Perched at 4,500 feet and located at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona’s delicious high desert climate makes the ideal environment for a full out summer escape. Sitting amid a fantasyland of red rock formations only enhances the adventure. Because summer, when done right, is larger than life. It is a celebration, a triumph of the carefree spirit and a sneer at responsibility. 

 That season-long dance in the sun is rooted deep within us. Remember that great last-day-of-school feeling when you were a kid? The final bell rang, the doors swung open and you and your classmates ran screaming and shrieking through the halls. There wasn’t a minute to spare because summer waited just outside. The whole languid season stretched before you and the possibilities seemed endless.

The Outdoors Beckon

Don’t be surprised if a visit to Sedona rekindles that sense of unbridled joy. All the pieces are in place. 

Surrounded by nearly two million acres of national forest, this is a land of wide-open spaces and dramatic scenery. Radiant sunshine is  by shady woodland canopies. Trails ramble off in all directions. Mesas andcathedralrock_Family_300px.gif mountains rise in the distance. Clear streams tumble from the high country forming deep pools for swimming, fishing or just lounging beside. At the end of warm action-packed days come cool star-laden nights. The possibilities really are endless. 

 It’s the kind of summer you once cherished and, most important of all, it’s exactly the kind you want your own children to experience. Instead of being tethered to computer screens and video games, Sedona gives them a chance to be free-range children again.

Adults and Children Welcome

Many destinations tout their “family-friendly” credentials. Often that’s just code for bored parents. Sedona caters not just to the small fry, but to the entire family. 

Although set amid a natural playground of epic proportions, Sedona also serves as a welcome oasis of luxury and comfort. That element is always appreciated by grownup members of the clan. Sedona possesses the charm of a small town but with an air of sophistication that comes from decades as a premier arts destination. 

 Lodging includes plush resorts with world-class spas, elegant motels and inns, beautiful cabins in the woods and vintage motor courts. Restaurants and wineries, galleries and shops are just a few of the adult diversions to be enjoyed when the fun moves indoors. Which might not be often since summer is meant to be spent outside. 

So Much to Do and See

The days are long and you’ll want every hour to sample the delights of this magical area. Lace up your hiking boots. Hop on a mountain bike. Unlimber the fishing pole. Pack the picnic basket. Jump in a jeep. Saddle a horse. Climb aboard a hot air balloon. Gather to celebrate the sunset. And whatever you do, don’t forget the swimming trunks.

Sedona didn’t invent summer. It just carefully preserved the greatest summer you ever had and held onto it for you. Come experience it again. And bring the whole family.

(Brought to you by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, (928) 282-7890, www.visitsedona.com.)