impostor syndrome

Sunrise on the Soldier Pass trail in Sedona, Arizona

With its infamous vortexes and abundant crystal shops, Sedona, Arizona often tops the list of “sacred” places to visit. But, if you’re like me, Sedona’s reputation might make you wonder if it might be just the slightest bit overrated

I went to Sedona with a healthy dose of skepticism, fully prepared to be underwhelmed.

But, as I drove through the winding mountains on AZ-179 and those stunning red rocks came into view for the first time, all hesitancy evaporated. 

It isn’t the metaphysical shops that give Sedona its magic. It’s the red rocks meeting the arc of a pure blue sky.

I pulled off the highway before town and headed to The Sedona Modern, an AirBnb that I’ve stayed at twice now because I love it so much! In fact, the warm minimalist aesthetic put together by owners Ron + Blake (who are also total #relationshipgoals) has informed much of my own home’s renovations and work as an interior stylist.

Click through the gallery below to see why I give this space an easy 5 stars.  

After settling into our space, it was time to stock up on essentials and plot out our adventures for the next few days.

If you’re planning your own trip to Sedona, Arizona, these tips will help you feel at home there in no time. 

In the nearby village of Oak Creek, Clark’s Market offers a local alternative to driving into Sedona proper for Whole Foods (which is normally only a 15-minute drive from our AirBnB, but can be up to 90 minutes on busy weekends, yikes). Hot tip: hit up the market’s bakery instead of Bear Claw Bakery, whose goods were a little on the dry and disappointing side. 

For other noshes and nourishment, I can’t recommend highly enough the restaurant group headed by Chef Lisa Dahl, including Butterfly Burger, Cucina Rustica, Mariposa, Pisa Lisa, and Dahl & DiLuca.

Reservations are highly recommended. You can likely get a last minute seat at all but Mariposa – and it’s worth making a reservation there a few weeks ahead of time, because the cuisine is outrageously good!

We shared a variety of their Tapas plates, and I cannot remember the last time I dined out and enjoyed a meal this divine.

My favorite was the Empenadas (Portobello, poblano, caramelized onion, gouda)

Not pictured is the Prickly Pear Cheesecake that we ordered for dessert. You might not get a strong prickly pear flavor, but it’s beautiful AND delicious.

I’ve also dined at Cucina Rustica and strongly recommend it.



Depending on your woo-factor, you can enjoy anything here from a UFO tour to getting your aura photographed to a past-life regression hypnosis.

I find that my most magical experiences tend to be out in nature, when I can just go with the flow and follow my intuition about where to go next. This is one thing my private clients consistently remark on during our private retreats: my ability to “happen upon” completely aligned & delightful experiences.

When it comes to hiking, Sedona has one of the best trail systems I’ve ever seen. Trails are clearly mapped and well-marked, making it super easy to orient yourself.

To enjoy most of Sedona’s hiking trails, you’ll want to get a Red Rocks Pass if your AirBnB doesn’t provide one for you. (One of the many perks of staying at The Sedona Modern – your parking pass is included!)  You can pick one up to cover the duration of your stay at Clark’s Market in Oak Creek Village.

I enjoyed the Soldier Pass trail with one of my private clients — guided into some truly amazing secret spots along the way by local hiking guide Josh Cedeño @joshinsedona.

Soldier Pass trail is a moderate 4.5 mile loop that’s well-trafficked. You can see why when you scope the jaw-dropping views from the top of the pass!

The next time I returned to Sedona — this time with my husband — we explored another beautiful hike that began at the popular Little Horse trailhead.

Once we passed Chicken Point and continued onto Broken Arrowhead and High on the Hog, the crowds quickly dissipated and we enjoyed the rest of our adventure in near solitude. We were able to make it a long loop by following the trail markers and enjoyed yet more incredible views (not in short supply in Sedona)! 

We haven’t yet scratched the surface of the area’s hiking, and I can’t wait until our next visit to explore more!



There are plenty of tempting and fun local shops if you’re in the mood to browse. I tend to stay away from the more “touristy” outposts, preferring to find hidden gems.

In Uptown Sedona, I loved Gypsy Jenny’s – a quirky shop that features many custom-designed apparel and adornments that appeal to who I’d lovingly call the upscale hippie.  The shop is tiny and crammed with totally unique pieces – it’s worth taking the time to cruise through the racks and take a triple look at the adornments and jewelry she carries. Gypsy Jenny’s is open Monday–Saturday from 11am to 6pm.

In practically every shopping center, you’ll find a metaphysical/crystal shop, so it’s hard to know which ones are worthy of your time.

I had a good feeling about Mystical Bazaar and was happy to discover a beautiful variety of stones and other sacred specimens, surprisingly well-priced. I took home a few beautiful pieces of desert jasper to carry forward the gorgeous energy of this place.

I was also able to source a beautiful piece of stoneware for my kitchen from a local ceramicist at Sedona Artist Market, a collective of different local artists.



Sedona is an amaaaaaaazing place to visit, and the inspiring/healing/uplifting energies there are undeniable. Our ceremonies, rituals, and adventures were certainly heightened by being here.

It’s become a client-favorite place to sink into the magic that happens on our immersion retreats.

If you can visit during off-peak times like mid-week or in the wintry months, you’ll enjoy less crowds and traffic.

If you’re looking to adventure to somewhere like Sedona, but want your journey to be part of an all-encompassing life transformation rather than a fun-but-fleeting memory, reach out to me about becoming a private client…

I’ll help you re-design every aspect of your life to be truer and more aligned with who you are on the inside. Learn more about my unique coaching packages here.



Lola Archer Pickett is a stylist, designer, coach, and travel writer for I Am Sacred Space. Follow her latest shares, stories, and finds on the ‘grams.


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