How do you fall in love with rocks? Well, that’s easy, you say – brides do it all the time. But that shiny bling on her finger, adjacent to Ms. Pinky – that’s not the rock(s) we’re talking about here. Although, hold that thought, brides and brides-to-be – we’ll get to that.

We’re talking about the stunningly beautiful, majestic and famous red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. If you haven’t seen them, they will simply amaze you with their splendor, their welcoming nature, their ruggedness, their sheer – well, redness – and their stellar but stoic magnificence. 

Unwind or Get Energized

What’s truly remarkable about Sedona is that while the red rocks are breathtaking to look at, it’s what Sedona and the Verde Valley region hold for those in search of adventure that makes this place particularly special. 

Sedona’s natural beauty serves as a backdrop for an adrenalin-inducing challenge, and it’s the perfect place to just relax and enjoy a soothing respite, perhaps after an exhilarating hot air balloon ride, a guided excursion through red rock outback, an energizing hike or a gnarly ride to rock tops with views of twisty canyons. 

Downtown Delights

The city of Sedona is at the heart of it all. Hiking trails, bicycle-friendly road bike routes and mountain bike terrain are all accessible in any direction within a matter of minutes. 

With a wide range of great restaurants sure to please every palate, plus unique and distinctly different retail, arts boutiques and entertainment districts within close proximity of each other, there is no way to be bored in Sedona. In fact, there are more than 80 art galleries and stores alone to keep you busy. 

Verde Valley Highlights

Some visitors find adventure outside of the city in the form of wine tastings, education about the history of this sacred land, seeing the sights from a comfortable seat on the Verde Canyon Railway, getting wild at Out of Africa or flashing some latent western flair on horseback. For all of that, the Verde Valley, consisting of Cottonwood, Jerome, Clarkdale, Camp Verde and historic sites such as Montezuma’s Castle, Tuzigoot and Montezuma Well, are ideal. 

How We Shine

Sedona-10-30-04-B-025--2.jpgFor those just discovering this astonishingly spectacular spot in Arizona’s high desert, and needing some reassurance of its gorgeousness, Sedona has been named “The Most Beautiful Place in America” by USA Weekend, which might actually be an understatement. 

Accolades accorded, just in 2014, include a list of “Top 7 Spiritual Spots to Commune with Nature” (February), Smithsonian Magazine’s list of “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2014” and Fodor’s “10 Best State Parks in America.”

Directions and Climate

Sedona is less than a two-hour drive north of Phoenix and 40 miles south of Flagstaff. It’s helpful to know that the Arizona climate is influenced by altitude, making Sedona’s climate just about ideal, at 4,500 feet. Sedona is positioned perfectly to enjoy four distinct seasons, none of them severe in any direction, with mild winters, long springs, cool summer nights and incredibly colorful autumns. 

Sedona is less than two hours from the Grand Canyon and is a great hub for those looking for varied activities and amenities and a broader range of lodging options than the Grand Canyon can provide. For those still seeking something remote on their days away from the canyon, Sedona is surrounded by 1.8 million acres of carefully protected national forest land.

Greenery flourishes year-round while wildflowers and desert cactus bloom brightly in the spring. But, as you’ll experience, Sedona is always colorful – literally and figuratively – with a vibrant arts community, an active music scene and a well-deserved reputation as a world-class center for spiritual and metaphysical discovery, providing virtually unlimited opportunities for those seeking outlets for personal growth, wellness and enrichment. Local wineries and tasting rooms enhance Sedona’s vibrant local culture.

Romance Is in the Air

As for brides-to-be, destination weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries, Sedona and the surrounding region is the perfect place for your memorable event – whether it’s held at a luxury spa, in a more traditional setting or against the backdrop of those stunning red rocks. There’s almost no way to take a bad photograph or capture special moments on video with that red rock background. Those rocks have posed for events like these before, and they know how to provide exquisite, dramatic panoramas.

Trail Tips

IMG_1754.jpgAdventure has many different meanings but the easiest way to get started in Sedona is on your own two feet. Regardless of the season, drink plenty of water, especially before and in the early stages of a hike or a bike ride. It’s true what they say about the dry heat – even when it’s not hot, it’s still dry. 

Do your homework, then pick a trail matching your comfort level with trail ratings. Some trails offer an easy stroll with fantastic views, others are much more strenuous – often with large elevation gains and panoramic views. 

Plenty of guide services are available in the Sedona area, and most hiking and biking retail outlets will make maps, books and charts available to steer you in the right direction in terms of experience selection, level of difficulty and region.

For all travelers seeking all things, rest assured, you will fall in love with Sedona and its red rocks – guaranteed.

For detailed information, maps and much more, discover Sedona online at www.VisitSedona.com.

(Brought to you by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, (928) 282-7890, info@sedonachamber.com)