Destination Dash – Sedona, Arizona

Destination Dash is a quarterly feature that is more detailed than Travel Quick Shots. These posts will give you a by-the-numbers look at a great destination. This edition features a place I have been countless times, yet, it still surprises me – Sedona, Arizona. Yes, it has its share of crystal spinners and ley line readers but it also has upscale spas, incredible hiking, and some palate-pleasing dining opportunities.

Name: Sedona, Arizona
Population: 10, 111 (2013)
Flight Time: from LAX, 2 hrs 55 minutes, with connections
Get Started: Stop by the vistor’s center on 331 Forest Road to pick up some information.

5 things to do in Sedona:

1. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Even if you aren’t Catholic or religiously inclined, this majestic structure was designed to blend in with the surrounding rocks by Marguerite Brunswig Staude and sites 200 feet above the valley floor. Recommended time – 1 hour.

2. Spend the afternoon at Tlaquepaque. This is touted as an arts and crafts village but feels more like a time warp to a Spanish colonial square. Cobbled paths, shade aplenty and a wide variety of shops will charm even the most shopping-averse among you (trust me, I hate to shop but don’t mind spending hours here). WARNING – DO NOT GO OVER THANKSGIVING!! The crowds are insane. Recommended time – 2 hours.

3. Hike Oak Creek Canyon – No matter how many times I hike along Oak Creek, it never gets old. If you are game, consider an overnight trip in August, when the temperatures are close to perfect and the creek floods in certain spots, making for an adventurous amble over rocks and fallen trees. Recommended time – 5 hours or more.

4. Eat at Dahl & DiLuca. You will be hard pressed to find better food in the state of Arizona (at least that’s what my out-of-town visitors have told me. This is one of my favorite places to eat. The food and the ambiance create a romantic, intimate dining experience and it is the perfect way to end a weekend in Sedona. Recommended time – 2 hours.

5. Take a Pink Jeep Tour. If you are stymied as to how to see maximum Sedona in minimal time, consider Pink Jeep Tours. These off-road adventures cover everything from history to scenic beauty within several tour options. Recommended time – 1 1/2 to 3 hours.

This list represents just a fraction of the great things to do and places to see, but if you are short on time, all will give you a taste of the unique place that is Sedona. Offering a lot to do all year round, Sedona makes a great destination for families, couples, or solo travelers! So what are you waiting for?

A long shot image of the Chapel of the Holy Cross, sometimes called Chapel of the Rocks, in Sedona Arizona

A photo of the famous Bell Rock, seen on the drive in from 89A