Airbnb vs. Hotels

airbnb vs. hotel

Chances are by now you have heard of airbnb, an online service that allows you to rent out your house and/or rooms for those traveling (if you haven’t, I seriously suggest you go check it out right now). They are quickly replacing the concept of a hotel, allowing you to feel as if you are living in the city that you are visiting. The question is though, are they truly better than hotels? Are we soon going to stop staying in hotels altogether?

Airbnb:

Airbnb made it’s breakthrough in 2008 and has quickly grown to have over 3 million listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries. I know when it comes to my vacations, there are times when I plan a trip and book everything within a day. Last minute booking on airbnb can be a bit difficult. It’s not as easy as logging onto a hotels site or a site such as hotels.com or expedia and booking something within 5 minutes. Although there are properties that are listed as “instant bookings.” many of the rentals require you to be approved before you can make the reservation. This can be a turn off for anyone who is looking for something quick and easy. However, don’t let this deter you. There are still many listings that you can book just as quickly as a hotel (so long as you have an account). If you are looking at more popular airbnb’s, there is a chance that they will be booked out far in advance so be sure to be plan ahead if possible.

Airbnb’s are also great if you are looking to book a vacation with a larger group. One of the cons of staying in a hotel is that you have to book multiple rooms if you are with a big party. With airbnb, you can stay find an entire apartment or house with a certain amount of beds/bedrooms. You can also find ones with a kitchen if you feel that you don’t want to constantly spend money eating out.

When it comes to pricing, airbnb stays pretty consistent. Prices don’t change much depending on when you’re planning on staying. Beware though, many seem cheap but tack on a cleaning and service fee that can quickly make the price jump very fast. The bright side to this is that you know that things won’t be changing no matter when you decide to book.

I think one of the biggest cons that I have found with airbnb is the fact that they have the ability to cancel whenever they want. My boyfriend recently booked an airbnb and when it came time to check in, he tried to call the owner of the lodging with no success. He had to sit on the phone with airbnb for about a half an hour, get a refund, and then book a hotel for that same night. This doesn’t happen too often but there is always a chance.

Hotels:

When it comes to last minute planning, hotels make things a bit easier. There is no requirement to be approved. All it takes is a phone call or 5 minutes on a website. However, with this comes higher rates. Rates can fluctuate depending on the day of the week, how close you are to your stay, and location.

Hotels also tend to have more amenities. There is an entire staff working around the clock to ensure that your stay is safe and enjoyable. Need somewhere to eat or an idea of what to do? Talk to the concierge. Hungry but don’t feel like going too far? Most hotels offer room service or have a restaurant within the hotel. Wanna go for a swim to escape the summer heat or take a dip in the jacuzzi on a cold winter night? Most hotels have pools and jacuzzis for your unlimited use. If you want to save some money, going out to hotels with a free continental breakfast helps cut back on spending.

Another perk to staying in hotels is the loyalty programs that many offer. If you’re a frequent traveler and favor a certain hotel chain, they tend to offer programs that allow you to rack up points that you can use towards free nights or other rewards. This helps save in the long run.

In the end:

At the end of the day, both have their pros and cons. Personally I like both and will probably forever use both, depending on where I’m at. What’re your thoughts? Hotel or airbnb? xo

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La La Land Inspired Roadtrip

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There’s no doubt that you’ve probably heard of the movie La La Land by now. It’s been all over social media, with people either loving it or hating it. I am one of those people who fell quickly in love with it, making it one of my favorite movies. I recently took a weekend trip to Los Angeles and decided to make a few La La Land inspired stops along the way. If you’re anything like me, it’s pretty cool to geek out seeing where they filmed a lot of the scenes.

The Griffith Observatory

Regardless of whether or not you’re a La La Land fan, the Griffith Observatory is a must see spot. I had been to California numerous times and just visited this gem for the first time and I must say, I want to spend all my afternoons taking in this view. Overlooking downtown LA, you really get to see all of the city, including the Hollywood sign. If you’re looking to get even more of the true experience, buy a ticket to watch the show at the planetarium. Eight shows are shown daily, starting at 10:45 (weekends) / 12:45 (weekdays) and ending at 8:45. If possible, watch the sunset from the top. It’ll have you moving to LA in no time.

La La Land Mural

Although this mural is not in the movie, it pays homage to the film and makes for a pretty cool instagram backdrop. It’s right across from the famous pink wall at Paul Smith located on Melrose and Harper, on the wall of Carrera Cafe. It’s no surprise that the wall has been hyped up a bit so you might have to wait a bit to get a picture depending on the day. But stopping by Alfred and picking up a coffee or tea makes the wait a bit more painless 😉

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Lighthouse Cafe

Okay, so this is a pretty fun spot to visit without being a fan of the movie. I have to say, it was definitely not what I expected when I first saw it. It’s right off the Hermosa Beach pier alongside a strip of other restaurants. We did not go in unfortunately because there was a cover charge and it was on our way back home but they did film the movie inside as well so if you have the chance to stop by and eat/drink and listen to the music, do so. They’ve been hosting jazz artists since 1949 and have a a great happy hour menu. If you’re interested in seeing some live music, they have a calendar of the performers on their site.

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Hermosa Beach Pier

Anyone else religiously listen to this album still? Just me? Okay. Well if you fell in love with City of Stars the way I did, then this stop is for you. When you’re done eating dinner at Lighthouse Cafe, take a stroll down the Hermosa Beach pier (and make sure you grab the random fedora off the ground while you’re at it). Here you’ll be able to enjoy the sound of the waves and the view of the coast. The only thing that’s missing is Ryan Gosling.

Mt. Hollywood Drive

If you manage to make it to the observatory that I mentioned earlier, then you might be able to swing by Mt. Hollywood Drive, west of the observatory. Here they shot the scene for “A Lovely Night” where Mia and Sebastian begin to fall in love. Super aww, am I right? The scene itself was filmed on a corner known as “Cathy’s Corner” however it might not look too familiar because producers brought in the bench and the streetlight. Fun fact: that scene was shot in one take. Impressive.

Chateau Marmont

I’ll be honest. We did not stop by here because of La La Land. In fact, we stopped here because we wanted to stop by the hotel that hosts all the A list celebrities (I think I saw someone from the cast of How to Get Away with Murder but that’s besides the point..) and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that it made a small cameo. Rooms here go for about $415+ a night so if you can afford to spring for a room, go for it. It’s right on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of LA, making it easy (or I should say easier, it is LA after all) to get around. If you’re not the movie star like Mia, stop by and see what they have to offer. And who knows, you might see one of your favorite celebs.

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Honorable Mentions I was unable to visit:

  • The Warner Bros Lot (you will have to sign up for a tour) – where Mia works
  • Dan Tana’s – where Ryan Gosling is seen playing Mia and Sebastian’s theme for the very first time
  • Jar Restaurant – the restaurant where Mia ditches Greg to go be with her true love, Sebastian
  • The Rialto Theater – unfortunately this theater is closed but you can drive by and picture Mia and Sebastian on their first date and cry to yourself, I won’t judge

Are there any other La La Land fans out there that don’t think I’m a loon and understand my love? What’d you think of the movie? Would love to hear. XO

Disneyland for Adults

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Every time I tell someone that I’m going to Disneyland again, I get asked “aren’t you sick of that place yet?” And I always answer with the same answer. Absolutely not. I could never be sick of Disney. I think a lot of people are confused by the love that I have for the parks and the company because many see it as childish. I grew up with an annual pass to Disneyland and even at 22, I was working at Disney World. It’s always been something I have a deep love for and it’s something that I hope to share with my kids one day. That being said, I think many adults wonder what there is to do there when you aren’t with kids. And that’s where I come in. I’m here to give you a few ideas of what there is to do at Disneyland when kids are not involved.

Before you go: 

Going to Disney is a bit of a process and there a few things that can make it easier so that when you do arrive, you can enjoy yourself. First and foremost, I highly recommend buying tickets in advance. There is usually a wait to buy tickets, making people very grumpy before they can even get in. I have seen multiple sites that recommend buying from third parties in order to get cheaper tickets. Be careful. Disney is catching on and if you buy more than a one day ticket, they take your picture and make you sign it to confirm that you are the one who purchased the ticket. I know Disney can be kind of pricey but if you want to be safe, buy on Disney’s site itself. It’s super quick and easy. I also recommend going during the week. If you can get the time off of work during the week during off season, you will find much much shorter lines. If not, aim for weekends during the middle of fall and winter. The weather is nicer and suummer and spring tend to bring in crowds with breaks in school.

Once you have your tickets purchased, I recommend checking out hotels. Staying in a Disney resort can be quite magical and although they are some of my favorites, they can be a tad expensive. There are more than plenty hotels within walking distance from the park that can save you the money of both the resort and paying for parking. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to come and go as you please without worrying about driving.

Lastly, although there are boards throughout the parks that tell you how long the waits are, I highly recommend downloading the app MouseWait, available for iPhones only. This allows you to see the wait times in real time without having to walk to the attractions themselves. Sometimes they are not updated very frequently but in most cases, it helps you decide where exactly you want to head!

Once you’re there:

Now this might sound silly but if you want to start your day off with a delicious breakfast, try doing a character breakfast. They are buffet styles, allowing you to eat as much as you want. I recently ate at PCH Grill in the Paradise Pier and had a wonderful time. They had an omelette station, pastry station, as well as the classic Mickey pancakes. There you have the chance to meet a few characters such as Stitch, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Daisy. If meeting characters is on your list to do, these are the places to do so. They come around to the tables meaning no lines. It’s a win win for everybody. Storytellers Cafe at the Grand Californian is another great character buffet. Here you can meet a few more unique characters such as Chip n’ Dale and friends. Quick tip: make sure to make reservations to ensure you get in. These breakfasts tend to get very busy, very quickly.

Once you’re stuffed with breakfast and ready to ride rides, there are plenty that don’t move painfully slow. At Disneyland, rides such as Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, the Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Star Tours, and Splash Mountain all have a thrill factor that many adults are looking for. There are also the classics such as Peter Pan, Haunted Mansion, and Jungle Cruise that are a bit more mild but still bring that feeling of nostalgia. If you decide to go over to California Adventure (which I highly recommend), there is California Screamin’, Toy Story Midway Mania, Soarin’ Around the World, Goofy’s Sky School, Radiator Springs Racers, and Mickey’s Fun Wheel. If you have a strong stomach, be sure to check out the swinging gondolas on the Fun Wheel. It brings a thrilling twist to a once relaxing ride.

When it comes to rides, take advantage of the fastpass program. Although Disneyland does not yet have the technology that Disney World has, you are able to get fastpasses for rides, allowing you to cut your wait times in half. Recently they updated their program a bit and you are allowed to get new fastpasses after 2 hours rather than having to wait to use the first ones you get. This may not be as high tech as WDW but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

If you have enough energy at the end of the night, stay for the parade and fireworks. Recently, they brought back the Main Street Electrical Parade, a parade that has been performed since 1972. Seeing a piece of Disney history is something you won’t forget (too cheesy?). And watching the fireworks over the castle is the perfect way to end the day! If you feel that fireworks aren’t your thing, check out World of Color, a water show that is put on nightly at California Adventures. It’s more exciting than it sounds, I swear.

Food and Drink:

Although Disneyland does not serve alcohol, if you’re looking for a refreshing alcoholic beverage, be sure to hop over to California Adventures where you can get beer, wine, and margaritas. The number one hot spot to be sure to visit is Cove Bar, a bar right on the pier, overlooking California Screamin’ and the Fun Wheel. Here you can get a wide variety of red and white wines, sangria, beers, and specialty cocktails along with their famous lobster nachos. Cove Bar usually opens a bit later after park opening and there’s usually a line to get in so if this is something you’re interested, try to be one of the first there to fight the crowds.

Carthay Circle is another fine dining restaurant that you might want to stop by and check out. If you can swing a reservation, I highly recommend it. The decor is that of an old Hollywood theater, transporting you back in time. If you just feel like making a pit stop, check out the lounge located on the first floor. Here they have appetizers and cocktails to tie you over while you continue to explore the parks!

Last but not least, one of my favorite spots to check out is the Blue Bayou. Located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, this dimly lit, intimate spot brings some incredible menu items such as steak, jambalaya, and more importantly, mint juleps. They recommend making reservations up to 60 days in advance however this is not necessarily needed. I know that when I went for my birthday this past year, I was able to get a reservation about a week before with no problem.

If you decide you want to go during the spring, check out the California Adventures Food & Wine Festival. From March 10 to April 16 2017, stands are set up across the park where you can purchase all sorts of food and drink, alcoholic and nonalcoholic. It’s a fun way to sample gourmet food and drink without purchasing a full meal. This event does not require a separate ticket, all you’ll need is a park ticket to get in and then you are more than welcome to explore.

If you’re considering Disney as an adult, I hope this list helped sway you. It’s a truly magical place, no matter the age. I will be doing a Disney World for adults here in the near future so be sure to keep an eye out for that 😉 Is there anything that you do or any tricks or tips that I forgot to mention? If so, let me know in the comments. And even if there’s not, let me know what you think! XO

 

A Weekend In Palm Springs

Palm Springs

With southern California being a short drive away, I tend to find myself relaxing on the beach, playing at Disneyland, or roaming the desert more often than not. Palm Springs has the rap of being a sleepy little town where everyone goes to retire but it’s so much more than that. With it’s retro vibes, hip restaurants, and warm weather, you will find yourself leaving this desert oasis completely relaxed and rejuvenated. It has quickly become one of my favorite places to visit for a three day weekend.

Where To Stay:

The Saguaro

Although there is a Saguaro in Scottsdale, the first time I had ever stayed in one was the first time we went to Palm Springs. With it’s bright colors and spacious pool, chances are you will never want to leave. It’s the perfect spot to lay by the pool, sip margaritas, and listen to music. With Palm Springs’ warm temperatures, this pool is always always always busy. If you’re tired of the noise, the hotel provides a shuttle downtown or beach cruisers that you can ride around town. There’s always something going on so if you’re looking to relax, this might not be the spot for you. But just look at this view.

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The Parker

Although we never stayed in this hotel, it holds a special place in my heart. I don’t know if I have ever loved a hotel this much. The minute you walk in, you find yourself in a secluded  paradise surrounded by art and gardens. You will find yourself walking around for hours, napping on the hammock, and sitting by the fire pits when it gets a bit chilly out. It is one of the more expensive resorts in Palm Springs so even if you are unable to stay there, make sure to add it to your itinerary. Too make things even more interesting, Robert Downey Jr. was arrested in this hotel in 2000 and rumor has it, Brangelina started their affair here.

The Ace

This is where we stayed most recently and I’ve found that it has a lot of similarities to the Saguaro. It takes pride in it’s party vibe and often times you will find a DJ, bingo, and more afternoon activities. You’ll want to lounge around the pool and drink some of their fruity cocktails while you get your tan on. At least that’s what I did… Heh. Much like the Saguaro, they also have a shuttle as well as beach cruisers that you can ride around town, making exploring Palm Springs easy.

Korakia

This is another resort that we did not stay at but explored (can you tell that we like to resort hop?). This Mediterranean-styled resort is a bit tucked away and it’s much smaller than the others, making it ideal for those who are looking to truly relax. They offer yoga, movies under the stars, moroccan tea, and bikes that you can take around town.

 

Places to Eat:

Cheeky’s

Alright ya’ll, I’m going to sound like a complete idiot right now but I want you to understand how much I liked Cheeky’s. I am an avid Yelp user to find good restaurants but I have never once in my life written a review. Until I ate at Cheeky’s. It was some of the best brunch that I had ever had. Their menu changes weekly, always giving us the opportunity to try something new. If you choose to go, be aware that there will most likely be a wait and they do not take reservations. It is one of the most popular brunch spots in Palm Springs. However, it goes by quickly. I think we only waited about 10-15 minutes. Also, keep in mind that it is only open Wednesday-Monday so if you’re trying to go on a Tuesday, you’re going to miss out.

Norma’s

Before going to Palm Springs, I tried to research as much as possible and on almost every list that I found I found recommendations for Norma’s for brunch. Located within my favorite resort, The Parker, it’s menu is quite extensive. Although we did not end up making it for brunch, we did eat there for dinner one night and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is seating outside under the stars and when the weather is perfect, there is no better place to enjoy dinner. It was quiet and private, allowing for a very romantic evening.

Things To Do: 

Moorten Botanical Garden

My boyfriend, Adam, has gotten me addicted to plants so Moorten Botantical Garden was right up my alley. During the cooler seasons, they’re open from 10-4 but in the summer, due to the heat, their hours are reduced to 9-1. It’s only 5 dollars per person and it’s truly unique yet quick place to stop by. The cactarium is literally a shed full of different kinds of cactus. It makes for the perfect photo op.

Visit the Pink Door

This house it’s own instagram hashtag, #ThatPinkDoor, which means it’s a must see, right? Although there isn’t much to do around the house, it’s another place for the perfect photo op. The house is located at 1100 East Sierra Way in South Palm Springs, an extremely short 3 minute drive from The Ace Hotel. This is one of those perfect times to use those free bikes the hotels offer. Hint hint.

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The Cabazon Dinosaurs

Although this is a bit outside of Palm Springs, it’s worth the short drive. If you’ve seen Pee Wee’s Big Adventure then I’m sure you’re familiar with Mr. Rex. There is an admission fee to go inside however, it’s really not necessary. It’s fun to roam around and take a lot of pictures (I swear I do more than take pictures. But hey, at least your instagram will look nice). If you’re in the mood to do a little shopping, the outlet malls are right next door and include some amazing stores and deals.

Ice Cream at Arrive

Ice Cream & Shop(pe) might be one of the cutest little ice cream shops out there. Not only is the ice cream some of the best that I’ve had, with unique flavors, there’s also a little store attached with knick knacks. If you feel like exploring, the shop is connected to Arrive Hotel which includes Reservoir (a great spot to eat), movies by the pool every third Thursday of the month, and live music on Sundays.

Go Shopping

Palm Springs is famous for it’s shops, especially antiques and thrift stores. If you walk downtown, you will find stores on stores on stores that will catch your eye. Although I wasn’t able to visit, make sure to stop by Fine Art of Design if you’re a vintage fan. They’ve got decades worth of things.

I miss Palm Springs every day and I hope to make it back soon. Is there anything that you’ve done or want to do in Palm Springs that I didn’t list? Let me know in the comments xo

Tips & Tricks for the Disney College Program

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Every morning I wake up and check my Timehop to look over the memories from the last few years of my life. When I checked this morning, I saw that a year ago today, I was spending my last day at the Magic Kingdom, a place I called home for 6 months. Coming across this was extremely bittersweet for me. As of some of you know, in 2015, I moved to Orlando, Florida to work as an attractions intern for the Disney College Program. I was lucky enough to work at Under the Sea & Ariel’s Grotto (aka two of my favorite rides). With the anniversary of the end coming up, I figured what better time to talk about a few tips and tricks when doing the college program.

From the minute you apply, you are going to be nothing but a ball of nerves and anxiety. I remember for me, it was quite the big step. I was born and raised in Arizona and although I am constantly traveling, I had never lived far from my parents, let alone across the country by myself. If this is something that worries you, just know it’s completely normal. It’s an unnerving step but I also believe that it is one that is necessary at some point in your life. It helps shape you as a person and helps you appreciate your hometown a bit more. At least it did for me.

You will then get an email asking you to schedule your phone interview. How exciting, right?! At this point you’re probably about to lose your mind. I know that when I set up my phone interview, I began to watch every single youtube video and read every single blog about what questions would be asked. I will admit, this is helpful but one of my biggest pieces of advice is to be careful not to over prepare. You want to come off genuine. I had actually applied to the program twice and the first time, I unfortunately did not make it in. I was extremely disappointed but I wasn’t going to let me stop from trying again. I noticed that they changed the questions the second time around. You will be asked about your job experience and conflict rather than hypothetical questions about guest interaction. I found it to be a lot less stressful. In order to help you prepare, read a few blogs, watch a few videos, but mostly focus on being yourself. Before the interview starts, listen to some Disney music and keep yourself in a quiet area away from any distractions. I also recommend scheduling your interview in the morning. Interviewers tend to be happier and you are one of the first interviews so they are willing to listen to everything that you have to say.

Now it’s nothing but a waiting game. When I applied a second time around, I waited about a month before I got the congratulatory email. Some wait a week, some wait 3 months. You never really know. If you want to hear back quickly, try to apply when applications first open. Those that first apply, tend to get a response quicker. But don’t make yourself sick with worry by constantly checking your email, waiting. I know that it’s easier said than done but trust me. Go on with your daily lives as much as possible and when it’s time, the email will come. I promise.

So you got in. Now what. First off, feel proud. Disney is nothing short of an amazing company that brings so much happiness to people’s lives on a daily basis. Celebrate! And then start thinking about living. One of the best tools that I found online were Facebook groups of people that have the same arrival date as you. Start talking to these people, get to know one another. You’re going to be surrounded by other CP’s for months and they become your family. Plus, you have the opportunity to pick roommates. You do have the option to go random however it is a bit comforting choosing the people you are going to be around most. I found 5 other girls that I hit it off with and we started our own group chat, texting every single day until move in day.

Now I will probably write about the program on multiple occasions, but I don’t want to bore you and talk for hours now. I just have to say that once you’re there, enjoy it. Take everything in and make the most of it because before you know it, you are going to be back home and you are going to miss the people you met and the memories you made. Use your discount and buy endless amounts of merch, stay in Disney hotels as much as possible, go to the parks on your days off even if you don’t feel like it, spend as much time as possible with your roommates and coworkers, and overall don’t forget that you are working at a company that prides itself in making everyday magical. The college program is a program that will forever change your life.

48 Hours in Sedona

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I have been extremely blessed to be born a short drive away from one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Whenever I get the chance, I hop in the car and drive 2 hours north to enjoy the red rocks, greenery, and much cooler weather. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend you make sure to pencil in a trip because it is truly something you have never seen before. When I go, I tend to only go for a day or two so here’s a list of highlights that I believe you should hit when you’re short on time!

Places to Stay

  • L’Auberge De Sedona

Although I have not personally stayed at this hotel, the last time I visited, we decided to walk around the property and see what it had to offer. With creek side dining, personal cabins you can stay in, and beautiful views of the red rocks, this hotel is one of the most exquisite hotels that you will find in Sedona. Who wouldn’t want to sit by the fire on their own personal fireplace on a chilly night? It’s also conveniently located walking distance from downtown Sedona where you can find many shops and restaurants.

  • Amara Resort & Spa

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This is the hotel that I stayed at most recently and I have to say, it won me over. When you walk through the doors past the modern lobby, the first thing you see is the creek, an infinity edged pool, and a courtyard set up with fire pits and chairs. From 5-6 they offer wine hour that includes free red or white wine (who could pass that up, am I right?) and every morning there is complimentary tea and coffee along with yoga. I contemplated spending all of my time just in the hotel. But if you do decide to leave, (which I suggest you do) there’s complimentary valet parking, and a shuttle that runs anywhere within a one mile radius, making visiting downtown Sedona effortless.

Where To Eat

  • Elote Cafe

Boy, oh boy. my mouth is just watering thinking about Elote. Located right of State Route 179, this southern Mexican meets American southwest restaurant has been mentioned by multiple magazines such as The Arizona Republic, The New York Times, and Phoenix Magazine. It is open Tuesday – Saturday (so don’t try to get in on Sunday or Monday, you’ll just be disappointed. I know from personal experience) and opens after 5 PM. I’m warning you now, there will probably be a wait and they do not take reservations. It is one of the most well known restaurants in Sedona. If you ask a local where to get dinner, this will be their answer. Every. Time. It is worth it though. In warmer weather, you can sit overlooking the mountains and sipping a margarita. Perfection in my book.

  • Saltrock Kitchen

Located within the Amara, these margaritas and tacos will change your life. Although I did not make it for breakfast, I read Yelp reviews that did mention the breakfast was delicious. The dinner menu was enough for me. I had the grilled corn, smoked chicken tostadas, and the la verdad margarita. If you’re anything like me, you live off of chips and salsa. It is not placed on the table like many other Mexican restaurants so I highly recommend ordering a batch before your meal arrives. The salsa is killer. I walked away with my belt loosened a notch.

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  • Indian Gardens Cafe & Market

This little market is right off 89A, only minutes before Slide Rock. Although you would not expect it to have delicious food, this little deli on the side of the road is my go to spot whenever I’m in Sedona. With salads, soups, sandwiches, coffees and teas, beer, and wine, the options are endless. When it’s cold, my personal fave is the grilled cheese, a bowl of soup, and a mint green tea. They have seating inside as well as out however it is pretty limited inside and when it’s cooler outside, they’re usually pretty full. Don’t fret. There are blankets on every seat outside that you can wrap yourself up in and enjoy the food as well as your surroundings.

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Things To Do

  • Hike Bell Rock

Bell Rock is one of the easiest hikes in Sedona, sitting at 0.75 miles. The ground is extremely flat and it forms a loop, making it quick. If you like a little more adventure, there are areas where you can climb up bell rock and look over Sedona. I would not recommend this for anyone who is not comfortable climbing up a mountain with no path. It can be a bit steep and depending on the weather, might be slippery at times.

  • Visit Slide Rock 

This state park gets its name from the natural water slide created from the slippery bed of Oak Creek. Although it is open year round, the best time to spend time in the creek is May – August when the water is at it’s warmest temperatures. This water can be extremely cold so be prepared to shiver. Once you’re in though, you get used to it quickly. Along with the natural water slide, there are cliffs you can jump off and hiking paths. Although you can’t swim in the fall or winter, I still recommend stopping by and taking in the scenery.

  • Chapel of the Holy Cross

I’ve been to Sedona countless times but it wasn’t until my most recent trip that I was able to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Unless you plan on going in and worshipping, visiting the chapel takes about 5 minutes but don’t cross it off your list. If you have a spare moment or you’re on your way back to Phoenix, stop by and capture some incredible shots.

  • Hike Devil’s Bridge

If you’re looking up things to do in Sedona, I can guarantee you that Devil’s Bridge makes almost every list. But with good reason. During spring and summer days, this hike can be exceptionally busy. It’s a moderate hike, lasting about 2 miles (1 mile each way). The main parking area is on FR 152 and although many blogs say that high clearance vehicles are recommended, I say go for it. Most cars can make it but proceed with caution, just in case. This will save you a lot of walking. If you know me, you know I’m terrified of heights. I don’t even like going up the stairs of waterpark slides. Walking onto the bridge is well worth it though. It seems extremely thin in pictures but you have a lot of space to walk around without feeling as if you’re going to fall.

  • Grasshopper Swimming Hole

In the warmer months, Grasshopper swimming hole is one of the best places to cool off. When I visited in May, there were only a few people and parking was easily accessible. It’s a short walk down a trail and once there, you find a fairly private and quiet swimming hole that includes cliffs to jump off and rocks to sprawl out on and tan. If possible, wear shoes!! I can’t stress this enough. I went barefoot and I regretted it immediately. The water is fairly shallow and the bottom is nothing but rock and it can be rough on your feet. If you decide to hike up a bit and cliff jump, the shoes will come in handy.

  • Just drive

I know this sounds silly but driving around and listening to some good tunes (did I just age myself by saying tunes?) is one of the best ways to explore Sedona. There are spots to pull of the side of the road to hike or walk down to the creek almost everywhere on the highway.

That’s it, folks (wow I really am 80)! I’m always exploring and I’m sure I’ll end up making another post later on with even more things to do. Oh and one more tip before I go! If you want to save some money, try to go on a weekend of a national holiday. Parking for hikes and swimming holes is free. Thanks for reading! If you know of any places I’m missing, comment and let me know. I love to hear about others’ experiences 🙂

xo