Author: Megan

View of the famous Sedona, Arizona red rocks from the patio of Creekside Coffee

5 Spots for a Perfect Weekend Getaway in Sedona, Arizona

I’m not here to tell you about spiritual vortexes and healing crystals, but I will rave about the beautiful weather, views and community of Sedona, Arizona! I went to Phoenix for Thanksgiving last year and took a road trip up to Sedona for a couple days. Here are a few highlights of the visit…

West Fork Trail

MVIMG_20171120_090310.jpg

West Fork trail is 7.2 miles out and back and rated easy on AllTrails. The trail is mostly flat and takes you along the west fork of Oak Creek with 13 creek crossings. Bring your waterproof hikers for this one! There’s lovely views of canyon walls and forest sprinkled with autumn colors (in late November at least!). You know when the trail ends when you approach the narrow canyon enclosing on the creek (pictured below). We explored a bit further and found a spot to perch for lunch before turning around. There was ample parking when we arrived around 8 a.m., and while the trail was populated, it was not crowded.

Devil’s Bridge (via Chuck Wagon Trail and Devil’s Bridge Trail)

MVIMG_20171121_120315.jpg

MVIMG_20171121_103004

Chuck Wagon Trail offers a better experience and scenery than taking the Devil’s Bridge trail directly.

Devil’s Bridge via Chuck Wagon trail is 5.6 miles out and back and rated moderate on AllTrails. This hike takes you along a desert trail (with some inclines) and gorgeous views of the red rocks to your final destination, Devil’s Bridge. Devil’s Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch in Sedona and even more stunning in person. You can walk over the bridge for a breathtaking photo opp.

PRO TIP: Start at the Chuck Wagon Trail and follow signs to Devil’s Bridge. Starting at Chuck Wagon offers beautiful scenery and a more enjoyable experience. If you take the Devil’s Bridge trail directly, you’ll either hike up a dusty, dirt road (less enjoyable) or need to take an all-wheel drive vehicle to the trail head. Going via Chuck Wagon, you’ll share the trail with bikers, but that’s preferred to motor vehicles in my opinion. Check out this resource for details on the trail, different trail options and maps.

Creekside Coffee

IMG_1383

Going to Creekside Coffee after a long hike made me SO happy! They made really great coffee and offered magical views of red rocks on their patio or from the comfort of inside. They roast their own beans too, Rattle & Hum. As far as the view, I was amazed with “Snoopy Rock,” which looked just like Snoopy laying on his dog house, look for it while you’re there!

They have a bistro as well if you’re looking for a lunch or dinner spot. I’ll definitely dine-in next time!

Oak Creek Brewery

IMG_1405

We enjoyed a beer flight and dinner at Oak Creek Brewery, Sedona’s only craft brewery and brewpub. Great food and even better craft beers! I recommend checking this out and having a flight of beers, if not dinner as well. There are also art galleries and shops nearby you can check out before/after dinner.

Shopping

OK, I’m not one to shop much while traveling. But in our down time, we did explore the local shops of Sedona and had a great time. There’s a unique array of shops that sell everything from local arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, crystals, animal skins, used books and more! Visit Sedona has a great shopping guide available here!

Bonus…

Where to Stay: You know I LOVE Airbnb for all kinds of travel. There are wonderful options in Sedona that are fit for a solo trip, romantic couples trip or a family get away. Many have gorgeous views of Sedona’s famous red rocks.

IMG_1227

View from our AirBnb patio at sunset. This was a great place and affordable option for our stay in Sedona, Arizona!

Getting There:  It was a two hour drive from Phoenix – perfect for a quick two night stay like ours. Check out other nearby airports here. The Southwestern U.S. is beautiful with a variety of scenes. If you ever get a chance, make a full road trip out of your visit.

Advertisements

4 things to do in Colorado that aren’t hiking (or skiing)

About exactly a year ago, I went on my first summertime trip to Colorado and fell in love! I’m reminiscing now and hoping to go back in August but wanted to share the other things we did in Durango, Colorado that weren’t hiking. If you’re into hiking, click here for 4 must-see trails in Durango! 

Wine Tasting

We had a lovely time at Four Leaves Winery in downtown Durango! They have a wine tasting option on the menu which I strongly recommend. Between four people, we sipped through almost the entire list. They have a big selection of fruit wines which were delicious and so fun to taste. You also have the option to make your own blend and take it home!

img_8848

Dinner and a Show

For a fun and family friendly evening, complete with singing cowboys and food on a metal tray, go to Bar D Chuckwagon! I had never been to something like this but it was pretty fun for a relaxing night out! Click here for reservation and ticket information.

Good Coffee

Duh. Be sure to visit 81301 Coffee Roasters. Their cold brew on tap is some of the best I’ve had! We bought a bag of beans to brew while staying in Colorado and another to take home. Great coffee!

Train

We planned to ride the Durango Train for a fun rest day and some photography opportunities. However, we all opted for MORE HIKING instead! This will be part of a future itinerary of mine. However, I’m including it here because it looks like a fun way to see some gorgeous scenery without the hike. Check out the website for details, schedule, ticket pricing and more.

Do you have anything to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Here’s a bonus picture of my dog… because he’s the best!

DSCF1183

The Coffee (and donuts) of Venice Beach/Santa Monica, California

My heart is in SoCal (I was born and raised there). I spent a quick two days in Santa Monica, California recently and wanted to share some great coffee spots I visited. And yes, I went to four coffee shops (and one donut place that technically had coffee) in two days. Disclaimer: I didn’t take great photos so these are pulled from my Instagram story. 

Espresso Cielo

3101 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Espresso Cielo in Venice Beach

This is the first place I went in Venice for a morning cappuccino and it was perfect. Just a few blocks away from the beach, I took it to go and strolled along the sand and waves. Cute atmosphere and a friendly barista. We even met a couple puppers inside. I love how dog friendly California is!

Dogtown Coffee

2003 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Dogtown Coffee in Santa Monica

My two go-to orders at a coffee shop is either cold brew (black) or a cappuccino. But I was so intrigued by Dogtown’s signature Salty Dog Caramel Ice Coffee (cold brew sweetened with caramel and topped with sea salt infused foam). It was pretty good – the foam was interesting. I don’t think I’d get the same drink again, but it was fun to try and great for someone who likes sweetener in their coffee. I loved this place and bought a bag of whole beans to take home.

Bulletproof Coffee

3110 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Bulletproof coffee is a brand known for creating coffee with added grass-fed butter and oil to boost energy. This is their first standalone shop. It was right next to our Airbnb, so I had to stop by for an afternoon pick me up. I ordered the cold brew because I wasn’t brave enough to try the butter coffee. I’m still not sold on this idea but I know people that love it.

Modern Times Brewery (actually in Los Angeles)

832 South Olive St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

Vegan Cortado at Modern Times Brewery in Los Angeles

Yes, in California they have breweries that also make amazing coffee. I didn’t try any of their beer, but the selection sounded amazing. I ordered a chile relleno burrito from their all-vegan brunch menu and a cortado with a delicious vegan milk (hemp or oat maybe? Can’t remember) in an adorable cup. Yum! This place was super cool, I’d love to come back and try some beer.

DK’s Donuts & Bakery

1614 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404

This place is the best thing that ever happened to me. OK, not really. But after a night out, we ordered a Lyft to the one food place still open. Little did I know, it was this magical bakery of the most amazing donuts. They have fun flavors like ube, maple bacon and cookie dough; and even a giant donut you may have seen on Facebook. Honestly, you can skip all that and get the Original O-Nut. Seriously. Do it. It’s basically a croissant donut hybrid which I didn’t know is a thing. But it’s a great thing. DK’s O-Nut is covered in magical glaze. I could eat 100. Oh and they had coffee, too, but the donut shop kind.

I love visiting local coffee shops when I travel! What places did I miss in Santa Monica? Or what other cities have amazing coffee spots? Let me know in the comments below!