You’ve splashed around all summer – but water, schmater. When you’re thirsting for drier digs, nothing beats a Fall getaway to Sedona, Arizona. Get ready for convertible-worthy temps, jaw-dropping scenery, and that inimitable new-agey vibe.
The PLAN: Hop a short SFO to Phoenix flight and make a Scottsdale pit stop to ease into the laid-back mode. Stroll through charming Old Town, check out Tempe’s hipster college shops, then grab some poolside chow at ultra-serene Sanctuary Resort. Perched on Camelback Mountain, it’s the ideal spot to rest up and soak in the spectacular Paradise Valley views. The next morning, fuel up at local breakfast fave The Good Egg, and road-trip it two hours to Red Rock Country.
STAY: Splurge on a room with a view: L'Auberge de Sedona and Enchantment Resort both recently welcomed $25 million revamps. If you want to be near the action, base yourself at L'Auberge. Surrounded by the iconic Red Rocks, the camp-style resort sits just below Sedona’s artsy uptown in a tranquil creekside setting. Newly dressed in modern good taste, the guestrooms, 5,000 square-foot spa, 30 additional cottages and new saltwater pool offers oodles of opportunities for de-stressing and taking in the eye-popping panoramas. (Think: sprawling decks and outdoor showers with open roofs for stargazing).
Or go slightly off-the-beaten path at Enchantment Resort nestled in secluded Boynton Canyon. The staff greets you with virtual curbside check-in so your chill time starts ASAP. Take a yoga class; hike, bike, or golf the grounds; cool off in the revamped pool with 360-degree canyon vistas; then dine at new window-walled Che-Ah-Chi restaurant with unobstructed red-hued scenery.
PLAY: Sedona may be known for it’s quirky UFO sightings and enlightenment-promising vortex tours, but for outdoor-enthusiasts it’s all about earth-bound fun. Get high off wow-worthy views climbing Cathedral Rock. Or explore equally awesome, but less vertically challenging trails like Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Ride horses through riverbeds and wild desert landscapes with Trail Horse Adventures. Soar over Sedona in a hot air balloon with Northern Lights Balloon or Red Rock Balloon Adventures. Then bliss out with an ultra-calming Mii Amo Spa massage. In the evening, take a cosmic journey with Evening Sky Tours and enjoy stargazing underneath those dark Sedona skies.
EAT: The best part of waking up is Wildflower Bread Company. Snag a prime patio seat and dive into their freshly baked muffins while savoring spot-on views of Snoopy Rock. Or start the day along babbling Oak Creek at L'Auberge de Sedona where ducks waddle by and the French Toast bread pudding is to-die-for.
For afternoon eats, head to 20-year Sedona staple Heartline Café for garden-side fare. From sandwiches to wraps to salads, this local establishment is a lunchtime fave. Or pack your own picnic and cruise to Oak Creek Canyon for a secluded and ultra-romantic setting.
For dinner, reserve a table at Barking Frog Grille for some of the best Southwest cuisine in, well, the Southwest (hint: the tableside-prepared guacamole steals the show). If you’re craving Italian, Dahl & Di Luca hits the spot with homemade pasta. For good Mexican grub, Javelina Cantina serves the best margaritas and fajitas with a view.
And don’t leave town without a visit to Black Cow Café, a sweet haven dishing up made-from-scratch ice cream and waffle cones that will tempt you at first at whiff.