Located approximately 30 miles from Flagstaff, 113 miles from Phoenix, 114 miles from the Grand Canyon, and 278 miles from Las Vegas, Sedona is often referred to as “One of the Most Beautiful Places in America.” And there are numerous ways and places to explore its majestic beauty everywhere you look.
One of the biggest draws to the area is to enjoy the arts and culture. Sedona is home to an amazing artistic community with scores of unique and captivating galleries and related shops, so much so that it has been recognized as one of the best small cities in the country for the arts. Right along Highway 179 in the heart of town there are about a dozen galleries within walking distance, making it easy to explore the wide variety of expressions here.
One of the most popular places to explore Sedona’s artistic landscape is at the internationally renowned Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. Fashioned after a traditional Mexican village and originally conceived as an artist community, Tlaquepaque (pronounced T-la-keh-pah-keh), taken from the name of the city and surrounding municipality in the Mexican state of Jalisco, features over 50 exclusive art galleries and specialty shops. From contemporary jewelry to blown glass, decorative arts, bronze sculptures, photography, ceramics, and more you will find and enjoy it here, with extended opportunities to do so during the monthly First Fridays events.
The specialty shops at this true Sedona landmark since the 1970's are amazing as well, offering gourmet kitchen items, candles, music boxes, pottery, wine shops, and clothing boutiques.
Outstanding food and dining experiences are another big draw to Tlaquepaque, including Mexican, gourmet salads and sandwiches, fresh, organic, sustainable foods, brewery and pub fare, ice cream, chocolates, and a specialty tea shop, just to name a few.
Other wonderful places in town to shop include along the main drag in in the Historic Uptown area, Hillside Sedona, the Hozho Shopping Center, and The Collective Sedona in the Village of Oak Creek, among others.
Sedona’s culinary scene is as vast, unique and unforgettable as the mountain vistas surrounding it, and you will be amazed at the number of offerings for a town of only 19 square miles with a population of close to 11,000 year-round residents.
Whether you choose an intimate corner bistro, long-standing mom-‘n-pop joint, upscale fine dining, or casual fare you will find a wealth of international offerings—Spanish, Greek, Thai, Mexican, Indian, Farm-to-Table, Italian, Japanese, steaks, desserts and sweets—with a southwestern flavor and flair.
If wine or beer tasting are your thing, you will think you woke up in heaven, there are so many wonderful options here! Try Sedona Delivers, Oak Creek Brewing Company, Redwall Distillery, Wine Tours of Sedona, or Decanter for starters.
Described by some as “equal parts rugged, equal parts resort,” Sedona is also very attractive to those who enjoy outdoor recreational activities. Being surrounding by 1.8 million acres of national forest land as part of the Coconino National Forest and blessed with four full seasons, it’s easy to see why. Nearby State and National Parks are plentiful as well.
The area offers, literally, hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, climbing, cycling, running, jeep adventures and other activities. And of course there are also plenty of places to enjoy those spectacular red rock vistas and spiritual vortexes Sedona is known for all over the world. Among them are Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock, and Airport Mesa (to learn more about Sedona’s vortexes check out the 49-minute film at the Awakening Portal Garden's Sinagua Theatre offered by 40-year Sedona resident, author, teacher, and founder of Free Soul, Pete Sanders).
Overall, Sedona Verde Valley tourism is big here, encompassing Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Camp Verde, Jerome and the Yavapai Apache Nation. The focus on ecotourism and sustainability of this beautiful region is so strong that a partnership has been formed with National Geographic, making the Sedona Verde Valley one of only 22 destinations in the world, as well as the smallest, to hold this distinct partnership.
For those who relish in exploring off-the-beaten-path, don’t miss the Sedona Secret 7, the spots only the locals know about but are willing to share with the truly adventurous among them!
This is just the beginning of what Sedona has to offer! and the city offers a unique and fun list of 100 Things to Do. But whatever you choose to see, eat, drink, or experience, its sure to leave such as lasting impression that you’ll return for years to come.