Sedona has been on my list of places to go for some time. So when planning our last trip before the baby comes (a.k.a. babymoon) we decided to go for it. Most people plan babymoons in relaxing, tropical locations. I, on the other hand, can never sit still for too long. Spending all day on the beach didn’t sound adventurous enough for me. Even though we weren’t able to do the more challenging hikes, Sedona and Page offer shorter excursions with beautiful views. You won’t feel like you are missing out if you want to take it a easy. Sedona and Scottsdale are also chock full of wonderful spas and luxurious hotels, so it’s the perfect mix of outdoors and relaxation. In the summertime, Arizona can get pretty hot, so my recommendation is to visit in the Fall. The days are still warm and evenings are comfortably cool.
We flew in to Phoenix, which was a quick flight from SFO. From there we drove to Sedona and arrived in time to enjoy their beautiful sunset. We stayed two nights in Sedona, headed to Page for one night, then back to Scottsdale before returning home. It was definitely a quick trip, but was enough time to see all of the sights we wanted to. Below are our highlights and recommendations!
Kimpton Amara Resort & Spa
The Kimton Amara Resort & Spa is quaint and relaxing. We arrived during their nightly complimentary wine & bites hour, which was a perfect way to unwind after the drive from Phoenix. The hotel is centered around the pool and lawn area, which offer perfect views of the red rocks and sunset. The resort has access to the river, which is a calm and peaceful little oasis all it’s own. Kimpton Amara has an on site restaurant, bar, and spa too. It’s located right downtown, so you can easily eat in or go out. The rooms here are spacious and comfortable. Although we were unable to bring our own doggie along with us, Amara is extremely dog friendly and we enjoyed meeting some furry friends during our stay.
Fay Canyon is a 2.3 mile out and back hike which offers a beautiful scenic viewpoint through the canyon. The path is mostly flat except for the last bit, which is a a short uphill climb. Plenty of the trail is shaded, which is nice on a hot day. This is a pretty quick hike and we really enjoyed it!
Chapel of the Holy Cross
You’ve never seen a chapel quite like this! It is built into the red rocks and has become a part of the Sedona landscape. There is limited parking at the top where the chapel is located but parking is available at the bottom too. You can spend time inside the chapel if you’d like, or just stop by for a peek.
Devil’s Bridge is a nice moderate day hike. It does get crowded here, so come early in the morning and/or on a weekday. The majority of the hike is flat and in the sun, but since we visited in the fall, the heat was not much of an issue. Once you get to the end it does get pretty steep, but it was still completely doable at 26 weeks pregnant.
Slide Rock Park
This is an awesome park to visit, especially when it’s hot out. Spend the day relaxing by the river and slide down the rocks in the water! It’s also amazingly beautiful, so what’s not to love?
Chances are you’ve seen this location hundreds of times in photographs. Let me tell you, it is just as amazing in person! It’s a short 10 minute walk/hike from the parking lot to the bend. We woke up early to catch sunrise at Horseshoe Bend and it was worth it! There were hardly any other people there and no harsh shadows were cast, making it easy to photograph. It was amazing seeing the colors of the rocks change as the sun rose. Make sure to bring a wide angle camera or lens so you can capture the full beauty of this natural wonder.
Antelope Canyon (Lower)
To visit Antelope Canyon, make sure you book a tour ahead of time. It’s required to go with a Navajo guide and they won’t allow individual hikers to visit on their own. We used Dixie Ellis Tours, but there are other companies that also offer tours. The canyon itself is beautiful, but there are so many visitors in there at once it is a bit crowded and rushed feeling. Nonetheless, it was still amazing to see all of the natural curves and arches of the rocks. The guides said it is much less crowded in the winter, so that may be a better option if you prefer a more leisurely experience.
Scottsdale & Phoenix
The Scott Resort and Spa
Staying at the newly renovated Scott Resort and Spa is a vacation in itself. The lobby is like a large gorgeous greenhouse. In the center of the resort is a huge pool area with multiple pool options and of course, a bar. One of the pools is like a beach and even has sand! We spent the last day of our trip just lounging around and resting from the previous days. Rooms here are also very affordable for such a great resort experience.
Desert Botanical Garden
We loved visiting the Desert Botanical Garden to see the various displays of over 50,000 types of plants. The whole garden is 140 acres and there are plenty of trails with different habitats, making it easy to spend some time meandering around. It was pretty cool to see many plants we’ve never seen before! It does get pretty hot out here, so even in the fall I’d recommend going in the morning to avoid the heat.