Updated: Aug 3, 2022
WELCOME TO SEDONA!
One of the advantages of living in the Phoenix Metropolitan area is the close proximity to red rock country in Sedona. I live in the far northeast corner of the valley, and Sedona is only an hour and 45 minutes away by car. It's one of our favorite places to get away for a quick one, or two nights to reconnect, recharge, and enjoy cooler weather. People come from all over the world to visit Sedona, feel the positive energy, search for the vortex, and find healing. It is in fact, a very peaceful and beautiful place. Here's my suggestions for a great weekend in Sedona that includes some great places to play tennis.
"Is this where Cars was filmed?" - teenage boy
Settle in to your hotel and grab a cocktail at the bar. Here are our favorite hotels and why:
PERFECT FOR A ROMANTIC WEEKEND.
VIBE: PRIVATE LUXURY CLOSE TO TOWN
This luxury creekside hotel has become our absolute favorite place to stay. Hidden away from the highway, the creekside cottages are one of the few places you can truly enjoy the beauty and peaceful sounds of Oak Creek. The stunning red rock views, and the whispering wind from the Cottonwood trees lining the creek are such a simple pleasure to enjoy on the private cottage patio. If you're celebrating a special occasion, plan ahead and request cottage number 23. It sits on the far corner of the property, and feels like you're all alone. It also has a hot tub outside. All of the suites we've stayed in feature in suite wood burning fire places, and a private outdoor shower that is so refreshing! In the winter months, we love sitting by the fire and ordering room service for a quiet night in. I love having a glass of cava (Spanish sparkling wine) at the bar, they serve it in a frozen champagne flute... heavenly!
PERFECT FOR A GIRLS TRIP
VIBE: YOUNG, HIP, TRAVELING WITH KIDS & DOGS
This modern resort is just north of L'Auberge and recently underwent a multimillion dollar renovation. We've stayed here several times and although it's not as private as L'Auberge, it also has some creekside suites. The rooms are decorated with modern desert contemporary finishes that always inspire me. The Salt Rock Kitchen just off the lobby is always a fun place to grab a cocktail. The resort is in a "U" shape with a common pool, hot tub, and fire pit in the center. We love the location. Although you have to walk up a steep hill to the main street, it's close to restaurants, shopping, and galleries.
PERFECT FOR TENNIS AND SPA DAYS
VIBE: QUIET, SECLUSION, AWAY FROM IT ALL
I last stayed here back in 2015 to celebrate my December birthday. We woke up to the most breathtaking snow covered red rock mountains! I don't know how my husband pulled that one off, but if he prayed for a truly special experience, that it was! We visit Sedona every December for my birthday and it hasn't snowed since our visit to Enchantment. Although I've only stayed here once, it's on my list of places to return to because of its tennis and pickle ball amenities. The courts are beautiful, and use is limited to hotel guests. Although I've never personally been to the spa, I have friends who rave about it!
Shorebird This seafood restaurant has a sister location in Newport Beach, California where I spend time every summer. The food is incredible and since we trust the freshness of the seafood we typically indulge in oysters, crab cakes, sushi and scallops. The service is always top-notch with great wine pairing suggestions and recommendations. Our last visit included a complimentary, decadent, Valrhona chocolate brownie to celebrate my birthday. It was to die for!
The Hudson Oh, The Hudson. This restaurant is so special to us for so many reasons. First, our daughters name is Hudson, so naturally, we love it! The industrial chic vibe won us over immediately, as well as the stunning views from the outdoor patio. However, what we love most about the Hudson is the Fig Mule. Years ago we popped in after a hike, sat at the bar, and chatted with the bartender as he made us both the most delicious cocktail we've ever tasted. We were fig mule virgins, and we've never looked back. I tracked down the Figenza vodka used in the drink and we pack our yeti cooler with Figenza, ginger beer, lime, and two copper cups on every trip to Sedona.
After Dinner Drinks:
Mooney's Irish Pub is one of the few places that stay open past 9pm in Sedona. We are suckers for an Irish Pub and this one is the best in Sedona. Fun atmosphere, quirky and naughty signs are spattered around and the bartenders have always been great to chat with. I love Irish cider and they keep one on tap here!
How to get around:
During warmer months, I would recommend walking if you're destination is not too far. We once walked a mile back to our hotel from Mooney's Irish Pub, in the rain, we were a drunken mess, but it is one of our favorite memories of Sedona. L'Auberge has a complimentary car that can take you and pick you up, and there is always Uber. If you're planning a drive up 89A along the creek or if you're planning to go hiking, you'll definitely want a car.
Fuel up for a morning hike with breakfast at Cress on Oak Creek at the L'Auberge de Sedona. You can enjoy a hot latte while the ducks wade around in the creek. It's lovely. The Belgian waffle is perfectly crisp on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. It's worth the carbs.
Choose your own adventure!
Take a hike:
Even if you don't LOVE hiking, it would be a crime to be in Sedona and not get out and enjoy nature. Most of these hikes are more like walks, and it such a great time to talk, catch up, think about your goals, and soak up vitamin D. Here are some of our favorite hikes (from most to least difficult).
Devil's Bridge Trail a popular hike with great photo opportunities, get very steep toward the end.
Cathedral Rock Trail another popular hike, get there before sunrise for great photo opportunities.
Bell Rock Trail ample parking, popular with mountain bikers, a nice long circular loop
West Fork of Oak Creek Trail one of our favorite trails, but very popular and the parking lot is often closed off or full. Maybe try an afternoon or midweek for smaller crowds. Breathtaking views and afterward, drive a little further north to the Butterfly Market Cafe for one of the best cookies you'll ever taste!
Fay Canyon Trail This is a short, flat hike, ideal for hikers who are not ready for the long steep hikes.
Play some tennis:
If you'd rather get in a few sets, grab your racquets and play at one of these public courts:
Posse Grounds Park
Sedona Red Rock High School
Verde Valley School
Treat Yourself Spa Treatment:
If you or your travel companion just are feeling outdoorsy, make an appointment for a spa treatment at L'Auberge, Amara, or Enchantment. I had a lovely massage after a long hike at the Spa at L'Auberge a while back, it was just what I needed. Although I've never been brave enough to do it, you can also get a spiritual reading. Ask a local or inquire with your concierge for reputable places to try.
The Vault Owned by the same restauranteur as The Hudson, the Vault is our favorite post-hike spot. It's very casual and has an incredible view from the patio. However, we like to sit at the bar, chat with the bartender, and usually catch up on the sports of the day (typically college football Saturdays). Order the trash can nachos, you won’t regret it.
89Agave Cantina with more than 60 premium tequilas how can you go wrong? A Cadillac margarita with a salty Tahín rim, some warm salty tortilla chips and guacamole are a perfect way to end the day. Still hungry, try the mahi tacos.
Salt Rock Kitchen the evening crowd here is fun and lively, sit at the bar and try the skillet street elote appetizer and fish tacos.
Cress on Oak Creek (room service) The room service at L'Auberge has ruined us. Meaning, we may never go out to dinner on Saturday nights in Sedona. Depending on our morning hike, we're often too tired to get fancied up. We make a fire in the fireplace, order french onion soup (the best we've ever had), mushroom ravioli, or braised short rib and wait for the friendly staff to set it all up for us in our cottage. No makeup, no fuss, just amazing food, a fire, and a bottle of wine.
The Pump House Station is our favorite way to wrap a quick weekend in Sedona. The staff is always kind and welcoming. The coffee is lovely and I always look forward to a beautiful presentation in addition to amazing taste. The avocado toast is delicious and the cinnamon rolls, dangerous! Although we've only had breakfast here, locals voted them the best lunch in Sedona! They also serve dinner on Friday and Saturday nights and have live music too.
Choose your own adventure!
Shopping: Tlaquepaque is a great place to spend time visiting the local shops and art galleries.
Wine Tasting: Wine Tours of Sedona organize personalized wine tours in the Sedona area. I've never been, but this is on my list for sure.
Hike: Take another hike and maximize your time near the Vortex.
Wrap up any last minute shopping or pick up some local cider on your way out of town and start planning your next visit! Click the link below to add all of these locations to your Apple Maps.
Questions? Send me a message on Instagram @tenniscityguide