by: Editor on 2/22/2017
Go where the trail leads! In gorgeous Sedona, the Verde Valley Wine Trail is nearby and attracts wine lovers from around the world. Enjoy local Arizona wines surrounded by the red rock scenery with seven wineries and eight tasting rooms at the ready. Each winery is one of a kind and offers unique wines at every stop. Near Jerome, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Cornville and of course Sedona, it’s a fun way to see more of the local region.
Cottonwood is the hub of the Wine Trail, nestled above the desert heat yet away from the chill of the high country. Buttes and mountains surround the town, it’s the perfect place to start your wine-fueled journey. So far a largely under-discovered mecca, you’ll quickly fall in love with this gem as you explore the fantastic wine producing areas.
Sedona features rocky soil that makes the vines struggle, leading to vines that are more energetic and produce higher quality grapes. This means a more intense fruit with higher flavor concentration. In the past decade, wineries and vineyards have really sprung up in the area, and as pioneers, they’re setting the bar high.
Stop by each tasting room for samples. The seven wineries include Oak Creek Vineyards, Javelina Leap Vineyards, Alcantara Vineyards, Clear Creek Winery, Chateau Tumbleweed, D.A. Ranch and Page Springs Cellars. See how wines are crafted, and also discover some of the best hidden bistros in town.
by: Editor on 2/1/2017
The 12th annual Sedona Marathon takes place February 4th, and if you’re a runner looking for a new challenge with stunning scenery, this is one event you won’t want to miss. Prefer to cheer on the runners, or want a different length for your race? You’ll find 5k, 10k, half marathon and youth events also racing through the red rocks at this spectacular event.
February registration is $120 for the full marathon, and last-minute registrations might be possible. The Sedona Marathon is one of the most breathtaking in the U.S., and the organizers take pride in giving runners and spectators plenty of southern hospitality and a one-of-a-kind experience.
Whether you’re a regular marathoner or a first-timer, the course is designed to be full of supporters, stunning scenes and plenty of hydration and snack stations. The start and finish line is on Navoti Drive, convenient to major streets and highways. The venue opens at 7 a.m., and the marathon starts at 9, with massage tents available starting at 10.
Stick around for the full marathon awards at 1 p.m. It’s dubbed the best marathon in Arizona, one of the most beautiful races in the country, and a race that “takes runners through some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes.” All participants get swag, bragging rights and a world-class experience.
by: Editor on 1/10/2017
Arizona, and especially the Sedona area, is world-famous for the “red rocks,” but how did they get that hue? Made of red sandstone formations, they can look like they glow a bright red and orange thanks to the sun’s rays. It’s no surprise that they’re a favorite backdrop for a number of activities from photography and hiking to spiritual retreats and, of course, outdoor weddings and photos.
The city of Sedona also has some unique history. The city was named for Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly, wife of the city’s first postmaster circa 1910. She was known for her hard work ethic and hospitality. However, her name was made up by her mother simply because “it sounded pretty.”
The sandstone red rocks are full of hematite, also known as rust, which stains the stones along Schnebly Hill especially deep. Much of the Sedona rock terrain is very steep because the top layer of the “strata” is made up of limestone and basalt—these materials are harder than the actual sandstone underneath.
When water runs along the edge of the terrain, the lower layers are eaten away to create the stunning cliffs Arizona is famous for. Eventually, big slabs break off and form canyons. Where the slabs have fallen away, you can see the raw material underneath before the process begins all over again.
by: Editor on 11/2/2016
The Red Rocks are renowned for hiking, mountain biking and exploring, but don’t miss out on Bell Rock, one of Sedona’s smaller hidden gems. It’s a short, accessible hike at just 0.75 miles long and takes you up the northern face of the aptly named Bell Rock. The trail is marked clearly and begins at the Bell Rock Pathway. At the peak, you’ll take a loop before gently descending.
This is a favorite short hike for locals and can be a popular pick on weekends and holidays. It’s best to tackle this outing early mornings or on off days, such as weekdays and key holidays (Thanksgiving is a perfect pick!). Many rock climbers also try to take on the rock itself.
A Rocking Good Time
The slide area is a unique challenge that some hikers like to attempt, and to the east is a spot where you can try to climb even higher. Getting to the peak of the spires is an obstacle nervier hikers attempt, but you’ll need plenty of experience for this. To go above and beyond turns Bell Rock into a hazardous and strenuous hike. However, the rewards are incredible with views you can’t get anywhere else in Sedona.
The short trails and numerous options make Bell Rock a great choice for groups with a variety of skilled hikers. Take the northern parking lot to the base of Bell Rock for a simple hike, or choose the Lower Bell Rock Trail. A moderate hike can be made via the Upper Bell Rock Trail, or try the Ascent if you’re an experienced hiker.
by: Editor on 8/10/2016
The Starlight Ride is a seasonal tradition for many, leaving during the late afternoon on select Saturdays June through September. You will be whisked away on the local train across the riparian canyon through a stunning sunset and into the moonlight. The August event takes place on the 20th and admission starts at $59.95. From 5:30-9:30 p.m., you’ll be covered under a blanket of stars as you’re guided through the Verde Canyon to see the gorgeous vista in a way few Sedona visitors get to enjoy.
It’s a romantic getaway that takes you to the turn-around point at Perkinsville during just the right time to give you a glimpse into the nightlife of Sedona. Celestial bodies provide the perfect backdrop to once-in-a-lifetime sightings, such as bald eagles flying into the horizon, all while the Verde River flows below you, reflecting the unbelievable sunset hues.
The Romance of a Train
These Saturday night train tours are a popular choice for date night, but they’re also great for families. It’s also a great alternative, or complement, to a hike through the canyon, and the on-site menu, like the Prickly Pear Margarita, goes perfectly with the scenery. See the unspoiled beauty of the canyon up close in an intimate setting where you can kick back, relax and take it all in.
Tickets do sell out, so book yours early here.
by: Editor on 7/17/2016
Home to some of the most impressive vortexes in the country, a Scientific Vortex Tour takes place year-round, including the Major National Retreat in July, with complete instruction on tapping into the spiritual/meditative power of vortexes. There are 2.5 hour tours offered every Monday in the Coconino National Forest with guided reflections.
Customize a Vortex Briefing for Groups, or mini-retreats and extra sessions are also available for smaller groups of four or less(?). Vortexes are energy locations that are “enhanced” and prime for meditation, prayer, and mind/body healing. Although often compared to a magnetic and electric force, that’s not at the core of vortexes. Their real explanation is on the outskirts of today’s known science.
One of the most comprehensive recent coverage on vortexes can be found on the Nova program on PBS, which claims that vortexes have energy flows in the deeper dimensions. Some believe this allows your “soul to soar” more easily, allowing for more inspiration and easier stress reduction. Many have found relaxation and peace while visiting the vortexes.
Sedona is unique because all major vortexes are located in a relatively small geographical area. Overlapping into the metro of the city, it’s easier to see how a visitor’s spiritual life intersects with their everyday experience.