WELCOME TO SEDONA
Sedona exists at an impossible intersection of soul-nourishing wilderness and pampered luxury—where soaring red rock monoliths cradle an array of resorts, spas, art galleries and boutique wineries. Our singer/songwriter of “Sedona Skies” Brittanny Bickman was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. She started playing music and singing when she was around the age of 14. While attending school at Northwest Christian School, she was a member of the chorale choir that won the West Valley Junior Excellence Award from Arizona State University in the area of the Arts. Listen to “Sedona Skies” again!
2014 Gold NATJA Winner for Best Destination Video.
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.
The perfect destination should seem exotic yet feel like coming home. That is the very definition of Sedona, a small town blessed with an abundance of scenic beauty. Come experience it for yourself.
IF SEDONA HAS A KINDRED SPIRIT IT’S THE GRAND CANYON
The two geological marvels are both “bucket list” destinations for people all over the world. Millions of visitors come for scenery that’s dazzlingly unique. See a photo of either the Grand Canyon or Sedona and you can’t mistake it for anywhere else. Yet photos don’t begin to do these Arizona icons justice. They must be experienced in person.
It’s hard to imagine traveling to the Southwest and not visiting Grand Canyon or Sedona. So why not do both? We believe when you have one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World in your backyard, take advantage of it. By making Sedona your base camp for a Grand Canyon expedition, you’ll enjoy a much wider array of creature comforts. In Sedona you’ll find more places to stay and eat, not to mention spas, shops, galleries and more.
Sedona sits approximately 100 miles south of the Grand Canyon and it’s a spectacular journey. If you prefer to let someone else do the driving so you can relax and take in the sights, several companies launch guided Grand Canyon tours from Sedona.
At Grand Canyon National Park designated overlooks provide visitors with awe-inspiring views. Walk along the rim in Grand Canyon Village. Snap a photo of mule riders moseying towards the river and peer into the abyss to hear what secrets are echoed there.
Then it’s time to come back home to Sedona, where all the incredible sights are just outside your door. Blessed with a beauty that’s epic yet intimate, grandiose yet personal, people seem to make a very special connection to Sedona. No overlooks or mule rides are required. View a sample itinerary to see how you can combine these two destinations into one magnificent experience.
COOL SUMMER FUN
People flock to the Sedona area for many reasons—most notably the jaw-dropping scenery. Others are on a spiritual quest, crouching at vortexes to listen to the earth hum. Or they seek out the art galleries, wineries and world-class spas. Yet some have a simpler agenda. They come to get wet.
Despite its arid setting, this portion of Arizona harbors a collection of truly unforgettable swimming holes. Streams tumble from the high country of the Colorado Plateau, carving dramatic canyons, such as Sycamore, Wet Beaver, and the most spectacular of all, Oak Creek Canyon, the 14-mile gorge connecting Flagstaff and Sedona.
When it comes to the Sedona landscape, the red rocks are the stars of the show. But the blushing divas are dramatically enhanced by their supporting cast of forests and streams, which completes the visual splendor. And when you’re surrounded by water and shade, you have the primary elements for an old-fashioned cool summer getaway.
A good place to start is Grasshopper Point, 2 miles north of Uptown Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon. Bracketed by small, feisty waterfalls and guarded by a clutch of graceful Arizona sycamores, the stream gathers in a blue-green pool 50 feet wide at the base of a terraced cliff. Swimmers can make a straight plummet into deep water from heights of 5, 10 and 20 feet.
Picnic tables are scattered beneath the dense tree canopy and a short hiking trail follows the stream weaving among the timber. It is a magical oasis, a delicious escape from summer heat. Smell the loamy earth. Listen to the splashing cascades, the trill of birdsong and the whir of dragonflies. It’s the perfume and soundtrack of our youth. Don’t be surprised to see Opie Taylor stroll past with a fishing pole over his shoulder and slingshot in his pocket.
Just a few miles north of Grasshopper Point, sits one of the Southwest’s legendary swimming holes, Slide Rock State Park. Adjacent to a lovely meadow and historic orchard, stone banks throttle the creek into a narrow frothy chute creating a natural water ride. Along the route are pools of varying depths, perfect for wading, swimming and cliff jumping. Something for everyone—as long as you don’t mind company. Slide Rock is not exactly a secret.
Most summer days you’ll find kids and grownups alike ping-ponging through the chute or cannonballing into deep gullies of the stream. Word of warning: Wear cut-offs or other sturdy shorts. Adults may scrape bottom through the shallows, so it’s not uncommon to stand up at the end of the slide, only to see swatches of your designer bathing suit continue downstream. And everyone should wear old sneakers or some kind of water shoe. Rocks are slippery here. That goes for all area swimming holes.
Finish the day at Crescent Moon Picnic Area, better known as Red Rock Crossing. The distinctive spires of Cathedral Rock tower above Oak Creek, like arms upraised in a moment of pure joyous triumph. And catching the iconic image reflected in the water is one of the great photo ops in Arizona.
Crescent Moon Picnic Area is a day use facility that offers plenty of shady tables, cooking grills and a network of trails that lead down to the stream. You’ll likely find find artists with their easels set up, and shutterbugs with their tripods. Radiant brides and glowing grooms posing for their wedding portrait on the rocky banks are another common sight.
The creek meanders past the base of Cathedral Rock and through forested groves. The bottom drops in a few places, forming nice pools. There’s a rope swing upstream from Cathedral. While doing your best Tarzan impression from the swing you might notice the opposite bank covered with dozens of stacked rock totems, looking like a miniature Stonehenge. This is Buddha Beach, considered to be the site of a powerful vortex. Believers come to meditate, chant and create whimsical rock cairns. The vortex energy here is said to be feminine, a very nurturing experience. Even if you’re not one of the faithful, it’s hard to ignore your own private little beach at the base of Cathedral Rock.
No matter what your summer agenda involves—swimming, fishing, tubing, biking, hiking, picnicking or just taking a snooze under a pine tree—it waits for you in Sedona. Spend your days in the shadow of cliffs, immersed in elegant forests, alongside clear singing creeks. Who needs to scurry indoors to escape summer’s heat? Air conditioning may provide temporary relief, but water and shade set us free.