Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Arizona Travel Guide | Scottsdale, Flagstaff & Sedona

Things have been quiet on this little blog of mine lately. I’ve been busy focusing on work (this is one of the busiest times of the year for me) and trying to find balance between the crazy! 

When the Hubs asked if I’d like to tag along as a guest to a conference with him in Arizona, I happily accepted the opportunity to get away!! We spent a few days in Phoenix for the conference, then extended our trip to visit Flagstaff and Sedona.

Arizona Travel Guide
Where to Eat | What to Do | Where to Stay

Day 1-2 | Scottsdale

Hotel Valley Ho 

I absolutely love staying in hotels...especially boutique style hotels. This one was perfect! It had a hip vibe, exceptional customer service, excellent food and beautiful grounds. The amenities included two pools, ZuZu Restaurant, a gym complete with yoga studio and classes, and VH Spa.

The rooms were gorgeous!! Ours came with a beautiful tub which included bath salts. We also had a large patio all to ourselves, complete with a chase lounge. I enjoyed my latte on the lounge every morning!

I enjoyed stretching my legs in the gym after traveling and was so thankful for the yoga studio. I had a beautiful view while following along with my favorite Tone It Up yoga video.

My goodness was I in need of some relaxation, and the VH Spa did not disappoint! The spa lounge had lots of organic tea to choose from, which I loved! You could also order food and drinks. I enjoyed my new book (a highly recommend read!) while waiting for my massage.

We were lucky enough to enjoy a dinner on the rooftop for the conference. The sunset views were gorgeous!

I didn't take pictures of all the delicious food we had because I was too busy living in the moment, but I did snap a few of my breakfast in bed and lunch on the patio.

Craft 64 

We walked across the street from the hotel one night for pre-dinner drinks at Craft 64. This spot served plenty of craft brews and wines, and is known for their Signature Mules. I tried the Cucumber Goddess and it was divine. We had a few appetizers which were delicious, including an antipasto board and Caprese salad (sans mozzarella for me). The wood-fired pizzas smelled amazing!

Day 3 | Downtown Phoenix & Traveling to Flagstaff

DeSoto Central Market

We checked out of the hotel, picked up a rental car from the Phoenix airport, and looked for a place to eat downtown. We came across the DeSoto Central Market. We loved the laid back vibe at this marketplace. It combines unique eateries, shops and a relaxing gathering space. They even have a pool table upstairs!


Within the DeSoto Central Market, we found RADISH, a market and juice bar with farm-fresh ingredients. The Hubs ordered the Str8 Outta Cobb-ton (gotta love that name!) and I ordered the Beard of Zeus. Both were delicious and very fresh!

We stayed in the Courtyard Marriott and were surprised to find out the hotel was in the middle of a major remodel during our stay. We were honestly pretty disappointed to be informed beforehand. Other than that, the Marriott was a decent place to stay. We did really enjoy their outdoor area with a fire pit, and given the fact that it had recently snowed, it was pretty picturesque!

Shift FLG

After settling into our hotel, we headed downtown and found the loveliest dinner spot! Shift was the perfect casual, yet elegant vibe with delicious food. I had probably the most delicious salmon I've ever had. I mean...just look at that crust!!

The Hubs had a rib plate that he raved about. They also had a nice wine list and the Hubs enjoyed that the bar tender helped him find the perfect whisky.

After dinner, we walked into some cute shops downtown, including this awesome crystal store!! I was in love with all the different types of crystals and spent a lot of time reading about the benefits of each. I settled on:

Amazonite // Perceiving Truth // Stress Relief // Alleviates Worry and Fear 
Amethyst // Balances Emotions // Psychic Protection // Improves Memory

This hotel was built in the 1920s. Historically, the Monte Vista Cocktail Lounge was the first speakeasy in Flagstaff. The lounge now offers cocktails and live music. The Monte Vista is also known for it's rumors of haunting! We stopped in for a look around.

We stopped into the McMillan for a late night bite and drinks. The hot wings were smoked, fried and grilled - So good!! They also had a really great live band. 

I loved the industrial decor which included, exposed brick, thick wooden beams, metal stools and lighting. The McMillan is housed in a historic bank building, built in 1886. It is the oldest standing building in historic downtown Flagstaff. 

Day 4 | Flagstaff and Sedona

Local Juicery

This place!! I loved it! We stopped at the location in Flagstaff for breakfast before traveling to Sedona. Local Juicery is an organic, cold-pressed juice bar and superfood kitchen. They offer a variety of cold-pressed organic juices, tonics, smoothies, smoothie bowls, organic gluten-free waffles, salads, raw vegan treats, coffee...the list goes on and on! 

I fell in love with the decor and the wellness products in their store. 

I tried the Acai Bowl and the Hubs had the Pitaya Bowl. 

Dear Local Juicery, please take up a secondary local residence in Southern California - Thanks!

Sedona was breathtakingly beautiful! Just gorgeous!! The Sedona Vortexes are thought to be swirling centers of energy that some believe provide healing. All of Sedona is considered to be a vortex, but there are specific sites where the energy is believed to be more intense. The four most well known are Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon. We had a great time driving around Sedona, trying to spot all of them!

We even found a gorgeous creek to hike along. On our next visit to Sedona, I would definitely like to stay for a few days to do some real hiking and maybe even practice some yoga near a vortex #HippyChick

For lunch we stopped at Creekside and enjoyed a beautiful view with our meal! I ordered the Blackened Salmon Salad and it was honestly, one of the best salads I've ever had. So fresh, and had all my favorite flavors (arugula, capers, tomatoes, olives, lemon, capers) - So good! 

The Hubs ordered the South Beach Chicken and Avocado Salad (subbed for blackened salmon), which was equally delicious!

After spending the day in Sedona, we headed back to our hotel to relax for a bit, before heading back into downtown Flagstaff. Once downtown, we visited FLG Terroir Wine Bar. This place was so quaint and the perfect place to relax after a long day. 

Since we had a late lunch, we ordered some wine and a meat board which included three meats of the day (we had a combo of salami, capocollo, and Venison pate!), plus an olive medley, poached figs and candied almonds. 

There were so many wines to choose from. You could also purchase a bottle from their wine library. 

We loved playing a game of Connect 4 with a vintage style wooden board.

Our last stop of the night was Trail Crest Brewing for late night, lettuce wrapped, grass-fed burgers and gluten-free fries, plus house-made ketchup. We also enjoyed a round of prickly pear ciders. 

In Review 

We absolutely loved our trip to Arizona! We especially enjoyed staying in an area with so much character and history. This trip was the perfect combination of site seeing, great food and relaxation.

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