Sedona is such an underrated weekend destination.
If you’re looking for somewhere in the U.S. to spend a 3-day weekend off the beaten path, yet somewhere that still has destination essentials (amazing food, drink and accommodations) Sedona is for you. I was completely blown away by the natural beauty of this city.
Sedona is famous for its enormous red rock formations that are millions of years old. To put it simply, I can’t describe how huge they are. Just gargantuan, enormous, vast, sweeping rocks… you get it. They’re everywhere – most places you stand in Sedona have 360 views of rock. There are few places I’ve been like this that make you feel so small (in a good way).. staring at these formations was overwhelming yet peaceful all at once, and puts into perspective how small our problems really are. It’s crazy to consider how old these rocks are – to have come before so many generations, animals, species, wars, religions.. once you see them for yourself, you’ll get why I’m harping over a rock.
We stayed at the gorgeous L’Auberge hotel, and I can’t say enough good things about the property. It’s built next to a river/stream with a deck overlooking the water, and the rooms are cozy little bungalow-style houses equipped with outdoor showers and fireplaces. It’s no wonder this hotel is a popular honeymoon, babymoon, anything-moon location; it’s very romantic in a rustic and natural way. The food was perfection. I woke up excited for breakfast each morning and we reordered the same meal twice in a row: fresh scrambles with local garden vegetables and the most delicious blueberry buckwheat pancakes.
The hotel has a restaurant on property by the stream, Cress, which has a wine pairing three course dinner we loved. Our waiter was attentive and funny and we sat and talked for two hours, appreciative that the staff noticed our leisurely attitude and slowed down the courses. The weekend was pretty active – I’ll get into a list of activity recommendations below – but after coming back from the day we’d put aside our phones, sit by the fireplace, play Bananagrams (my obsession) and just relax. I felt rested and rejuvenated coming home.
As soon as I saw the outdoor shower I wanted to hop in. How often do you get to rinse while looking up at a blue sky? The temperature in late March/early April was a little cool, and there was something amazing about a hot shower in crisp air. (By the way, the photo below was not as whimsical and effortless as it looks. There are some funny BTS photos I may have to pull out of the photo vault that properly document this.. it involves my boyfriend getting sprayed by the shower while balancing and tripping on the shower bench behind me, dropping the phone, and making fun of me the whole time. Whatever, we got the photo!)
Let’s get right into the list. Here’s what you should do with 2-3 days in Sedona:
Pink Jeep is famous for operating jeep tours in Sedona, and it’s every bit worth it. When Christophe saw the photos, the first thing said was “are we really getting in a pink jeep? There are no other jeeps?” Just roll with the bright pink jeep, because the drivers are technical professionals who take you down rocky dirt paths and drive straight over big rock boulders. The pink vehicles are the only silly thing about it; the rest is no joke. At one point the jeep goes down a “staircase” of rocks, sliding and bumping (if you have kids on the tour, this is the highlight of their year). The jeep tour is the best way to efficiently see Sedona’s rock formations in a couple hours, unless you hike the area. We got out of the jeep a few times to take photos and wander, and walking to edge of some of the rocky cliffs took my breath away. Such gorgeous views.
Eat, Drink, Spa
Upon checking in to L’Auberge we went straight to the spa and it was worth it. The massages were some of the best we’ve ever had and the spa is tucked into a little cottage on property with an apothecary room where you can custom blend body scrubs and salts using natural ingredients. Off property, eat dinner at Mariposa, a big restaurant that welcomes you with tall gates before revealing an overlook view of Sedona with floor to ceiling glass windows, fire pits outside and latin-inspired food. The fried avocado appetizer was delicious and their drink menu is very creative.
Rent an ATV
There are a couple local rental shops that lease their ATV’s for an afternoon to ride around Sedona. We rode near Devil’s Bridge, the same area that Pink Jeep tour covers, and the views were stunning but the real treat was experiencing the views without a guide or other people around. Perhaps it wasn’t high tourist season, but we barely passed any other cars or ATV’s on the trail. Bring a map as it’s easy to get lost around the bends. If you haven’t ridden an ATV before, it’s not hard, but make sure the rental shop gives you a lesson before leaving as they’re pretty lax about the whole thing. Wear closed-toe booties and prepare to get very dusty (see my jeans above)…
The one thing I wish we had more time to do was go on a long hike. The popular hiking spot in Sedona is Cathedral Rock, and it’s an easy climb with a stunning view. Go on a weekend morning early while temperatures are cool before breakfast, or even better, go at sunset when the sky is draped in hazy colors. Sunsets are especially magic over the rock formations in Sedona.
If anyone goes to Sedona, let me know or feel free to reach out with questions! Find my outfits below – I wore my navy fedora and white fringe sweater on repeat, black booties for outdoor activities and a blue suede jacket. These round mirrored sunglasses pulled everything together.