Are you ready for my long overdue Sedona installment? If you follow me on Instagram ( which I hope you will!) , @tinitravelsblog, you’ll have gotten a taste of our trip already. In this post I will break it all down for you, so you can have a great 4 day itinerary to make the most of your time.
If, like me, you love a unique hotel experience that you absolutely must check out El Portal Sedona. This rustic boutique hotel built in an Arts & Crafts Adobe style is an architectural masterpiece. Each room is unique and decorated with furnishings hand picked to represent the authentic Sedona experience. The Inn is full of gorgeous handmade and antique items as well. If you have an opportunity to spend time with Steve , the owner, you’ll find him to have a wealth of information about local architecture, art and history. Your stay here will feel like you are being hosted in a stunning private home rather than a hotel or resort. The property is also completely pet friendly with several rooms offering direct access to outdoor pet patios.
Start your morning with the complimentary coffee, tea, juice and continental breakfast offerings such as yogurt, fruit, granola, and muffins at El Portal . If you prefer a heartier breakfast I suggest the 2 minute walk to The Secret Garden Cafe located in the Tlaquepaque shopping area ( more on that later ).
I always like to plan a some type of small tour or walk for the first day of a trip. Something that gives us an overview of the area and an idea of things/ places we might want to see more of. The Sedona Trolley was the perfect choice. They have 2 different routes to choose from, or you can combine both as we did for a discounted price.
By combining both routes we were able to get a great overview of many of the spectacular rock formations, hiking trails, areas of interest and visit the incredible Chapel of the Holy Cross.
After your tour you can spend some time in the Uptown area with its many shops, boutiques and restaurants. From my perspective most of them were quite touristy but it’s always fun to see what’s around!
If you like adventure, but are not quite ready for dirt biking through the canyons…you’ll definitely want to book one of the Pink Jeep tours.
There are several tours to choose from. In my opinion, and many others, the Broken Arrow Tour is the one not to miss! This tour takes you scrambling over impressive rock formations and on a thrilling ride down the Road of No Return. If it suits your time and budget, I recommend the combo Broken Arrow/ Scenic Rim tour. Our guide was fantastic and all Covid-19 safety protocols were strictly enforced!
After an exhilarating day with Pink Jeep Adventures, it was so nice to return to El Portal Sedona, change out of our dusty clothes and into our swimsuits. El Portal has an agreement with the neighboring resort Los Abrigados for use of their pool facilities, so off we went to relax and recharge.
Are you ready to hike?
We definitely were after fueling up with a delicious breakfast at The Secret Garden located in the Tlaquepaque village just steps from El Portal Sedona. We chose the Boynton Canyon Trail for it’s outstanding scenery and fairly easy terrain. As a spinal fusion and hip surgery survivor, I need to be realistic in my abilities…but will always push myself to reach my goals!
This trail was perfect for us at about 6 miles round trip with an elevation of 810 ft. Boynton Canyon is also home to one of Sedona’s vortexes right near the base of the trail.
There is no shortage of trails to hike in Sedona, so you can choose whatever suits your needs! Some of the most popular are:
- Cathedral Rock- an easy 1 mile round trip and home to one of the area’s most famous vortexes.
- Devil’s Bridge – this 4.2 mile trail has become one of the most Instagram famous trails for its stunning bridge formation. It’s also become one of the most crowded as well!
- Fay Canyon – an easy 2.4 mile trail right in the heart of the red rocks!
We had planned a second hike but the weather took an unseasonably cold turn so… we decided on a short road trip to the tiny town of Jerome, Arizona
Jerome, once a booming copper mining town is now home to several galleries and the Mine museum . . Open 7 days per week and only a $2 admission fee, this quaint little museum is really more of an exhibit housed in a back room of a small gift shop, but it’s chock full of history and memorabilia and is a pleasant way to spend some time!
Jerome is also home to several wineries should you want to do any tasting! You can check out
Back in Sedona
If you like galleries, gift shops and restaurants you’ll love the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Center located just steps from El Portal Sedona . With dining options from ice cream, to Mexican, a brewery, a fine dining French restaurant, chai & coffee shop and much more there is definitely something for everyone. We enjoyed a casual Mexican dinner at El Ricon and a lighter fare at Oak Creek Brewery & Grill.
Check the Tlaquepaque website for any special events as they host many cultural experiences throughout the year!
Our favorite dining experience in Sedona was at the beautiful Dahl & DiLuca Italian restaurant. This meal was truly a treat for the senses, a stunning setting, divine food and superb service. I highly recommend, especially for a special occasion!
Sedona is not known for its nightlife, so you won’t find any real party scene ( especially during Covid-19) ..not that we were looking 😉
But there is Mooney’s Irish Pub which was perfect for us and they even provide a free shuttle service ( just tip the driver!). Mooney’s offers indoor and outdoor seating, and an eclectic menu.
Lastly, if you have time either to or from the airport in Phoenix, I would recommend a stop at the well preserved Montezuma Castle built by the Sinagua people nestled into the limestone cliffs . A $10 entrance fee also gives you access to the Tuzigoot National Monuments within a 7 day period.
I hope this installment has provided you with some information and inspiration to plan your own Sedona Escape!
Until next time my friends!
Ciao for Now!