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Stay & Play: Sedona

Stay & Play: Sedona

Sedona’s mild climate, dynamic arts community, and natural places of healing make this the ultimate wellness destination for those seeking whole health in mind, body, and spirit.

Cancer attacks not only the body, but the mind and spirit. For those looking to restore what cancer can impact, visit Sedona, Arizona, a haven for healing for travelers across the world. Sedona is two hours north of Phoenix and 30 miles south of the Flagstaff peaks. Health and wellness are deeply embedded in the city’s culture. There is no shortage of spas, retreats, and wellness activities, with plenty of places to meditate, practice yoga, hike, bike, and commune with nature (Sedona is surrounded by nearly two million acres of national forest land). Plentiful too is good-for-you food and inspiring art. Expect a journey that just may be life changing.


The Sedona Wellness Retreat is a two- to four-week (or longer) residential educational program designed for those with chronic illnesses like cancer. The program is medically supervised by naturopathic medical doctors and medical support staff. Expect juicing, organic vegetarian meals, infrared saunas, yoga, art-therapy classes, educational health talks, kitchen demonstrations, and more. Simply put, it is a detoxification and rebuilding program which also includes psychological and spiritual health.

Sedona Soul Adventures helps individuals and couples reconnect with their spirituality through customized retreats specific to individual needs, time frame, and budget. While they have no medical doctors or psychologists on staff, they’ve seen positive results for their 9,000 guests thus far. “We believe that there is a mind/body connection and that all illness has underlying emotional and spiritual components,” says Debra Stangl, founder of Sedona Soul Adventures.

Practitioners can’t change a medical prognosis, but they can help patients find ways to improve quality of life by working through emotional blocks and understanding sources of stress. An individualized retreat might include a guided visit to Sedona’s five vortexes, places where the earth’s energy compounds that are said to have sacred, healing energy.

Photo courtesy of L’Auberge de Sedona

If you’re ready to take a deep dive into your condition, explore the options at Angel Valley Sedona, who will design a plan incorporating different modalities beyond counseling, like massage, sound healing, a vegetarian or vegan diet, and more.

“We cannot heal or change anybody. People can only heal or transform themselves,” explains owner Amayra Hamilton. “What we can do is [create] a safe container for a person to explore themselves and to contribute suggestions, tips, ideas, and hopefully the light that people need to get the insights that lead to their healing.”


There is no such thing as “ordinary” in Sedona. At Red Rock State Park, Sedona Philosophy hosts guided hikes that feature meditation, communication, and spiritual education from the teachings of philosophers like Socrates, Descartes, and Aristotle.

Like any good wellness destination, Sedona has an abundance of yoga spots, including at a vortex through Aumbase Sedona. They also offer reiki treatments and tarot readings. If you’re looking for late-night adventures, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to take the Sedona Stargazing tour with astronomers. You’ll use high-tech telescopes to observe the constellations, as astronomers share how ancient civilizations named the stars and used them for navigation. If you’re feeling up for the challenge of adventure, hop on a horse and take a tour with A Day in The West, or go rafting with Verde Adventures. Or take it slow, with a scenic tour through Arizona’s backcountry on the Verde Canyon Railroad.

Enjoy a pottery or photography class at the Sedona Arts Center. Check their events calendar for must-see shows, like the “31 Women Artists” exhibition in January 2020. If the therapy you’re craving is the retail kind, find an array of art galleries, boutiques, and shops that reflect local culture, like the Mystical Bazaar, who sell crystals as well as psychic readings, or the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village with its special events like Flamenco in the Courtyard. Be fore-warned that the beautiful work of the artisans, be it jewelry or arts and crafts, will be hard to resist.

You won’t just be feeding your soul in Sedona; the cuisine is impressive, too. Places like Mariposa, Cress on Oak Creek, and Elote Cafe show off the area’s finest gastronomy.

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For something quirkier, check out ChocolaTree Organic Oasis, featuring a menu of gluten-free, vegetarian, ultra-healthy, and creative food. What makes this place really special is the backyard and patio area with seating for dining, and a garden where some of the restaurant’s food is grown. After your meal, visit their marketplace which offers foods, supplements, essential oils, local artists’ crafts and jewelry, and books. Plus, their educational programs, meditation classes, gardening, food-as-medicine workshops, cooking demonstrations, and om-chanting lessons are essential Sedona experiences.


Keep the positive vibes flowing with a visit to one of more than a dozen spas in the area. A Spa for You Sedona Day Spa and Sedona’s New Day Spa are beloved for their creative treatment options. Don’t expect the traditional spa experience—at Sedona’s New Day Spa, treatments include native wisdom spa rituals like a Wheel of Life Gem Stones Reading, where you explore your energy centers using selected wisdom gemstones, along with a massage or reiki session. Then there’s the Sweat Lodge. Let the steam purify and detox your body.


Options are plentiful when it comes to where to seek rest. Mii amo, which loosely translates to one’s path or journey, is an all-inclusive Native American-inspired destination resort. Everything is designed to renew and rejuvenate, be it spa services like the Anasazi Ubtan body scrub, which blends Ayurvedic ritual with desert botanicals, or a guided meditation. Sedona Mago Retreat features casitas and includes three meals a day. Enjoy walking paths, daily classes, meditation at the lake, and a healing garden. Then there’s the luxurious L’Auberge de Sedona situated along Oak Creek with its unique sounds of babbling or rushing waters to calm the spirit. Lounge on the large private decks with sweeping views of Sedona’s legendary red rocks.

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