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Sedona & The Grand Canyon Attractions
Sedona & The Grand Canyon Attractions
Sedona's most notable architectural landmark is the Chapel of the Holy Cross, 780 Chapel Rd. (tel. 928/282-4069), a small church built right into the red rock on the south side of town. If you're driving up from Phoenix, you can't miss it -- the chapel sits high above the road just off Ariz. 179. With its contemporary styling, it is one of the most architecturally important modern churches in the country. Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a devout Catholic painter, sculptor, and designer, had the inspiration for the chapel in 1932, but it wasn't until 1957 that her dream was finally realized. The chapel's design is dominated by a simple cross forming the wall that faces the street. The cross and the starkly beautiful chapel seem to grow directly from the rock, allowing the natural beauty of the red rock to speak for itself.
The Sedona Arts Center, 15 Art Barn Rd. at Ariz. 89A (tel. 888/954-4442 or 928/282-3809), near the north end of uptown Sedona, serves both as a gallery for work by local and regional artists and as a theater for plays and music performances.
To learn a bit about the local history, stop by the Sedona Heritage Museum, 735 Jordan Rd. (tel. 928/282-7038, in Jordan Historical Park. The museum, which is housed in a historic home, is furnished with antiques and contains exhibits on the many movies that have been filmed in the area. The farm was once an apple orchard, and there's still apple-processing equipment in the barn.
While Sedona isn't yet a resort spa destination on par with Phoenix or Tucson, it does have a few spas that might add just the right bit of pampering to your vacation. Therapy on the Rocks, 676 N. Hwy. 89A (tel. 928/282-3002), with its creekside setting, is a longtime local favorite that offers massage, myofascial release, and great views of the red rocks. For personal attention, try the little Red Rock Spa & Healing Center, Creekside Plaza, 251 Hwy. 179 (tel. 928/203-9933), which is just up the hill from Tlaquepaque shopping plaza and offers a variety of massages, wraps, scrubs, and facials. In the Village of Oak Creek, there's the Hilton Spa, at the Hilton Sedona Resort, 10 Ridge View Dr. (tel. 928/284-6975), offering a variety of treatments (try the Painted Desert clay wrap or Sedona stone massage). There are also exercise and yoga classes, a pool, and tennis and racquetball courts.
If you'd like to catch some live theater while you're in town, check out what's on stage at the Canyon Moon Theatre Company, 1370 W. Hwy. 89A (tel. 928/282-6212), which has its theater at the back of the Old Marketplace shopping center in west Sedona.
If you're searching for good microbrewed beer, head to the Oak Creek Brewing Co., 2050 Yavapai Dr. (tel. 928/204-1300), north of Ariz. 89A off Coffee Pot Drive. There's also the affiliated Oak Creek Brewery and Grill (tel. 928/282-3300) in the Tlaquepaque shopping center. If you're looking for some live music, check out west Sedona's Highway Café, 1405 W. Hwy. 89A (tel. 928/282-2300). Down in the Village of Oak Creek, you can do a little dancing at the Full Moon Saloon, 7000 Hwy. 179 (tel. 928/284-1872), which is located in the Tequa Plaza shopping center and has live music several nights a week. The latter two clubs also have karaoke a couple of nights each week.
(c) Zagat © 2013, Google.
Sedona & The Grand Canyon Activities
The Grand Canyon may be Arizona's biggest attraction, but there's actually far more to do in Sedona. If you aren't an active type, there's the option of just gazing in awe at the rugged cliffs, needlelike pinnacles, and isolated buttes that rise from the green forest floor at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon. Want to see more? Head out into the red rocks on a jeep tour or drift over the red rocks in a hot-air balloon. Want a closer look? Go for a hike, rent a mountain bike, go horseback riding.
Although Schnebly Hill Road, which climbs into the red rocks east of Sedona, is a rough dirt road, it's a must for superb views of Sedona. This road is best driven in a high-clearance vehicle or SUV, but depending on how recently it has been maintained, it can be passable in a regular car. To reach this scenic road, head south out of Sedona on Ariz. 179, turn left after you cross the bridge over Oak Creek, and head up the road, which starts out paved but soon turns to dirt. The road climbs into the hills above town, every turn yielding a new and breathtaking view, and eventually reaches the top of the Mogollon Rim. At the rim is the Schnebly Hill overlook, offering the very best view in the area. If you don't feel comfortable doing this drive in your own vehicle, consider booking a jeep tour that heads up this way.
Just south of Sedona, on the east side of Ariz. 179, you'll see the aptly named Bell Rock. There's a parking area at the foot of this formation, and trails lead up to the top. Adjacent to Bell Rock is Courthouse Butte, and to the west stands Cathedral Rock. From the Chapel of the Holy Cross on Chapel Road, you can see Eagle Head Rock (from the front door of the chapel, look three-quarters of the way up the mountain to see the eagle's head), the Twin Nuns (two pinnacles standing side by side), and Mother and Child Rock (to the left of the Twin Nuns).
If you head west out of Sedona on Ariz. 89A and turn left onto Airport Road, you'll drive up onto Airport Mesa, which commands an unobstructed panorama of Sedona and the red rocks. About halfway up the mesa is a small parking area from which trails radiate. The views from here are among the best in the region, and the trails are very easy.
Boynton Canyon, located 8 miles west of the "Y," is a narrow red-rock canyon and is one of the most beautiful spots in the Sedona area. This canyon is also the site of the deluxe Enchantment resort, but hundreds of years before there were luxury casita suites here, there were Sinagua cliff dwellings. Several of these cliff dwellings can still be spotted high on the canyon walls. Boynton Canyon Trail leads 3 miles up into this canyon from a trail head parking area just outside the gates of Enchantment. To get to the trail head, drive west out of Sedona on Ariz. 89A, turn right on Dry Creek Road, take a left at the first T intersection, and a right at the second T.
On the way to Boynton Canyon, look north from Ariz. 89A, and you'll see Coffee Pot Rock, also known as Rooster Rock, rising 1,800 feet above Sedona. Three pinnacles, known as the Three Golden Chiefs by the Yavapai tribe, stand beside Coffee Pot Rock. As you drive up Dry Creek Road, on your right you'll see Capitol Butte, which resembles the U.S. Capitol.
To the west of Boynton Canyon, you can visit the well-preserved Sinagua cliff dwellings at Palatki Ruins. However, you now need a reservation to park at this site (call tel. 928/282-3854 to make reservations). To reach the ruins, follow the directions to Boynton Canyon, but instead of turning right at the second T intersection, turn left onto unpaved Boynton Pass Road (Forest Rd. 152), which is one of the most scenic roads in the area. Follow this road to another T intersection and go right onto FR 525, then veer right onto FR 795, which dead-ends at the ruins. You can also get here by taking Ariz. 89A west from Sedona to FR 525, a gravel road leading north to FR 795. To visit Palatki, you'll need a Red Rock Pass; ruins are usually open daily from 9:30am to 3:30pm. The dirt roads around here become impassable to regular cars when they're wet, so don't try coming out here if the roads are at all muddy.
South of Ariz. 89A and a bit west of the turnoff for Boynton Canyon is Upper Red Rock Loop Road, which leads to Crescent Moon Recreation Area, a National Forest Service recreation area that has become a must-see for visitors to Sedona. Its popularity stems from a beautiful photograph of Oak Creek with Cathedral Rock in the background -- an image that has been reproduced countless times in Sedona promotional literature and on postcards. Hiking trails lead up to Cathedral Rock. Admission is $7 per vehicle May through October and $5 November through April (unless you have previously purchased a Red Rock Grand Pass). For more information, contact the Red Rock Ranger Station .
If you continue on Upper Red Rock Loop Road, it becomes gravel for a while before becoming Lower Red Rock Loop Road and reaching Red Rock State Park, 4050 Red Rock Loop Rd. (tel. 928/282-6907), which flanks Oak Creek. The views here take in many of the rocks listed above, and you have the additional bonus of being right on the creek (though swimming and wading are prohibited). Park admission is $6 per car. The park offers lots of guided walks and interpretive programs.
South of Sedona, near the junction of I-17 and Ariz. 179, you can visit one of the finest petroglyph sites in Arizona. The rock art at the V-Bar-V Heritage Site covers a small cliff face and includes images of herons and turtles. To get here, take the dirt road that leads east for 2 2/3 miles from the junction of I-17 and Ariz. 179 to the Beaver Creek Campground. The entrance to the petroglyph site is just past the campground. From the parking area, it's about a half-mile walk to the petroglyphs, which are open Friday through Monday from 9:30am to 3:30pm. To visit this site, you'll need a Red Rock Pass or other valid pass. For information, contact the Red Rock Ranger District (tel. 928/282-4119).
(c) Zagat © 2013, Google.