Sedona Serenity: A Magical Journey Through Red Rocks and Vortexes


Sedona is pure magic. The views are breathtaking; stunning, towering red rocks surround you at every turn. Smiling people greet you around every corner, and there’s a palpable energy in the air. Activities galore, along with drool-worthy food options. We found ourselves planning our return trip before we even boarded our flight back home! 😂

We had a loose idea of things we wanted to do and places where we wanted to eat, but we weren’t in the mindset to plan out every detail of our trip (aside from booking essentials like flights, rental car, and accommodations well in advance). We decided to go with the flow, and the result was a trip where we felt calm, peaceful, and completely in the moment. This spontaneous approach reminded us of our travels to El Salvador a few years ago, and it’s a vibe we plan to carry with us in our future travels.

Many people have asked about our trip, so we wanted to share all the details here.


We visited Sedona during what’s considered the off season. We flew in on January 27th and returned home in the wee hours of February 3rd (thanks to a few flight delays). We loved this time of year because it was quiet. We didn’t have to deal with the usual crazy traffic, crowded trails, or fully booked restaurants that we had read about. Fortunately, we lucked out with the weather as well, with daily highs in the low 60s. Also, we managed to score flights and accommodations much cheaper than during peak season.


Resisting the urge to fill every moment with activities in Sedona can be challenging, given the abundance of options, but we think we found a nice balance.

Pink Adventure Tour – Scenic Rim 2.5

Pink Jeep Tour

During our first full day in Sedona, we went on a Pink Adventure Tour with Justin as our guide. He was full of stories, history, and fun facts about the area. The ride was a bit bumpy, but nothing we couldn’t handle. (*Note that the front seat is best for anyone prone to motion sickness or seeking a smoother ride.) We stopped mid-tour to stretch our legs, go on a mini-hike (where The Judds filmed their music video for Love Can Build a Bridge), and take photos. During the hike, Justin shared insights about the plant life and red rock formations. It was one of the highlights of our trip, and we look forward to trying the highly recommended Broken Arrow tour on our next visit.

Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park

Next, we visited Slide Rock State Park, a 43-acre historic apple farm originally known as the Pendley Homestead. There’s a small admission fee upon entering, and it’s recommended to arrive early as the parking lot fills up quickly. Slide Rock was another highlight of our trip (though, to be fair, everything felt like a highlight 🤣). The park was incredibly peaceful (thank you, off season!) and we fell in love with the hiking trail, gorgeous scenery, and especially the creek. It was too cold to venture into the water, but we enjoyed climbing the rocks creek-side.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Chapel of the Holy Cross

After visiting Slide Rock, we went to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Like everywhere in Sedona, the views from the Chapel were breathtaking. The Chapel was very peaceful and a must see in Sedona.  

Sedona Airport Scenic Overlook

Airport Mesa Scenic Overlook

That same evening, we decided to visit the Sedona Airport Scenic Overlook for sunset. The drive up was one of our all-time favorite views and we arrived early to get a semi-comfortable seat on a rock for the spectacular sunset. *Note that there is a fee to park.

Grand Canyon South Rim

Grand Canyon

On Tuesday, we drove about 2 hours north to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Rene and I had been to the North Rim roughly 8 years ago and were excited for a different perspective. No matter which part of the Grand Canyon you venture off to, the sights are overwhelming. It’s hard to comprehend how massive the Grand Canyon truly is. Highlights of our time at the South Rim included a picnic lunch overlooking the Grand Canyon (we picked food up at Whole Foods beforehand), walking the South Rim trail, and the scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon (Highway 89A).

Harding Spring

If you’re heading to Slide Rock State Park, Flagstaff, or the Grand Canyon, make sure to bring your water bottles and visit Harding Spring on Highway 89A for some refreshing, pure spring water. We were so impressed by its quality that we’re now on the lookout for a local natural spring where we can get similarly fresh water.



On Wednesday, we decided to venture out to Jerome, a recommendation from a few friends (although we sadly missed out on the Haunted Hamburger). As we approached the old mining town turned ghost town, I couldn’t shake off a sense of gloom and heaviness, as I’m quite sensitive to energy.

Our first stop was the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town, a fascinating spot with historic buildings, memorabilia, vintage vehicles, a gift shop, and adorable animals (which we couldn’t resist visiting three times at Emi’s request 😂). After spending about an hour there, we took a short drive to The Douglas Mansion. If you find yourself at the mansion, don’t miss the 30-minute video they show throughout the day, providing a comprehensive look into Jerome’s history.

Before leaving, make sure to swing by the Audrey Shaft Headframe Park for an impressive view down the shaft. Fun fact: it’s 650 feet taller than the highest point of the Empire State Building!


We could have spent our entire trip hiking in Sedona and would have been satisfied. It was incredible to see Emi take charge as the leader on each trail. We noticed a clear uptick in her energy and spirit — she was very happy-go-lucky and at peace with her surroundings. It felt amazing to spend so much time in nature, away from our indoor routines of work and school.

One of my goals was to visit all of the vortexes in Sedona, which we semi-accomplished (considering that we didn’t make it to the center of each vortex, but many argue that you can still feel the energy all around you). Chatting with friends about our experiences with the vortexes in Sedona was eye-opening. Their experiences were sometimes completely different from ours. You may or may not feel the heightened energy that Rene, Emi, and I experienced.

Note: Check out this article, which explains what a vortex is, where to find them, and the author’s experience with each vortex. 

Note: Also, expect to pay a small fee at each trail head.

Bell Rock

Bell Rock

Rene, Emi, and I were all feeling under the weather when we arrived in Sedona (thanks to a recent flu). I told Rene about a day into our trip that I missed the feelings of intense joy and excitement I felt when he and I went out to San Francisco, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon about 8 years ago. As fate would have it, the next morning we stopped by Bell Rock to take our first hike. The skies were clear, the sun was shining, and the temperature was about 60 degrees. It felt good to be out in the crisp air moving our bodies. As we were peacefully walking, enjoying the gorgeous scenery of the red rocks around us, an overwhelming, uplifting feeling of bliss washed over me. It was a powerful moment of gratitude. THAT was the feeling I had desired and it felt like a complete energy reset, which was Rene’s and my goal for our trip to Sedona. Bell Rock will always hold a special place in my heart due to how I experienced its energy. 

Airport Mesa

Airport Mesa

After our morning at Bell Rock, we decided to visit the Airport Mesa vortex. This was another pretty serene hike. We parked up at the Sedona Airport Scenic Overlook and started our hike from there. It was rocky in some spots, but relatively easy to hike with our hiking boots. It took us about 40 minutes until we reached the ‘center’ of the vortex and we spent about 10 minutes lying down on a massive rock. This vortex was the most powerful for Rene and he said that he felt an overwhelming sense of peace come over him. 

Cathedral Rock

Cathedral Rock

We stopped for lunch after the Airport Mesa vortex, went over to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and then headed over to Cathedral Rock. I’m still in shock that we weren’t exhausted from all of the hiking we already did, but I truly believe that the uplifting energy kept us going. It felt like we were on a high. Cathedral Rock was pretty intense, especially climbing the steep incline up the red rock. We went up about ⅓ of the way before sitting down and enjoying the beginning of the sunset. I don’t remember feeling anything new during that hike – just a continued feeling of serenity. 

Boynton Canyon

Boynton Canyon

After our visit to Jerome, we hiked Boynton Canyon, which was a LONG one for us. Our goal was to get to the vortex, but we decided to call it a day and turn around after hiking for a couple of hours. Almost immediately after we made that decision, there was a couple behind us with a toddler who said that they were also trying to get to the vortex and were going to continue along the trail a little further – and did we want to join them? Why not? Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the vortex and decided to turn around after about 30 mins, but that ended up working in our favor because it started hailing when we were about 20 minutes from our car. 😂 It was one of those moments in life when you’re like, “oh, shit!” but then decide to live in the moment and just enjoy the experience. No notable energetic experiences during this hike, but that may have been because we were too engrossed in chatting with our new hiking buddies (and the surprise hail storm!) to notice. 

Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow

Our hike on the Broken Arrow trail was spontaneous, just before leaving Sedona. We had about 45 minutes before we had to head out to the airport and the trailhead for Broken Arrow was on the way, so we stopped by and laced up our hiking boots. The hail from the afternoon before was the start of a storm that was getting ready to settle over Sedona for several days and it had rained hard the night before. It was overcast when we set out, but the rain had paused. There were baby waterfalls coming down the red rocks, which had deepened in color due to the rain. We had to hop over several puddles that were on the trail and ended up with muddy boots, but it was well worth it. Our views were of snow capped mountains — absolutely gorgeous. We made plans on this hike to start saving up for a Sprinter van so we could come back to Sedona and also spend time touring the National Parks in the West. This hike was the perfect way to end our trip and left us feeling inspired and on top of the world. ♥️


AirBNB View

We chose to stay at an AirBNB in the Village of Oak Creek instead of a hotel or resort in the center of Sedona. We didn’t mind the 20 minute drive into Sedona and we wanted something that was in a quiet location with a kitchen to save on meals, along with a washer and dryer so we could pack lightly. The local grocery store, Clark’s, was conveniently across the street, and the AirBNB also had a community pool and jacuzzi. We also had amazing views of the red rocks. 


My gosh – THE FOOD. We’re still dreaming about it. Here are a few favorites:

Mesa Grill

Mesa Grill

We visited Mesa Grill three times because it was THAT good. The Mesa House Salad with Salmon was INCREDIBLE, and the White Cheddar Burger was one of the best burgers we’ve ever had. Also, don’t miss the prickly pear lemonade!


We picked up food from Picazzo’s before leaving and wish we had discovered it earlier. I’m still dreaming about a special pizza they had with roasted figs, caramelized onions, gorgonzola cheese, roasted garlic, and fig jam. It was sweet, savory, and beyond delicious. 



As a self-proclaimed donut addict, Sedonuts did NOT disappoint. Their donuts were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, with incredible flavor options. Rene said that their coffee was equally as yummy. I feel like I could move to Sedona just for these donuts! 😂

Whole Foods

We stopped by Whole Foods for picnic lunches, supplements, snacks for our hiking trips, and food for our trip back home. They also have a great smoothie and juice bar; a friend recommended the Chocolate Peanut Buttery Smoothie with oat milk for breakfast. I didn’t end up getting one, but found and am currently obsessed with this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie that I’ve been making a few times a week with fresh cashew milk. It’s heavenly. 


Sedona Night Sky

We started making plans to go back to Sedona before we even left. Here are a few of the spots we plan to hit up:


We HIGHLY recommend visiting Sedona at least once in your lifetime. It’s a trip that will stick in our memories forever, and we can’t wait to go back again soon. ♥️

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