Autumn is the perfect time to head south to scenic Sedona, where mild temps, red rock hikes and a laid-back, artsy vibe put this northern Arizona town on this season’s hit list.
Sedona’s scenery is extraordinary. Megawatt red-rock buttes including Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock draw hikers and mountain bikers from dusk til dawn. For those a little less grounded, hot air balloon rides, pink jeep tours and horseback rides offer alternative ways to enjoy the area’s crimson beauty. For a more forested trek, head up scenic Oak Creek Canyon to the West Fork Trail—a forested favorite.
Located just minutes from town, the luxury resort L’Auberge de Sedona mixes log-cabin charm and French elegance with cottages, a lodge and a contemporary American restaurant boasting a stone patio on the banks of Oak Creek. Located next door, Amara Resort and Spa overlooks red rock vistas and features a hip décor, spa and large infinity pool. Closer to nature, several cabins rent in Oak Creek Canyon east of town.
Sedona’s many shops and galleries reward art lovers and trinket seekers. Stroll through those in the heart of town, where you can also enjoy a sweet treat at Black Cow Cafe or a margarita at 89Agave Cantina. Additional galleries are located further up Highway 89 as well as in the town’s charming Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village—a shopping and dining destination fashioned after an old Mexican village.
Design inspiration is everywhere, and these days, hotels are hotbeds of clever ideas. That’s certainly true of Sedona’s Amara Resort, where rows of paint-dipped spoons serve as wall art in the vibrant lounge area. Love the look? You may want to ask Grandma to send her old silverware your way.
Sedona is 30 miles southwest of Flagstaff and 119 miles north of Phoenix.