Sedona is considered one of the 10 most sacred spots on Earth because of it’s vortexes, powerful centers of kinetic energy, UFO sightings, and crystals. Getting to Sedona, Arizona is a 2 hour drive from Phoenix through the desert of low brush and cactus. It’s surprisingly at a high elevation, but not high enough that you would begin to feel altitude sickness. At 4,350 feet the 75 degree temperature feels comfortable, yet wretchedly dry. The reason for our trip was twofold. Firstly, everyone can’t seem to stop talking about how beautiful Sedona is, so I had to go see it for myself. Secondly, the opportunity presented itself thanks to Pat’s sister and her husband moving out there. The latter motivated Pat and I to visit even more. Why? Not only because they would take us to all their favorite local spots, but because Pat’s sister, also known as Shakti Sita, is a Kundalini Yoga & Meditation Lead Teacher who would essentially share with us her local Sedona itinerary, the way it’s supposed to be done–spiritually.
Let’s start off by answering the commonly asked question: What is so special about Sedona?
Sedona is special not only because of it’s natural red rock beauty, but because it has a special quality that attracts mystics and artists as well. That’s why while in Sedona, it’s important to experience the metaphysical side: vortexes, psychics, energy healers, and metaphysical phenomena. What is a vortex? The Native Americans referred to them as “power places” because people with strong spiritual or supernatural bent seek them out. It’s a funnel shape created by the motion of spiraling energy coming from the earth into the universe. These spiritual people say they can actually feel the power and energy of the vortexes. The average tourist probably won’t feel that same power. But that’s the primary reasons so many mystics and psychics are attracted to Sedona. Many say their supernatural abilities are heightened at the vortexes. It’s like putting gas in their spiritual tanks. Even if you’re not a mystic, Sedona is worth visiting for it’s easy hiking trails, breathtaking beauty and interesting mystical setting.
6 Iconic & Secret Sedona Vortex Hikes For All Levels
How many days do you need in Sedona?
3 days is the right amount of time to spend in Sedona. There are just too many hikes and experiences for you to do less time. 5 days gives you plenty of time to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon and spend an entire day exploring the actual village and shop.
What is the best time to visit Sedona?
Most people like to visit March through May and Sept through mid-December due to the warm temperatures. We personally visited in November and absolutely loved the temperature this time of year. Since it was nearing winter, there were a few less tourists than in the spring. The sun wasn’t strong enough to have to wear sunscreen or risk a sunburn. It was hot enough that you could wear shorts while hiking during the day, but wear a wool hat and thick winter jacket in the evenings.
- Breakfast: Indian Gardens
- Morning/Afternoon: ATV
- Afternoon: Shaman’s Cave
- Lunch: Chocolatree
- Night: Sedona UFO Tour
- Dinner: Creekside
- Sunrise Hike: Cathedral Rock
- Breakfast: Pumphouse
- Afternoon: Boynton Canyon Trail Vortex and Subway Cave
- Snack: Local Juicery
- Shop: Crystal Magic
- Sunset Hike: Secret Slickrock
- Dinner: Mariposa
5 Days In Sedona, Arizona Itinerary Map
How To Get Around Sedona
Important Things to Keep in Mind
- Morning: Massage
- Breakfast: Coffee Pot
- Visit: Palatki Heritage Site
- Sunset: Jordan Road Trailhead
- Dinner: Saltrock
- Encountering javelinas…
- Morning: Kundalini Session
- Breakfast: Layla’s Bakery
- Day trip to Grand Canyon
- Dinner: Cowboy Club
- Sunrise Hike: Bell Rock
- Breakfast: Secret Garden
- Shopping: Tlaquepaque
- Walk: Main Street
- Lunch: Momo’s Kitchen
- Shopping: Center for the New Age
- Shop & Recycle: The Hike House
- Dinner: Tamaliza
– Arrival –
Our home base was Shakti Sita’s home, also known as The Pallas, located in the center of Sedona just steps from the main street. The Pallas is where Shakti Sita holds all her private sessions, meditations and intensives. If you want to relive the Sedona experiences Pat and I had with an actual guide who can talk you through all of it’s spiritual components, then an intensive with Shakti or a private session is what you’re looking for. The Pallas is a stunning open aired studio rich in powerful crystals, thangkas, intentions, mantras on repeat, and more.
Our bedroom window and her outdoor patio offer the same incredible views as her studio does. Red rock formations streaked with gold and orange, with a backdrop of vibrant blue sky dotted with creamy white clouds, which easily stop you in your tracks. We caught up with her that night over dinner at her home and went to bed early in anticipation for a busy day.
Shakti Sita was sweet and gave us a little welcome care package, which included some Sedona essentials that we hadn’t packed ourselves. She gifted us one of her favorite Numerology books by Remington Donovan, a few small crystals she had charged with powers and mantras, a Save hydrating facial cleanser, Relic Epsom Salt Baths rich in antique minerals, and Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter (my new favorite moisturizer to date–not kidding, it’s amazing). Sedona is very, very dry. You will want to bring your own small portable, travel humidifier and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize and lather yourself in body butter to keep your skin hydrated.
– Day 1 –
Breakfast: Indian Gardens
We were up early to meet Shakti Sita’s friends Kat and Mike at Indian Gardens for breakfast. Kat, also known on TikTok as Miss Excel, and Mike were taking us all on one of their favorite activities in Sedona–ATVing through the desert. Indian Gardens is an old-fashioned gas station and General Store known for their coffee and adorable outdoor patio shaded by trees and birds. Now, I must’ve ordered something that wasn’t the go-to thing, therefore, I can’t give my best advice on what to get here. I ordered a cappuccino with almond milk and the french toast. The toast was made with lemon-poppy seed brioche, so I think that’s what through me off! However, if I had to go back I’d try a black coffee and the Breakfast Sandwich, which is what Patrick ordered which was in fact pretty good. Alternatively, I would’ve ordered the Breakfast Burrito, which looks quite epic, or the Galette that they occasionally have in store. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
My Experience ATVing in Sedona
It was a scene like something straight out of the movie MadMax. We took an ATV ride into the deep Arizona desert surrounded by its red mountain rims in search of Shaman’s Cave on Robbers Roost Trail. The road to get there was unpaved, very bumpy, and ridiculously dusty. Never had I ever appreciated a bandana and mask as much as I did that day. If you don’t have one, you end up painting your insides red and inhaling and coughing out red dust for days to come. Rent goggles or pack sunglasses to avoid getting it in your eyes as well. The view to Shaman’s cave was fantastic with encircling mountains and a valley for miles.
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Afternoon: Shaman’s Cave
How to Reach Shaman’s Cave, Robbers Roost Trail, Sedona
Distance: 1 mile
Shaman’s Cave is not widely known to tourists, and even if it is, it is very hard and far to get to so many don’t make the trip out here. This makes it a true Sedona secret. The main attraction is the picture-window view of Secret Mountain, Bear Mountain and the Sedona area from within the cave. We all took a seat within Shaman’s Cave and practiced some Kundalini meditation for a few minutes with Shakti Sita. A hole through a small part of the cave provides a smaller circular window. Through it you can see a beautiful view of the desert and the red rocks of Secret Mountain in the distance.
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Afternoon: Late Lunch at Chocolatree
Why You Should Eat at Chocolatree in Sedona
For a late yet light afternoon lunch we headed to the famous lunch spot Chocolatree. It’s primarily known among vegans for having delicious vegan options. Not being a vegan, I thought: when in Sedona, do as the Sedonans do! So we tried a vegan lunch. I ordered the quesadilla alongside a small chocolate. Buying chocolate from Chocolatree means supporting the small-scale cacao growers they work with. All good stuff–that comes alongside good food. But, what really made Chocolatree worth visiting for me is its ambiance.
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Nighttime: Sedona UFO Sight Tour
All About My First Sedona UFO Tour Experience
UFO Tourism has been on the rise over the last few years. And trust me, even if you’re a none believer, it’s very fun. It takes you back to your childhood days and has you questioning what could and couldn’t be. And where better to go on a UFO Tour experience then in Sedona. The UFO tour includes military grade night vision binoculars. You didn’t think you would just stare up at the sky all night in the hopes of seeing UFOs did you? We left happy with the experience and questioning what was real and not. We came up with speculations as to what we thought we actually saw.
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Sticking to the script, when we visited Creekside restaurant, I decided to continue trying this “vegan” way of life. I ordered the vegan bento box alongside Shakti. The bento box included seasonal fruit & veggies, wild rice, hummus, tabbouleh, agave glazed sweet potato and more. It was very abundant yet light, which is what I wanted since I wasn’t very hungry. It was surprisingly filling. Their menu is seasonal since they make every dish from scratch and they source their ingredients locally, which is an interesting concept since we’re in the middle of the dessert. We were there at night so didn’t get to take in the view, but you’re supposed to get a beautiful red rock view of Bell Rock and Oak Creek if you go during the day.
– Day 2 –
Sunrise Hike: Cathedral Rock
My Experience Hiking Cathedral Rock Trail Vortex in Sedona
Distance: 3.7 mile
Many things make Cathedral Rock trail a special hike. Yes, it’s the only upflow vortex in Sedona, but I think I’m the only person whose captured it’s “mass-iveness” from this unique angle…Yes, that’s a cathedral pun. Cathedral Rock trail is famous for a few reasons. One: It’s a stunning sandstone monument. Two: It’s one of the 4 vortexes, or a “power place,” in Sedona. And three, and something I am 100% certain nobody else knows that I recently uncovered: It’s shadows create the shape of a Cathedral on the ground, hence why I think it got its name Cathedral Rock.
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Breakfast: Pump House Station
There was something about the name, something about the reviews, something about the aesthetic and something about the location that drew me to Pump House Station. The aesthetic isn’t just for show. The restaurant and its décor is the vision of owner, Belynda Greene, who has collected antiques and found objects for years – each eclectic piece with a story of its own. I would say breakfast was a very Americana experience, and just what I wanted. An endless list of eggs in a number of different forms, avocado toast, breakfast burritos, crepes, french toast, pancakes. There’s nothing you couldn’t have. The bottomless coffee was a plus of course too. Top that with the fact that the ingredients are organic and sustainable whenever possible and you have yourself a great morning. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
Mid-Day Hike: Boynton Canyon Trail to Subway Cave
Hike Boynton Canyon Trail Vortex to Subway Cave
Distance: 7 miles
Difficulty: Easy, then Hard to get into at end
Trying to narrow down which hikes to focus on in Sedona? I can help. Skip Boynton Canyon Trail to Subway Cave. Here’s why. Boynton Canyon vortex has combination energy – both masculine and feminine energy – which is perfect for those seeking to balancing energy within oneself and with relationships. Now Subway Cave is not the vortex, but a spot along the Boynton Canyon Trail. The vortex is Kachina Woman, located close to the parking lot. In fact, the vortex is just 1 mile from the parking lot round-trip. Subway cave on the other hand is 7-miles round-trip. But don’t worry – they’re all flat, so it’s the easiest 7-miles ever. However, hiking into Subway Cave is dangerous and not something I recommend people do. Additionally, the spot is flooded with people, making it feel like you’re in line to take a picture with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland…really removes all the luster of the place.
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Snack: Waffle and Juice at Local Juicery
We stopped for a quick snack post hike. Now I actually was a real big fan of Local Juicery’s waffles. They were even gluten free! I am the first to say that terms like “sprouted grain,” “vegan,” and “gluten free” usually are not appealing to me, but this waffle is the exception. It’s made with oat flour, chia seeds, coconut oil and bananas. The two warm waffles are topped with fruit with a side of maple syrup. Delicious. The only down-side is that it does come at a hefty price of $13. For $13, I’d expect at least 3-4 waffles, especially because they are so tiny and light on your belly. We accompanied our waffle with a smoothie of course. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
Shop: Crystal Magic
Next up was some shopping. You can’t leave Sedona without visiting a crystal shop. It’s an essential part of the experience here. But why are crystals so important here? Crystals are natural energy holders. They emit and absorb energy from elements. That’s why a big part of visiting Sedona is purchasing a crystal, charging it at a vortex site with powerful energies and intentions, and taking it home with you. The type of crystal you purchase however, is important. They all emit different energy with a different purpose. There are several go-to stores for crystals, but Shakti Sita swears by Crystal Magic. Not only do they have a large selection of crystals, but the best selection. You’d be surprised by how pricey these crystals can get though, so make sure you come in with a budget in mind! Pat and I left with:
- Citrine: Stimulates the mind, assists in learning, promotes happiness and optimism, and is a stone of prosperity
- Amethyst: Psychic protection, balances emotions, overcoming addictions, and improves memory
- Pen-ergy pen: It’s a pen with crystals in it, so that when you write, your intentions and words are essentially supercharged. I got an aventurine pen for prosperity, abundance, good luck, opportunity and abundance
Sunset at Secret Slick Rock
Distance: 0.7 miles out-and-back
Difficulty: It’s a super short “walk,” not hike.
We left Crystal Magic just in time for sunset and I knew exactly where I wanted to go. To a vortex spot where I could charge my new crystal! We headed over to Secret Slick Rock at sunset for some of the most epic views of Cathedral Rock. The spot is called Slick Rock because there are times when there are puddles of water on the rock that reflect the beautiful Cathedral Rock. When we visited, there was no water, but god – it had to be one of my favorite overlooks of the whole trip. Pictured above is our local guide, Shakti Sita, her husband Dan, Patrick and myself on Secret Slick Rock.
The beauty is that it’s super easy to get here. It’s a 0.7-mile out-and-back trail. When here, take off your shoes and try and ground yourself in the rock while meditating. Try and block out any other people who may be on the rock experimenting with other things, Sedona is known for being a bit of a hippie spot for mystics and for escapists – let’s call them that 🙂
I don’t know if we manifested this experience through the Citrine or if I bought the Citrine because I subconsciously knew we were going to indulge that night. In any case, dinner was a lavish and abundant affair. Shakti Sita managed to get us a reservation at Mariposa, known as one of the best steakhouses in Sedona. What makes Mariposa so coveted is it’s views. Unfortunately, we had a late dinner so weren’t able to see them, so we focused on the Latin-inspired food. In mine and Pat’s opinion, for the price, the steak was ok – which is what they are known for. Maybe if we had indulged in it while seeing the red rock view it may have been a more transcendental experience. My suggestion is to make it over here for tapas hour and watch the sun set over the red rocks. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
– Day 3 –
Early AM Massage
Till now the mind had been disconnected and meditating, but the body was still a bit in overdrive from all the hiking. It was time to relax the body as well and balance it out with the mind. Shakti called over her masseuse for an at-home massage. The masseuse transferred energy via a full body massage using reiki. You could feel small releases everywhere and tiny waves of energy. My session was everything I needed and added an additional peace of mind. It was another divine experience to add to a collection of unique experiences in Sedona, Arizona. Post-massage I went into the living room and waited for Pat to enjoy his massage session. The sun was rising away from the horizon and its rays splashed golden color everywhere. In silent appreciation, I sat in one of Shakti Sita’s living room chairs and absorbed the scene that unfolded before me.
Breakfast: Coffee Pot
Now that both the body and mind had been emptied and released of all tension, it was time to replenish at a Sedona institution. An all-day diner and restaurant located infront of a red rock called Coffee Pot Mesa, hence the name coffee pot. Why is it called coffee pot mesa? Well duh, look at the picture above. The red rock on the right hand side looks like a coffee pot! It’s known as a gathering place for locals and psychics, who spend hours over coffee swapping predictions. It’s most distinguishing feature is that it’s home to 101 omelets. I didn’t even think there were 101 things you could put in an omelet. The price is also cheap, which is not something that can be said for the rest of Sedona. You’ll find pancakes, bacon, eggs, more eggs, more eggs…and of course, coffee. The coffee is served in a really nice locally made ceramic coffee cup that you can buy from the small gift shop on the way out. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
Visit: Palatki Heritage Site
If mystical red rock hikes aren’t your thing, than maybe a step into the past of Sedona is right for you. The Palatki Heritage Site is one of the largest cliff dwellings of red rock country. Palatki means “red house” in Hopi language. The Sinagua Indians, or Sedona’s first indigenous people, lived in these cliff dwellings from about AD 1130 to AD 1350. The dwelling is very hard to see, it is well camouflaged into the cliffs. That was likely to hide from invaders. Their position in the cliff also protected them from rain and allowed them to collect potable water when necessary since they were so far from a water source. It was likely that a clan or family of 30-50 members lived in Palatki Heritage Site. There is rock art such as pictographs, petroglyphs and more visible on the site as well. Space is limited on these tours so make sure to purchase a ticket in advance. They only accept 12 people in a group at a time. They leave every half hour and the tour lasts 1.5 hours. Reservations are required.
Note: When it’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit or when the roads are impassible, the site is closed.
Sunset: Jordan Road Trailhead
Distance: 2 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: It’s a super short “walk,” not hike and all flat terrain.
It was our last night with Shakti before she headed out to LA for a retreat, so she took us to a special spot this evening. One that may not be on the top 10 list of many, but it should be purely for the views. It’s only 2-miles round-trip, but pure of energy. When you walk around Sedona, you may come across juniper trees that spiral upward. On Jordan Road Trail, you’ll come across a lot of juniper trees. Some say this is proof of strong vortexes in the area, but simple science would tell you that juniper trees spiral in more places than just Sedona, and it’s due to the result of wind pushing on them. The trunk continuously twists very slowly and are a great indication of the trees age.
Not too far in on the right hand side you come across an opening. This is where we sat and enjoyed our last meditative Kundalini session with Shakti. I kept my eyes open to watch as the sun hit the red rocks and the shadow of the night slowly, but surely, crept over the rock inch by inch, second by second. It was quiet, away from the crowds, away from the fuss and scene. That was probably one of the most meditative states of my trip in full honesty. I felt at peace at Jordan Road Trail, probably because no one was here.
Surprisingly, really enjoyed this meal and it was the first satisfying dinner we’d had in Sedona since being there. This is the place to be if you want to say YES to tacos by the red rocks. The short rib tacos and pork belly tostados were our favorites. Barbacoa and carnitas were delicious as well. The restaurant is a part of the Amara resort so you get 5 star hotel service with cocktails, dinner, and a view of the red rocks. But if you want to see the red rocks, remember to come during sunset, otherwise it’s pitch black! Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
As we walked back to The Pallas from SaltRock, we had our phone flashlights on. Sedona has been designated by the International Dark-Sky Association as the world’s eighth International Dark Sky Community. That means it’s “protects it’s dark night skies as a natural wonder” so people can stargaze and watch the stars. Do spend a night looking up at the galaxies…it is quite unbelievable. We did that during our Sedona UFO Tour. That’s another opportunity to look at the night sky unpolluted with a guide. That means that light pollution is minimal in the town. Therefore, when you’re wandering around at night, there is not a lot of lighting on the streets (aside from Main Street).
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We were walking home with our phone flashlights on and all of a sudden saw a huge mass run across our path. Shakti Sita had told us there were plenty of javelinas (pronounced ha-ve-leenas) in the area, but we hadn’t seen out yet. Javelinas are peppered black, gray and brown haired pigs, excuse me, actually the proper term for them is rodents believe it or not! And huge ones. They weigh around 40 to 60 pounds. They are actually quite cute, but you will see a resemblance to mice and rats in their face. They will not attack unless they feel threatened, so just keep to yourself and keep your distance, but do keep an eye out for them. They typically come out at night or during cold mornings. If one does start to come towards you, make loud noises to scare them away. Don’t try outrunning them…they can run up to 35 mph.
– Day 4 –
Morning: Kundalini Session
Shakti Sita was heading out to LA for a Kundalini retreat so she gave us a parting gift before leaving…our very own Kundalini session early in the AM. She greeted us in her studio and took us through some meditations, movements, gong baths and sounds. It was personal, intimate, and powerful. She offers these sessions to many of her private clients, so if you’re looking to have your own private experience, you can see if she’s available here.
Breakfast: Layla’s Bakery
This – was – satisfying. Beyond belief. In Sedona, where everything is pure, basic, vegan, etc. This buttery, fatty, croissant with ham, egg and melted cheese was HEAVEN. The line was insanely long, but I get it. I get it so much, I actually waited in line for 30 minutes to get my egg sandwich. It was exactly what I needed before taking on a hike in the Grand Canyon. Energy, fat, and power. I would say it was the best croissant we had in Sedona the whole trip, hands down. Now was it an idyllic and scenic spot? No, but that’s not the point. This is a grab and go. Bring it back home, on your hike, or take it on the road. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
Day Trip: Grand Canyon
Sedona to Grand Canyon Day Trip: Hiking Kaibab Trail to Ooh Aah Point
Distance: 1.8 – 9 miles roundtrip, depending on how far down you want to go
Difficulty: Depends on how far down you want to go and if you can handle elevations. Remember if you go down, you have to come back up!
We drove along a beautiful, winding mountain road going up in elevation. We drove around the Southern Rim and stopped for a hike at Ooh Aah Point. My life literally be like Ooh Aah when visiting the Grand Canyon on a day trip from Sedona. This guide covers how to get the most out of a day trip from how to see the South Rim to what to expect while hiking Kaibab Trail via Ooh Aah Point.
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Dinner: Cowboy Club
Cactus fries, rattlesnake sausage or bites, elk chops, boar and bison. At Cowboy Club you can get a taste of the delicacies only available in the Southwest. In a lovely western memorabilia style restaurant, you’ll feel like your back in the Ol’ West. Unfortunately, when we dined there, there was a rattlesnake shortage so we weren’t able to taste it. But if you get the chance, it’s a must. Cowboy Club is the number 2 seller of rattlesnake in the US! But we did get to indulge in cactus fries and those are a must-try as well. If I had to choose, I would go for regular fries, but when in Arizona. Cactus fries are fried and battered like regular fries, but surprisingly a lot softer, watery and jello-like then regular fries. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
– Day 5 –
Sunrise Hike: Bell Rock
Distance: 3.6 miles
Difficulty: Medium – it’s not difficult, but it is rocky so you need balance. Don’t try and go to the top…read below as to why.
We pulled into the Bell Rock parking lot and went for a short sunrise hike. There was no one on the trail with us. Pat and I were wrapped in a soft blanket of peace and calm. Sunlight played on the gold, orange and red rock formations. Joy and enlightenment infused Pat and I like morning dew melding into a rose. We spiraled around and around Bell Rock in an attempt to make it as a high up as possible. After wandering for half an hour, we were in a mild euphoric state. We decided to take a break where we were, take in the 360 view, and turn around to grab some breakfast. I wouldn’t recommend anyone try and make it to the top of Bell Rock, it requires some serious rock climbing skills and once you’re up there, it’s basically impossible to get down. There have been several hikers that have had to come get taken by helicopters because they can’t get back down!
Breakfast: The Secret Garden Cafe
Now that all the hiking was over and done with, it was time to discover Sedona town and shops a bit more. We recovered from our hike with a stop at The Secret Garden Cafe located in the Tlaquepaque Shopping Center. It’s not actually located in a secret garden, but the vibes are there. It’s not a vegan restaurant, but there are a lot of vegan and gluten-free options on the menu–like most of Sedona! I wasn’t super impressed with the breakfast, but it did the trick. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
Shop: Tlaquepaque Shopping Center
The Best of Everything at the Tlaquepaque Shopping Center
We spent the morning exploring every nook and cranny of the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Shopping village, a maze that contains over 50 specialty shops and galleries with quirky finds for everyone. But what did it for me was the architecture and flavor of Old Mexico entrenched throughout. Learn about it’s history, architecture, and of course, quirky finds, where to shop and eat.
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Walk: Sedona Main Street
I think there is a ongoing debate on which part of Sedona has the best shopping. Is it Main Street, the old part of town, which locals call “uptown,” with its quaint tourist shops and Sacajawea mall. Or is it Tlaquepaque? Of the two, I personally preferred Tlaquepaque. Tlaquepaque felt like it had some history and artisanal products on display. While Sedona Main Street in my opinion was very catered to tourists. Every shop was packed with crystals and souvenirs and every shop looked the same. We strolled around for a while, but didn’t find any store that particularly caught our eye.
The one thing you do feel when walking through Sedona Main Street is a feeling that you’re in a Western movie with cowboys. In fact, many were filmed here and you will find plaques throughout the village squares commemorating the actors and films shot here.
Lunch: Momo’s Kitchen Food Truck
My favorite part about Sedona’s Main Street was lunch. In the 4 days we were here, Patrick and I still hadn’t found a place that we were crazy about in terms of food. Nothing had blown our socks off or had us thinking, we have to go back there. That, and we were sick of paying $100 for mediocre meals…despite going to all the “must-go” places that food, travel, and media websites rave about. Luckily, our last 2 meals of the trip left us feeling satisfied. After some intensive Google searching, Patrick came across some reviews that said that like us, people had not found a good place for food until they came across this small food truck called Momo’s Kitchen serving Korean cuisine. Reviewers claimed it was one of the best (and most affordable) food spots in Sedona. At this point, we decided to give it a try. This place is an absolute hidden gem only known by those who know what good food is.
Hidden in Sacajawea Plaza parking lot in Uptown Sedona, Momo’s had no views, no fancy restaurant, just food for grab and go. We got our food and brought it to one of the many benches on Sedona’s Main Street. The menu is simple with just a couple of options for food, but that’s the way it’s meant to be. They know what they make best and focus on just that. Yes, of course, they have vegan options…we are in Sedona after all. We ordered Beef Bulgogi, which is essentially thin sliced beef grilled on a BBQ, over rice and accompanied it with some jujube tea – cold, iced ginger tea. Why not try something new. The food was authentic, healthy and super flavorful. Plus, the price was right. This is one of those places that is actually worth visiting in Sedona – I promise. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
Shop: Center for the New Age
The bright purple smaller shopping center with a mural on the side located across from Tlaquepaque and off of Sedona Main Street is the Center for the New Age. This spot is considered “the center of spirituality” in Sedona. It’s where a lot of the mystic shops are located. Here you will find everything from psychics and massage therapists to Vortex tours, Aura readings, aura cleansing, reiki healers, tarot readers, full moon ceremonies, labyrinth walks, shakra realignments and new age products. They offer UFO tours here as well, but Shakti Sita has done a few and said the best one is the one we did with Sedona UFO Tours. Think of the Center for the New Age as a metaphysical supernatural department store. If you want to experience some form of healing and don’t have time to meet with private teachers like Shakti Sita, then this is where you go. You can poke around and take a look at the books, music, crystals and jewelry in the shops.
Shop & Recycle: The Hike House
A little bit further down from The Center for the New Age was a shopping center with an outdoor coffee shop, a few stores, and one outdoor goods store called The Hike House. After hiking the last few days, Pat and I realized our hiking shoes were in need of a desperate upgrade. Sure non-ankle hiking boots are comfortable, but when you’re trying to keep your balance on unstable ground, you’d rather have an ankle boot that keeps your heel locked in for security measures. The store was awesome. We could’ve bought everything in it, but instead both settled for a pair of Salewa ankle hiking boots. When we bought our new shoes there was this small wooden ladder outside where you could tie your old shoes if you didn’t use them anymore and leave them for anyone who might have a shoe emergency or need a new pair. It was such a cute concept to recycle used shoes this way! (Video above)
Before driving back to Phoenix for our flight back to New York, we grabbed an early dinner at another small, affordable casita right off of the Main Street. Tamaliza serves authentic Mexican food. They are known for their tamales and I am embarrassed to admit that I had never had a tamale before this day. But gosh was this the place to have that first tamale experience. Authenticity is the only word that can be used to describe the food and ambiance here. In this small café, attention to detail is placed on everything from the plates to the chairs and depictions on the tables. But you quickly get distracted when they place a plate with an unwrapped tamale piled high with black beans, spinach, cheese, guacamole, salsa…whatever you want to add to it. With one bite, you immediately wonder, why didn’t you consider coming here at the start of your trip and save yourself the hassle of looking for other good places to eat?
The tamale options are endless – beef, pork, chicken, vegetarian, vegan (of course!). And everything is made with clean ingredients, no lard or sauces from a can. You’ll occasionally see a little kid asking her mom if she can help out the family business by bringing the plate to the guests. It’s adorable and authentic. Tamaliza is run by Claudia Gonzalez, a local who grew up outside Mexico City where her grandma taught her how to make tamales, tortillas, and salsas from scratch. When she moved to the US, she couldn’t find good, authentic Mexican food, and that’s how her idea for Tamaliza came to be. This is some of the best Mexican food I’ve had to date. This was the way to end a trip in Sedona, on a good and tasty note. Check out other places to eat in Sedona >>
– 5 Days in Sedona Itinerary Map –
– Where & What to Eat in Sedona –
This is an actual, HONEST, real review of Sedona restaurants and places to eat. What’s not worth visiting and 4 spots that are on no one’s radar that are.
An Honest Review of “Must Visit” Sedona Restaurants (and Where to Actually Eat)
– How to Get Around Sedona –
There really is only 1 way to get around Sedona: rent a car. Especially because you need to get to Sedona from Phoenix airport and if you plan on doing a day trip to the Grand Canyon. You need one in order to get to any trailheads. I don’t recommend ubering or lyfting because you will end up spending a fortune. Just remember that if you do rent a car, you will need a Red Rock pass in order to park at any trails. More on that below.
– Important Things to Keep In Mind –
- Pro Tip: Don’t pack anything white or nice. They are called the red rocks for a reason. There is red dust everywhere. You will get it on your shoes, in your face, in your eyes…literally everywhere. You can wear it at night when you go out to dinner, but limit it to that.
- You are in the desert so the air is really dry. Bring or buy a ton of moisturizer and I would highly recommend you buy a mini humidifier and bring it with you. You’d be surprised how dry the air is, you’ll feel it in your nose, trust me.
- For those “high profile places” that are “must visits” like Mariposa and any other big name restaurants, reservations in advance are required. Especially for a place like Mariposa, start looking for reservations a minimum 2 weeks in advance. Not kidding. Even then you’re lucky to find a 9:30PM spot maybe.
- You need a Red Rock Pass to park anywhere near a hike. It’s a user/parking permit that is required when you are visiting the Sedona trails system on the National Forest Land. The Red Rock Pass is $5 for the day, $15 for seven days or $20 for the year. If you don’t have it on your car, it will get towed or you will get a hefty fine.
- For the most popular hikes, get there at sunrise. You wont find parking past 8AM, that’s not a joke. For Cathedral Rock, we got up right before sunrise, got to the trail as the sun was rising and got one of the last parking spots when we got there. So it still wasn’t enough!
- Be careful at night and don’t be scared when you see javelinas, pronounced ha-ve-leenas. They come out at night and look for people’s trash cans to scour for food. They look scary, but will not attack if you if not provoked. Just stay away and keep walking. There are also coyotes and bobcats, but you’re much less likely to see those. If one does start to come towards you, make loud noises to scare them away. Don’t try outrunning them…they can run up to 35 mph.
- Sedona has been designated by the International Dark-Sky Association as the world’s eighth International Dark Sky Community. That means it’s “protects it’s dark night skies as a natural wonder” so people can stargaze and watch the stars. That means that light pollution is minimal in the town. Therefore, when you’re wandering around at night, there is not a lot of lighting on the streets (aside from Main Street). Remember to carry around your phone and keep the flashlight on…also so you can keep an eye out for javelinas!
- Find an Airbnb or Casita with a kitchenette because the place is expensive: As I’ve mentioned a few times, the food here is expensive and mediocre for the price. Aside from a couple of exceptions, if you’re not looking to drop $100 – $200 bills every meal, I highly recommend you make sure your AirBnb or Casita has a kitchenette you can use. You will end up saving a lot more money this way.
- Traffic on Sedona Main Street: During peak hours, Sedona Main Street gets very busy. It’s a small two way road so there is lots of bumper to bumper traffic during sunset and after work. Keep that in mind when you plan on moving around past 3PM. Bake in traffic time.
>> Next: 17 Things To Do in Park City, Utah (On and Off Piste)
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