Vacations take forever to get here, and they fly by so quickly, or so it seems. I had been planning my trip to Sedona for months and anxiously awaiting my departure day. At last, that day arrived. Mike and I decided to combine a weekend-long family event with a little R & R time away from New York (we all need a break from the chaos of the city now and then) and a trip to Sedona sounded perfect.
Before our trip to Sedona, I’d heard a lot about it. I was aware of its thriving art scene and its proximity to the Grand Canyon, which I had visited on my previous trip. Several people had told me that it was a beautiful town, but I learned soon enough that words and photos don’t do the red rocks justice. I felt an almost immediate shift in the lay of the land when we began driving into Sedona. To put it simply, I was wowed.
I booked a gorgeous room at the Kimpton’s Amara Resort & Spa (I am a fan of Kimpton Hotels because the service is top notch and they are pet friendly!), and they were kind enough to upgrade Mike and me to a lovely room with a courtyard view.
And when we checked in, we had some goodies and a bottle of wine waiting. What a treat. As you can see, the room was stylish and the space more generous than that in some New York apartments.
I was excited about feasting on delicious southwestern dishes in Arizona, and I had plenty of chances to do just this. Can I just say fish tacos? We ate lunch at a place called Taos Cantina where every bite was impeccably fresh.
And believe it or not, we chose pizza for dinner one night during our stay. You can take the New Yorker out of NYC, but you can’t take NYC out of the New Yorker! Pisa Lisa serves amazing salads (best Greek Salad I’ve ever eaten) and scrumptious pizzas. We also had stellar service sitting at the bar. On a Monday evening, the place was packed. (Always a good sign.)
But our most special meal on the trip was at Amara Resort’s SaltRock. What a delectable, food-filled night! The chef prepared a special tasting menu for us and we loved every bite. I’m not much of a tequila drinker but I talked myself into a craft cocktail. I was on vacation, after all.
|Spanish Rose – Herradura Blanco tequila, Chareau aloe liqueur, watermelon juice, lime|
I also want to mention, since I was not aware of this, but Arizona boasts quite the wine scene. I took our server’s recommendation and ordered a glass of local red. I loved this wine! I also loved the name – Dos Cabezas Wineworks “Red.” I look forward to returning to the area and exploring the wineries.
But for now, check out some of the highlights from our meal at SaltRock.
|Deviled egg – pasilla-maple syrup, bacon onion marmalade, grain mustard|
|Grilled corn soup – charred corn, red pepper, red onion, cilantro crème, tortilla with Grilled corn – garlic, spicy aioli, lime, cotija,|
|Duck confit tacos –eggplant mole, guacamole, napa cabbage|
|King oyster mushrooms –smoked pine needle, pine nut gremolata, Mexican chocolate|
|Achiote chicken breast – spinach, cilantro- jalapeno risotto, grilled asparagus, “pignon” sauce, pomegranate seeds|
SaltRock is a gorgeous space too, because it overlooks the beautiful lobby of the Amara as well as the courtyard, which boasts an infinity edge pool, fire pits in the evenings, several seating areas, and of course, Sedona’s red rock in the distance. Our server, Mary, was spectacular on every level. She was knowledgeable and pleasant and took great care of us. She made the evening even more special. I highly recommend SaltRock, and I’d return for another meal.
But don’t let all of this tasty food keep you from seeing the town. There’s far more to do in Sedona besides eating and drinking! A lot of people hike or take off-road tours. I’m not much of a hiker, but I do enjoy the great outdoors. We walked around the town and took in the colorful views as well as the local artists’ works. Sedona is known for its thriving arts community, and the town attracts creative types from all over the country. Considering the cool vibe, no wonder New Yorkers frequent Sedona.
Before we headed out of town and continued our trip farther west to California, we made a stop a Tlaquepaque, which feels like its own little village with lush gardens, charming vignettes and arts and crafts. This was one of the highlights of our trip. We ate at a delicious spot called the Secret Garden Café and toured a few of the wonderful galleries.
I was sad to leave the incredible Amara Resort & Spa and the town of Sedona but one day I’ll be back.
Make note of these tips in case you take a trip to Sedona….
Just like you’re going to New York City, pack comfortable walking shoes, and hiking shoes if you plan to hit the red rocks. Take something a bit more stylish but still on the casual side for the evenings. I didn’t find Sedona to be a dressy town.
The evenings get chilly! Yes, it’s the desert and Arizona, but Sedona is farther north in the state so the temperatures won’t be as sultry as the lower half. In fact, in the evenings, it dipped down to the high 40s or low 50s. (Luckily the Amara had fire pits outside so we could still enjoy evenings under the stars.) So be sure to back a sweater and scarf.
Don’t forget your camera! This is an obvious one, and you will have your smartphone, but I suggest taking a camera so you can get better zoom shots of the mountains.
Wear sunscreen. I walked around for just a short time in a butterfly top without sunscreen on my shoulders and the little bit of my back that was exposed and got a sunburn. I didn’t feel it at all because the temperature was in the low 70s.
As much as I love venturing to new places, I always love coming home to New York City. Until we meet again, Sedona….
|In the lobby of the Kimpton Amara Resort & Spa.|
Have you taken a trip to Sedona? I’d love to know what you thought about this beautiful town!