Anna and I spent New Years with my family in Sedona, Arizona. The town is famous for the its stunning red rock formations, as well as its vibrant arts scene, and its spiritual/new age community. Although Sedona is certainly not the best place to come to for a wild New Years celebration (I think we were in bed by 12:05), it is a great place to unwind and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.
Best Breakfast Spot
The Coffee Pot Restaurant is great diner that has been serving breakfast and lunch in Sedona since the 50's. It has a terrific, old school diner vibe inside, and an extensive menu that includes 101 omelette options. Both the omelette and the waffles we ordered were delicious.
Doe Mountain is a steep, but very short, .7 mile hike leading up to the Doe Mountain Plateau. You will reach the top in half an hour and be rewarded with amazing 360 degree views of the surrounding area as you stroll around the mesa.
Bear Mountain is a long and strenuous 4.5 hour hike with an elevation change of approximately 1800 feet. There is a variety of interesting terrain along the way, and of course, some incredible views. Tip: If you get tired halfway up, and you aren't committed to reaching the summit, don't stress about it; the views at the top are not as good as the ones part way up the trail.
Surprisingly Tasty Italian Food
We stopped by Picazzo's, a local Arizona Italian chain, for a quick lunch. We weren't expecting much, but ended up being very pleasantly surprised by a huge menu, with a lot of really tasty choices. Despite being the least Italian sounding thing on the menu, the Thai Spicy Red Curry Baked Chicken Wings were outrageously good.
Splurge That We Begrudgingly Admit Was Worth It
Driving around Sedona, you will lose count of all of the dopey-looking people on rented ATVs who you see blocking traffic. We laughed at them at first, but of course, we ended up caving and spending a couple hundred bucks to rent our own ATVs for a half day. Was it freezing? Yes. Did we look just as foolish as we felt? Probably. Was it ridiculously fun once you got out of town and onto the 4WD roads? Absolutely.
New Age Energy Phenomenon We Didn't Buy Into
Another thing Sedona is well known for is being the location of Vortexes, or "swirling centers of subtle energy coming out from the surface of the earth". Spiritual people travel from all over the world to stand in these Vortexes and feel the positive, uplifting effects of the flowing energy. Supposedly different vortexes have different energy types, and can either increase the masculine side, the feminine side, or both sides of your personal energy. We went to the Boynton Canyon Vortex to check it out for ourselves, and although we didn't personally feel any sort of uplifting energy, we did get to watch a nice sunset and enjoy some lovely flute music played by an elderly man sitting cross-legged on a rock.