If you are looking for something different to do this holiday season, consider a Sedona Arizona vacation. Although you might think of Sedona’s majestic red rock vistas and cool hiking trails as more of a summer destination, holiday spirit abounds in this rugged yet sophisticated western town. There are numerous holiday themed events taking place in Sedona and the surrounding area, as well as unique shops and galleries to peruse for one-of-a-kind gifts.
Sedona is well known as an artist community, and is a wonderful place to shop for gifts for everyone on your list. You’ll find fine arts, jewelry, toys and handmade home décor items. Sedona is home to an outlet shopping district, as well as antique shops, Native American crafts and equipment for outdoor enthusiasts. In historic Tlaquepaque Village alone, there are over 40 specialty shops and galleries, along with welcoming restaurants when you’re ready to relax and enjoy a meal or drink. Tlaquepaque also hosts events such as their Festival of Trees featuring 40 artist-decorated holiday trees, and the Festival of Lights, an annual event with music and over six thousand luminarias lit throughout the village.
Each evening throughout the holiday season, families delight in Red Rock Fantasy, which features over one million lights in nearly two dozen spectacular displays throughout Sedona. Music lovers can also plan to attend one of the holiday concerts or choir performances in town.
Venturing outside of Sedona to nearby Camp Verde allows visitors to step back in time. Take a candlelight tour of the historic town, or take a peek into period homes decorated for the holidays in the Frontier Victorian Christmas event. Camp Verde also hosts their own Christmas Light Parade on the second Saturday in December.
The Verde Canyon Railroad offers the Christmas Express in December, where passengers can partake in holiday cheer while traveling through the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. For nature lovers, the Eagle Watch on the railroad gives passengers a unique, seasonal view into the resident American Bald Eagles and other migratory visitors.
Another holiday train ride sure to thrill the kids is the Polar Express on the Grand Canyon Railroad. This unforgettable night ride from Williams, Arizona through the wilderness is complete with entertainment and all things Christmas. Passengers snack on hot chocolate and cookies before arriving at Santa’s Village, and each child on the train is visited by Santa himself.
No matter what type of holiday activities you’re looking for, the staff at the boutique hotel El Portal in Sedona can help visitors put together an itinerary sure to please everyone. The well appointed, twelve room luxury inn designed in turn of the century Southwestern style is located just steps away from Tlaquepaque Village. El Portal’s highly personalized concierge services in Sedona is headed up by owners Steve and Connie Segner, who are longtime Sedona residents and active community members. They are pet lovers too, making El Portal a pet friendly bed and breakfast.
As you plan your stay in front of the glowing lobby fireplace with a glass of wine or homemade chocolate chip cookie, you’re sure to catch the holiday spirit.