WELCOME TO SEDONA
Start with scenery that makes your heart leap. Sedona nestles among a geological wonderland. Multi-hued stone formations jut upwards from the high desert floor creating a vivid, mesmerizing setting that changes hourly with the light. When USA Weekend compiled their Most Beautiful Places in America list, Sedona claimed the top spot.
Surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest land, visitors have instant access to recreational activities. Trails for hiking and biking, along with bouncy jeep tracks, weave among the bristling forest of pinnacles, spires, buttes and domes. Yet, you’re never far from the indulgences of town.
Sedona is equal parts rugged, equal parts resort. Regarded by Native Americans as sacred, Sedona continues to be recognized as a place of healing and spiritual renewal. Many come to experience the vortex energy centers of Sedona. Others want to prowl the 40-plus art galleries lining the streets, or to receive soothing treatments from the dozens of spa facilities. Most recently, with its nearby vineyards and tasting rooms, Sedona has emerged as a destination for wine enthusiasts.
Just take a look at our videos to get a glimpse inside this alluring small town. North American Travel Journalists Association recognized the Sedona Anthem video as a Gold Prize Winner of the 2015 NATJA Awards Competition. Be inspired by our stunning scenery, then come experience it for yourself.
Experience Sedona’s Final Four
Few sporting events match the excitement of the NCAA Final Four. After an arduous tournament, the last four teams standing take to the court to battle for the championship. The fast pace, the high stakes and non-stop action turn the entire weekend electric.
While the weekend of the Final Four will be jam-packed with basketball, music and parties, savvy travelers will set aside a few days before or after the tournament to discover some of the wonders Arizona has to offer.
This is the perfect time to make a fast break to Sedona. Experience Sedona’s Final Four—the four champions that define this remarkable destination: scenery, adventure, arts and rejuvenation.
Start with the landscape. Sedona nestles among a geological wonderland of red rock towers, pinnacles and spires. The sandstone formations are eroded into majestic and fanciful shapes that stretch in all directions. The rocks here form such a distinctive and personable skyline they’re given names: Cathedral Rock, Coffee Pot Rock, Courthouse Butte, Bell Rock, Rabbit Ears, Snoopy Rock, Sugarloaf, Thunder Mountain, Cockscomb, and on and on.
Sculpted canyons cradle lush forests that echo with the music of tumbling creeks and the trilling of birdsong. Mountains and mesas surround the town that’s tucked away amid 1.8 million acres of national forest land and buttressed by four wilderness areas and two state parks.
Sedona has a way of pulling people outdoors. With over 300 miles of trails winding through scenic canyons, alongside musical creeks and around magnificent red rock formations, it’s almost impossible not to go for a hike or a mountain bike ride.
Jeep and Hummer tours explore distant corners of the backcountry. Hot air balloons lift off in the early morning and helicopters swoop in and out of canyons. Horseback rides mosey into the forest. Kayakers paddle down the Verde River. Anglers and picnickers all head for their favorite spots on Oak Creek, Sycamore Creek, Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek.
There are ancient Native American villages to explore, a vintage excursion train to ride and a wildlife park filled with exotic animals to see. You’ll run out of energy long before you’ll run out of things to do.
Sedona has been attracting internationally renowned artists for decades. Long before it became a travel destination, red rock country has been a muse to the creative spirit. Visitors can savor every artistic medium including Western bronzes, whimsical kinetic sculptures, contemporary jewelry, Native American kachinas and weavings, fine art paintings, large format photography, stained glass, ceramics, woodcarvings, architectural décor piece and many more.
Over 80 galleries and shops are woven into the fabric of the small town. Walk out of one and into the next. You’ll find many in Uptown and tucked away at Hyatt Pinon Pointe Shops, Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, Hillside Sedona and others strung along State Route 179 in such clustered concentration it’s become known as The Gallery District. And don’t forget West Sedona, which is host to a number of incredible galleries, too. Beauty abounds inside as well as outside in this artist enclave.
Time spent in Sedona is more than a vacation; it’s also a long-term investment in wellness.
Long regarded by Native Americans as sacred, Sedona continues to be recognized as a place of healing and spiritual renewal. Many visitors seek out the vortex sites scattered among the colorful towers of sandstone. These swirling centers of energy are conducive to spiritual healing, meditation and self-exploration. The four primary vortex sites are at Boynton Canyon, Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock and Airport Mesa. Maps and directions are available at the visitor center.
Continue your healing quest among an array of spas with treatments designed to restore harmony and health. Allow yourself to be pampered with a massage, facial, wrap or scrub. Many spas use indigenous materials like red rock clay and local plants. Others offer couples massage so you can share the indulgence with someone you love.
It’s clear that Sedona is a destination for all the senses, and for every season. Mild temperatures provide the perfect opportunity to create your own experience, any time of the year, in the Most Beautiful Place on Earth.
In the game of basketball, traveling invokes a penalty. Off the court, it creates long lasting memories. Spend a few days in the sun-splashed oasis of springtime Sedona and this is one Final Four you’ll never forget.
Sedona Looks Like a Piece of Art
Like all great works of art, Sedona takes your spirit hostage. It captures you softly and holds you in its red rock grip.
The visual drama of the landscape stirs something deep within everyone who visits or resides here. Sedona inspires and challenges, it thrills and mystifies, it haunts and energizes. It moves us in ways that we struggle to understand. Great art doesn’t provide answers. But it does show us which questions are the right ones to ask.
A fortunate few drawn to this place manage to capture the magic, carving art from the larger masterpiece of Sedona. Surrealist Max Ernst arrived in 1946 and created his most famous work here. In 1958, Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran and others established Sedona’s first art center. Joe Beeler and pards formed Cowboy Artists of America over cold beers in a local saloon in 1965. That kind of diversity continues to fuel Sedona’s vibrant art scene that ranges from traditional to contemporary, from Native American to cutting edge.
It’s no wonder the town bristles with artistic showcases. Numerous sculptures and murals are part of the public space. Dozens of galleries, studios and shops populate every corner of the community. Take some time to prowl as many as you can. Explore the different mediums and styles. See how their interpretation of the spectacular scenery aligns with yours.
On the first Friday of every month, many of Sedona’s prominent art galleries from Uptown to Gallery District and beyond host an evening of openings, demonstrations and receptions. The Sedona Trolley offers free transportation during First Friday Art Walk, circulating from gallery to gallery where everything from fine art to funkier creations can be found. Enjoy the evening air and use our webmap on your phone to walk from Gallery to Gallery. Directions and distances are calculated for you.
What a wonderful way to kick off your weekend in Sedona.