The Thanksgiving holiday is a time that generally set aside to remember all we are grateful for in the company of those we love most. While a traditional Thanksgiving often comes complete with a turkey dinner and stuffing on the side, there’s no reason that you can’t mix up those traditions in the name of an amazing Thanksgiving destination. This year, why not head to Sedona in November when it rolls around and spends a Sedona Thanksgiving making memories with family in a truly spectacular setting? Scenic, fun and family-oriented, Sedona is the ideal vacation destination when you’re looking for something a little different over the Thanksgiving holiday.
While being in Sedona for Thanksgiving may be off-the-beaten-path of holiday destinations this time of year, food is very much still a part of the experience. Be sure to make a reservation at Cucina Rustica while you’re here for a Thanksgiving meal that generally comes with a holiday discount! This establishment serves up some of the area’s most savory Mediterranean and Italian fare which means you can enjoy everything from pasta to fish, calamari to tiramisu in a charming setting that will transport your imagination to a colorful café in the Italian countryside. Just a little less than four miles from Cathedral Rock, this dining stop also keeps you close to some of Sedona’s major visual highlights.
Dine “At Home”
By booking a vacation rental through Sedona.Org, you’ll have full access to your own private kitchen. Fully equipped to handle a Thanksgiving dinner, you can choose to prepare your own meal or simply order a full pre-cooked Thanksgiving feast in advance. Whole Foods is conveniently located in Sedona, armed and ready to mark off everything on your grocery list. Better yet, get on their website and create a custom meal for you and your group. Ready to feed a group of any size and willing to cater to anyone’s diet demands—think paleo, vegan, organic—you really can’t go wrong!
Chapel of the Holy Cross Tour
This Sedona landmark is stunning, and you’ll be thankful you spent Thanksgiving in its presence if only for the amazing view. Tours of this majestic landmark can be booked with Red Rock Magic Trolley starting at only $18 a passenger. Your knowledgeable guide will give you an insightful history into the region as you travel along the historic Highway 179 Scenic Byway. Once you reach Chapel of the Holy Cross, you’re free to jump out and soak up the sights at your own pace before returning to uptown Sedona. While the tour is a special experience for the ride upon the trolley and knowledgeable history lesson about the area, you can also opt to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross on your own. Wander at your own pace to soak in the absolutely gorgeous original artwork displayed proudly affront the breathtaking views of Sedona and the surrounding canyon. Whatever you decide, don’t miss out on the gift shop, which proudly displays original pieces completed by local artists. Stock up on unique gifts for your loved ones and finish your holiday shopping in one swift stroke of pure genius.
Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
While many of the boutiques and shops that make up this creative Sedona destination will be closed Thanksgiving Day, it’s still an ideal holiday stop for those that are looking for amazing photo opportunities while in Sedona in November. Closed stores mean fewer crowds, providing ample time to step back and admire the intricate architecture, color and design that this area hosts. Snap the perfect shop or just stroll leisurely through and make the most of the quiet that is generally hard to find in this district. When the holiday has passed, support local stores and come back to purchase some one-of-a-kind gifts that are sure to please come Christmas Day.
Walk It Off
If your family is anything like ours, you gather around the table and eat yourselves into a tryptophan coma. When you’re able to form words again, it’s usually a good idea to get up, take a walk, and get the blood supply pumping again (though let’s be honest… we all know we’re just trying to make room for pie). So why not treat yourself to the ultimate Thanksgiving experience and take your post-dinner walk through one of the world’s most sought-after hiking destinations? Truly there is no better way to feel gratitude than to be strolling through the red rock cliffs with the clear blue sky shining above you. For this very reason, we have compiled a list of some of the best Thanksgiving hikes that are sure to imprint the fondest of memories into your brain and heart.
West Fork Trail is an exciting adventure through the wild fauna of Oak Creek Canyon. Under the canopy of trees for large sections of the trail, you can stroll at your own pace for as long as you like. The well-maintained section of the trail subsides at the 3-mile marker, which is where you’d need to turn around, but don’t worry. If a 6-mile round-trip hike is more than you bargained for to simply get a piece of pie, don’t fret. You can walk for as long, or as little, as you like on this trail before turning around. Just be advised that the trail requires you to cross the creek in 13 places, so either wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet or start practicing your leaps and bounds now.
Under the sun, Devil’s Bridge Trail is a bit more of a commitment, but it also guarantees a sweet surprise about 1-mile in. Rising 50 feet into the air, this impressive arch is just as beautiful to witness from below as it is from above. Luckily, you can experience both, as the trails are wide and easy to navigate. Just trust us when we say that everyone you know will be jealous of you when you post pictures of how you spent your holiday.
Spend Your Holiday Weekend Adventuring
Everyone has a different definition of “adventuring” and certainly everyone celebrates different traditions for their holidays. Being in a new place is always fun and exciting, but sometimes can feel slightly overwhelming when you’re craving the familiarity of Thanksgivings passed. For that reason, we’ve accumulated a list of adventures people from all walks of life can appreciate.
Black Friday shopping is a tradition many families enjoy year after year. Whether it’s all about finding the best deals or you simply enjoy sipping a gourmet coffee drink while casually strolling with your tribe, we’ve got just the thing. First, decide what type of shopping experience you’re after. For the diehards that are looking for a doorbuster deal, your best bet is to head south to Anthem. Nestled within the saguaro cactus desert landscape, the temperature should be perfect in November for hunting down the best deals. The Outlets at Anthem offer over 60 designer brand shops, a food court, and play areas for the kids. Can’t find what you’re looking for at the outlet mall? No worries, because you won’t be far from premiere shopping in Phoenix. Deals so good you might think you’re seeing a desert mirage. On the other hand, if you’re looking to support local artists and entrepreneurs, you won’t have to travel much further than your backyard. Uptown Sedona is situated at the start of Oak Creek Canyon, and offers sweeping, elevated views of the canyon and surrounding mountains. Not only will you love the one-of-a-kind merchandise you can find, but you’ll also cherish the memories of shopping among the red rock towers for the rest of your life.
Not to turn it into a stereotype, but when some people want to shop, it’s just as likely that there’s people among your group that wouldn’t be caught dead in a store on Black Friday. For these people, we suggest a visit to Oak Creek with a fishing pole in hand. Try your luck on your own or contact Sedona Fly Fishing Adventures to book an adventure complete with all your gear and knowledgeable guides. If fly fishing isn’t really your thing, simply head to Grasshopper Point, where it’s easy to cast a line into the deep waters and a bobber will alert you if you’ve caught a trout dinner.
Book a Massage
Sedona excels at promoting healing, nurturing, and calming vibes. You’ll have no problem at all finding a massage therapist to help you relieve the stress that’s built up leading to Thanksgiving. They can even come to you, so you never have to leave the comfort of your vacation home. For an extra special experience, check out Alcantara Vineyards. Situated in a special spot at the confluence of Oak Creek and Verde River, you can book their “Massage in the Vineyard” package. Wander through the picturesque vineyards before settling in to treat your mind & body to an experience of a lifetime. Offering tailored massages to meet your specific needs, simply decide where you want the emphasis to be on deep tissue, sports, reflexology, cranial sacral, neuromuscular therapy, or polarity. Finish the divine experience with wine and a cheese plate to achieve true harmony of you mind, body, and soul.
Find Your Zen
Nestled into the beautiful red rocks at the foot of Thunder Mountain sits the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. This stupa was constructed to represent hope and light for all who visit and inhabit the world. Local native tribes have long respected this 14-acre land as holy and sacred; so, it will come as no surprise to hear that even Buddhists recognize this land as a sacred space that holds the power of spiritual healing and transformation. In fact, this park was named for the Buddha of Limitless Light known as Amitabha and is well worth the visit to calm your mind, body, and soul as you kick off the hectic holiday season.
Sensational Sedona Thanksgiving
When you’re in town to spend an unforgettable Sedona Thanksgiving together, be sure to let the team at Sedona.Org take care of your vacation home details. We’ll help you settle into a pristine property that keeps you close to the fun while providing the view too. Contact us today to begin planning your Thanksgiving in Sedona. Visit our amazing Thanksgiving rentals in Sedona! If you’re planning on celebrating Thanksgiving on your own this year, check out our incredible vacation rentals for solo travelers, as well as our beautiful Sedona Sport & Serenity vacation rental.