Sedona, Arizona, by reading Sedona – Surrounded by Beauty by Charlie Spence, Travel Writer and WTA Member. It features a
mini, but thorough tour of the destination, plus all you'll need
to know to plan your trip including getting there, objective
information on places to stay and eat, and things to do. At the
end of the article, we've provided a summary of the contact
information for your easy reference. Enjoy!
by Charlie Spence, Travel Writer and WTA Member
Nature paints a tapestry of beautiful places throughout the United
States. For those who thrill to the sight of sculptured canyons,
rugged terrain, and incomparable scenic valleys, nothing approaches
Arizona. The Grand Canyon has long drawn visitors. For years, another
area attracted artists but remained the best-kept secret of the state
until about 1960 when it was “discovered” by retirees and travelers in
search of breath-taking beauty. Today, Sedona maintains much of its
unspoiled wonder and all of its natural grandeur while offering the
finest amenities to the visitor.
Look in any direction and view sculptures of the ages.
Sedona, nestled in the heart of the beautiful Red Rock Canyon, is
surrounded by such red sandstone sculptures of nature as Chimney Rock,
Capitol Butte, Sugar Loaf, and Cathedral Rock. Stands of magnificent
pines guard flowing streams where the desert transitions into
mountains. This enclave of nature’s sculptures is about 25 square
miles surrounded by stretches of national and state forest lands.
will find so much beauty in this area that it will require several
methods of enjoying it. Your first will probably be driving through
some of the roads that began as cattle trails. If you prefer not to
drive the winding routes, take a conducted tour in a rugged Jeep.
These spires, cliffs, and bluffs tower above the valley, starkly
reminding of the power of ages of wind and water to mold the ordinary
into things of beauty. Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing is one of
the most photographed scenes in Arizona, if not in the world. But you
won’t want to limit your picture taking to this spot. The entire area
around Sedona is a mecca for photographers, just as it has drawn other
artists for years.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross towers above sandstone formations.
this nature wonderland you will visit a man-made architectural and
engineering marvel—Chapel of the Holy Cross. Two hundred feet above
the desert floor, a cross soars from a craggy base, seeming to support
this chapel. Inside, the view through the glass enclosures in the
giant cross provides a wide vista of the red rock formations.
round weather in the Sedona area is usually ideal for hiking or biking
around this unique wonderland. The average high temperature is about
75 degrees. Sedona’s hiking trails offer routes for anyone’s walking
abilities. To cover more ground, take a bicycle over the area, most of
which has been linked by a system of biking trails.
you journey through the lands around Sedona, you will probably get the
feeling you have been here before. And, you probably have. Scenery
around Sedona has been used in many motion pictures starting as far
back as the 1920s. Author Zane Gray was enchanted by the beauty of the
region and wrote Call of the Canyon. Gray returned when
a film crew came to make that story into a motion picture, the first
of which has been many films using the spectacular beauty of Red Rock
Canyon. So, be adventurous. Saddle up at a local equestrian center and
go off exploring the rugged back country. Take these tours with or
without tour guides.
Nearby is evidence that the area around Sedona was discovered
centuries before Columbus. Among the red rock canyons you can see the
remains of once-thriving cultures of the Anasazi, a Navajo term
meaning “the ancient ones.” Montezuma Castle, the oldest and best
preserved cliff dwelling in the Southwest is just 25 miles south.
Soaking up the natural beauty of Sedona is but one of the reasons for
visiting this enchanting area. There are two 18-hole championship golf
courses to challenge the duffer or pro, and a fine par three executive
course. Various inns have good tennis courts.
town of Sedona covers only 19 square miles and population of the
greater Sedona area is only about 17,000. Walking through the main
streets will be one of the delights of your trip, enabling you to stop
at many of the enticing shops and boutiques where you may view (and
purchase) some of the finest Southwest and Native American arts,
crafts, and fashions. Because so many artists have migrated to the
area, fine art abounds in the community. Sedona has more than 40
Films, brochures, words can only begin to portray the natural beauty
of Sedona area. When you experience the breathtaking natural beauty of
the area, you, too, will know why it has become one of the finest
vacation destinations. For a more complete report that will further
entice you to experience this wonderland of nature, log on to:
How To Get
Sedona is in the heart of north central Arizona making it easily
reachable from Phoenix, Flagstaff, or even Las Vegas, driving
over highways of expansive beauty. When you take air service
into Phoenix you have only a two-hour drive up Interstate 17,
with the final few miles on state route 179. A few flights will
take you closer, landing at Flagstaff, where you will be only 45
minutes away, south on state road 89A. From Las Vegas it is
about a five hour drive.
Where To Stay
Sedona has more than 70 hotels, motels and resorts and at least
30 bed and breakfasts. These range from nice but modest
accommodations to luxury resorts. Rates will vary with the
seasons and local events. A Days Inn room for two, for instance,
will range from $75 to $120. Rates at Mii amo Destination Spa
and Resort go between $1,590 and $5,740 for two persons. There
are cottages, condos, rooms, or suites to fit almost any
WTA's Travel Booking Service that offers discounts at
many hotel properties, plus you can book rental cars and
vacation rental properties.
Where To Dine
The Sedona area attracts about four million visitors a year so
eating places are numerous and varied. Visitors on the go will
find the usual assortment of fast food shops. You can have your
choice of literally more than 100 eating places in and around
Sedona with culinary choices. These include delights offering
Italian, Greek, French, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, and
Southwest dishes. Many of the resorts feature offerings from
award-winning chefs. The usual fine weather in the area entices
many to dine in the outdoor settings.
Notice: This information is current as of June 2003. It is recommended
that you contact the numbers, and/or visit the web sites above to
determine any changes to the information.