If you have limited time in Arizona, prioritize two must-see destinations: the Grand Canyon and Sedona (featured below). If you’re taking a longer trip, consider detouring along the way to Verde Valley—an intoxicating cluster of towns where a 19th-century Wild West mining boom has given way to a wining and dining boom.
Bounce between art galleries and tasting rooms in charming Old Town Cottonwood and rickety, mountaintop Jerome. Kayak the Verde River to Alcantara Vineyard with Verde Adventures. And at Page Springs Cellars, sip a flight of whites or reds while overlooking tree-canopied Oak Creek, then cool your toes in the water. To delve into the area’s ancient history, wander through thousand-year-old pueblo ruins at Tuzigoot National Monument and stand transfixed beneath Montezuma Castle National Monument, a dramatic dwelling carved into a cliff.
Possibly one of the country’s most gorgeous cities, Sedona casts a spell over visitors with its ravishing rust-hued mountains, unique spiritual vibe, ample outdoor activities, and luxurious indulgences.
Greet the dawn with Aumbase Sedona’s Rise and Shine Yoga session atop Airport Mesa, one of Sedona’s famed vortexes—sites that supposedly emit powerful energy from the Earth. Views unfold all around this plateau perched in the center of the city, and shutterflies flock here at sunset to watch the red rocks blaze purple and paprika.
Each morning at Red Rock State Park, you can saunter along scenic trails on a guided walk as naturalists regale you with facts about the area’s geology, wildlife, plants, and archaeology. For an adrenaline rush with jaw-dropping scenery, choose your own adventure: Local companies offer Jeep tours, mountain bike rentals, helicopter rides, and hot air ballooning. Gallery hop and shop for treasures in Tlaquepaque, a sycamore-shaded mercado fashioned after a Mexican village. Unwind amidst alfresco ambience on the flower-filled patio at organic eatery ChocolaTree, or on the banks of Oak Creek at L’Auberge de Sedona’s Cress restaurant.