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A Spiritual Escape: My Journey to Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona is located less than 2 hours from both the Grand Canyon and Phoenix, Arizona. Although, its popularity as a tourist destination has been increasing over the last few years, it does not get the same level of attention nearby locations such as the Grand Canyon. While its hard to dispute the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, I believe that Sedona can offer visitors a unique experience that makes this small town worth a visit for travelers.

Sedona is located within Red Rocks State Park and offers a combination of natural sights and modern amenities. The park offers many hiking trails to explore that wind through canyons or climb up the red sandstone cliffs that dot the town. Red Rock State Park is a desert ecosystem, which likes its name suggests; is made up of sprawling red desert broken up my towering red monoliths. This red coloring provides a vibrant backdrop against the cacti and other desert plants that make this their home. The most popular trail within this state park is Devil’s Bridge. Like most trails within this park, this is relatively short hike that would be considered moderately difficult at most. This makes this park well suites for family trips. Devil’s Bridge is highlighted by a natural bridge rock outcrop that rises very high above the desert below and provides an excellent photographic opportunity as this rock outcrop is surrounded by bright red sandstone cliffs in the background. Another popular hike is Cathedral Rock. This is a notable rock outcrop that can be seen from most locations due to is height and unique shape. The trail up Cathedral Rock takes visitors through the middle of the outcrop before arriving at a vista point that offers a spanning arial view of the one side of the park. Since visitors are surrounded by the high walls of Cathedral Rock on this trail; this area provides an excellent acoustic setting. Because of this, meditation jar can often be heard ringing through the walls of Cathedral Rock and many hikers spend large periods of time meditating in this location.

This brings me to one of Sedona’s most popular attractions for visitors: its reputation as a center for holistic and spiritual healing. From healing crystals to reiki centers, the town of Sedona caters to many visitors who are seeking spiritual healing. Guides take tourists around the park to its well-known Energy Vortexes. These are regions within the park that are documented to contain large amounts of spiritual energy and are said to provide a more serene experience for meditation.

One of the biggest advantages that Sedona has, is that it is not only a center for those wishing to escape into nature, but it also provides an option for modern amenities in town such as a selection of exceptional restaurants that are able to combine excellent cuisine with gorgeous views. The restaurant that I visited which stood out the most to me was The Hudson. This restaurant is an excellent choice for a light lunch to break up the day in between hikes. The Hudson is in a portion of Sedona that is a bit higher than most of the town and this allows it to have spanning views of Red Rock State Park stretching across your field of view if you choose to enjoy lunch on their outdoor balcony. Not only is the view make this restaurant well worth the trip, but the food itself is also top notch. During my visit, I started my meal off with a cheese charcuterie board before enjoying a selection of bruschetta’s. While the Hudson offers several selections; I had one with smoked salmon, pesto cream cheese, caper, and red onion. One with fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, and balsamic. One with parmesan toast, watercress, Italian sausage, and onion jam. And my favorite, one with bri, pear, and fig jam. This light lunch made it very easy to continue hiking the remainder of the day without feeling sluggish while also providing the needed energy for those hikes.

After a day of hiking, Sedona also offers options for high-end sit-down restaurants that allow visitors to unwind after a long day on the trail. For dinner, the restaurant that stood out the most to me was the Elote Café. This is a Mexican- local fusion restaurant where the entire menu looked amazing. I personally decided to try out the lamb adobo after starting off with goat cheese balls sprinkled in pumpkin seeds and drizzled with local honey and I can say without a doubt, that I was extremely happy with my selection.

Having a town that offers both an easy means to escape into nature while also being able to provide modern, high-end conveniences makes Sedona a great place to visit within Arizona for a few days. While Sedona would be an excellent location to spend a week, the town’s proximity to many other attractions makes this a great stop for anyone doing a road trip through the Southwest. In my personal experience, this later strategy was how I saw Sedona. Several summers ago, I spent a few weeks traveling through Arizona. In addition to Sedona, I was also able to enjoy Phoenix, Tucson, Grand Canyon National Park, and Saguaro National Park. I have every intention of returning to Arizona for another round of adventure in the not-too-distant future and there is a high probability that I will find myself in Sedona again on that visit. But this is a story for another day…


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