A May 2004 trip
to Sedona by Judykeyes
Quote: With magnificent Sedona as a base, we found that there is much more in northern Arizona than can possibly be done in a week. Yet, there is so much diversity that there is something for everyone. This is the best place to experience the American Southwest!
Hotel | "Sedona Pines"
The staff was very helpful and prompt in every way. Last but not least, the large lagoon spa, for adults only, was warm, invigorating, relaxing, and a wonderful way to get to know other guests.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 12, 2004
Sedona Pines Resort
6701 W HWY 89A
Sedona, Arizona 86336
From the moment we walked in, we felt very welcome. Even though we didn't have reservations and it was a Saturday night they had room on the outdoor patio and seated us immediately. There was a hostess and a host and the host, Greg, let us know that his wife is the chef. He is obviously very proud of her accomplishments and as we were to discover, rightly so. The patio behind the restaurant is lovely, shaded by trees and despite the al fresco setting the tables were set with white lines table clothes.
Service was impeccable. We never wanted for anything. Extra bread with delivered to our table without our even having to ask. Now, this is a pricey menu, but there is plenty of food and it is so luscious that you certainly feel that you've gotten your money's worth.
Eating at Savanah's isn't just a meal, it is an experience. Our first evening there we ordered chicken livers in a special sauce and they were delicious. We'd been told there wasn't any seafood in Sedona, but this restaurant had very succulent seafood. My husband had the escolar and I had seared sashimi grade tuna. Each main dish comes with your choice of a wide range of sides and a topping. The night that I selected the escolar, which was delicious, I had a blue cheese walnut butter topping. The sides included crispy spinach (flash fried and melt in your mouth yummy!), creamed spinach, several version of mash potatoes, and each night a special side which from what we experienced is always very creative and wonderful. The second night we were there, Greg the chef's husband comped us a dessert. We were really too full, but we ordered one -- a chocolate mocha mousse pie which was melt-in-your mouth delectable. We had absolutely no complaints about this restaurant. You are missing a culinary treat if you are in Sedona and don't give it a try! We wish we could transport the restaurant to our home town!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 20, 2004
Savanah's Steak, Seafood, and Spirits
Because we wanted to be able to sample a variety of foods, we ordered three appetizers and our waitress was also kind enough to bring us a sample of their french-fried sweet potatoes -- they were delicious. We ordered buffalo brouchettes, battered and fried cactus strips and nachos. The buffalo was tender and tasty -- it doesn't taste like beef and it may be an acquired taste if you're expecting it to taste like beef. I really liked the flavor, but my husband thought it was just okay. We had similar reactions to the fried cactus strips -- I loved them. Again, it is hard to describe a food that is so different. They are firm yet juicy -- when I ate pickled cactus, I thought of okra, but fried cactus wasn't like fried okra at all. The flavor again is hard to compare because it is so unusual. The nachos were not unlike any other nachos at any other restaurant. We also ordered their special margaritas made with high-end liquors. These were not large drinks and were rather pricey, but they were worth it in taste -- very smooth!
The decor is what you would expect from a restaurant named the Cowboy Club -- puts you in mind of an old saloon, but a very upscale old saloon. At the bar, there is one stool that looks like a horse's patoot, complete with tail. There are pictures and memorabilia on the wall of the Southwest.
The service was good, but not great. Our waitress was very pleasant, but they were having computer problems while we were there. The food came out of very quickly, which was impressive.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2004
241 North State Route 89A
Sedona, Arizona 86336
We shared a huge order of fajitas, which we thought it would be hard to mess up, but they serve theirs with a heavy, cloying sauce that either detracts from the flavor of grilled meal, or hides the fact that it has no flavor. Not sure which.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on May 21, 2004
671 State Route 179
Sedona, Arizona 86336
+1 928 282 1313; +1
Restaurant | "Relics"
We discovered that this bar had the best margaritas in Sedona -- in our humble opinion. The only food we had was an appetizer off of the restaurant menu -- it was stuffed Korean peppers. We went back on another occasion during our week in Sedona to have margaritas and the stuffed peppers. They were yummy (the drinks and the peppers). There was nothing fancy about the bar, but the service was friendly and prompt.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 22, 2004
Relics Restaurant and Nightclub
3235 W. Highway 89A
Sedona, Arizona 86336
Above the plaque rise rocks just begging to be climbed. Succumb to that urge and you will be glad you did. You will have a long view to the east down the canyon to where seven canyons merge. There you will see the magnificent red rocks rising to the sky against the clear blue skies. It is a perfect spot to rest before you hike out, sip your water and soak up the gorgeous surroundings.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 18, 2004
Vultee Arch Trail in Secret Canyon
Dry Creek Rd.
Besides the red rocks there were so many different types of plants to admire. There was lots of manzanita with its beautiful deep red mahagony colored branches, century cactus, many types of wildflowers everywhere we looked, and huge trees that totally took us by surprise. We came upon an interesting open area where people had built medicine wheels from pine cones and there were many of the rock pile structures. It was so alluring that I built one of my own. We were thrilled to find within very close proximity four-century plants (also known as agave) in three different phases of its life span. One which was sending up a beautiful new flower stalk, which is dark red and green and looks exactly like a giant stalk of asparagus. Nearby was another stalk with blossoms sprouting from the top and then two dying century plants right next to each other.
If you have any interest in plant life, the area of the country is fascinating, with desert plant life within close proximity to forests with large pines and hardwood trees.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 18, 2004
Boynton Canyon Trail
PO Box 478
Sedona, Arizona 86339
Attraction | "Earth Wisdom Jeep Tours"
As we pass the red rocks Larry points them out, tells us their names and interesting facts about them. Then we get to the really good part. We are off the beaten path on roads only a jeep could traverse and we occasionally stop to take in the views and learn more about how this unique landscape was formed and also about the intriguing vortices (vortexes?) that are purported to be in abundance in this area. Along our journey deep into the canyons we saw a roadrunner, mule deer and a coyote.
Finally, after an exciting trip down a very rough dirt "road" we reached a hill in the middle of the wilderness. Larry told us that this is thought to be the site of a vortex and has been considered to be a very holy place by the Native Americans or ancient ones. We climbed this hill as the sun was setting. I don't know what I think about vortexes, but this was a beautiful, otherworldly spot and after being there for awhile all of us became very quiet and contemplative. Maybe it was the vortex, maybe it was the beauty surrounding us. We were all hesitant to leave the spot and return to the jeep. This was one of the most worthwhile experiences of our Sedona vacation.
Earth Wisdom Jeep Tours
293 North State Route 89A
Sedona, Arizona 85336
+1 928 282 4714; U.S
The island is a large outcropping of rock into the canyon with a deep overhang. Here the ancient ones made their homes. They hauled up rocks and used clay to seal them. The soot from their fires still marks the "ceilings" of the rooms. Across the canyon on the facing side, you can see many other rooms that were built into the overhangs. The tenacity of these people bringing up families on the face of a cliff is astounding. There is also a hike along the rim to other ruins, but we didn't hike to that site.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 23, 2004
Walnut Canyon National Monument - Cliff Dwellings
Off of I40 east of Flagstaff
Attraction | "The Ruins of Tuzigoot and the Tavasci Marsh"
The homes that the Sinaqua built here were without doors or windows. The roofs were flat and there was a hole in the top through which they entered. This hole also served as ventilation. They used ladders to climb up and down. As their numbers grew, they built more rooms (one family to a room, thank you) using native rocks and clay. They traded with other peoples near and far as evidenced by relics found in the ruins -- seashells, pottery shards, and parrot remains.
There is an excellent museum on site that brings these people to life and displays many of the artifacts uncovered during the excavations. A hike along the Tavasci Marsh trail is fun and instructive. You will see many lizards and desert plants along the path and then be surprised by the lush green marsh below. This site has excellent informative plaques describing the formation of the marsh, the plant life you will see, how it was used by the ancient ones, and the way of the life of the Sinaqua at this site.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 23, 2004
Tuzigoot National Monument
100 Main St
Clarkdale, Arizona 86324
National Park Servic
During our week in Sedona, we attempted to sample the beauty at various times of day and in different ways. The overlook on airport road is a great way to get a greater view of the area. You are looking down on Grasshopper Flats where much of the newer part of Sedona is and it is surrounded by red rock formations on all sides. One morning, I was up before the sun and rode throughout the area, up Airport Road, up Oak Creek Canyon and then into the Seven Canyon area via Dry Creek Road. I got some great pictures of the red rocks in very early morning. I had to force myself to finally return to our resort because I started feeling pulled to explore more and more. Another day we went up Airport Road in the evening for some terrific views of the area as the sun was setting. We also experienced the area from our car as we rode around oooing and ahhhing over each new vista, we hiked into a couple of the canyons, and we took a jeep tour. We hated to leave when our week was over. We had fallen in love with Sedona and the stunning red rocks.
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