Why Sedona?

Sedona has the uncanny ability to seem familiar yet mysterious at the same time.

As you look into the wilderness, it may seem vaguely familiar. The familiar part is no surprise. Sedona’s distinctive red-rock landscape and renowned scenery has been featured in nearly 100 films, plus numerous videos and commercials.

Oak Creek and Cathedral Rock near the Red Rock Crossing vortex. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Oak Creek and Cathedral Rock near the Red Rock Crossing vortex. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Stop by the Sedona Heritage Museum and you’ll be treated to exhibits that highlight the region’s movie power. Beginning in 1923 with the silent film The Call of the Canyon, based on a novel by Zane Grey, through the golden age of American Westerns in the 1940s and ’50s, Sedona has had a distinguished role in film. During the peak years, virtually every major movie studio and big-name movie star worked there. Streets in a Sedona subdivision are even named after movies made in the area.

The strata that contains the famous Sedona red rock was created when a warm, shallow sea brought vast expanses of sand. When those sand grains became covered with thin coatings of iron oxide, they began taking on that red color we see today.

Red Rock Crossing & Crescent Moon Recreation Area is now one of the most beautiful locations that you can visit easily in all of Sedona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Red Rock Crossing & Crescent Moon Recreation Area is now one of the most beautiful locations that you can visit easily in all of Sedona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The most famous views in Sedona revolve around Cathedral Rock. Oak Creek flows past the base of the formation to create a much-photographed image. That scene is most often captured from Crescent Moon Picnic Area, known locally as Red Rock Crossing.

Outdoor adventure fills the Sedona area. Hiking and biking trails abound. Whether you take the easy ½-mile Allens Bend Trail, the 5.6-mile Wilson Mountain Trail with a 2,300-foot elevation change, or any of the numerous other trails, you’ll be treated to fabulous scenery and famous landmarks like Submarine Rock or Vultee Arch.

An eye-catching architectural wonder, the Chapel is built into a 250-foot-tall twin-pinnacled red rock spur. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

An eye-catching architectural wonder, the Chapel is built into a 250-foot-tall twin-pinnacled red rock spur. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Long before T.C. and Sedona Schnebly arrived in Red Rock Country, American Indians considered this land to be sacred. Sedona continues to be regarded as a special place because of its vortexes. Described as intersections of natural earth energy, Sedona’s vortexes are said to inspire meditation and healing. They are usually found on or near a rock formation.

Although all of Sedona is considered to be a vortex, rock shapes called Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock, plus the man-made Chapel of the Holy Cross, are all sites where the energy is reportedly more intense.

Appearing to rise out of the red rock formations, the Chapel of the Holy Cross towers in a panorama of buttes, valleys, and sky—all a source of inspiration inviting rest and reflection. An eye-catching architectural wonder, the Chapel is built into a 250-foot-tall twin-pinnacled red rock spur. Designed by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Chapel has been a compelling Sedona landmark since its completion in 1956.

To truly appreciate the legacy of Sedona’s early pioneers, spend time outside reveling in the same heart-freeing beauty they experienced. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

To truly appreciate the legacy of Sedona’s early pioneers, spend time outside reveling in the same heart-freeing beauty they experienced. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For a unique experience, stop at Slide Rock State Park and cool off. You can slide down the slippery creek bed, cruise down the creek in a tube, or take a dip in the natural swimming pools. Listed on the Travel Channel’s “10 Top Swimming Holes in the United States,” this natural waterpark is 7 miles north of Sedona along 89A in Oak Creek Canyon.

Nestled on the banks of Oak Creek is Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, a collection of Spanish-style buildings reminiscent of a Mexican hamlet. Cobblestone walkways meander past splashing fountains, vine-covered walls, and beneath picturesque stone archways. Flower-bedecked courtyards frame a complex of 15 specialty shops, 16 galleries, six jewelry stores, and four clothing stores—plus several restaurants.

Set among stately sycamores and lush gardens, Tlaquepaque was built in the Spanish colonial style in the 1970s as a place for artists to live and work. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Set among stately sycamores and lush gardens, Tlaquepaque was built in the Spanish colonial style in the 1970s as a place for artists to live and work. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Named after a suburb of Guadalajara, Mexico, Tlaquepaque is pronounced “Tlah-kay-PAH-kay.” This internationally renowned art and shopping destination mimics Old Mexico and is covered by the refreshing shade of giant Arizona sycamore trees along the banks of Oak Creek.

The galleries feature one-of-a-kind art in a range of media and styles, including contemporary and abstract works, American Indian, and classic Southwestern fine art. You can find everything from wildlife bronzes to Navajo rugs, wind sculptures, and traditional ceramics.

Yet, Tlaquepaque has so much more. Musicians and dancers celebrate special fiestas throughout the year, bringing the sights and sounds of Old Mexico to Sedona.

From the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to the Open Range Grill & Tavern to dozens of psychics, mystics, and crystal shops, Uptown Sedona is where to go for a bite between hikes, bikes, and other outdoor adventures. Book a Pink Jeep tour here and enjoy a cool ice cream cone. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

From the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to the Open Range Grill & Tavern to dozens of psychics, mystics, and crystal shops, Uptown Sedona is where to go for a bite between hikes, bikes, and other outdoor adventures. Book a Pink Jeep tour here and enjoy a cool ice cream cone. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why Sedona? Perhaps the meaning of Tlaquepaque contains the most fitting answer. It means the “best of everything.”

Worth Pondering…

There are only two places in the world

I want to live—Sedona and Paris.

—Max Ernst, Surrealist painter

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