect to us.
This morning I woke up early to watch the sunrise which was a little disappointing due to storm clouds in the east. A few minutes later, though, I was enchanted by the tiny crystalline “snow” that fell and melted into the desert scene. It is supposed to warm up today…. I need to finish this post and get out in it!
I’ll be taking you along on some of our Sedona-based adventures this week, if you’d like to – hop aboard for a little virtual vacation! Ready? …. Let’s Go!