When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. That’s what we did when our plans in Scottsdale fell through. We made the most out of the situation by renting a car and went on an adventure to places we’ve never been before. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read my last post: How Airbnb almost ruined my trip to Scottsdale, Arizona
. We spent five days exploring northern Arizona and this is what we did:
Our first stop on our spontaneous road trip was Sedona. The duration of the drive from Scottsdale to Sedona is about two hours and a 15 degree drop in temperature. The drive is easy with beautiful views of the desert and you know you are approaching Sedona when you see majestic red rock mountains and lush greenery.
We stumbled upon Art of Wine
when we stopped in the Hyatt Pinon Pointe Shops to stretch our legs after a long drive. We had some time before check in at the hotel so we said wine not? Art of Wine
is a great place to discover the Arizona wine industry and enjoy wines from multiple producers throughout the state.
Arizona has three major regions of vineyards and wineries: Verde Valley, Sonoita, and Willcox. There are now over 110 wineries throughout the state of Arizona and most of them are small production producing only 2,000 cases a year. One of my favorites was Caduceus
Merkin Vineyards CHUPACABRA. This red blend is 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre from a vineyard located in Willcox, Arizona. A GSM is a signature blend for Arizona. Caduceus
Cellars is a winery located in Jerome, Arizona owned by Maynard James Keenan the vocalist for the band Tool.
Boynton Canyon Trail
We chose to hike Boynton Canyon Trail
because it was less trafficked and a semi long hike. Did you know that Sedona is well known for spiritual vortexes? A Vortex is swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration. These are places where the earth seems especially alive with energy. Many people feel inspired, recharged or uplifted after visiting a vortex. When you drive through Sedona you’ll see a lot of stores selling healing crystal and psychic palm readers. Before the hike, I researched where these vortices are located and was excited that there was one on the Boynton Canyon Trail! Sadly, I did not find the vortex but Boynton Canyon is a must hike trail in Sedona.
The Boynton Canyon Trail is a 6 mile out and back hike. The hike is easy with beautiful views of luscious green scenery, a steady incline, and stunning canyon walls at the end. We packed sandwiches and lots of water for our hike. Once we reached the end, we sat on a rock and took in the view and enjoyed our sandwiches. Total hike time: 2 hours 40 minutes.
Devil’s Bridge Trail
When I researched hikes to do in Sedona, Devil’s Bridge Trail
came up and I had to see this natural sandstone archway. Devil’s Bridge Trail is a popular and heavily trafficked hike where people stand in line waiting for their turn for a picture on the bridge. We decided to do the hike early in the morning and there was no line for photos on the bridge. Devil’s Bridge Trail is a 2 mile out and back hike. Total hike time: 1 hour
Chapel of the Holy Cross
The chapel was commissioned in 1932 by local rancher and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who was inspired by the Empire State Building. On our way out of Sedona we tried to stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross but there were so many visitors that we couldn't find parking. At least I got a good photo of the chapel.
Vegan Eats in Sedona
Thai Spices Natural Restaurant
We went to Thai Spices Natural Restaurant
on our first night in Sedona. We arrived around 6:30pm for an early dinner and I was surprised that it was busy with a 30 minute wait for a table. Once we were seated, we were starving and ordered 3 dishes to share. When the food came the portions were huge! Ben and I eat a lot and we didn’t even make a dent. We tried their Pad Thai, Vegan fried rice, and Veggie Green Curry.
Tamales are on my top 5 favorite foods. So when I saw that Tamaliza
had vegan tamales on their menu I had to try them. Tamaliza is a quaint restaurant, you walk in and see the already prepared goodies. The tamales are stuffed with poblano peppers and corn. They also offer vegan mexican rice and beans! YUM!
The morning before our hike we stopped at Berry Divine
for a delicious Açaí bowl. My kind of açaí bowl is when the smoothie mixture is more icy and not too melted which is a specialty Berry Divine offers, soft serve açaí. The consistency is thicker like frozen yogurt. Topped with berries, banana, granola, and coconut. The perfect açaí bowl.
We woke up bright and early and began our descent to Page to check out Antelope Canyon and horseshoe bend. We stayed in Flagstaff for a couple night and the drive to Page was a two hour drive. Along the way we saw a lot of abandoned motels. I had read about ghost towns that were worth visiting in Arizona near Flagstaff. To be honest I was spooked when I was reading about them that I would be too scared to actually visit.
I have always wanted to visit Antelope Canyon because it’s a popular location for photographers (Instagram) and sightseers. Which brings a huge source of tourism business for the Navajo Nation. We booked a tour with Antelope Canyon Tours
since you can’t go visit the canyon without a tour guide. I was expecting the tour to be somewhat educational with some interesting facts but it was more of a photography lesson. I learned how to use the filters on my iphone and how to use the panoramic setting for vertical photos.
Our last stop of our road trip adventure we stopped at Horseshoe Bend. There was a small hike (half a mile) to get to the view of the bend. Once you’ve reached the bend the view is breathtaking! It’s just so amazing that these beautiful landmarks were made naturally over 20 million years ago. Being able to travel and experience these places in person really makes you have a deeper appreciation for mother nature.
Have you ever traveled to Arizona? What were your favorite spots?