Our Honeymoon in Strawberry, Sedona, Flagstaff, & Payson Arizona
On March 21, 2021 Sam and I were married! It was absolutely the BEST day of our lives and we are enjoying this new season of marriage that we're in! It wasn't a huge wedding, but it was absolutely perfect for us, and we had some of the best vendors in Lafayette and beyond working hard to make our dreams a reality! Maybe in the future I'll write a blog post about some tips and tricks when trying to save money and plan your wedding, but for now I'll share with you our honeymoon in Arizona and how we did this cost-effectively and had the best time!
Sam and I both wanted a "no-stress" honeymoon, which to us, meant that we would get to our destination without a huge list of places to hit, or things we had to experience within a certain time frame. We really wanted our honeymoon to be a relaxing time for us both after a busy season of wedding planning while both working full time jobs, myself teaching lessons and having a few photography sessions, and Sam in grad school. We just wanted to chill and decide what we wanted to do each day when we got there.
We LOVE to hike, and Arizona has some amazing hiking locations.
Because of Covid, we didn't want to be somewhere with a lot of people. We wanted to maintain our space, and just be the two of us.
Neither of us had been to Arizona, so it would be a first time experience to share. Although we didn't hit some of the main "big sights" of Arizona, we still hiked and relaxed and that was great! We definitely want to go back to experience more of the desert though!
Here are a few ways we kept our honeymoon pretty cheap, for those of you planning a less expensive vacation or honeymoon!
When purchasing things for our wedding, we made sure we used a travel credit card to do so. We ended up earning a ton of points so our airfare was absolutely free! Of course, we made sure that we had the money in our checking and savings to quickly cover it so we were never in debt. You can do this with groceries, or everyday purchases as well.
We picked activities to do there that didn't cost anything, like hiking! We also did some consignment shopping in Payson, visited some Indian ruins, and just enjoyed the outdoors as much as possible.
Photos are our souvenirs, so no budget was set to buy anything other than food while we were there. After every trip we take, I make a small photo book to keep all our photos in from Artifact Uprising. This is our main way of remembering what we did, where we went, etc. AND we can show it off to family and friends.
Since we had an entire Airbnb to ourselves with a full kitchen, we didn't eat out every night. We did some grocery shopping and had food to eat each morning for breakfast, a packed lunch for the day, and then a few dinners. Sam grilled us steaks one night and I made all our veggie sides, and it was delicious and a whole lot less expensive than eating steaks at a restaurant. Plus, you can buy groceries you don't usually get to buy at home and it would still be cheaper than eating out.
If you tell your Airbnb host that you're on your honeymoon, they sometimes surprise you with extra treats! Ours left a bottle of champagne for us!
First stop was Strawberry, Arizona where our Airbnb was! It was a cute little A-frame cabin with a wood-burning fire stove in it up in the mountains! It ended up snowing the first and last days we were there, so while we relaxed we had a stunning view of light snowflakes! It was gorgeous!
The first day we were there was our "chill" day, so we stuck around Strawberry, AZ and hit up some local restaurants, drove through the snowy mountains and did a little hiking. With the snow falling softly around us, it was a gorgeous outing. One of our favorite places was The Pie Bar. They're famous for their savory and sweet empanadas! We got both and they were incredible. Here are a few photos from our time that day:
Our second day, we traveled to Sedona, AZ and visited the Devil's Bridge Trailhead! It was incredible, and a lot warmer that day since we traveled further down into the desert. We hiked all day here, and it was gorgeous! We wanted to actually get ON the Devil's Bridge, but there was a HUGE line that was taking forever, so we ended up going off to the side to take a few pictures and then it was back to hiking! The photo below was our lunch view:
This photo below is Devil's Natural Bridge! So cool.
The next day we headed to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to hike! I cannot believe they let people hike this trail, but we hiked over and under these huge boulders, slid down slippery rocks through a gigantic cave, and felt like super humans the entire time! Best, and hardest hike of the trip!
The last few days were spent exploring a little bit of everywhere including downtown Sedona and Flagstaff. We experienced their many unique shops and restaurants! Not many photo taking opportunities in those days, but it was great! A few places to note would be: Shoofly Indian Ruins in Payson, Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, and The Pinon Cafe where we ate this enormous cinnamon roll! Here are a few more gems from this week:
We had such a nice, relaxing time of hiking and exploring! Definitely one for the books. I hope this helps you plan a cost-effective trip or honeymoon! Until next time!