Yavapai County and Coconino County, Verde Valley
Most people visit Sedona's vortexes to have a spiritual experience, but I recommend Chapel of The Holy Cross. Built in 1956 by Marguerite Bruswig Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Chapel is a peaceful example of man and nature working in harmony with spirit.
Who can resist an old haunted mining town, set high on the hill with expansive views of the Valley? Many galleries and boutiques fill the spaces that were once saloons and brothels. For a sunset bite to eat I recommend The Haunted Hamburger for a casual choice, or The Asylum for something a little more pricey. Both have excellent views.
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
Open 365 days a year, the park provides a refreshing getaway from the dry of desert. Picnic areas and ramadas are kept immaculately clean. Bring your brie and wine and watch the sunset over the stocked lakes. Or take a fishing pole. (A fishing license is required.) The fish cleaning area is also near the restrooms. Lots of nice trails for walking or riding.
Although built over 600 years ago, Montezuma Castle is the best preserved cliff dwellings in the United States. While you are there, also be sure to visit Montezuma's Well.
A stunning 38-mile journey from historic Clarkdale to the ghost ranch of Perkinsville and back through the Verde Canyon, known as the other Grand Canyon. See the nesting Bald Eagle and the world famous red rock canyon colors. Special rides include the Starlight Express (cooler for riding in summer), the Chocolate Lover's Festival, the Grape Train Escape, special events for Moms and Pops, and more.
On the Historic 89A between Cottonwood and Clarkdale is the ruin of the 12th Century Sinagua Indians. The view from the top is panoramic of the area, including the lower end of Sycamore Canyon and a long stretch of the Verde River.
Stunning in Autumn and also beautiful every other time of year, Oak Creek Canyon connects Sedona to Flagstaff for a drive worth getting off of I-17 and the beaten path. All paved, there are rest areas at the top with bird's eye views down the canyon and Native American Indian jewels and other fine gifts for sale en plein air.
Bikers...for other drives and local motorcycle info,
Locally Made and Great
It's not only the wine, but the beautiful vineyards and wonderful family, which make this tasting experience a must do while here.
The Livingston family has a wealth of talent to offer. Kyanne and Evan's Ikebana flower holders can double as incense holders, but that's just me breaking Japanese tradition. On Main Street in Old Town, come see their wares and many other lovely and locally made gifts at The Little Store of Uniquities. Tell Bill and Kathy that Annabel sent you. Many of the windchimes in The Annabel Inn yard are from there, but I also visit for Christmas all year, the company and the free chocolate!
The Livingston family has a wealth of talent to offer. Kyanne and Evan's Ikebana flower holders can double as incense holders, but that's just me breaking Japanese tradition.
On Main Street in Old Town, come see their wares and many other lovely and locally made gifts at The Little Store of Uniquities. Tell Bill and Kathy that Annabel sent you. Many of the windchimes in The Annabel Inn yard are from there, but I also visit for Christmas all year, the company and the free chocolate!
From The Annabel Inn, just a couple of doors down for an evening walk to the best ribs around. Also available, great chicken and steak sandwiches and my favorite BBQ sauce. This Chicago team deserves all of the awards they've won!
Between Jerome and Sedona, Jerona is a coffee shop and gallery also providing free Wi-Fi while you sip your beverage and pick out your travel gifts! Doesn't hurt that it's right across the street from the post office too. Buy your cards, write 'em and send them off - all in one stop!