We have enjoyed Sedona various times, twice staying at the magnificent Enchantment Resort in the fall. We love this area so much we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary here.
With a temperate semi-arid climate Sedona is a year-round outdoor lovers paradise. There are hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails in the surrounding red sandstone hills. The red rocks also attract those in pursuit of quietude, spiritual quests and a closer commune with nature. A swim in the creek at Slide Rock State Park is a great way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon and fall brings a glorious change of color along Oak Creek Canyon as the weather begins to turn a bit cooler.
Below are the highlights of the area that we experienced during our visits along with travel tips.
Arts and Crafts
Sedona is known internationally as an art mecca and is home to dozens of galleries featuring classic Western and Native American art, bronze sculpture, rugs, jewelry of all kinds as well as contemporary art. Within its numerous galleries and outdoor art fairs, artists from around the world live, work and display their art. Sedona’s artists and galleries make art accessible to everyone, from the serious collector to the casual appreciator. In a town with slightly more than 10,000 year-round residents, Sedona has a surprisingly out sized and thriving art scene.
Nestled beneath the shade of the sycamores on the banks of beautiful Oak Creek in Sedona, Tlaquepaque is one of the most distinctive shopping experiences to be found in the Southwest. Authentically fashioned after a traditional Mexican village, Tlaquepaque has been a Sedona landmark since the 1970’s. With over 50 shops plus several great restaurants, Tlaquepaque is sure to please your senses and your palate.
Historically speaking Sedona has never been high on most people’s list as a culinary destination. It’s no surprise that 20 years ago Sedona would never have received the attention for great, or diverse cuisine that it does today.
With over 200 restaurants serving everything from tacos (lots of tacos!) to white tablecloth establishments along with creekside dining Sedona chefs and restaurateurs have earned their place in what is now a thriving culinary scene. Working up an appetite by spending your day outdoors can now be rewarded with a great meal at the end of the day.
For farmers market lovers the creekside farmers market held at the famous Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village ranks among the top 10 in Arizona.
Hot Air Ballooning
An early morning hot air balloon ride is an experience you will never forget. Due to weather conditions pilots only fly in the early morning which offers passengers spectacular views of the surrounding Red Rocks of Sedona as the sun is rising!
On our second visit a few years ago we could not resist the opportunity to experience this ride of a lifetime The outfitters picked us up early in the morning so we had the time to see all the balloons that were flying that morning get ready under the early morning light. Our group was small, with us, the pilot and one other couple, which was nice. Our flight time was 1 ½ hours with the entire excursion took 3-4 hours, including a continental picnic after the flight.
The drive north through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff and onto the Grand Canyon is one of the more spectacular drives in North America. This scenic drive is simply stunning, with several points of interest and multiple lookouts along the way. The distance is close enough to manage your outing as a day trip from Sedona however, an overnight in Flagstaff will put you even closer.
A perennial favorite among locals and visitors alike Slide Rock State Park is a natural water park less than 7 miles from downtown Sedona. Voted one of the top 10 swimming holes in the United States Slide Rock delights everyone who visits with its slippery top to bottom, 80 foot long, 7 percent decline. Slide Rock also includes a 1/2 mile of Oak Creek that is open for swimming, wading and sliding.
QUICK TRAVEL FACTS
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In Sedona, the summers are hot and mostly clear and the winters are cold and partly cloudy.Temperature typically varies from 35°F to 94°F and is rarely below 27°F or above 101°F
The best way to get around Sedona is by car. Although the Verde Lynx bus service is useful for getting around downtown, many of the hiking trails are located away from the main roads.