The beautiful city of Sedona, Arizona, with its small population of just over 10,000 people is instilled with a sense of timelessness and ancient history. Comprised of astounding geographies, like much of Arizona, Sedona is also called “Red Rock country, ” and it made USA Weekend’s list of The 10 Most Beautiful Places In America In September 2013.
With its dramatic wind-shaped buttes, it’s easy to see why Sedona, AZ topped this list. It’s a land with a wealth of human history that stretches back more than 10,000 years, to the time before the Anasazi and Sinagua peoples called this place home.
Sedona has a long history dating back to somewhere between 11,500 and 9000 B.C. In 1995 evidence of big game-hunting Paleo-Indians was discovered in the Verde Valley. While they were gone by 200 A.D. they left behind carvings in the rocks. Around 650 A.D. the Sinagua people came along and left behind more rock art, plus pueblos and cliff dwellings, like Montezuma’s Castle, shown in the photo below.
Sedona also has a touch of Hollywood in its soul with its old west good looks that resulted in films such as The Call of The Canyon.
Things to Do in Sedona
With so much awesomeness abounding, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are plenty of things to do in Sedona. For nature-lovers and outdoorsy types, there are 1.8 million acres of national forest surrounded by four wilderness areas and two state parks. With imposing sandstone rock formations that seem to reach for the sky and plenty of forest trails accented by vigorous streams, Sedona offers plenty of wonders to experience.
There are plenty of trails for hikers of every experience level. Even if you’re normally a couch potato, there’s a trail for you.
Sedona Hiking Trails offers a trek to Bell Rock, one of Sedona’s most famous places. This land of red rock provides astounding views along a trail that’s approximately 0.75 miles long. It ascends along Bell Rock’s northern face and is an easy hike, all the way up to the last leg of the trail which becomes a bit more challenging. The climb up to Courthouse Vista and the Lower Bell Rock trail is easy-peasy but as you reach the Upper Bell Rock the hike is a little more strenuous. The final leg of the hike takes you to the Final Ascent, which is noted to be strenuous.
This is a site full of natural wonders, with beautiful and strange plants like the “Century Plant” agave that only blooms once in its’ lifetime, sending a spire of flowers as much as 20 feet into the air before dying. Mule deer, beautiful species of hummingbirds and colorful insects can also be found here.
If mountain biking is your thing, there’s Pedego Sedona, where you can rent an electric bike and enjoy new experiences. There’s the leisurely Vortex Tours, Ride & Relax Yoga Spa Tours, and Panoramic Picnic tours. If you’re more of the rugged type, there’s also the Hardcore Hike & Bike. And you can also choose your time, speed, and level of electronic assistance you need. Bikes can be rented by the hour, the half-day, or for even a week or more.
If you’re looking to pick up a new rig, Pedego also sells bikes and accessories, as well as maps, clothing, drinks, and souvenirs of your biking experience.
Those who are really adventurous can also view Sedona from a hot air balloon, thanks to Northern Light Balloon Expeditions. Most of the balloons carry six to seven people, offering a friendly and intimate flight experience. A light champagne picnic breakfast caps off the experience.
And after you’ve worked up an appetite, you might want to do lunch at one of Sedona’s many eateries. You can find everything there from breakfasts featuring Eggs Benedict with Southwestern accents like Chorizo with Jack cheese served in a tortilla cup, or some of Arizona’s most excellent wines, or even a prickly pear margarita to dinners that feature artisan pizza topped with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and hand-pulled mozzarella cheese.
Whatever you’re in the mood for you’ll find here. This small city abounds with restaurants, shops, wineries and tasting rooms, art galleries, nightlife, and more. For more information about Sedona’s dizzying array of local attractions and events, check out the Visit Sedona website. What’s cool is that many of the restaurants in this lovely corner of the world feature gorgeous views of beautiful red rock canyons.
Where to Stay: Hotels in Sedona
After a long day of having a great time, you’ll find there are at least a dozen Sedona Hotels to park your tired bones in, TripAdvisor notes. Prices are currently running from $79 per person nightly all the way up to $969 per night. To get a sense of your options for hotels in Sedona, click the icons on the map below for more information.
And if you’re planning to bring your pooch or your kitty along on the trip, there are also several pet-friendly hotels that make sure everyone in the family is comfortable.
Check Out the Poco Diablo Resort
One such dog-friendly place that really stands out is Poco Diablo Resort, a perfect place to chill after a busy day. The resort features a full-service spa replete with a massage, an outdoor heated pool, four tennis courts, and a fitness center. You can also rent a two-wheel Road Cruiser to make your way around or tee off on the resort’s nine-hole family-friendly golf course. With its spectacular views set right among the enormous monolithic rocks, Poco Diablo Resort is an excellent place for weddings. For the business-minded, the resort offers an 8,500 square foot meeting place.
And reviews for this resort are enthusiastic. Here are a few examples:
“Truly amazing. We had an amazing time at the event held at Poco Diablo Resort. The facility is beautiful and your sales and service staff are top notch! All our participants — some as far away as Bangkok — were raving about the property and service throughout their stay. This group reunites every five years or so all over the United States, but everyone agreed that this was the best yet … we wanted to congratulate you all on a job very well done.”
“Anniversary celebration. I wanted to take a moment and let you know what a difference it makes to have a staff that is focused on customer service. It was our anniversary and Valentine’s Day which will forever be a most memorable experience. Thank you so much and please honor the staff to the degree they deserve.”
“Very impressed. I was very impressed with all the staff that I came in direct contact with. They are all wonderful people doing their best to make our stay most memorable. Great job!! Thank you all so much for everything.”
Sedona is a perfect marriage between the timelessness and beauty of the natural world, with modern-world comforts. It almost seems like a magical place, but fortunately, it’s very, very real.
Featured image: CC 0 Windows Observer via Pixabay.