Phil and I took a much-needed road trip to Scottsdale and Sedona, Arizona last weekend. We came back to LA feeling so refreshed and liberated, I wanted to round up some of our favorite parts of the trip today in case anyone else is looking for a fun, quick, affordable adventure (especially if you live in southern California!). Since it’s also hard to decide what to pack into a weekend, hopefully these tips will help you to decide.
We stayed at the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia which was about six hours away from Los Angeles. As much as I love to travel, long car trips have never been my favorite thing in the world–but this one was so relaxing (zero traffic compared to LA!) and it went really quickly. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I would have enjoyed flying because we blasted music, rolled down the windows (until it became 115 degrees outside) and enjoyed a stress-free ride with my hubby.
The resort itself is so gorgeous and relaxing–not to mention its views of nearby mountains are absolutely stunning. I couldn’t get enough of the giant pool in the middle of the resort which was perfect after long hikes we took during the day. There’s an amazing spa that I would have loved to enjoy had we been there for longer. I also loved the resort’s decor which included a lot of rustic elements like these amazing doors at its entry below.
The day after we arrived in Scottsdale, we decided to take a day trip out to Sedona, Arizona which is about two hours away. Since we only had a weekend in Arizona, we wanted to make the best of it and really see as much as possible. When we got to Sedona, the red mountains all around us were so breathtaking and majestic–we felt like we had driven onto a movie set.
We started our day off by hiking Sedona’s Cathedral Rock. This hike was gorgeous and was definitely a workout–but it wasn’t too treacherous to do in sneakers so even if you’re not a seasoned hiker, you should be fine. There are a few places where you have to climb up rocky crevices but don’t let them scare you (like I was at first!) they’re totally doable. Outfit-wise, definitely wear workout gear and really light clothing that can wick away sweat. Bring tons of water and snacks too!
We’d definitely recommend starting your hike before the sun is blazing down on you because by the time we got up to the top, it was already really hot and it was probably 11:00 am. The views were incredible, though, and so worth it. At the top, you can see 360 degree views of Sedona and it’s so peaceful and breathtaking.
Next up, we did another mini hike towards Devil’s Bride (which supposedly also has epic views) but stopped after some fellow hikers en route back to their car told us it would take us it over an hour to reach the start of the hike (and then another few hours from there to complete it–if not more). We learned that we had parked in the wrong parking lot (a lot for cars without four wheel drive) and had accidentally tacked hours onto our hike that we didn’t have time for. #Woops! We ended up turning around after 40 minutes or so but saw some gorgeous views nonetheless. Writing this down so that others don’t make the same mistake–apparently it’s pretty common. If you don’t have four wheel drive, just know your hike will be hours longer than it says when you look up the hike’s mileage.
To end the day on a positive note, we drove over to Slide Rock in Sedona which was perfect after a couple of long hikes. It’s basically a natural water slide with pools for swimming cut into the rocks. The area is so beautiful and was packed with people. We were ready to jump right in–until we felt how cold the water was! When we saw a pack of 70-year-old women and some little kids jumping in like it was no big deal, we decided to suck it up too–#wheninsedona. It was so worth it! It costs $30.00 to park in the Slide Rock lot but don’t let that deter you–even if you only stay for an hour or so, it’s totally worth it.
If you have more time, definitely stay in Sedona for at least a couple of days. We were sad to have only had about seven hours there but we had to get back to our hotel in Scottsdale so that we could drive home to LA the next morning. Weekend trips are so great but of course they go really quickly and you can only pack in so much. If you only have a few hours there like we did, definitely go see Slide Rock and Cathedral Rock!