Image source: Flickr - Don Graham
Sedona is a popular getaway destination in the southwest and is best known for its beautiful backdrop of red sandstone rock formations. Located within the Sonoran Desert, it lies two hours north of Phoenix and just forty-five minutes south of Flagstaff. The city of about 10,000 inhabitants is the host to many annual events and boasts plenty for visitors to do throughout the year. Visitors are drawn to this striking city for a multitude of reasons including its healing properties, countless hiking trails, upscale resorts, golf clubs, galleries, boutiques, and even a small wine scene. There are plenty of activities in Sedona to keep you busy and entertained including these five perennial favorites.
Slide Rock National Park is just a few miles north of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon. Its natural sandstone water slide is the main attraction for visitors and it's where the park got its name. You can slide down the slippery slope, wade in the creek or lay in the sun along the rocks. There are also a few hiking trails nearby if you're looking to get a bit of exercise and escape the crowds, as Slide Rock receives a couple hundred thousand visitors each year.
Hiking one or even a few of Sedona's spectacular trails is one of the best ways to enjoy its pristine red rock beauty. There are over one hundred hiking trails in and around the city to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty and length. Devil's Bridge Trail is one of the most popular and rewarding hikes as it offers spectacular views from the rock formed bridge. Cathedral Rock trail is another great option and offers the opportunity to meander between the towering rock formations, which are well-known Arizona landmarks.
Sedona is as much about luxury and relaxation as it is about outdoor adventures. There are a slew of day spas to give yourself a five-star treatment. In Sedona you'll find the heavy hitter resorts like Hilton, offering traditional treatments such as massages, body wraps, and facials as well as more unique and varied spas like Crystal, which has a holistic approach to its organic treatments. Sedona's many resorts and spas are there to make their guests feel as beautiful and admired as the red rock landscape around them.
Sedona's natural beauty goes beyond the landscape and stretches toward the sky. The city is one of the best places to marvel at the stars with its high altitude, almost no light pollution, and over 300 clear days a year. Sedona is the place to leave the urban setting and admire celestial beauty. This can be best accomplished by taking a star gazing tour where the knowledge of a professional astronomer and telescopes enhance the experience.
History buffs will definitely want to make their way to the Palatki Heritage Site located in the Coconino National Forest. You'll find Native American ruins of cliff dwellings along the red sandstone walls that date back to 1,100 AD. Incredibly, there are also drawings and carvings older than the dwellings themselves that go back 3,000-6,000 years. This park is open seven days a week to visitors and offers a fascinating aspect to Native American history.
What aspects of Sedona interest you the most?
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Auston grew up in Phoenix before escaping to Chicago in 2008. After 4 years working as an engineer, he sold his belongings and embarked on a round-the-world trip. After traveling non-stop for a year, he finally settled in Spain with his husband where he now calls home. When he's not traveling or writing guides about events, festivals or the best LGBT destinations, he enjoys the long sunny days and nightlife of Madrid. Read Auston's blog at Two Bad Tourists, or follow him on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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