Guest blog submission by Roger Naylor

The waning of the year always prompts a bit of self-evaluation. We pause to look back and to count our blessings. But don’t tally up the final score just yet because there’s still time to dramatically increase your blessings total. All you have to do is gather up friends and family and take a trip to Sedona.

 Cathedral-Creek-wide

As the holidays approach we are reminded all over again as to what’s truly important in life. It comes down to moments we share with loved ones. Sedona makes the perfect getaway to reconnect with the people who matter most, providing a bouquet of memories that will never fade.

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Sedona is equal parts playground and resort; equal parts wilderness and spiritual retreat. It is a place far removed from the everyday experience. The rising columns of red rocks form a fortress that repels stress and distraction. The scenic splendor lifts hearts and ignites smiles. Sedona just seems to bring out the best in all of us. No wonder it’s such a joyful place to share.

Horse_and_riders

Whether hiking in the shadow of soaring monoliths, strolling along the banks of dancing stream, wafting through the sky in a hot air balloon to greet the rising sun, rumbling into the outback aboard a rugged jeep, or meditating at a vortex site crackling with ancient energy, let the adventure sweep you away.

Yoga_WarriorPose

This kind of vacation makes for vivid, spicy memories; stories that will be recounted over many a dinner table for years to come. That’s the magic of Sedona. It gives you a chance to live fully in the moment while you’re here. And then gives you golden moments to take with you, to relive over and over again.

 


Guest blog submission by Roger Naylor

Like all great works of art, Sedona takes your spirit hostage. It captures you softly and holds you in its red rock grip.

The visual drama of the landscape stirs something deep within everyone who visits or resides here. Sedona inspires and challenges, it thrills and mystifies, it haunts and energizes. It moves us in ways that we struggle to understand. Great art doesn’t provide answers. But it does show us which questions are the right ones to ask.

Gallery_Sculptures

A fortunate few drawn to this place manage to capture the magic, carving art from the larger masterpiece of Sedona. Surrealist Max Ernst arrived in 1946 and created his most famous work here. In 1958, Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran and others established Sedona’s first art center. Joe Beeler and pards formed Cowboy Artists of America over cold beers in a local saloon in 1965. That kind of diversity continues to fuel Sedona’s vibrant art scene that ranges from traditional to contemporary, from Native American to cutting edge.

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It’s no wonder the town bristles with artistic showcases. Numerous sculptures and murals are part of the public space. Dozens of galleries, studios and shops populate every corner of the community. Take some time to prowl as many as you can. Explore the different mediums and styles. See how their interpretation of the spectacular scenery aligns with yours.

Del.norte.summer

On the first Friday of every month, many of Sedona’s prominent art galleries from Uptown to Gallery Row and beyond host an evening of openings, demonstrations and receptions. The Sedona Trolley offers free transportation during First Friday Art Walk, circulating from gallery to gallery where everything from fine art to funkier creations can be found. What a wonderful way to kick off your weekend in Sedona.


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.

#MySedona


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.

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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.


Guest Blog Submission from Arizona Travel Writer Roger Naylor

Hear that sound? It’s the soft knuckles of spring rapping on the window. It’s the signal that the coast is clear. Winter’s gone and you are wanted outside.

The fin

Don’t try to resist. Sedona never has much winter to recover from, just a sweater-worthy chill, but it’s enough to make the balmy days of March utterly seductive. Wildflowers splash across meadows and the woods echo with birdsong. Buttery sunshine swabs the landscape and even the red rocks seem to blush redder. If spring has an address, it is Sedona, Arizona. Wish you were here.

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

If you do nothing else on your springtime visit to Sedona, take time for a picnic—an old-fashioned sit-outside-and-eat picnic. Remember those? They used to exist when life moved at a slower pace. While there’s no way to be certain it’s a pretty safe bet that Sedona has more prime picnic real estate than just about anywhere.

Bear mountain

Spread your blanket among the historic orchards of Slide Rock State Park with the fruit trees wrapped in spring blossoms. Or at Red Rock Crossing along the banks of Oak Creek as majestic Cathedral Rock rises overhead. Or sit atop Airport Mesa while waiting for the bruised-peach sunset to settle on the horizon.

LAuberge_Chairs_RedRock

Or perhaps you prefer to pick a quiet spot, a private spot, known only to you and your loved ones. Somewhere amid the cluster of rising stone formations where you can relax for an afternoon amid scenic splendor and eat, drink and breathe. Take deep breaths. Smell that perfume? That’s the fragrance of a perfect spring day.