A Sedona getaway is supercharged with good vibes.
I turned 20 in a New York nightclub and 30 on a “tour de Vegas.” To celebrate my fourth decade around the sun, I chose a location where the only noise was the crunch of my hiking shoes on a trail, and the majority of lights at night were those beaming down from the sky: Sedona, Arizona.
Known for its mystical energies and plethora of hiking and biking trails among its stunning red rock landscapes, Sedona is a popular destination for spiritual seekers and outdoor adventurers alike. This combination was a win-win for me and worth the journey that included a 4-hour-and-15-minute flight to Phoenix from Atlanta and 2-hour car ride to the luxurious Enchantment Resort set off the area’s beaten path in Boynton Canyon.
On the drive in, my group, which included my husband and two friends, stopped to check out Montezuma Castle National Monument. The impressive, well-preserved dwellings in Camp Verde that were built high up into the rock face by the Sinagua, indigenous people of the Southwest, made one reflect on how easy daily life is today in comparison. The next stop included a roadside stand to sample Native American fry bread, which tasted similar to a savory beignet.
Once at the resort, we settled in at casual restaurant Tii Gavo and ordered up a storm, including loaded nachos, guacamole, fish tacos and uber-delicious margaritas, then retired to the nearby pool with views of breathtaking red rocks that changed color with the sun’s movements. During our stay, we also enjoyed the property’s fine-dining restaurant, Che Ah Chi, focused on American cuisine with Native American influences.
With such beautiful topography to explore, I hiked almost every day during my week-long stay. Energy vortex hikes are must-do. Vortexes, or vortices, are thought to be centers of energy in the Earth that are conducive to healing and meditation. Did I feel the tingling in my hands or inexplicably break into tears like others have reported? No, but I felt the peace, exhilaration and spiritual openness that comes with being in nature and experiencing these particularly unique landscapes and climbs. Favorites included the Boynton Canyon Trail, which can be as long as 7.3 miles or as short as 1.1 to just experience the Boynton Vortex Trail. Cathedral Rock is strenuous but has the most rewarding views at the very top. Tip: Skip the popular Airport Mesa trail and drive to the top for the sunset. And don’t hike after dark: As a designated International Dark Sky Community, the nights are black.
Because of the lack of light pollution, stargazing is phenomenal. The Enchantment offers its guests complimentary stargazing sessions with an astronomer each week. Through various telescopes, we saw Saturn, Jupiter and its rings, star clusters and more up close. It’s pure magic. The resort’s programming includes several free and add-on activities such as a Native American Labyrinth walk meditation, yoga classes, mountain biking, tennis and more. The day spa offers a wide range of services including those of the spiritual sort such as astrology, past life regression and energy clearing.
A 15-minute drive from the resort, Sedona’s Main Street district is filled with touristy haunts. If you love crystal shops like I do, there is no shortage of them here. I found my birthday treasure, a large honey citrine crystal that is said to boost creative imagination, at Peace Place. Another fun, albeit a bit woo-woo, activity is aura photography, where a biofeedback imaging camera takes a photo of you with your colorful, dynamic electromagnetic field; you receive a printout of what the aura colors mean. Between the time in nature, exercise and new experiences, Sedona renewed my spirit and recharged my energy to take on the adventures of the next decade.
Managing Editor and Wellness Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Blogger at Badass + Healthy.