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A Sedona Fourth of July Guide

by: Editor on 7/2/2017

 

Spending the Fourth in Sedona? There are numerous options for showing off your patriotic spirit and enjoying an explosive fireworks show:

  • All-American Weekend at the Cliff Castle Casino: With a free family picnic starting at 4 p.m. with complimentary hot dogs, chips and soda, it’s also where you’ll find face painters, inflatable fun and an early fireworks show on July 3rd. This is also the site of the 130th annual World’s Oldest Rodeo taking place during the holiday, so get your tickets soon!
  • 4th of July Fireworks Celebration: Here, you’ll find your favorite amusement park rides, massive water slides and a mechanical bull. Live music, beer and margarita gardens, and a 9 p.m. fireworks show are all available at Mile High Middle School.
  • 4th of July Wet Fest: Located at the Sedona Community Pool all afternoon, it provides free family fun with slip ‘n’ slides and water slides for all. A DJ and food sales make this a popular yearly event.
  • Laser Light Show: This patriotic indoor laser show starts every hour on the hour on July 4th at the Performing Arts Center. Enjoy 25 full minutes of lightshow fun at Red Rock High School.

How will you be showing off your patriotism this year? No matter what kind of party you have in mind, Sedona has you covered.

 

Verde Canyon Railroad

by: Editor on 6/24/2017

 

It’s not just a train ride, it’s “Arizona’s longest-running nature show.” Step on board the perfectly refurbished train car and you’ll feel whisked away to the golden era of train travel. Get a drink, sit back and relax on this 20-mile journey that takes you through the past century of Arizona’s history. However, you’ll still have all the comforts of the modern era including the most comfortable seating and climate control (a must in June!).

The train cars are also available to rent for special events from weddings to corporate gatherings. No matter your journey, it all starts at the Depot where you’ll be flanked in historic décor and you can learn about the history of railroads in Sedona. Enjoy a light meal, or swing by the gift shop.

All Aboard!

Nostalgia is rich throughout your adventure, and the train features outdoor viewing cars, is ADA friendly, and food and beverages are available for on-board purchase. You’ll get the star treatment as you wind through the canyon, taking in the red rock buttes as bald eagles soar overhead.

Special events are scheduled throughout the year including the Locomotive Ride-along, Eagle Watch, Wild Splendor featuring raptors, and the romantic Sedona Area Starlight Train Tour on June 10th. Only available four times per year, you won’t want to miss out on this moonlit journey.

A Sedona Story

by: Editor on 6/24/2017

 

In 1862, Congress was worried over the lack of population in the Wild West, particularly in what’s now known as Sedona. By establishing the Homestead Act, 160 acres of land was given to those who agreed to occupy these lands and “use them productively.” As a result, a number of settlers moved west, but few had what it took to thrive in this particular region. However, when gold was struck in 1863 in Prescott, immediately the space was flooded with hopefuls. This kick started the separation of New Mexico and Arizona.

As settlers explored the area, they fell in love with it, but there was a problem: It was Apache land. Settlers asked for military protection, which brought Camp Lincoln (Fort Verde) to Arizona. Eventually, the settlers discovered they had chosen a rich land where the water, soil and climate was reliable. Orchards and gardens were planted, and cattle ranching began in earnest.

The New, New World

When the area held enough residents to get a post office, a town name was required. “Sedona” was the name of an early settler’s wife. By now, the town’s character was established. It was a farming, fruit-growing community with a smidge of ranching. Nobody got rich quick, and it was a struggle at times to make ends meet. The Sedona saying, “You can’t eat the rocks” is a nod to living in a gorgeous area but under tough circumstances.

Once Hollywood discovered Sedona in 1923, it became the go-to spot for Westerns. Money flowed into the town, and until post-WWII it somehow sustained its small town charm. Artists began to settle in Sedona, along with retirees, and by the 1970s the New Agers arrived. Today, Sedona is a playground, resort town, and a home to 3.5 million visitors each year.

Pizza for Pop on Father’s Day

by: Editor on 6/12/2017

Picazzo’s Italian Kitchen is a favorite for Dather’s Day. Treat the dad in your life to an Italian spread like no other, featuring organic and seasonal ingredients that fuse Italian staples with a Sedona twist. For starters, try the baked wings with a variety of sauces including BBQ maple. Baked brie with roasted garlic and house focaccia, Avocado Toast with olive oil, and the fresh Caprese salad are all excellent appetizers.

Many come for the selection of unique pizzas, like the Sweet Potato Pie with cremini mushrooms, feta and caramelized onions. Try the Vortex with Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni, red sauce and caramelized onions. The Spicy Meatball is extra hot with ricotta cheese and herbed parmesan.

A Slice of Paradise

Create your own pie or check out the pasta offerings like the Spicy Thai Peanut Fusilli with heirloom carrots, toasted almonds, grilled chicken and fresh veggies. The Bianca with grilled chicken features bigoli noodles and creamy Alfredo sauce.

Organic salads and hearty soups are staples and pair well with the extensive spirits menu. Dad will love the selection of craft beers and house cocktails like the Scofflaw with Maker’s Mark, vermouth, lemon juice and house grenadine. And for dessert? How about a massive chocolate chip cookie, ultimate brownie, hot apple crisp or tiramisu?

 

Out of Africa Wildlife Park

by: Editor on 6/2/2017

 

Things are wild in Sedona when you spend the day at Out of Africa Wildlife Park! Choose from a variety of rides, encounters and meet and greets from the Predator Feed to the Tiger Splash and Giant Snake Show. As a conservation and sanctuary, you’ll meet and see a variety of exotic animals who call the outskirts of Sedona home. The park is largely an educational and research facility where animals are cared for and enjoy their life in a habitat as close to wild as you can get.

Get the Behind the Scenes Tour to learn more about what goes into caring for these incredible animals. Combine your package with a zipline tour for a “Zippin’ Safari” that lets you check out the park with an eagle-eyed view. Fall in love with one of the animals? “Adopt” them to help support their care and maintenance.

A Roaring Good Time

Feed a tiger, cuddle with a sloth, or schedule a campout and spend the night amidst your new friends. You can visit the website any time to get a sneak peek of the animals, including the latest additions. Book your package online, and add à la carte options to customize your trip.

Hop in the resident “unimog” and explore the grounds with a skilled guide at the wheel. Armed with goodies for the herbivores, you might have a giraffe poke his head inside for a quick snack. You never know what to expect at the park, but one thing’s certain: You’re about to make a lot of new and unique friends!

 

Hop on the Red Rock Magic Trolley

by: Editor on 5/22/2017

 

Have you seen the little red trolley cruising around Sedona? That’s the Red Rock Magic Trolley, offering a variety of tour options so you can take in the best sights and hidden gems of the region in one fell swoop. Tours range from 55 – 85 minutes depending on which is selected, and it’s a fantastic quick trip even for locals who haven’t explored every nook and cranny of their gorgeous town.

The trolleys are also available for private rentals, as is renting a fleet of vans. Popular for business conferences, weddings and more, it’s a unique way to get around Sedona. However, day tours are by far the most popular. Guides are always local and know every inch of the city—as well as a few jokes to keep the party going.

Get on Board

Choose from three tour options, and book your reservations online. The Chapel of the Holy Cross Tour showcases the most visited destination in Sedona, just down Highway 179. Tickets are just $15 for adults, and the trolley departs seven days per week at 3 p.m. Choose the Boynton Canyon Tour and see Jordan Park while finding out about Native American history and the western film industry. These tours are $25 for adults.

The Bell Rock Tour’s highlight is the “land of giants” where vortex sites and the most famed rocks are the stars. Tickets are $25 for adults to join this 85-minute tour. You can opt for a Sunsetter Tour, too, and see the rocks in a brand new light!