When I pictured my honeymoon destination, it was not Arizona. I imagined somewhere exotic. Some place with good food. A beach definitely came to mind.
When I pictured my honeymoon with Dan, I knew I needed to be strategic. This was my first real chance to get him out of the country with me! (He couldn’t argue with that. I was practically planning the entire wedding. He owed me!) I needed to pick a destination that would really wow him, make him want to travel abroad more often, but not test the limits of his patience to sit on a plane.
I still wanted my beach and good food, but needed some place that could offer enough variety that I could discover what would hook Dan on international travel. Italy was my answer. We could eat ourselves silly and visit a beautiful beach, plus I could offer a city stop or excursion to the mountains.
As reality would have it though, we couldn’t pin down both of our work schedules. Ten days to Italy started to become a point of contention as we negotiated our calendars and tried to move things around. So, that trip became an IOU for me to cash in on, and we needed a more realistic destination for a minimoon.
Arizona was originally Dan’s idea for his bachelor party. He wanted to go golfing and many of his bucket list courses were clustered around Phoenix.
He nixed his bachelor party plans due to the short timeline of our engagement, and again work schedules, but Arizona was still an attractive destination for me. We could fly there direct, the weather is relatively warm in the winter, and I could find plenty to do (or more realistically, sleep all morning) if Dan booked a few morning tee times.
A Few of My Favorite Things from our Honeymoon in Arizona
Arizona made for a great honeymoon destination in February because the weather stay relatively warm in the winter. We hiked Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, choosing the Cholla trail over the Echo Canyon trail, but also considered Pinnacle Peak. In Sedona we hiked the Devil’s Bridge trail and the Soldier’s Pass trail to the Seven Sacred Pools.
We made most of our trail selections based on my fractured rib, but were happy to find that there were plenty of easy and moderate trail options available. Some destinations, like Devil’s Bridge, were accessible by a variety of trails at varying difficulties, and I just turned back if the trail got too rough for me.
Even in February sunscreen, layers, and water were a must, and the temperature varied greatly between the sunshine and the shade.
Visiting the spa
When selecting our hotels, I made sure each one had a good spa and pool so I could rest and relax while Dan golfed.
The Scott Resort in Scottsdale was not only beautiful (read: Instagrammable), but had two pools and a spa. I ended up spending most of my time in the mornings lounging or dining by the pool.
The Enchantment Resort in Sedona has an amazing spa that I took full advantage of, and a pool beneath the red rocks with an incredible view.
I had to forgo a massage because of my rib fracture (getting in the way of plans again), but in the end I was glad I finally tried a facial. My skin, which had broken out from all the stress of wedding planning, was so soft afterwards.
Both Scottsdale and Sedona are full of boutiques selling local handicrafts and artisan gifts. The Fifth Avenue shops and boutiques in Old Town Scottsdale were my favorite. I loaded up on Vim & Vigor candles (black sea and ocean air was my favorite scent), and can’t wait to use the little copper cups to plant succulents.
Alien Donuts is, without a question, worth a stop. I asked the girl behind the counter to give me three of their most popular donuts and was not disappointed.
In Scottsdale we enjoyed:
WTF biscuits with seasonal jam and honey, roasted cauliflower, crispy pork belly lettuce wraps, and a short rib burger (last two items for Dan) at Second Story.
A fruit and granola bowl, the broken egg sandwich, and the season squash salad (THE BEST!) at the Canal Club inside of The Scott Resort.
Margaritas, street corn queso (also THE BEST!), all. the. tacos., and the sonoran hot dog at Diego Pops.
On the way to Sedona we stopped at:
Rock Springs Cafe and polished off two burgers (veggie for me) before taste testing their pies to verify that they are, in fact, delicious and handmade.
In Sedona we ate:
A lot at Tii Gavo in the Enchantment Resort. I wasn’t wowed by their drinks or black bean burger, but really loved the vegan stuffed pepper. Dan liked their high desert hot dog (again with the hot dogs!) and street tacos. We both loved the yucca fries with the chipotle dip.
A lot of cheese paired with red wine from Whole Foods. If it ain’t broke…
Delicious bruschetta and some wings along with drinks at Vino di Sedona. This place had a great fireplace and live music.
And an incredible meal at Elote Cafe. Hands down, this was the best meal of the trip. They serve margaritas and seasoned popcorn to guests while they wait from a little bar. The ginger rosemary (!!) margarita special was amazing. And when we sat down to eat, everything we ordered was ridiculously good. Dan ordered ahi tuna tacos and I had the vegetarian enchiladas. Dan made sure both the plates were licked clean.
While this was my first trip with no schedule or itinerary, and relaxing was the primary motivation, Arizona offered up so many good things to do that our honeymoon trip was still memorable and fun. I’d definitely recommend it as a honeymoon (or minimoon!) destination.
Have you been to Arizona? Did we miss any of your favorite things to do?