Did you know Sedona has so much more to offer than cooler temperatures and gorgeous red rock views? I recently ventured north to the hippie inspired artistic town in search of relaxation and hidden gem dining destinations. If you haven’t been to Sedona before, let me first start by saying, you’re missing out on one of the most unique cities in the Wild West. Between the rich history about how the red rocks emerged and spiritual super powers that many claim are present in Sedona, there is something for foodies, fashionistas, and culture enthusiast’s alike.
I checked in to the Amara Resort which is part of the Kimpton hotel portfolio so I knew I was in for a treat when it came to accommodations. If you haven’t stayed at a Kimpton property before, they are known for smart luxury, contemporary style, and of course their signature complimentary wine hour around 5pm. The Amara is situated perfectly in town but off the main drag of Sedona and provides guests with everything they would need to experience the great outdoors from mountain bikes to cozy outdoor fire pits under the stars.
Although we left our fur babies at home, the property is dog friendly even provides a welcome sign with their dog visitors names displayed next to fresh dog treats. The indoor/outdoor concept at Amara’s on site restaurant, SaltRock Southwest Kitchen gives diners an authentic taste of Sedona with southwest inspired fare and features local ingredients when possible. Bust out the camera because you won’t want to miss the bright paint dipped antique spoons lining the restaurant walls!
As much as I wanted to sit on the patio listening to the babbling Oak Creek and not leave the property, I appreciate the fact that shopping and dining options are a short 5 minute walk up the hill. With a gorgeous infinity pool and luxurious spa overlooking the signature red rocks, the Amara is the perfect option for visitors looking to experience the hustle and bustle of the city then retire to the tranquility Sedona is known for.
When it comes to dining, Sedona offers a wide and I mean WIDE variety of restaurants. Typically when we visit, we stick to the same places so this time we ventured out and found 2 hidden gems I’ve been dying to share with you. For lunch we hit up Hideaway House, a restaurant with a million dollar view and some of the best “made from scratch” food I’ve ever had. I always ask for recommendations at restaurants that are new to me and this was no different. Our server suggested the brick chicken, a signature dish that is indeed, a buttermilk and orange juice marinated chicken cooked between 2 bricks. I don’t know what kind of bricks they use, but believe me when I say- this dish was out of this world. You can’t go wrong with an appetizer named the Garlic Cheese Bread Blossom and to balance out all that gooey goodness, I give the spinach salad a big thumbs up. After eating a little spinach and some perfectly sautéed fresh veggies, I felt like a bacon bourbon brownie was in order. Decadent? You bet. And worth every calorie!
After a nap and walk around Oak Creek, it was time to eat again…hooray! This time we walked the 5 minutes up the hill from Amara to Open Range, a restaurant known for Burgers, BBQ, Mexican Food, and according to more than 1 YELP review, the best prickly pear margarita this side of the I-17. Again, I’m a sucker for recommendations and those YELPERS were right, the neon pink cocktail was phenomenal while sitting outside admiring the gorgeous view of the Sedona valley. As far as food goes, we started with the most delicious cornbread served with prickly pear butter and a cheesy dip topped with real AZ cactus! Who knew cactus tastes kind of like a green chili and red bell pepper had a little fling! The build your own burger was excellent and the enchiladas were divine. It’s not often you find a restaurant that can execute 3 totally different food genres so well. As much as I tried to save room for dessert, my comfy bed and Amara robe were calling my name.
Between the relaxing Amara Resort, the gorgeous views and yummy cuisine at Hideaway House and Open Range, or the yearning to taste the Bourbon Bacon Brownie alone- Sedona is a quick 2 hours north and makes the perfect trip, even if it’s for a 24 hour mind/body/soul recharge.