Sitting in the middle of the Arizona desert is a little sliver of paradise. Sedona, a small town filled with resorts, spas, canyons, and mind blowing rock formations, stands out as the place to be to relax in Arizona. The climate is different than the surrounding desert, bringing milder temperatures to the region and opening up outdoor activities to be enjoyed year-round. But what if you only had one day in town? How would you take it all in like a local. Well, reader Nick Roshon gave us the local’s dish on Sedona, AZ.
[nextpage title=”1″ ]Breakfast
The Red Rock Cafe opened on June 11, 2008 in the Village of Oak Creek of Sedona, Arizona. A little hole in the wall known for its Southwest diner fare, the diverse menu combines traditional, home cooked items with a regional flair. Some favorites include the Southwest Chicken Fried Steak and the Huevos Rancheros.
In a town known for its outdoor activities, why not spend all the time you can exploring? Little Horse Trail begins as part of the Bell Rock Pathway. Follow this wide trail southward for ¼ mile. Here, at a signed fork, take the old jeep road branching to the left and marked with basket cairns. The hike can also be extended eastward from the base of Chicken Point into the Wilderness area (no bicycles allowed) on the Jim Bryant Trail. Little Horse Trail is mostly unshaded and hot in summer, so perfect for a morning hike to burn off breakfast.
Time to build that energy back up after the hike, and get some delicious food to relax with. A Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon landmark, Indian Gardens is home to a great selection of local food, irresistible sandwiches, coffee, and more. They serve delicious breakfast and lunch in thecafe, using quality ingredients, organic and locally-sourced when possible. Service is casual and quick, choosing whether to dine in the shaded garden. What better way to relax before the afternoon?
All filled up and ready to go out again? Why not head out on a small hike that is synonymous with the Sedona area. There are a number of reasons why West Fork is the most popular trail on the Coconino National Forest. You’ll know some of them once you’ve strolled beside the pleasant little stream that ripples along the canyon floor and looked up, way up, at the dizzying cliffs that tower above it. An easy hike with some of the best views in the area, take a few hours to explore what has made Sedona so picturesque.
You’ve hiked twice, seen the area and all its beauty, and you deserve a treat. Time to head to the ChocolaTree, a small restauraunt know for their vegetarian and vegan food. 95% of the menu is seasonal, based on what is available locally. If they cant get it within 3 states bordering Arizona, they don’t serve it. With delicious food all around, you might forget that it’s so responsibly sourced, but you will taste the quality.
While Sedona is known as Arizona’s wine country, you might want to check out Barking Frog first for their great happy hour, which includes Prickly Pear Margaritas and Cactus Fries. A Southwester restaurant with moderate pricing and a great location, you will fit right in whether a tourist or a local.
You’ve been out and about, drank with the locals, enjoyed straightforward meals, and had a great day. Let’s wind down with dinner at Cucina Rustica. The restaurant wraps its arms around you and settles you into dining experience that many foodies seek out but rarely find. The menu is slanted toward it’s Italian roots of Award Winning sister restaurant Dahl & Di Luca. However a healthy Mediterranean theme allows versatility for creativity and remarkable flavors that never fight.
Sedona is kind of a sleepy town, so while there is not a ton of nightlife, there are a few locals spots open late. But it is recommended to take the whole day in, buy a bottle of wine from one of the local wineries, and enjoy it around a campfire or gazing at the stars over trying to find nightlife. This is a place to take in, so why not end the night under the stars. [/nextpage]