Visiting the picturesque town of Sedona
I visited Sedona with my lovely family on a sunny day in December. I had been to Phoenix, Arizona many a times for work, but never thought with just 100 miles north, the landscape will completely transform!
We were no longer looking at the Saguaro Cactus anymore (which no doubt have been the first eye catcher for us in AZ) now it was the mystical Red Rocks, each one of them seemed to have a distinct shape. And like any other places famous for land forms, we knew we are going to learn all about it soon.
Red Rock Ranger Visitor center
Our first stop was the Red Rock Ranger visitor center which offers a unique & enriching experience. Not only did we learn about the great history of this place, the friendly staff also gave us tips on how to make the best of our day in Sedona.
There were two key things that were very distinctive about the place
- They had provided for a self-service tripod for cellphones on a great photo-op vantage point. So cool to get a family shot and we sure did.
- An interactive map that helps you browse through the area and locate all the tourist spots. This helped us to look at all the touristy spots!
Before our trip, I had often asked our friends and acquaintances on places to visit in Sedona, but there wasn’t a solid list, so we had been skeptical on what we might find there, but once we reached Sedona, we didn’t have to ask anymore – for what lay in front of our eyes was absolute bliss!
The entire highway 179 is a scenic route with markers for each of the beautiful Red Rock formations you will notice, when entering Sedona.
The first formation we decided to stop and marvel at was the Bell rock – it is infact the shape of a Bell, which visiting in December brought us some Christmas cheer.
While the Bell rock is the most prominent feature, you can also find the Courthouse Butte and the Lee Mountain formations.
We spoke to a local at the site and he shared how Sedona is believed to possess these energy fields called vortexes.
I had to google to understand what a vortex actually means 🙂 – “A vortex is a funnel shape created by a whirling fluid or by the motion of spiraling energy, examples include whirlpools or whirlwind.”
Sedona has multiple vortex sites and we were standing right in front of one – the spectacular Bell Rock!
Bell rock, is believed to be an electric/ masculine vortex and helps to solve spiritual problems. We had no idea what a spiritual heaven this place really is!
Parking can be a little bit of a challenge, grab the first one available or just hang in there, there’s a lot of tourists who stop to gaze click and then move on.
Restroom check: The place does have decent bathrooms.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross
Next we were headed to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, if you have seen the pictures of Sedona on internet, this is one of the most popular instagrammed places.
One of the most distinctive sites in Sedona, this Church was built on the Red Rocks in 1957 and has a beautiful 90 foot cross in the center which is the most prominent feature of the church.
Did you know, in 2007 the people of Arizona voted this Chapel as one of the seven man-made wonders of Arizona?
Like the Bell rock, parking here was also a challenge. We wanted to take the best angle of the Chapel from the bottom of the hill, but there wasn’t a place to stop, so we kept driving all the way up to visit the inside of the Chapel. We found a spot, parked and walked through a pathway to the entrance of the Chapel.
The views from outside of the Chapel were so magnificent and inside of the Chapel was very serene. The place radiates positive energy and is adorned with uncountable ruby candles subtly adding more character to this beautiful Chapel.
This is definitely a must see site and the Chapel is open 9 AM to 5 PM daily except certain holidays. Visit www.chapeloftheholycross.com for more information.
There is also a little gift shop under the chapel offering a cute selection of souvenirs and kiddo got himself a magnet!
After adoring the beauty of the Chapel and soaking in the scenic views we were on our way back and just then we found a spot at the bottom of the hill to capture the beautiful cross.
We were so mesmerized by the beauty and the tranquility of this place that we lost track of time and now needed to feed our rumbling tummies 🙂 .
From the chapel we headed to uptown Sedona or the Main Street.
The Main Street in Sedona, was bubbling with exquisite boutiques, eateries, coffee shops and cute benches to enjoy the beautiful vistas. Art is a popular scene in Sedona and is very evident from the countless outdoor sculptures all around the Main Street.
We ate at the Sedona Pizza Company – the place has a great vibe and offers brick-oven style pizzas. With our tummies fed, we took a stroll on the Main Street.
There are a number of off-road adventure tour operators, one particular one that caught our attention was the PINK adventure tours, every few minutes we could see their pink jeeps full of exciting tourists crossing the Main Street. We added this to our bucket list for our next trip to Sedona, because by now we were sure, we were definitely coming back.
It was almost evening and we had to drive to Page, AZ for our next adventure, so we used the remaining time to learn more about Sedona and build a bucket list for our next visit to this artistic town.
Here are the top 5 places we have shortlisted for our next visit to Sedona:
- Airport Mesa – Also known as the Sedona Airport scenic lookout, offers a splendid 360 degree view of picturesque Sedona. Bonus -> it is also one of the energy vortexes.
- Sedona Art center – Sedona Art Center is the creative heart of Sedona and is walk-able from the Main Street.
- Oak Creek Canyon/ Slide rock state – This park has a natural water slide and is such a hotspot for Arizona summer. It is located in Oak creek canyon about 15 mins from Sedona. The park offers a gorgeous view with the big Red Rocks sitting on a desert setting and there are multiple hiking trails.
- Cathedral Rock – Another famous formation in Sedona, very popular with the photographers especially because you can capture its reflection in the oak creek running alongside. Very popular for sunset hues, this is also one of the energy vortex.
- PINK Adventure Tours – Like we mentioned before an off-road adventure experience to check out the beautiful red rocks in the desert spirit jeeps.
Hope you enjoyed reading, do tell me your favorite spots in Sedona and in the surrounding area. Would love to hear from you.
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