The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

A 2011 Southwestern Vacation: Sedona and Jerome, Arizona

We have been to Sedona, Arizona quite a few times, especially for people who live on the East Coast. But each visit is a bit different. This time, the primary reason for visiting was to adjust to the desert environment a bit before going to the Grand Canyon, where we planned to hike down to the Colorado River and stay a few nights at Phantom Ranch — the purpose of our trip. So we didn’t hike much in the Sedona area, even though that could have been a vacation in and of itself. Instead, we relaxed, ate, and shopped.

We also stayed at a new hotel, Kings Ransom. We had been staying at a lovely inn with great breakfasts, but it was pricey, and we felt less at home their as our favorite staff turned over. It just wasn’t worth the extra $120+ per night. By contrast, Kings Ransom had lovely grounds, including a pool and hot tub, a great location within walking distance of the center of the commercial district, and a perfect balance of night-time lighting, so that you could see where you were going but also see the stars very well. Our room had a balcony, king-sized bed, and small refrigerator. Add to that free WiFi, and we were all set.

We ate well, which we always do — I’ll eventually be writing the restaurant reviews on my food blog, I Hate Tomatoes! But I will say that 15.Quince in Jerome, where we had an amazing lunch, was a real find, and that Dahl and DiLuca was our choice for the repeat restaurant when we returned for a 1-night stay in Sedona on our way to Phoenix.

Sedona has changed over the years. When Dave and I first visited in the mid-1990s, it was a funky little town with a bunch of hotels, a few restaurants, some shops, and a lot of breathtaking views. It’s no longer funky, many of the breathtaking views now have homes filling in what was once open space, and the restaurants have gone upscale. The town still rolls up the sidewalks by 9 p.m. — I’m not one for staying out late, but it really does seem to fold up early there. It’s still one of the most beautiful places in the Southwest, but it no longer has that air of being a little undiscovered gem. For a bit of that, you go to the town of Jerome

Granted, Jerome is not exactly undiscovered. But it’s certainly not as slick as Sedona. It’s a bit rougher around the edges, a bit less predictable, and a bit more fun. Set onto a steep hillside and nicknamed “America’s Most Vertical City,” it requires a lot of walking. But around every corner, there’s something different, whether it’s somebody’s deck, an old brothel that’s been turned into a museum, an art gallery, or a bakery. We’re not recreational shoppers, but we are explorers, and we enjoyed checking out Jerome’s various nooks and crannies. That took the better part of a day.

The other day in Sedona … I asked Dave what we did, because I couldn’t remember. And he couldn’t remember, either. I know we didn’t hike. Usually, we’re pretty active, but that day we weren’t. From what I can recall, we ate lunch at a new restaurant. We bought additional hiking gear at Canyon Outfitters, which does not have a website. We read. And we psyched ourselves up for the next phase of the trip: driving to the Grand Canyon.

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June 15, 2011 - Posted by | Arizona, hotels, Sedona, travel, Uncategorized, weather | , , ,

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