Destination: Sedona

Photo compliments of Mike Koopsen

Planted amongst the picturesque red rock formations of Arizona’s massive Coconino National Forest, at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon, lays the utopian city of Sedona, Arizona. A mecca for things artistic, cultural, physical, and spiritual, Sedona casts a seductive spell over its visitors. If you are searching for a destination that transcends the mundane commercialism of a Disney vacation, you will be awe-inspired by the breathable and exquisite beauty of Sedona, AZ.

This small community of 10,000 offers up the spoils of luxury travel, such as fine dining, high-end retail shops, spas and resorts, as well as myriad galleries, cultural festivals, exhibits, and activities centered on art, music and spirituality. Endless possibilities also await those who want to commune with nature, and maintain a high level of physical activity. There is something for absolutely everyone in Sedona!

Although the history of Sedona is relatively new, having only been incorporated in 1988, the land where it resides, and the surrounding area have a rich past dating back to prehistoric times. Areas such as the Red Cliffs, give evidence of occupation dating back to 1300 A.D. Markings and petroglyphs divulge information on the lives of ancient inhabitants such as the Sinaguans, Hohokam, and Anasazi. Centuries later, European settlers arrived and began to uproot the native peoples from this land. After many years, a small settlement was formed in Oak Creek Canyon, eventually named for the wife of the local postmaster, Carl Schnebly, and thus Sedona was born.

Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, AZPhoto by Mike Koopsen

Over time, Sedona became a local ranching community, as well as a refuge for many artists, and spiritualists, maintaining a sort of seclusion from the outside world. Development and growth due to tourism has only come about in the last several decades. Yet Sedona, and its residents, maintain a staunch commitment to the protection of this land, by way of volunteerism and active participation in local government.

When visiting Sedona, with over 100 lodging facilities, from B&B’s like Sedona Cathedral Hideaway Bed and Breakfast and popular resorts to private cabin facilities such as The Canyon Wren Cabins and campgrounds located within easy access of the city, you’ll easily find a place to rest your head. If you need a way to get around, Sedona offers a free public transportation system, including disability accommodations, through Roadrunner Transit Systems, which can take you to various locations within the city.

There are many ways to fully enjoy all that Sedona has to offer. Several unique festivals take place each year. Focusing on art, the Plein Air Festival, held each October, is a week-long celebration of the outdoor method of painting, which features 30 of the country’s most prolific painters. The Sedona Arts Festival, also in October, includes a children-only pavilion. If it’s music you long to hear, The Red Rocks Music Festival takes place each August, and Chamber Music Sedona offers performances from September through May.

For a total focus on nature, without the restrictions of guided touring, one can take many scenic drives out amongst the rock formations, to view places such as Cathedral Rock, and The Devil’s Kitchen. The Desert Canyon Scenic Drive offers 25 miles of exquisite, breath-stealing views. If exercise and physical activity are what you seek, there are countless hiking trails to tackle, with a full range of difficulty levels. Places such as the Secret Mountain Wilderness, and Verde River offer a full range of physical activities to put any body in full motion!

To truly experience the history of Sedona’s Native American heritage, take a trip out to the Honanki Indian Ruins, Montezuma Castle, or the Red Cliffs, wander through and study the remains of these ancient dwellings, and feel the energy of this amazing past sweep over you. The Sedona Heritage Museum offers a thorough look at Sedona’s creation and development over the centuries.

For those who are looking for a spiritual retreat, Sedona offers numerous ways to explore, through meditation and yoga, spiritual healers, not to mention a visit to the Vortex sites, which are enhanced energy locations that can facilitate connection to the divine, and create an easier path for soul exploration.

Sedona is about both the destination and the journey. Silver Spur Tours would love to share that journey with you with pleasurable tours from Sedona.

Sedona & Oak Creek Canyon Pictures