Sandstone and spirituality mingle in Arizona’s high desert.
The distinctive red rock formations and hauntingly beautiful high desert landscapes Coconino National Forest attract travelers to Sedona, no doubt, but it is an ineffable Something which spiritualists have dubbed the Sedona Vortex that brings them back. Visitors feel it as soon as they immerse themselves in the region’s otherworldly landscape, which sets the stage for a myriad of recreational activities. Among the most popular? Hike or bike over 400 miles of well-maintained trails in the city. For off-the-beaten-path options, check out “Sedona Secret 7,” the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau’s guide to the lesser-known routes (see: the decidedly Instagram-worthy Airport Loop Trail) that locals love most.
Of course, given the sheer scale of the landscape, exploring on foot or by bike will only get you so far. Luckily, there are plenty of mechanized ways to get further afield, from helicopter rides to Verde Canyon Railroad, which offers four-hour train tours via comfortable passenger cars and shaded open-air observation cars. A Polaris RZR ATV rental via Mountain Bike Sedonameanwhile, offers the thrill of bumping and bouncing across the sandstone, without the parental voice of a tour guide.
Once your appetite for adventure has been sated, you’ll surely want to sate your craving for food (and some souvenir shopping). Refuel with prickly pear grilled baby back ribs at the hudsonthen head to Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village. A charming miniature recreation of its eponymous Mexican town, it’s the perfect place to hang locally made jewelry, paintings and sculptures from the American West, or handcrafted housewares. Looking for something a little different? Tap into your artistic side at Fusion pointa glass-blowing and torch-working workshop and gallery where visitors can create their own masterpieces.
However you choose to spend your time, you’ll find there’s something undeniably magnetic about Sedona that brings us back to the vortex. Believers claim that healing “energy fields” swirl around the area, particularly in the localities of Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon. Observe the phenomena with Pink Adventure Tours, which offers custom Jeep Wranglers for guided tours of vortex sites. Whether you attribute their power or not, no visit to Sedona is complete without experiencing them. After all, they are the ones who give the city that quality that no one can quite put their finger on.
Both JetBlue and American Airlines offer nonstop flights from Logan to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. From there it’s about a two hour (120 mile) drive to Sedona.
Nestled beside a peaceful stream, The Sedona Inn feels a world away from the bustling city center, which is uphill from the resort but is well out of earshot. Bonus points for the five-star Cress on Oak Creek property’s ultra-romantic restaurant, where al fresco tables overlook the rushing creek.