There’s nothing like a good trip that mixes fantastic scenery, fresh air, desert hikes, great weather, and plenty of fun both indoor and out. To get started on this great trip that guarantees fun for all involved, reserve your tiny house stay at Verde Valley and the rest will fall into place. Select from Tiny House Finn or Tiny House Rose, equally adorable in their accommodations that sleep three and include all the amenities you could ask for when exploring Sedona and Cottonwood. Need a little more space? Check out the cozy cabins at Verde Valley and consider booking one for your home base while exploring the area.
1. Scenic Byways: While the hiking is fantastic here, another option for taking in the views is a quick road trip along the scenic byways. The Red Rock Scenic Byway is one route to take that can include stops to explore two famous vortexes, Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock, and a visit to the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, a picturesque spot with galleries, eateries, and shops. Another driving opportunity could be the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive, a winding, twisty way to see the countryside that can include stops for picnics, quick hikes, and the opportunity to check out Native American jewelry and crafts at the displays along the route.
2. Jeep Tour: Again, another opportunity to motor through the area, but this time the vehicle is a pretty cool pink Jeep, designed to handle the rugged terrain and equipped with a guide who knows it all when it comes to the area. Check out the tour options at pinkadventuretours.com and decide which one works best for your travel crew. Another option is the Jeep tours offered by A Day in the West (adayinthewest.com) – this time the Jeep is a sunny yellow, but the adventure is equally good. Both tour companies are consistently rated 4.5 stars.
3. Verde Valley Wine Trail: The only passport required here is the one that you can download from vvwinetrail.com and take along to receive a stamp from each winery you visit along the trail. Check out the site to see which wineries and tasting rooms are open and head off to an adventure where the only whining allowed is “how far to the next fantastic winery!” Specialty tours like Date Night with Wine & Dinner or the Rock Star Wine Tour are available from winetoursofsedona.com if you don’t want to tackle the tour on your own. Aside from the great tiny house or glamping adventure when you stay at Verde Valley, visitors should note that the resort is located just five minutes from Alcantara Vineyards, where the tasting room is open daily (with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) and tours are complimentary.
4. Learn the History: There are plenty of sites in the area where you learn about the Native American tribes that inhabited the land as well as the history of the area. National monuments nearby include both the Tuzigoot and Wupatki National Monuments, each of which have trails to walk while exploring. Montezuma Castle National Monument is another option where visitors can see the well-preserved dwellings of the Sinagua people. The Sedona Heritage Museum, with its exhibits dedicated to pioneers and cowboys, as well other exhibits, is another great place for a history lesson. A visit to nearby Jerome is good for a lesson about the copper mining history of the area. The Mine Museum has artifacts dating to the time when Jerome was a thriving mining town. The town today is full of artisan shops, galleries, and restaurants.
5. Feel the Spirit: Sedona is a very spiritual place thanks to the vortexes. Two great places to feel the healing and spiritual powers of the valley are the Chapel of the Holy Cross and Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is stunning to see as the structure protrudes from the red rocks. The vortex located here is said to provide a sense of gratitude. The Chapel can be reached via a hike on the Chapel Trail. Sitting at the base of Thunder Mountain, the Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park is a must-see. The 14-acre location contains the 36-foot Amitabha Stupa, named for the Buddha of Limitless Light, another stupa dedicated to White Tara, the female Buddha who embodies long life and compassion, and a Native American Medicine Wheel.