72 hours in Sedona, Arizona

Alright, I confess. There’s no place quite like Sedona. It’s a breathtaking experience to be surrounded by the imposing red rock cliffs and formations. For years it’s been known as both an outdoor enthusiast’s dream and a hippie paradise, but Sedona has much more to offer visitors. It’s become a destination for fine art galleries and one of a kind boutiques for the discerning shopper and has even cultivated an up and coming foodie scene with new restaurants offering contemporary cuisine.

And there’s another surprising industry that’s been growing in the surrounding area—northern Arizona’s very own wine region. Naturally, people tend to think of Arizona as a desert, but Sedona is about a two-hour drive north of Phoenix and over 3,000 feet higher in elevation, resulting in a cooler climate. Not only does Sedona occasionally get snow in winter, but the shift in temperature between day and night is ideal for growing grapes. Paired with a prevalent natural water source and favorable soil composition, the Verde Valley has begun to grow grapes and produce award-winning wines. The past 5 or so years have seen enormous growth in the Verde Valley wine industry, and now there are over 20 wineries, tasting rooms, and even a school that offer locals and tourists alike the opportunity to try different kinds of wine.

So, whether you enjoy eating and drinking your way through a new town or prefer to spend as much time as you can exploring the outdoors, Sedona provides a perfect mix of adventure and leisure activities for every traveler’s style.

Where to Stay:

Enchantment Resort – For a luxurious retreat in the center of Sedona’s majestic landscape, stay at the Enchantment Resort. Located just outside West Sedona and surrounded by Red Rocks National Forest, this resort has everything you need to enjoy and explore the area. Sign up for one of their multi-day activity experiences, relax at their premier spa, dine at any of their many restaurants, or hit the links at Seven Canyons Golf Course, all without leaving the resort. 525 Boynton Canyon Rd, 844-244-9489, www.enchantmentresort.com

The Arabella Hotel Sedona – Located on Gallery Row in the heart of Sedona next to fantastic shopping, art galleries and boutiques, this contemporary hotel offers complimentary breakfast, modern southwestern décor, and easy access to many of the hiking and biking trails around Sedona. 725 AZ-179, 928-282-7151, www.arabellahotelsedona.com

Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock – An ideal location near Bell Rock, incredible views, and extensive amenities like a golf course, outdoor Warrior Pit fitness facilities and multiple pools make this hotel a great choice for outdoors lovers. 90 Ridge Trail Dr, 928-284-4040, www.hiltonsedonaresort.com

Sky Ranch Lodge Resort – This resort feels tucked away from everything, and yet is only a quick drive from the middle of town. Sky Ranch Lodge Resort has a vintage feel with modern amenities. It’s perched above the town on Airport Mesa with incredible views and is a short distance to the Airport Mesa vortex and hiking trail. 1105 Airport Rd, 928-282-6400, www.skyranchlodge.com

Where to Drink:

The Art of Wine – This upscale wine bar in the heart of Sedona has an expertly curated wine list from all over the world, but they specialize in wines from Arizona’s up and coming wine regions. They offer multiple tasting flights of Arizona wines from around the state. It’s a great way to try some of Arizona’s wines without leaving town. You can also order local and international wines by the glass to enjoy in their bar or on the patio. Not into wine? They have a great selection of beers and cider as well. 101 AZ-89A B9, 928-203-9463, www.artofwinesedona.com

Vino Di Sedona – A popular place with locals and visitors alike, Vino Di Sedona serves craft beer and wine by the tasting, glass, or bottle. They have live music every night and serve a full menu if you’re looking for a snack. They also sell a great selection of local Arizona and international wines by the bottle with no corkage fee if you’d like to enjoy the wine on premise. 2575 AZ-89A, 928-554-4682, www.vinodisedona.com

The Hudson – This rustic, industrial chic restaurant features a large bar with giant windows looking out over red rock vistas. Enjoy happy hour every day from 3-6pm at the bar, or head outside on their patio for expansive views while you enjoy a drink from their lengthy cocktail, beer, or wine menu. 671 AZ-179 D, 928-862-4099, www.thehudsonsedona.com

Etch Kitchen & Bar at L’Auberge de Sedona – If you’re looking for a bit more greenery to balance out all the red rock desert, grab a drink at Etch Kitchen & Bar at L’Auberge de Sedona Resort next to Oak Creek. Their patio provides beautiful views of the river and shade from large sycamore trees. It’s so green and peaceful that you’ll forget you’re in a desert state. While they do serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s a wonderful place to grab a cocktail after a day of hiking and sit and relax by the river. 301 Little Ln, 855-346-9254, www.lauberge.com/etch

Oak Creek Brewery & Grill – This fun brewery serves award-winning beers, wood fired grilled food, and great views of the red rocks. Enjoy one of their microbrews on the second story patio to take advantage of the incredible red rock vistas. They have a great variety of brews from lagers to porters to meet every beer lover’s preference. 336 State Route 179, Suite D201 in Tlaquepaque, 928-282-3300, www.oakcreekbreweryandgrill.com

Where to Eat:

Indian Gardens Café and Market – Just north of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon sits a little garden oasis surrounded by trees. This coffee bar and café serves breakfast and lunch on their secluded patio and offers snacks and to-go meals in their marketplace for those who want to spend their day exploring Sedona. 3951 State Rte 89A, 928-282-7702, www.indiangardens.com

Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill – Chef Lisa Dahl owns several fantastic fine dining restaurants around Sedona, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Her newest spot, Mariposa, features South American inspired cuisine and some of the best views in town of the red rock cliffs. It’s especially beautiful around sunset and a great place to grab a meal and watch nature put on a show. 700 AZ-89A, 928-862-4444, www.mariposasedona.com

SaltRock Kitchen – Hidden inside the Amara Resort in Uptown Sedona, this upscale Mexican restaurant has great views of red rock vistas and direct access to Oak Creek. The southwestern fare and creative cocktail list featuring mezcal and tequila drinks are a great way to relax after a day of exploring. 100 Amara Ln #101, 928-340-8803, www.amararesort.com/eat-drink/saltrock

Picazzos – This Arizona based, Italian restaurant chain has an extensive gluten free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu. They serve salads, pizza, and pasta in a mix of modern Italian cuisine with Asian and Mexican twists. Picazzos has a great lunch menu, but the bar menu with handcrafted cocktails and local and gluten free beer options make them a great dinner choice as well. 1855 AZ-89A, 928-282-4140, www.picazzos.com

Tii Gavo – If you’re in the mood to splurge, enjoy dinner at Tii Gavo at the Enchantment Resort. Their Southwestern fare, amazing views, and cozy outdoor firepits make this a fantastic place to linger over dinner while admiring Sedona’s iconic scenery. The fact that they have the largest selection of margaritas in the valley doesn’t hurt either. 525 Boynton Canyon Rd, 888-250-1699, www.enchantmentresort.com/tii_gavo_dining

What to See & Do:

Verde Valley Wine Trail – Just outside Sedona lies the entrance to Northern Arizona’s wine country, growing many Italian, Spanish, and Southern French grape varietals. There are over 20 tasting rooms and wineries less than a 30-minute drive from Sedona, with several in the town itself. Pick up a Wine Trail map at any of the tasting rooms or print a pdf from one of their websites and head south to visit some of these wineries serving award-winning local wines. www.vvwinetrail.com

Horsin’ Around Adventures – If you’ve ever dreamed of being a cowboy, a horseback ride through the desert with extraordinary views won’t disappoint. Horsin’ Around Adventures is a family owned ranch with professional trail guides who will tailor the tour to the rider’s experience. It’s a great adventure for both kids and adults.  They offer rides from one and a half hours to half day trips, and you can even mix a ride with wine tasting at a local winery afterwards. 2650 Dancing Apache Rd, 800-403-1690, www.horsinaroundadventures.com

Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village – Inspired by the architecture of an old Mexican village, Tlaquepaque is a wonderful collection of art galleries, shops, and restaurants set among courtyards filled with elaborate fountains, beautiful mosaics, and often live musicians. There’s even a farmer’s market on Friday mornings in summer where you can purchase items from local vendors. 336 AZ-179, 928-282-4838, www.tlaq.com

Pink Jeep Tour – A great way to experience Sedona and learn more about its history and region is to take a Jeep Tour. The Pink Jeep Tours in Sedona offer both shorter tour options that will take you into Sedona’s backcountry to see the iconic landscape, as well as longer tours to the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and other popular Arizona locations. 204 N State Rte 89A, 800-873-3662, www.pinkadventuretours.com/tours/sedona-tours

Hiking – Most people come to Sedona to spend their days outside. With over 300 miles of hiking trails, it’s easy to explore the area. Stop by the visitor’s center to pick up a trail map and head on out. Some trails are located on National Forest land and you’ll need a parking permit to access them, but others have free parking and are easily reached. Some popular choices for hikes are West Fork Trail, Devil’s Bridge Trail, Courthouse Butte Loop, and Soldier’s Pass Trail. The visitors center can help you pick a trail that will fit your level of hiking experience. www.visitsedona.com/trip-planning/visitor-center

Sedona Air Tours – For a different view of Sedona, try seeing it from above in a helicopter. Sedona Air Tours offer several different tours to see the iconic rock formations that range in length. They even offer a sunset tour to see the incredible colors of the cliffs in the setting sun. 1225 Airport Rd, 928-204-5939, www.sedonaairtours.com

This article first appeared on Travel Squire.