Wine Tours in Sedona

Tourism has always been a part of Sedona since its gorgeous scenery first appeared in movies in 1923. Wine tourism, also known as Enotourism, made its appearance in Sedona much later but remains incredibly popular.Wine tours are widely considered to have began in the Napa Valley region of California, gaining popularity in 1975.  Wine tours can be small personal events with only you and your party, or they can be large events perfect for socialization. These tours usually feature information on the winery and their creation process, tastings of their wines, and picnic style snacks. As always, Sedona’s unique style of tourism makes their tours special in their own right.

Jeep tours around the red rock area are often considered the most iconic type of tour. This rugged off-road experience has been combined with tastings of the amazing wines in the area in the Jeep and Wine Tour. The tour includes information from the local winemakers about both the grape growing and the wine-making process.

For folks looking for a personalized experience, some places, such as The Art of Wine, are single locations featuring an intimate tasting room, selections of both local wines, and education from the staff. The Art of Wine in particular offers lots of education and conversation, promising a personal and engaging experience. For people looking for a chance to see the landscapes and make some new friends, places such as Arizona Winery Tours and Wine Tours of Sedona offer group transportation to multiple different wineries. These tours allow you to soak up some of Sedona’s best sights as you are driven through the countryside, stopping at three to four different wineries throughout the day. The drivers are equipped with information and advice and the staff at the locations are available to answer any specific questions.

For anyone looking for the ultimate intimate tour, Sedona Wine Adventures offers private, personalized, everything-included outings to wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Verde Valley. Their tours include a dedicated guide, lunch, and all tasting rooms fees. They also provide door-to-door transportation.

The Arroyo Pinion Hotel is perfectly located for a fun, exciting adventure throughout Sedona’s wineries.


Before Sedona: Oak Creek Canyon

Sedona is known for its grand views and mystical connections and has been for many years. Originally, it was an incredibly rural ranching community known mostly for its natural beauty. Once that beauty became known throughout the motion picture industry, Sedona’s popularity skyrocketed. The city of Sedona was officially incorporated in 1988 but its history began years before. Native Americans had been living in the area since the year 900, building pueblos and farming. Evidence of many different tribes has been found in the area, including the Sinagua, Yavapai, and Apache peoples. However, this idyllic canyon was not spared the tragic sweeping invasion of Europeans. The very first Europeans arrived in 1583 in search of gold. By 1875, the soldiers of Fort Verde, now Camp Verde, captured the last group of Tonto Apache Native Americans in the area, the others either fled or also captured.


The story of Sedona as we known it actually begins in Oak Creek Canyon. The very first white settler there was a man named J.J. Thompson, who claimed land under the 1862 Homestead Act. In 1876, Thompson took squatters rights to a parcel of land across from today’s Indian Gardens Store. Once Tompson explored his land, he found a deserted Native American garden and a healthy spring, which encouraged him to build there. Originally called Indian Gardens Ranch, the name was later shortened to Indian Gardens. After Thompson homesteaded in the canyon, more settlers followed. The Abraham family became the first residents of this small community, taking land just south of J.J. Thompson’s property. The small family of three, husband, wife, and child arrived in 1879. James Abraham is credited with naming many of Sedona’s most well known geographical features. According to old records, he named Bell Rock, Steamboat Rock, Court Rock and Church Rock. It wasn’t until years later that Court Rock and Church Rock became Courthouse Rock and Cathedral Rock. With an increased population and therefore more manpower, the settlers were able to create irrigation to plant crops and orchards. The irrigation system used by these settlers is credited to Frank Pendley. Pendley’s engineering skills made him so successful that his produce was sold at markets all the way in Los Angeles. His irrigation system still stands today at Slide Rock State Park.



In late 1901, T.C. Schnebly and his wife Sedona built a large home near modern day Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. Not long after they arrived, residents of the small settlement began complaining to the Schneblys about poor mail service. Upon hearing this, T.C filed an application for the establishment of a post office in his home. The need for a post office was undeniable; the naming of the place proved to be challenging. T.C. reportedly suggested calling the post office Schnebly Station, then Red Rock Crossing and even Oak Creek Station.

These names were apparently not accepted by the government because they were too long. The story goes that T.C’s brother, Dorsey Ellsworth, suggested submitting the name of T.C’s wife. Postal officials approved the name Sedona, and on June 26, 1902, the post office was established in the back of the Schnebly home.


Many of these historical sites are still standing today and can be visited. There are too many sights to possibly see in a day; an entire weekend can easily be spent adventuring in Old Sedona. Local hotels, such as the Southwest Inn in Sedona, are the best choices for tourists looking for an authentic trip.

Sedona Mountain Biking

Sedona has always been known as one of the most beautiful places in Arizona. With towers of red rocks scraping the sky and the multitude of plants and animals covering the ground, it is no surprise that this place holds spiritual significance for many people. Crystal shops are scattered up and down the streets, attracting believers and skeptics alike. A plethora of possible outdoor activities are also advertised in abundance. Jeep tours, hiking, and horseback riding are some of the most popular. But Sedona has much more to offer than the expected. One of the less known but still incredibly popular pastimes in Sedona is mountain biking. While mountain biking originated in Marin County, California, Arizona’s diverse landscapes are perfect for the sport and Sedona is no exception.

With relatively short ascents and incredible trail riding, the terrain is perfect for all experience levels. The same trail can change from fast and flowy riding to steep technical climbs in a matter of minutes. The scenery also varies as the trail passes through different elevations and ecosystems. One loop can take the rider from loose desert dust to hard-packed forest floors.

One of the most popular trails in Sedona is Bell Rock Pathway. This trail is “groomed”, or regularly taken care of, and is perfect not only for beginner bikers, but also families looking to enjoy nature together. Known as Sedona’s easiest trail, it is also good for the sport or semi-professional rider looking to work on their endurance. Other trails, such as Chuck Wagon or the Soldier Wash trails, are for newer riders looking for a challenge, or experienced riders looking for flowy trails and amazing views. Some trails offer different variations depending on rider ability. Mescal Trail offers two such options: difficult and extreme. Hangover Trail, widely considered the most famous trail in Sedona, is also the most technical. Beautiful views compete with heart-stopping drops. The fear is not unwarranted; the trail hugs multiple high-consequence edges throughout the short ride.

And those are just the marked trails. With some luck, a polite rider might get one of the local shops to point out hidden trails with their own special challenges. Over the Edge is a popular bike shop in town known for friendly staff and useful tips. They have rental bikes as well for people who do not have their own or are looking to rent something different. Absolute Bikes Sedona and The Fat Bike Tire Shop also offer rentals and advice. Everyone has their own favorite trails and it is easy to fill a weekend with adventure. Staying at local hotels such as Arroyo Pinon Hotel gives you easy access to everything Sedona has to offer. From flowy to sketchy, Sedona has something for everyone.


Reasons to Spend Spring in Sedona

Weather: The spring weather in the Sedona area is commonly known to be consistent and amazing. With averages resting comfortably in the low 80’s, the days are still cool enough to be spent enjoying the great outdoors and nights are still warm enough to see some more. If 80 degrees sounds too hot for you, don’t worry! There are tons of indoor activities and even some refreshing outdoor ones. You can raft, tube, and kayak in the Oak Creek or simple swim at Slide Rock State Park, one of Sedona’s most famous kid-friendly locations.

Adventure: Adventure comes in all shapes, sizes, and budgets in Sedona. Hiking trails stretch across the idyllic landscape. This expansive free trail system give you and your family access to almost all of Sedona’s famous sites, including Courthouse Rock and Cathedral Rock. Short hikes can be taken to view points and longer, more intense hikes can take you to the top of some of Sedona’s best known places. For folks who aren’t mobile, there are many places to pull off the road and soak in the scenery either from the comfort of your car, or benches placed throughout the pull-outs.

Events: Many of Sedona’s most popular events occur during the springtime. The Sedona Marathon and the Yoga Festival happen in February, but the Mountain Bike Festival isn’t until March.

Sedona Marathon: For information about the Sedona Marathon, please check out our other posts about the race.

Sedona Yoga Festival in February: Sedona is known for its vortexes – geologic sites brimming with natural spiritual energy. This has long attracted spiritual people and yogis to Sedona, bringing in almost 4.5 million visitors a year. When surrounded by nature, beauty, and like-minded people, connecting with yourself is much easier! These like-minded souls all mean to converge in Sedona for the Sedona Yoga Festival. For yoga-lovers with little ones, kiddie yoga is also offered during the event.

Mountain Bike Festival: The mountain biking in Sedona is world class. Sedona sports over 200 miles of killer singletrack and is on every professional and sport mountain biker’s bucket list. The Sedona MTB Festival is 3-day mountain bike celebration that will include a Main Expo, Bike Demos, Shuttled Rides, a Beer Garden,and Live Music! The 2018 Sedona Mountain Bike Festival is gearing up to be bigger and better than last year, while maintaing the vibe and the core of the event.
Where you stay can make or break your trip! The staff of the Arroyo Pinion Hotel have plenty of information to offer guests looking for local tips and tricks during their stay. Check out the website for the best deals.


Sedona Marathon for Non-Runners

The days are counting down towards the start of the Sedona Marathon! This event has been running for 13 years and this year could be yours to stretch your legs! 26.2 miles has been mapped out in the breathtaking landscapes of Sedona. If that distance feels impossible to you, never fear. A half marathon, a 10k, and a 5k are also offered alongside the full marathon. Even parents are encouraged to participate; strollers are allowed on the 5k course! Just make sure your little one is also registered.

But what if running around for a few hours doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time? Marathons are not everyone’s idea of a day well spent, and there is also plenty to do at this event for non-runners. Folks who are out there supporting racers, or merely spectating,should make sure to check out the Event Expo. Sedona itself has been named one of the “Top Ten Most Beautiful Places in America,” and no one can deny that the signature red rock cliffs are an awe to see. But the community of Sedona is also full of famous artists and performers. The Event Expo will be crammed full of designers, musicians, painters, and all manners of arts and crafters. Their creations are sure to inspire and entertain both locals and visitors alike. The list of vendors who will attend the event can be found here and includes the Humane Society of Sedona, The Oak Creek Apple Company, and Green Layer Sports.

The full instructions and list of frequently asked questions can be found at the Sedona Marathon Website. Some highlights of race-day events include a massage tent and a build your own pasta buffet. Information about the buffet can be found here. The post-race massage tent will be set up at the Event Expo. Masseuses will be available throughout the day to relieve sore muscles and joints. Tipping the workers is always highly encouraged.

If you are coming from out of town, be sure to plan a few days either before or after the race to explore the surrounding area. There are far too many things to be visit in Sedona to be crammed into a weekend, but many of the top sites can be seen. The Oak Creek Canyon area is full is historical sites. Many of the vendors and artists that will be at the Marathon Event Expo can also be found in the city of Sedona. The staff of the Arroyo Pinion Hotel have plenty of information to offer guests looking for local tips.


The Best Time to Visit Sedona

Everyone has their favorite season. Some people love icy winter nights; some people love sweltering summer days. Winter can be magical. Snow on the ground, dark quiet nights, and days spent with family and friends are all things to look forward to when winter rolls around. Summers in Sedona are luscious and lively. The whole area is a focal point for traveling communities. These communities often sell handmade arts and crafts and their wares can be found amongst the permanent stores and stalls around town. There are many reasons to love every season, and Sedona is an amazing place to see all of them! With an eclectic combination of both outdoor and indoor events, there is always something for everyone.

That then begs the question: when is the best time to visit Sedona? The answer for that question depends on the goal of your trip. There are many festivals and events in the area that occur throughout the year. The Yoga Festival, Mountain Bike Festival, and many others all happen across Sedona. Check out for more information on these events.

The best weather is Sedona can be an easier question to answer. If you are looking for snow and winter weather, it is fairly obvious when you want to be in Sedona. The town goes all out for the holidays, so December is probably the best month. If you are looking for perfect temperatures, warm but not scorching, and a landscape in full bloom, you should plan your trip from March to May. Hikers love this season, as desert flowers add a pop of color to the rust-colored trails. September to November is another ideal time for outdoor activities thanks to mild weather.

Where you stay can make or break your trip! The staff of the Arroyo Pinion Hotel have plenty of information to offer guests looking for local tips and tricks during their stay. Check out the website for the best deals.


The 2018 Sedona Marathon

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Running is an important part of life to many people. Even people who are not professional athletes can benefit from a weekly run. Of course, not everyone can run and most people certainly can not run a marathon.

Marathons have been an Olympic event since 1896, although the distance was not standardized until 1912. The 42.195 kilometres or 26.2 miles that we now recognize as an official marathon comes from the story of a Greek soldier’s run from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. While this story is now considered more of a fable, the event remains. There are over eight hundred official marathon events worldwide, and one of them is here in beautiful Sedona.

February 3rd, 2018 will be the 13th annual Sedona Marathon. The course takes runners through the scenic Coconino National Forest District, known for its magical scenery and rock-formations. There will also be an Event Expo for spectators, supporters and participants. The Expo will feature local artists and live performers.

Does the idea of running a race in Sedona sound like fun, but the idea of running 26.2 miles enough to make you forget about it? Don’t worry, while the full marathon is the main race, the event also includes a half-marathon, a 10k, and a 5k. Strollers are even allowed on the 5k race for parents who want to take their young ones with them. Just don’t forget that your little one has to be registered to ride along.

This event is designed to be both fun and challenging. The course can take your breath away not only because it is beautiful, but it is at 4,500 feet elevation! How much you enjoy your run will depend on your training for both the exercise and the altitude. Race organizers and sponsors want the participants to enjoy their time in Sedona; therefore, training runs are being hosted this year by the Sedona Running Company’s Adam Gifford. The first run will be on January 6th. Click here to view the dates and times of the following runs. There is no need to register for these runs, or even arrive on time. While running together can allow for pacing and comradery between panting, this is your chance to run the course your way. There will be an aide station with snacks and hydration at the 10K point, which is where the group will turn around. If you want to go further or even the full distance, feel free! The main goal of these runs is to set you up for success.

Accommodation is crucial after that much exercise. Southwest Inn at Sedona offers rooms with amazingly comfortable beds to soothe sore muscles. Follow the link for the best rates on the Southwest Inn website.


New Years Eve in Sedona

2017 is coming to a close. The year has been full of stresses, adventures, new experiences, and much more. Each person experienced the year differently but everyone has dealt with the realities of 2017. The best way to create an amazing 2018 is to choose what you want to bring into the new year and what you would like to leave behind. Beginning the new year with positivity and intention is an important concept for many religions, cultures, and other groups. If you are spending this December 31st in Sedona, there are a plethora of ways for you to kick off the New Year. A few of them are highlighted below.

The Sound Bites Grill in Sedona is hosting Walt Richardson & Friends this Sunday starting at 7:30pm. Walter Richardson II is a performing singer songwriter, with a passion for rhythm and acoustic guitar, in Tempe Arizona. He has been both a solo performer and band leader for 30 years. The event is for folks 21 and up with a attire theme of Reggae.

If energy work is something you are interested in, Crossing Worlds is hosting an event to prepare you for the coming year. Their Creative Re-Visioning Retreat will help you develop attention and work with the energies of nature. There is also an option for a three-day retreat for those with the time and desire to deepen their spiritual experience.

The former World Teen Magic Champion Magician Eric Giliam will be amazing children and adults of all ages this Sunday. Giliam has amazed hundreds of audiences performing his high energy show filled with magic, laughter, fascination, and crowd participation.

Plan your next trip to Sedona in advance for the best prices for rooms and events. The Arroyo Pinion Hotel offers pristine rooms at affordable prices, making a weekend or even week-long trip to Sedona a true possibility. The best rates are found at


Sedona with Kids


When someone says vacation, most people automatically think of being outside, eating out at a nice restaurant, or simply relaxing. In an age when busier is always better until you barely have room to breathe, the idea of taking a vacation can feel both impossible and crucial. In the end, downtime is important not only for our sanity, but for our physical health as well. How much rest you get will make or break your attention span, your skin complexion, and your overall energy levels. So vacations are important, but setting aside the time to do nothing is easier said than done. There are hotel rooms to book, tours to research, and restaurant reviews to read. And, on top of all that, many of us have kids. Children make vacation planning a logistical nightmare. Being out in nature is great until someone has to pee, nice restaurants are amazing until the appetizers end up on the floor, and simple relaxing is a completely foreign concept to a high-energy six year old.

Location is everything when it comes to vacationing with kids. Some places are amazingly accessible to children; other places are nightmarish. Sedona’s most famous attractions are not necessarily child-friendly; not all kids enjoy nature hikes. However, there are many things to do in Sedona that are fun for both parents and kids. There are also quite a few family friendly restaurants in Sedona and the Oak Creek Canyon area.

One of Sedona’s most popular tourist adventures is also surprisingly family-friendly. Outdoor Jeep tours are both educational and fun for you and your children. The Pink Jeep tours in particular has an age limit of only a year and a half for safety. While it is still up to you to not force your child out of their comfort zone, many kids will enjoy a bumpy adventure through the desert. Another popular location for both tourists and local children is Slide Rock State Park. This state park is full of the hiking trails and gorgeous red rock scenery that Sedona is known for, but it all features an amazing river for kids to play in. The park is named for a specific section of the river, where the slick rocks make for a perfect mini water slide. They also offer a Junior Ranger program for older kids looking to learn about nature.

After a long day of fun, food is key to keeping small bodies happy. The Sedona Memories Bakery and Cafe is known for healthy quick dining. Their large sandwiches range from roast beef to vegetarian and are more than enough for multiple mouths. An outdoor dining area is available and perfect for louder, squirmier little ones. Don’t forget to try one of their giant cookies too! For dinner, check out the Cowboy Club. Their simple fare and casual setting is perfect for families looking for a hearty meal after a long day.

There is far too much to see in Sedona in a single day; weekends are often the best time to check out Sedona’s highlights. Local hotels, such as Arroyo Pinon Hotel, are the way to go for families looking for affordable comfort and hospitality.


Upcoming Events in Sedona


The holidays are an amazing time to get together with family. Spending time at home catching up and eating good food has always been important this time of year.  But this month can include a multitude of different types of family time. Weekend trips to Sedona can be full of amazing adventures but during the winter months, sometimes the best adventures are not hikes or nature walks. While the Sedona area is known for its natural beauty, the city of Sedona also puts on an amazing variety of events throughout the year. The holidays are an especially busy time in Sedona. The variety of holiday events includes performances, movie showings, and candle lighting. The Tlaquepaque Village hosts two different events every year and both are incredibly popular with locals and visitors alike.

One of the most highly anticipated events this year in the Sedona area is the The Nutcracker. Put on by the Sedona Chamber Ballet, this performance is coming up soon. On Dec 2nd and 3rd The Phoenix Ballet will perform in Sedona. Tickets are still on sale and many volunteer positions are open as well. The community of Sedona is full of volunteers who make events like this possible.

One of the events going on right now at the Tlaquepaque Village is their Tree Trail. From November 24th to December 2nd, the village is home to over twenty different Christmas trees. All of the trees have been decorated by the talented staff at Tlaquepaque. The trees create a trail that winds its way through the shops and exhibits. At the end of the event, the trees will be sold in a raffle benefiting Toys for Tots. With hot chocolate offered on site, this is the perfect event to get into the holiday spirit.

The Festival of Lights is one of the most highly anticipated events the Tlaquepaque offers during the holiday season. This event began 45 years ago and is currently held on December 9th. At exactly 5:00 pm, the bell tolls and the lighting of 6000 luminarias begins. Tlaquepaque’s courtyards and walkways are full of the twinkling lights. The event features live music both before and after the lighting. Free cider will also be offered.

The other annual event hosted by Tlaquepaque is the Sweet Stroll. On December 16th, the village will be the perfect spot to bring children and experience holiday cheer. Tlaquepaque’s vendors will be offering sweets, discounts, and giveaways until 7 pm. One of the main attractions at this event will be the strolling carolers. Many of Sedona’s finest stores and boutiques are found in Tlaquepaque, making this event ideal for last-minute gift shopping. For those who have loved ones who don’t enjoy material gifts, the area is also full of award-winning restaurants which offer gift cards; a promise of future together time is often the best present.

A weekend away can also be an early present all by itself. Local hotels, such as the Arroyo Pinon Hotel, offer amazing comfort at adorable prices. The staff can also offer tips on other activities Sedona has to offer.