Travel

The Best Scottsdale to Sedona Long Weekend Itinerary

Arizona had been on my bucket list for a long time so when Briar and I were trying to figure out where to go for our birthdays this year, it was a no-brainer. Scottsdale and Sedona are about two hours apart with Scottsdale being closest to the Phoenix airport. We wanted to experience the nightlife and food scene of Scottsdale and the hikes and spiritual nature of Sedona. Doing a Thursday to Monday gave us enough time in both places to do the things we wanted.

Weather: We went the second weekend of December. Although Scottsdale was warm (around 65-70) during the day it was chilly at night. Once we arrived in Sedona the temperature dropped significantly. I have heard that the summer months are way too hot, so if you are looking for something warmer than December, I would try Spring or Fall time otherwise December was perfect hiking weather and we could still use the pools, get some sun and the touristy spots weren’t crowded. 

Day 1 – Thursday

Arrive at the Phoenix airport in the morning and rented a convertible to get a full view of the landscape 

We decided to stay at the Hotel Adeline. The Adeline is a renovated motel that has a swanky mid-century modern vibe. This was the best bang for our buck because it was close to Old Town Scottsdale, affordable, Instagramable, and clean. They have a pool, fire pit, and indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant. We got there early, so we had a couple of bloody’s outside in the sun before check-in and had ourselves a day by the pool.

We made Dinner reservations at SumoMaya and OMG. This was one of the best dining experiences I have had in a long time. This is a Mexican Asian fusion restaurant, so my two favorite things in one! Our waiter was very educated, and we let him pick our dinner, so he brought out multiple courses and gave us a lesson on each dish. The Martini’s were perfect.

We ended up going to the Entertainment District in Old Town afterward to dance. The coolest part about the district is everything is half inside/outside so you can walk down the street and get a preview into each club to see if it’s your vibe. I would recommend Hifi and Bottled Blonde if you like to dance.

Day 2- Friday 

We woke up and decided to get brunch at The Montauk. This officially confirmed that Scottsdale’s food scene is unbelievable. It’s everything you want in a brunch. Indoor/outdoor seating, a menu that is sweet, savory, healthy, but also perfect hangover food. Amazing bloody’s and live music!

We then did a day of shopping at 5th Avenue Shops in Oldtown. They had so many fun and unique stores. Since this was only a couple of weeks before Christmas, we got some Christmas shopping done at some cool spots you wouldn’t find at home and got some yummy gelato from Pussycat Gelato  

We had dinner reservations this night at Elements which is a fine dining restaurant at the Sanctuary Resort. This resort is way up on Camelback Mountain and the view is unbelievable. My only regret is that we didn’t get there earlier to see the sunset. They will sit you in your own private booth directly facing the mountains. 

We ended the night in Old Town at AZ88 which is known for its Martinis! It was packed in there so my suggestion would be to get there before 8 pm. We got lucky and snagged a table but if you can’t you might be standing around for a while balancing a full martini! I got the Coconut Martini and Briar got the Espresso Martini and they were both awesome.

Day 3 – Saturday 

Checked out and started the drive to Sedona! We ended up stopping at a Waffle House on the way there which was perfect because it was quick and easy and always so good. We stopped at the one in Deer Valley Phoenix.

We made a little pit stop in Jerome Ghost Town. This is an old mining town that only has about 100 people living there today. It’s a cool little spot with art, shops, and bars. 

We decided to stay at the Wilde Resort in Sedona. This is a boutique resort and spa minutes from downtown. We knew we wanted to stay at a resort so we could utilize the spa options, but we also wanted something reasonably priced. They have a restaurant and bar at the resort where we grabbed a quick lunch when we arrived. 

My favorite part of our room was that it had a fireplace that kept us toasty all weekend, a huge double rainfall shower, and views for days.

We hit the mountains right away. I love to meditate so it was important for me to go to one of the energy vortexes. I did a lot of research prior on which ones I wanted to visit but there is an app that I was using called All Trails that gives you the details on different trails (difficulty level, length, maps, reviews, etc.

We went to Bell Rock which is a moderate hike, but I would say there was more rock than there was a trail so there was a bit of rock climbing involved. A lot of people say that they couldn’t feel the energy vortex, but I don’t think it’s something that finds you, you have to find it. If you are someone who understands energy and meditation you just need to tap in. The sun was going down but there was sun still on one part of the mountain, so we went there. There were other people set up in mediation doing rituals, so I knew I was in the right place. The energy moves through you in a way that allows you to silent your thoughts and elevate somewhere much lighter.

Reservations for dinner were hard to come by and I didn’t have something booked for every night because I didn’t want to overbook us, but retrospectively I wish I did because we weren’t able to get into some of the more popular restaurants. With that being said, talking to locals and getting their recommendations is always a good idea so we ended up at Javelina Cantina for dinner. Had some tacos, margs, and made some friends!

Day 4- Sunday 

Sunday morning, we booked massages at our resort’s spa Wild Haven Spa. This is also something I would try to book way in advance because they had so many awesome options to choose from but not all their intuitive healers were available while we were there. We did what’s called the Seven Sacred Pools and it was a chakra balancing massage that took oils that coincided with each chakra, and it involved smelling the oil and repeating certain affirmations while the healer massaged that part of your body. It was very relaxing, and we felt very balanced afterward. They also offer wellness and yoga classes with sound bowl healing.

After spending the day at the spa, we had scheduled our engagement shoot right before sunset. I found our photographer on Instagram, and he is wildly talented, Give him a follow @photographybybrandone. Even if you are not looking to do an engagement shoot, I think getting a professional photographer to capture your adventure while you’re on vacation is so special and fun! Brandon took us to a local spot that we wouldn’t have found otherwise. It is called Secret Slick Rock Trail and here are how the pictures turned out:

We ended the night at Saltrock Southwest Kitchen which is the restaurant at the Amara Resort. Very cool indoor and outdoor lounge vibes. We enjoyed some ceviche and fish tacos and cheered to our last night in Arizona!

Day 5- Monday

Briar and I decided to wake up early before the sunrise and hike a local spot suggested by our engagement photographer called Doe Mountain and it did not disappoint! It took us about an hour to get up the one side to the other to see the sunrise and we arrived at the top just in time. The only thing I wish we did that I would suggest is to pack a blanket and some breakfast!  

We grabbed some breakfast back at our hotel before we checked out and then we were on our way back to Phoenix to catch our flight home! 

I did a lot of research before our trip, so here are some additional suggestions on places to stay, eat, and drink in both places:

Scottsdale:

Stay- 

The Scott Resort

Hotel Valley Ho

The Saguaro 

Eat- 

Diego Pops 

Cielo

Toca Modera 

Maple & Ash

Culinary Dropout 

Drink- 

Entertainment District 

Bevvy 

Rusty Spur Saloon

Second Story Liquor Bar 

Sedona:

Stay-

Enchantment Resort

Amara Resort 

Orchards Inn

Eat:

Mariposa

Tii Gavo 

Elote

The Hudson

Hideaway House 

View 180

Spiritual:

Sedona Meditation Experiences

Sedona Soul Adventures 

Anahata Ananda

Hikes:

Cathedral Rock 

Devils Bridge

Boyton Canyon

Airport Mesa

Attractions:

Horseshoe Bend

Lower Antelope Canyons

Lake Powell

Slide Rock State Park 

Pink Jeep Tours 

XO Meg

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