For my 30th birthday, Charles and I escaped to Arizona for a long weekend of relaxation AND adventure!
To make the most of a long weekend, we flew to Arizona early Friday morning and returned on the red-eye Sunday night. We decided we’d spend Friday night at a resort in Scottsdale, where we’d lounge poolside and sip cocktails before departing early the next day for the Grand Canyon. We’d spend Saturday night in Sedona, and on Sunday we’d explore the Red Rocks via ATV before driving back to Phoenix to take the red-eye home.
Our Scottsdale home was The Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. A gorgeous Spanish-style resort, Omni Montelucia offers it all. Although incredibly hot – about 110 degrees (so hot that even beer cans needed their own “ice bucket!”) – we still lounged poolside for hours, enjoying lunch and cocktails in between dips in the pool, and had a delicious dinner at their restaurant Prado.
Early Saturday morning we did the 3.5-hour drive to the Grand Canyon. We knew we wanted to hike into the canyon (as opposed to strolling the rim) and ended up hiking the South Kaibab Trail over two miles in. With an elevation change of just under 2,000 feet, Charles and I had to give the hike everything we had. Kicking butt at the hike – with smiles on our faces – was such an amazing feeling!
Unfortunately it rained the whole time we were there, so the photo opps were minimal, but I’ll forever hold with me the memories of hiking into the Grand Canyon with Charles!
Charles knows how much I love boutique hotels and B&Bs, so he booked us into Casa Sedona Inn for the night. A charming inn, Casa Sedona is located just minutes from all the action and offers comfortable rooms, wonderful staff, spectacular vistas and an amazing breakfast. (I highly recommend it for those who prefer independently-owned hotels to chains.)
After showering off the (hard-earned) Grand Canyon dust, we headed out celebrate my birthday – which included a margarita at Elote Cafe, beer at local brewery Oak Creek Brewing Co. and dinner at Dahl & DiLuca. (Don’t judge – it was my birthday!) The evening was wonderful and I recommend all three stops.
On Sunday we hiked throughout Red Rock State Park in the morning – a beautifully scenic way to start the day – and explored Sedona’s terrain by ATV (via Sedona ATV Rental) in the afternoon. My first time riding an ATV, it certainly won’t be my last. Charles was a great driver and I felt very safe. I look forward to riding ATVs with Charles in many more states!
Our escape to Arizona was unforgettable – the thrills, sights & views, relaxation, fantastic dining and level of physical challenge – it’s definitely one of my favorite trips Charles and I have ever had!
Have you been to the Grand Canyon and Sedona? If so, I’d love to hear some of your faves – I’d love to check them out when we (inevitably) return!