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Article: Sedona at Speed - 20 hours in Sedona

Hiking towards the Bell red rock formation in Sedona

Sedona at Speed - 20 hours in Sedona

The traffic jam we encountered as we drove into Sedona should have been an indication of how busy the town was. We were staying in Sedona on a Saturday night that coincided with what seemed to be a lot of weddings at our accommodation as well as everyone wanting to make the most of lovely autumn weekend when it wouldn’t be too hot. We hadn’t planned this it was just that we needed to keep moving to make to New Mexican for our Lightning Fields booking.

Sunset over the red rocks of Sedona

Sedona was a beautiful place, and we had a great cottage at L’Auberge de Sedona overlooking the resort and the red mountains. We did at least have the sense to have booked dinner that evening. As part of the continuing birthday celebrations for Mum, we had booked into Cress On Oak Creek. We were seated at a table under the willows right beside Oak Creek – something you can do only in places that don’t have rain. The meal was delicious and showed off the local ingredients.

The next morning we were up early to watch the sunrise on the red rocks opposite the resort from the balcony of our cottage — such a peaceful way to start the day. The only thing was the coffee from the pod machine which wasn’t up to our, admittedly extremely high, coffee standards. 

Simple & striking architecture of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona

We then headed down to the restaurant for breakfast where we learned that we really should have booked for it as it was a Sunday, and therefore they were serving brunch, and the resort was full with guests from the various weddings that had been occurring. Fortunately for us, they managed to find a table for us so we could get adequately fed before heading off for a quick look around Sedona and the neighbouring countryside.

One thing we like doing when we travel is to find interesting local contemporary jewellery or stones that can be made into jewellery back in New Zealand. After searching online, we found a shop that we wanted to visit to see if they had the sort of local stones we wanted. It was located in Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, which is built to reflect “Old Mexico” and had been heavily decorated in preparation for the Day of the Dead. It was a great reminder of just how close we were to Mexico.

Red rock Courthouse Butte Sedona

From there we headed out of town to try and fit in a walk to see the Red Rocks. We didn’t have much time as we had booked on a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Given our limited amount of time, we managed to fit in a drive-by of the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is strikingly positioned amongst the red rocks, before we had a quick loop hike near Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock.

A piece of advice we wish we had had before heading out to do the hikes it so to make sure you get a parking pass in town. We did eventually find a vending machine at one of the parking areas and get our overseas card to work, but it would have been much easier if we had sorted it out in town.

I would recommend spending longer than 20 hours in Sedona and have time to relax there. It will be somewhere we will return.

Red rock Courthouse Butte with a blackened tree Sedona

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