Updated: Jul 16, 2018
My love for travel was instilled in me by my mom, Brigitte. She had me at 22; a kid herself if you ask me. At 26 she had my brother, Marc, and together we were inseparable! I don't have the best memory, but what I do remember from my childhood was our road trips and camping adventures. Mom wanted her kids to see the world in ways she never experienced as a child - little did she know that our childhood road trips would spark our everlasting wanderlust . . .
For the past couple of years we've made it a tradition to pack up our car and road trip to new places for our birthdays. Rather than buying material possessions - we like to buy experiences and create memories.
Take a ride with me as I share my bro's 29th Birthday #roadtrip.
You can fly to these locations and rent a car, but we rather drive from beginning to end. Our trip started with mom and Marc driving down from the Bay Area to LA to pick me and the BF, Blake. They stayed with us for one night and then we headed for Seven Magic Mountains. You can see the colorful art installation off of Route 15 as you're headed to Vegas. It's a quick stop for pics and then you continue to Sin City.
Vegas deserves it's own future post, but collectively we've stayed at sixteen of Vegas' Casino Resorts. We checked into our favorite casino for the night - the Wynn.
The next morning we headed to the Valley of Fire - an hour drive Northeast of the Strip. You can explore Nevada's oldest state park in a day by going on short hikes and a quick stop to the Visitor's center. The red sandstone formations were formed during the age of the Dinosaurs, 150 million years ago! It is definitely worth a visit.
After exploring the Valley of Fire - we hit the road for #sedona - a four hour trek from Vegas. Sedona is believed to be the center of #vortexes. Yogis, healers, and psychics from all over the world travel to Sedona to experience the power of earth's energy radiating from the vortexes. Below you'll read #Tarastraveltips on hotels, restaurants and things to do in Sedona's canyons.
Where to stay:
We traveled over a holiday weekend, which tends to result in pricey hotel rates.
Enchanted Resort is one of the finest resorts in Sedona. If you don't want to leave the resort - this is the place for you! However, since we planned to hike, drive and explore all day - it didn't make sense for us to break the bank. Next time!
Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa is where we opted to stay - it's affordable even with upgraded rooms, which makes a huge difference! I suggest trying out their spa too for healing treatments.
L'Auberge de Sedona is another stunner hotel, but in my opinion, not in the best location.
Kimpton Amara Resort & Spa is a modern/luxurious spot - on my list for next time.
Hilton Bellrock Hotel - we stayed here one night on our way out of Sedona. It is nestled against the red rocks looking at Bellrock. We played games and enjoyed their lounge, bar and hot tub after a long day of hiking. Great for families!
Where to eat:
Everyday we ate breakfast at our hotel, but below are tips for lunch/dinner.
After hiking Devil's Bridge - I suggest eating at Enchanted's Tii Gavo for lunch. Tii Gavo means “gathering place,” and it’s here where you must drink Sedona's renowned Prikly Pear Margarita and enjoy dramatic red rock views.
We spent a day shopping the quaint town of Sedona while stopping at 89 Agave for lunch. Not bad for a quick bite to eat.
We didn't make it to Elote on this trip, but it is highly recommended for dinner.
I can eat Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but if you want a change in cuisine, try Cucina Rustica.
I wouldn't promote fast food, but you can check out the only McDonald's in the World to have turquoise arches!
Where to go:
#DevilsBridge is a hot spot in Sedona, but I strongly suggest going for sunrise or sunset for the best lighting of the Red Rocks. Be prepared for crowds and cold weather at the top. Like most touristy spots - taking a picture of the bridge feels like you're waiting in a line at Disneyland. Patience is key for the #moneyshots
You don't have to be religious to go to #TheChapeloftheHolyCross. It is an optimal location to see the vast landscape of Sedona. Views are calming and you can see #cathedralrock, #courthouse, and #bellrock.
Definitely hike Cathedral Rock to experience the #vortex and see spectacular views, but for a different perspective - I suggest avoiding the crowds by hiking the #CrescentMoonTrail. It was our favorite hike of the trip and we had the views and river all to ourselves.
Shop Turquoise and Native American jewelry, pottery and crafts in town - it's so important to support the Native people.
Do you believe in the powers of crystals, shamans, aura readings, or even aliens? Check out Center for the New Age
If you like guided tours, I've heard nothing but stellar reviews of the Pink Adventure Tour
If you have enough time, I'd suggest taking a day trip to Grand Canyon's South Rim. It is a two hour drive from Sedona. Grab lunch for the road and stop at any of the beautiful look-out points on the drive for stunning views & local shopping.
[Visit Marc Scarioni for more photography and prints]
There are several trails to take from the Visitor Center. We decided to hang right when we arrived to find a sunset spot and to our luck we had the path to ourselves! No matter how many times you see pictures or movies with images of the #GrandCanyon - you just have to experience it yourself to do it justice.
The next time you're planning a southwest road trip - take in consideration some of the above tips for your trip!