Archive for Sedona Arizona

Horseback Riding in Sedona

M Diamond Ranch Trail RideThe M Diamond Ranch - “So much more than just a trail ride”!

How about taking an amazing scenic Sedona horseback ride with the award winning M Diamond Ranch? Seeing Sedona by horseback is one of the most popular ways to experience the Old West in Sedona and nobody does that better than M Diamond Ranch.

M Diamond Ranch Cowboy CookoutThe M Diamond Ranch is a 100 year-old family owned cattle ranch that provides the only horseback rides permitted by the Coconino National Forest in the Red Rock Ranger District of Sedona. Their horseback riding trail climbs a ridge above the ranch providing breathtaking views of Sedona’s Red Rocks, the Mogollon Rim, Verde Valley and the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff. Depending on the season, you might see elk, deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, Gambel quail, javelina, red tail hawks and western bluebirds.

At the M Diamond Ranch you can choose trail rides from 1 to 2 1/2 hours in length,  all guided by a friendly, knowledgeable M Diamond Ranch wrangler, or a complete western experience that combines a horseback ride with a Cowboy Cookout and live entertainment by Hall of Fame cowboy singer Alvie Self.

You and your family will leave the M Diamond Ranch with memories to last a lifetime and a better knowledge of real western history and heritage! For more information please visit the
M Diamond Ranch or call 928.300.6466.

Experiencing the Spiritual Side of Sedona, Arizona

Sedona Metaphysical and Spiritual Association

People from around the world travel to Sedona, Arizona to experience the spiritual energy provided by the vortexes of Sedona, and for their own personal enrichment and spiritual awakening. Since the mid 1980s Sedona vortexes have become known as a rich source of spiritual energy.

As a result, Sedona has become a haven for spiritual guides, healers, psychics, massage therapists, energy and body workers, reiki masters, yoga classes, light workers, shamans, mediums, clairvoyants and channelers, all of whom are here to help visitors find the spiritual and healing experience they are after. The best of these spiritual and healing practitioners are members of the Sedona Metaphysical Spiritual Association (SMSA), an affinity group of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.

Sedona is a place of wisdom, enlightenment, beauty and transformative opportunities where retreats, metaphysical book stores and classes provide abundant spiritual learning experiences. If you are interested in experiencing and learning more about the spiritual side of Sedona we highly recommend checking out the Sedona Metaphysical Spiritual Association and their members on this website! Members of the SMSA take great pleasure in guiding you as a Sedona visitor along the path of your choice of individualized growth and assure you of the best possible experience while you are here in Sedona.

Leave Sedona with treasured memories of a journey not found anywhere else in the world. Book your personalized spiritual, metaphysical, and healing experiences with members of the SMSA. For more information please visit the Sedona Metaphysical Spiritual Association website

Creekside Villas at the Best Western PLUS Arroyo Roble Hotel

Relax and Unwind at the Arroyo Roble Villas

There are many beautiful places to stay in Sedona, but today I would like to tell you about the recently remodeled Creekside Villas at the Best Western PLUS Arroyo Roble. I have stayed at this Sedona hotel before, but never at the Villas, which are right on the banks of Oak Creek.

I made reservations for a two day getaway, hoping that I could shed some work stress and just enjoy relaxing under the majestic giant Sycamore trees by the creek. I was not disappointed! Even thought it was hot during my time there, shade of the sycamores kept me cool enough to enjoy the peace and quiet!

Since the hotel is located right in Uptown Sedona, I was able to walk to my favorite restaurant, and I even walked down to Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village to check out the galleries, during First Friday.

As far as the remodel of the Villas goes, in one word AWESOME! Next time I will bring a friend or two to enjoy this spacious Villa with. My 2-story villa had 2 1/2 bathrooms, two bedrooms, living room, full kitchen, fireplaces, and a private patio. Way to big for just me, but perfect for a family or small group visiting the red rocks!


Tips for staying at the Best Western PLUS Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas

  • The Villas sell out quickly, if you are interested in staying here during your Sedona vacation make your reservation well in advance.
  • Take advantage of the free hot breakfast offered to all guest; it includes eggs, bacon, waffles and more!
  • The views of the red rocks from the swimming pool are excellent, make sure to take a dip and enjoy the scenery.
  • The Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel does offer a limited number of pet friendly rooms; the Villas are not pet friendly.
  • For more information on this Sedona hotel or to make reservations please visit the Best Western PLUS Arroyo Roble.


My Top Ten Favorite Things to Do in Sedona

My Top Ten Favorite Things To Do in Sedona

There are so many things to experience and explore while you are visiting Sedona, Arizona and the Verde River Valley that you might just decide to extend your stay to see and do them all! But just in case you can’t, I have put together a list of my top ten favorite things to do in Sedona including tours, historical sites, hikes and recreation. While all of my favorites might not match your personality, I hope it will at least give you some ideas so that you can get the most out of your time here in Sedona.

1. Hiking
 Hiking is one of the most popular recreational activities for visitors coming to the Verde River Valley and Sedona, Arizona. Even people who have never hiked before get wrapped up in the beauty of the red rocks, clean air and desert flora and fauna that Sedona and the Verde River Valley provide.  My favorite hike is Bell Rock Pathway. You’ll get to see great panoramic views of the red rock formations in Sedona. If you haven’t hiked in this area, visit The Hike House for in depth hiking information and any supplies you might need.

Blazin M Ranch2. The Blazin M Ranch
I like the stage show at the Blazin M Ranch because it is good clean all-American family entertainment at its best, and the chuckwagon supper was great, as well. Just don’t say “toss the biscuits” unless you are ready to catch one! I brought my family and some out-of-town guests to the Blazin M and we laughed and chuckled all the way home. Its a great evening out with fun activities before supper, a great meal, and a hilarious stage show all rolled into one.

3. Horseback Riding
Take in the majestic scenery of Sedona and the Verde Valley with a horseback ride at the M Diamond Ranch.  The M Diamond Ranch, a 100 year old family run, working cattle ranch offers a one or 2 hour trail ride or a full morning or evening experience that combines a horseback ride with a Cowboy Cookout, complete with kids’ activities and entertainment. I have recently visited the M Diamond Ranch with some family and we truly enjoyed the horseback ride. The guide was friendly, the scenery awesome, and the overall experience left all of us smiling for hours.

4. Take a Sedona Tour
There are lots of choices for touring Sedona’s red rocks. Jeep tours are the most popular, and Pink Jeep Tours is the leading company, known for their wide selection of tours and stellar customer service. If you want to get a little more “down and dirty”, drive an ATV into Sedona’s back country on a guided tour with Arizona ATV Adventures, the only guided ATV tour in the area. Don’t worry if you haven’t driven an ATV before, the nice folks at will train you before you ride out on one of their ATVs. And let us not forget Sedona’s famous energy vortexes. If you are visiting Sedona for spiritual, metaphysical, and healing reasons go to my favorite vortex tour company, Sedona Red Rock Tours

 5. Exploring history

I enjoy exploring the past and the Verde River Valley and Sedona area are rich with history from Native American history, especially the history of the Sinagua culture, to the Pioneers of Sedona. You will find many places to explore and ignite the imagination of yourself and your children. You will find everything from an amazing five-story cliff dwelling, well preserved petroglyph sites, to a self-guided trail exploring a variety of volcanic formations. Make sure to check out these historical sites Montezuma Castle, Palatki Heritage Site, Honanki Heritage Site, Wupatki National Monument and the V-Bar-V Heritage Site.

6. Experience the Verde Canyon Railroad
 Take a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad, Arizona’s longest-running nature show. The railroad meanders through the inner sanctum of Arizona’s other “grand canyon,” where each season creates a new reason to ride. Splendid vistas and centuries-old Indian ruins are around the bend as the train pulls away from remnants of a mining era which helped establish neighboring communities. Make sure to  spend some time out in their open air cars and witness the abundant wildlife in the area including the American Bald Eagle.

7. Enjoy the view from the Sedona Airport Mesa
Make sure to go up to Airport Mesa overlook especially at sunset. From its vantage point, you can view most of the city of Sedona below and the rustic red rocks that make the area so attractive. If you go around sunset you will catch light dancing on the rocks.
The sunsets in Sedona are absolutely beautiful. The crimson colors of the sunsets play well against the red rocks of Sedona and the change in lighting breaths life into the rocks.

8. Visit Out of Africa Wildlife Park
One of my favorite places to visit in the Verde Valley has to be Out of Africa Wildlife Park. The park offers fun, exciting and educational attractions for the whole family to enjoy such as Wildlife Preserve,Tiger Splash, African Bush Safari, Giant Snake Show, Wonders of the Wildlife Show and Predator Feed. My all time favorite attraction at the park would have to be watching the big cats at Tiger Splash, or maybe it’s getting to feed my favorite giraffe Pilgrim while on the African Bush Safari, or wait, I also love to feed Chalet at Predator Feed. Well, now I can’t decide what my favorite thing at the park is, I guess it is EVERYTHING!

9. Explore the Art Scene
Into art? Take a day to explore the amazing galleries in Sedona. When it comes to exploring the world of art in Sedona, the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village is the place to be. Originally conceived as an artist community, Tlaquepaque is a perfect setting to witness gifted artisans absorbed in their work. It’s not uncommon to venture upon a well-known sculptor working on his or her latest piece right in one of the Tlaquepaque galleries.

New Day Spa - Facial10. Indulge Yourself with a Massage or a full Spa Experience
If I were coming to Sedona for vacation, I would go to a spa or schedule a massage for the first day. There is no better way to leave the big city stresses behind. My wife’s favorite spas are the Spa at Sedona Rouge and the Sedona New Day Spa. She loves them both equally. If you just want a massage, I can tell you that we have become regulars at Uptown Massage. I have had many massages there and they have all been excellent. If you start your vacation off with a spa visit or a massage, it will make the rest of your vacation oh so nice.

 Like I said before, there are many things to do in Sedona and the Verde Valley, you will find your own favorites and we would like to hear about them. Leave a comment below and let us know what some of your favorite things to do in Sedona are.

Wupatki National Monument

Blazin’ M Ranch a Favorite Sedona Attraction

Blazin M RanchFor everyone coming to the Verde Valley looking for an evening attraction that involves good food, musical comedy and an all around good time for the whole family, Blazin’ M Ranch has been a favorite for years and years! 

Popular with locals and visitors alike, the Blazin’ M Ranch dishes up music with a side of comedy following a delicious barbecue supper served Chuckwagon-style. The gates open at 5 p.m. on a western wonderland chock full of fun. A 194o’s era John Deere tractor will take you on a ride around the ranch, you can try your hand at cowboy ropin’, test your skills in the shooting gallery, or shop in the lovely shops that line the old west boardwalk. Tucked into a corner is the one-of-a-kind Wood ‘n West museum featuring hand-carved animated vignettes with themes ranging from a baseball game to a bank robbery. 

Blazin M Ranch DinnerAt 6:30 p.m. the chow bell rings where you and your fellow pioneers are invited to sit inside our climate-controlled barn for a western-style chuckwagon dinner reminiscent of one served around a campfire over a century ago. Grab a tin plate and head through the chuckwagon where you’ll be served tender BBQ chicken and pork ribs, baked potato, cowboy beans, luscious flying biscuits and our signature prickly pear cole slaw.

Blazin-M-CowboysThe show carries the audience back to the open range with the musical stylings of the Blazin’ M Cowboys. These fellas (and a lady) really know their way around a tune. Laughs abound as cowboy poetry and tall tales are woven into the entertainment. Y’all come for supper and stay for fun!

The dinner show is available Wednesday through Saturday. For more information or to book your reservation on line visit Blazin’ M Ranch

Sedona’s National Day of the Cowboy Celebration

A Free Family Friendly Event, July 26th, 2014

Visit Sedona, Arizona this coming Saturday, July 26th, and join in on all the cowboy fun during red rock country’s National Day of the Cowboy Celebration! See live performances of gunfights, roping, bullwhip cracking, storytelling and historical re-enactments. Listen or dance to live western music. Watch traditional cowboy tradesmen demonstrations and see western art and artists at work.

This family fun Free event from 11 AM to 9 PM is presented by the Sedona Main Street Program and is an exciting celebration of the local cultural and heritage! All the cowboy fun will be taking place in Uptown Sedona. More details of the day’s activities will be posted on the Sedona Main Street Program website

Visit Montezuma Castle while Vacationing in Sedona, Arizona

While vacationing in Sedona, Arizona you have an unlimited variety of day trips to the surrounding areas that will both educate and spark the imagination of you and your family. One of my favorite day trips from Sedona would have to be to Montezuma Castle National Monument, located at 2800 Montezuma Castle Highway in Camp Verde. This is a perfect  Sedona day trip for anyone interested in the history of Native Americans in Northern Arizona, specifically the Sinagua people. Dedicated in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, Montezuma Castle gives you an opportunity to travel back nearly a thousand years to a time when the Sinagua people inhabited this amazing five-story cliff dwelling.

When I look at the dwelling I can’t help but imagine the intellect and creativity the Sinagua people had to be able to survive in this desert landscape. The Sinagua people are believed to have lived in this area for around four hundred years and then, for no apparent reason, they vanished. No one that I have talked to has an answer for their disappearance. There are a lot of theories and conjectures, but it still remains a mystery to this day.

While you are visiting this National Monument you can take a relaxing scenic stroll on their 1/3 mile self guided loop. You will be overwhelmed at the vision of the cliff dwelling high in the limestone cliffs. You can feel the presence of the people that inhabited the area as you walk along the pathway surrounded by giant old sycamore trees and the flowing Beaver Creek.

To finish your day trip I would suggest going about 11 miles down the road to visit Montezuma’s Well (still an active spring). Montezuma’s well is a very unique limestone sinkhole with an extremely high concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide You would think that would make this well void of any form of life, but that is not the case. One common amphibian you can almost always catch a glimpse of is a turtle. Turtles seem to thrive in this particular environment. The Well itself is amazingly blue and hosts unique organism that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Relax and explore the trails, especially the trail by the Swallet Ruin that lends shade on a hot summer day. Montezuma’s Well welcomes you to explore, but please remember that the well is considered sacred by many local tribes, show respect for the environment you are in.

For more information on either Montezuma Castle or Montezuma Well click here.


  • Make sure to check out the visitor’s center at Montezuma’s Castle to view some of the artifacts found at this site. The Sinagua created amazing pottery and textiles.
  • This is a National Monument so there is an entrance fee. Visit Montezuma Castle National Monument for details of which passes are accepted.
  • Do not step off the trails. Both the Black-tailed Rattlesnake and the Western Diamondback live in this area. Although it is very unlikely that you would ever see one, due to their shyness of people, if you walk off the trail you are asking for an introduction.
  • Always bring water and keep yourself hydrated in the desert climate.
  • Wear layered clothing and shoes suitable for a day of exploring.