Guest blog submission by Roger Naylor


As we age we tend to misplace things. It seems like we always lose track of our glasses, our keys and even our summers.

By the time we’re adults, the carefree summers of childhood are gone. Those three long glorious months dwindle to a week here, a long weekend there. So it’s important to make the most out of the time you do have. That’s where Sedona comes in.

Sunset atop Antelop Hill

Maximize every moment of vacation in the red rock paradise of Sedona. Soaring stone monoliths so vivid they each have distinct personalities, hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, clear running streams and hidden canyons are engulfed amid 1.8 million acres of national forest. Sedona is built for fun and adventure.

Page Springs

Seize the opportunity this summer to reconnect with the great outdoors. Take a hike or a swim. Catch a fish or a nap. Play some golf. Climb a boulder. Kayak a river. Bike down a mountain. You may get dirty and you may get wet. You’ll definitely create some warm delicious memories.

Oak Creek

Yet beneath Sedona’s rugged exterior lies a soft core of comfort and luxury. A bevy of elegant motels, hotels and resorts are waiting for you. Not to mention rejuvenating spas, excellent restaurants and boutique wineries. Play like a kid all day in Sedona. Then relax like an adult when the sun goes down.

Garland's Lodge

One advantage to being all grown up is that nobody will ask you to write an essay on how you spent your summer vacation. Although after some time in Sedona, you probably will want to do just that—a reminder to yourself of where to go next summer.


Although fireworks are generally a 4th of July staple, the explosions aren’t exactly safe in the high desert of Arizona. They release chemicals into the atmosphere that are harmful to people’s health and the environment. They cause a lot of noise pollution. And in the Sedona area in particular, these flashing lights also run the risk of starting fires.

Boy lookingThe team at Just Energy, realizing these risks, put together a blog post offering alternatives to the traditional Independence Day celebration. One of these suggestions was to attend a laser light show, which offers all the glitz of a fireworks display without any of the harmful side effects. The article also notes that while some electricity is used during a laser display, it’s an eco-friendly option because lights can be reused whereas fireworks can’t.


Just Energy even went as far as picking out their favorite laser light shows, and of course Sedona made the list, taking the No. 2 spot. The city is touted as an ideal vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts with its proximity to Oak Creek Canyon and the surrounding Coconino National Forest. And on Independence Day, the laser show can’t be missed.

After a day of exploring the picturesque surroundings, make sure you head on over to the baseball field at Red Rock High School to take in the patriotic show. Although the laser display won’t begin until after dark, arrive early to stake out a decent spot with your blanket or lawn chair. Starting at 6:30 p.m. you can enjoy live music from David Parker & the Big Time or indulge in food from one of the event’s vendors. Entry to the show and parking are free.


To see the full list of safe fireworks alternatives, visit:

Guest blog submission by Roger Naylor

If Sedona has a kindred spirit it’s the Grand Canyon.

The two geological marvels are both “bucket list” destinations for people all over the world. Millions of visitors come for scenery that’s dazzlingly unique. See a photo of either the Grand Canyon or Sedona and you can’t mistake it for anywhere else. Yet photos don’t begin to do these Arizona icons justice. They must be experienced in person.The fin

It’s hard to imagine traveling to the Southwest and not visiting Grand Canyon or Sedona. So why not do both? We believe when you have one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World in your backyard, take advantage of it. By making Sedona your base camp for a Grand Canyon expedition, you’ll enjoy a much wider array of creature comforts. In Sedona you’ll find more places to stay and eat, not to mention spas, shops, galleries and more.


Sedona sits approximately 100 miles south of the Grand Canyon and it’s a spectacular journey. If you prefer to let someone else do the driving so you can relax and take in the sights, several companies launch guided Grand Canyon tours from Sedona.


At Grand Canyon National Park designated overlooks provide visitors with aw-inspiring views. Walk along the rim in Grand Canyon Village. Snap a photo of mule riders moseying towards the river and peer into the abyss to hear what secrets are echoed there.

Kegn 2

Then it’s time to come back home to Sedona, where all the incredible sights are just outside your door. Blessed with a beauty that’s epic yet intimate, grandiose yet personal, people seem to make a very special connection to Sedona. No overlooks or mule rides are required.


Guest Blog submission by Roger Naylor

Grapes, like people, need to overcome a little adversity to develop true character. If everything comes too easy for them they simply grow up to be grapes. Maybe they get a chance to pursue a career as jelly, juice or raisins but that’s as far as they go. Yet under the right conditions, grapes can mature into fine wine.


Sedona and the Verde Valley offer the ideal location and climate to develop award-winning wines. The serenity of Sedona today belies its violent past when fierce volcanoes towered over the landscape. What remains is a layer of rich volcanic soil blanketing hillsides above the creeks and streams providing exquisite settings for vineyards. Dramatic temperature swings—warm days and cool nights—coaxes the complexity and intense flavors from the small fruit. These are the traits coveted by winemakers who then work their magic.

Juniper Bar & Grille_Cheers

Thanks to the burgeoning wine industry, visitors can spend languid afternoons exploring lush vineyards just outside of town. Tasting rooms pour Syrahs, Zinfandels, Chardonnays and more. Restaurants proudly stock an array of local wines to pair with meals—full-bodied reds and lean crisp whites.

Green Wisteria grow free on this pathway to Page Springs Vineyards & Cellars

Most important of all, everything slows down for good wine. You stop and taste and savor. Wine gives you permission to relax. It keeps you in the moment. And sitting in Sedona with a glass raised, toasting a vibrant sunset is exactly the kind of moment to hold onto ever so tight.

Couple creekside

Grapes have discovered what everyone else already knew: Sedona is the perfect place to grow and flourish and to become the best possible version of themselves they can become.

To the love of my life, my dearest Sedona,

After that first introduction, I knew I would never be the same again. I must say that when our eyes met, I was speechless.  Your colors are so rich and vivid that you took my breath away.  The closeness of your stone monuments creates an excitement within me that is hard to describe.

Allow me to contrast our encounter with others I have experienced. After a short visit with you, we went to the infamous Grand Canyon.  I must tell you, what was before my eyes was dim and washed out in comparison with your exquisite beauty. I have traveled to other locations that tout their appeal (including the Hawaiian islands that have many pristine beaches and is the home to Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), but in my eyes no one holds a candle to your resplendence.

The day I climbed the beautiful rocks in your parks was transforming. I felt as if I left a world of limitation and disappointment and arrived where inspiration and limitless possibility abound. I am elevated to new heights and able to tap in to the creative universe to which you belong. When I am with you I know I can be and do anything. I am no longer satisfied with the gray that surrounds me in the sky above or the pavement below, nor the rain that runs down my windowpanes and holds me listless.

Now that we are apart, I long to hear the soft tread of my feet connecting with your earth and feel the gentle breeze on my face and fluttering through my hair.  Your rich, deep colors of red, orange, green, and brown are both comforting and invigorating even in thought. The time I spend with you is unforgettable.

You are truly an artist, for the red rock sculptures that are a part of you are truly some of the most spectacular, natural masterpieces I have ever witnessed. My favorite by far is Bell Rock.  It is not the most substantial of monuments, but it provides all that I desire: accessibility, adventure, appeal, exertion, vista and warmth. Our family has had many adventures there over the years and always proves the best and most satiating experience. Thunder Mountain and Airport Ridge provide a panorama of all that you possess. They are the perfect spots to take in a sunset.  Devils Bridge brings, in spite of its name, heavenliness and awe of the natural architecture that decorate your landscape so creatively.

I am nourished by the delicious, wholesome food in your restaurants that not only satisfy, but also elevate, enrich and refine me. My favorite, as you well know, is the Chocolate Tree where all of their food is organic, vegetarian, pure and fresh.  I can’t help but feel healthy when I eat “gently massaged” kale, sprouts, avocado, cucumber, dulse, spirulina and sprouted seeds. Dessert adds to the thriving experience and includes delicacies prepared with avocado, cacao, honey, macadamia nuts, carrot juice and coconut. Dining there is truly as the menu describes, “vibrant and divine.”

You have become a part of my soul, my being. There is nothing that I want more than to be close to you. For now, I am here, subsisting as a partial being until I can be made whole by your beauty, your warmth and your tranquility.

My heart belongs to you always,


Guest Blog submission from Arizona Travel Writer Roger Naylor

Everyone knows Sedona provides a feast for the eyes and nourishment for the soul. But it’s not your soul that starts growling around lunchtime.

Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc.

Fortunately, visitors will have no trouble satisfying rumbling tummies. Culinary options are as varied as the fanciful red rock formations defining the magnificent landscape. From casual cafes to white tablecloth dining rooms, health-conscious vegetarian to cowboy-style steakhouses, spicy Southwestern to elegant Italian, and everything in between, Sedona has emerged in recent years as a destination for lovers of fine food.


While the idea of eating local has become a popular culinary trend, it never went out of style in Sedona. The town was first settled because of year round water and fertile soil. Local fruit and produce, along with trout pulled fresh from Oak Creek are menu mainstays. Varietals of grapes grow on sloping hillsides just outside of town and produce some of Arizona’s finest wines.


What you won’t find are many chain restaurants. Chef-owned eateries, brimming with passion, define the dining experience. Sedona is a destination meant to be savored, in every way imaginable. You can dine creekside, on a patio in the shadow of soaring red rocks or at a sidewalk table in the midst of the bustling historic main street district. Some of the best side dishes served throughout the town are the views.

Juniper Bar & Grille_Patio with food

Don’t worry too much about over indulging. Everyone who visits Sedona is pulled outdoors. It only takes a few hours hiking, biking, kayaking, golfing or swimming—all the reasons you came in the first place—to work off last night’s dessert. When it comes to calories, what happens in Sedona, stays in Sedona. You only take home the delicious memories.


Guest Blog Submission from El Portal Sedona Hotel

More and more people are now traveling with their pets; including them on vacations, getaways, and weekend trips.  Every pet owner has concerns when considering traveling with their pets.  Where to stay? How to travel? What should you expect from a hotel that claims to be pet friendly? The list of questions to answer can become quite lengthy, but with a little bit of common sense and these tips, you can plan a trip that will be fun for all!  With research and planning, working your pet’s needs into every step of the itinerary is easy and conducive to a good trip for everyone.  If your pet feels stressed out or poorly cared for, no one will be able to enjoy the trip.Pet 1

First, consider where to stay.  Look for pet friendly hotels on the internet and travel sites, ask friends who have traveled where they have stayed.  Hotels that claim to be pet friendly are often only pet-tolerating – charging more money and sticking you in a smoker’s only room.  Phone hotels and find out what their policies are regarding pets – will they provide a bed and other useful items such as maps to local dog parks? These are the hotels to look for – the ones with few restrictions, who view the pets as guests in their own right and will provide things to meet their needs as well as their human guests, but without focusing solely on the profit.  Look for not only pet friendly hotels, but pet friendly restaurants too! Do your research!

Pet 2

Consider how you are going to be traveling.  Are you driving? Flying? Hopping on board a train? Odds are you will use one of the first two methods to get to your vacation destination.  Each of these methods of travel comes with its own concerns for transporting your pet.  If you need to fly, time of the flight and size of the pet will likely impact your plans.  Most airlines will let you know when they transport pets for maximum comfort, but if you have a pet small enough to fit under the seat, you can fly any time.  Car rides are a little different.  The most important thing to keep in mind in this case is that your pet will need to stretch their legs and move around about once every three hours – much like you do! In either case, remember to hydrate your pet and avoid feeding them a full meal before in order to avoid upset stomachs during the journey. If your pet is kennel or crate-trained, bring it with you, your pet will feel more safe and secure. 1526636_10201316634901334_1721030371_n

When traveling with a pet – keep it on your schedule, meaning even with time changes your pet will have to adjust just like you, but do it gradually for them.  Bring their food and bowls, bedding, toys and leash to ensure that they are comfortable and have familiar items to ease their travel anxiety.  Never leave them alone in a hotel room, cabin, or other space. Remember, pets are like children – not everyone likes them, keep them on a leash at all times, and never let them be bothersome. Pets are part of our families and they need to be taken care of with love, attention, and 3

El Portal Sedona Hotel is a pet friendly hotel that welcomes both people and their pets with open arms and rooms.  To the owners, Steve and Connie Segner, there was no question that an upscale, luxury inn could provide style, the best amenities and personalized concierge services for guests and their pets.Each room at El Portal Sedona is open to pets of various sizes, although some fit better with larger or smaller ones. It was voted as the Best Pet Friendly Hotel in the USA by USA Today Traveler and, is a AAA Four Diamond Hotel, is one of the top hotels in the Southwest (by Coñde Nast Travelers readers) and has received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award.

El Portal Sedona Hotel - Dogs and Truck

Sedona provides numerous opportunities to take your pet on excursions.  The Arizona town is located in an area with hundreds of miles of hiking trails of all different difficulty levels, and the town itself is incredibly dog friendly.  This is important because taking your pet with you when you leave your hotel is highly recommended. Leaving them alone in a strange place can make them anxious and noisier than they may usually be.  Besides, you do not want to spend all that time bringing them with you, only to leave them alone in a hotel room for the entire trip! El Portal Sedona can help you discover and plan activities for both you and your pet – pets need attention and care, just like a child, so include them in as many things as you can!

Contact Information:

Steve Segner | El Portal Sedona Hotel

95 Portal Lane, Sedona, AZ 86336

928-203-9405 |800-313-0017 | Fax: 928-203-9401 |


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