Stacey Wittig

Correspondent

  • Flagstaff, AZ, USA

Stacey Wittig is a correspondent based near Sedona, and she covers the area for Forbes Travel Guide. Wittig is also a freelance writer and travel columnist for Arizona Vines and Wines and Amigos805 magazines. Her culinary adventures have led her up the Inca Trail in Peru eating fried caterpillars, across the plains of northern Spain on El Camino de Santiago enjoying steamed barnacles and through the vineyards of Cinque Terre sipping Chianti Classico. Her work has appeared online at National Geographic Traveler, USA Today Travel and SheKnows City Guides, among other publications.

  • On November 30, 2012
    Stacey Wittig answered the question: Stacey Wittig

    What is the best way to see Sedona in one day?

    If you need to see Sedona’s most memorable sights in one day, get up early and stretch your legs before breakfast on a short hiking trail near your resort or hotel. The concierge will help you find one that best fits your abilities. In Arizona, it’s a good idea to get your hike in before the heat of the day. After your short hike, have a typical breakfast like eggs with green chilies and cheese and then get ready for the Jeep tour guide you asked to swing by the hotel to pick you up.
     
    Since there are so many different flavors of Jeep rides — vortex tours, guided trips to ancient ruins, red rock crawling rides, etc. — a little advance research is in order. It’s a good idea to reserve your trip online before you arrive in Sedona.
     
    After the tour, have lunch in uptown and get a bit of souvenir shopping in. Go back to your hotel to shower the dust off, and then follow up with a relaxing massage. Hopefully your resort offers body treatments in an outdoor cabana for the full-on Sedona experience. Now that you’re fully relaxed, drop into a pub for a Sedona brew or Arizona wine. Then head to one of Sedona’s many fine dining establishments to talk over all the memories you have made in one amazing day.
  • On November 30, 2012
    Stacey Wittig answered the question: Stacey Wittig

    Where is the best shopping in Sedona?

    Though Sedona is known for its scenic beauty, the city has a luxurious side too. Here are the five best places to shop in Sedona:
     
    1. Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. Regarded as the “art and soul of Sedona,” Tlaquepaque is a Spanish Colonial-style village where you can get lost in the past exploring narrow cobbled streets and corridors linking small plazas and patios lined with more than 40 specialty shops and galleries. Browse for wearable art including up market jewelry and handmade clothing, Western and contemporary art, fabulous fashions and curios.

    2. Hillside Sedona. Sitting high above Sedona resplendent in red rock views, Hillside Sedona offers three levels of galleries, and stores carrying home décor, jewelry and clothing by local artisans. Search diverse galleries for a masterful bronze, oil or glasswork. Specialty shops offer home décor made of local stone; fine rugs; and minerals, fossils and crystals from around the world. Find fashion, furnishings and photography powerful enough to take your eyes off the panoramic views.

    3. Uptown Sedona. You’ll find a vibrant blend of Americana  — think candied apples, flags and cowboy shops — alongside upscale art galleries. Established Native American jewelry shops with long-standing ties to artisan families on nearby Indian reservations are tucked among newer art galleries and souvenir shops.

    4. Hozho Distinctive Shops and Galleries. Eye-catching sculpture lines the pathway in front of Hozho. The Santa Fe-style building is home to three galleries featuring high-end bronzes, sculptures, Native American art, contemporary oils and ceramics by local and world-renown artists. A favorite stop on First Friday Art Walks, Hozho, which is the Navajo word for beauty, balance, happiness and harmony. It’s also home to the Hike House, an upscale hiking gear store that offers on- and off-trail apparel, free Sedona trail-finder services, hiking tours and the Energy Café where you can make your own trail mix.

    5. Shops at Hyatt Piñon Pointe. One of the newest shopping areas in Sedona, Shops at Hyatt Piñon Pointe is perched above uptown. View the red rocks from one of the three open courtyards in between shopping for the latest fashions and jewelry in the unique boutiques or stopping into the fine art galleries for a peek at their amazing collections.
  • On November 30, 2012
    Stacey Wittig answered the question: Stacey Wittig

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Sedona?

    Young visitors to Sedona will find all sorts of outdoor adventures and cool places to see. Here are the five best things to do with kids in Sedona:

    1. Slide into Oak Creek. With its slippery natural waterslides worn into the red rock,  Slide Rock State Park is a favorite swimming hole for Arizona families. Join the fun and frolic on Oak Creek where the water gushes through an 80-foot groove in the crimson sandstone. There are other kid-friendly places to wade and swim along this half-mile section of the picturesque creek. Please be aware that there is no lifeguard on duty.

    2. Feed a giraffe. Take a bush safari through habitats full of wild animals at Out of Africa Wildlife Park. Children will delight in seeing zebras and ostriches up close and feeding carrots to the giraffes.  As you ride in a safari vehicle, park guides narrate. After the tour, explore the aviary or Wildlife Preserve via narrated trolley or tram for photo ops of lions, tigers, wolves and hyenas. Expect wide eyes during the Tiger Splash, Wonders of Wildlife and Giant Snake shows.

    3. Ride the Sedona Trolley. See the sights and get your local bearings with a ride on the trolley that passes local attractions, historic sites and humorously named rock formations. Children love the local nature stories. The narrative is a relaxing way for busy parents to learn more about the area without having to read lots of tour books or websites. Stops allow for taking photos of your children in front of some of the best red rock vistas. The driver will point out attractions and restaurants that will make your family vacation more enjoyable.

    4. Discover arrowheads and potsherds. Kids will be looking for Indiana Jones around every corner of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde. The center displays arrowheads, large jars and other prehistoric household items unearthed locally Friendly and knowledgeable staff will answer questions about the lives of ancient Native Americans. Learn about the Yavapai-Apache that still live in the area with a “In their Own Words” display. Make sure to get a Sinagua Circle self-guided road tour of local archaeological parks including Tuzigoot National Monument, Montezuma’s Castle, Montezuma’s Well, and Palatki and Honanki Heritage Sites.

    5. Cowboy up! In the Kids Korral at Sedona Historical Society and Heritage Museum, children choose from a trunk load of costumes for old-fashioned dress up. Take photos of your child against colorful backdrops of Sedona frontier life. And just like ranchers of the Old West, kids can design their stamp like the ones used to brand cattle.  Then explore the museum with illustrated scavenger hunt sheets or museum activity books of puzzles, mazes and art projects. The audio tour shares personal stories of Sedona’s early settlers while you view displays about pioneers, cowboys and movies made in Sedona.
  • On November 30, 2012
    Stacey Wittig answered the question: Stacey Wittig

    What are the five best things to see and do in Sedona?

    Sedona is richly endowed when it comes to amazing things to see and do. Since the town is surrounded by so much unique natural beauty, it makes sense to get out and explore it. Here are the five best things to see and do in Sedona:
     
    1. Explore Oak Creek Canyon. Named one of the top 50 Scenic Drives by National Geographic Traveler, Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road begins north of uptown Sedona and continues 14.5 miles to Oak Creek Viewpoint. Visit the  Native American Crafts Market to browse authentic native jewelry directly from the artisans. On the return, hike one of the mysterious side canyons, take photos of the magnificent rock formations, swim in the creek at Slide Rock State Park or go fishing at Rainbow Trout Farm that provides gear and even cleans your fish.

    2. Visit Sedona's sacred sites. Sedona’s fame as a spiritual power center draws seekers of all beliefs. Explore the legendary vortices — places where Sedona’s energy is felt most strongly — at Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral Rock. Visit Chapel of the Holy Cross wedged into high, red cliffs. Its architecture is reminiscent of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright  — he once taught the chapel’s commissioner. Sweet scents of burning candles greet you at the door and although the Roman Catholic Church maintains the chapel, all are welcome to meditate. Trek up short trails to the peaceful Amitabha Stupa — a significant Tibetan Buddhist site — or journey along one the many rock labyrinths.

    3. Photograph Red Rock Crossing. One of the world’s most-photographed monoliths, Cathedral Rock is reflected in a wide, calm portion of Oak Creek called Red Rock Crossing that’s seven miles southwest of uptown. Have your hotel pack a gourmet picnic lunch and head out for spectacular setting at nearby Crescent Moon Picnic Site. Wade in the creek, listen to the birds darting overhead and let the views mesmerize. After lunch, take a leisurely quarter-mile hike to Buddha Beach — it’s full of stacked rock “sculptures” — to capture your own shot of the glorious cathedral of rock.

    4. Take a Jeep tour. Back-road excursions have been the quintessential Sedona activity since the 1960s when Pink Jeep Tours originated the expeditions. Today you’ll find 4x4 tours to fit every interest. Journey to remote ancient ruins built into the red rock cliffs. Choose the heart-pounding ride over slick rock and straight up formations at Broken Arrow Canyon so picturesque that the 1950 Jimmy Stewart movie Broken Arrow was filmed there. Hire a guide to help experience the vortices. Or participate in the convergence of myth, meditation and native plants with Earth Wisdom Jeep Tours. You have countless choices.

    5. Follow the Verde Valley Wine Trail. For an introduction to Arizona wines, experience the four wineries and six tasting rooms hidden in the red rock countryside and quiet canyons surrounding Sedona, Cottonwood and Jerome. Arizona’s Verde Valley has similarities to other distinguished grape-growing areas of the world. Sedona Adventure Tours offers leisurely wine excursions including the Water to Wine Tour. Float the Verde River on a Ducky kayak to a Tuscan-style farmhouse at Alcantara Vineyards. Celebrate your journey with wine tastings and hear stories about nearby ancient petroglyphs.