Sedona, Arizona is a unique small city in the Red Rock country of Arizona. It is about 120 miles north of Phoenix nestled in the Verde Valley surrounded by nature’s sculptures made from the red rock formations. Before this valley was populated by a small group of settlers it would have been harsh desert. Now, it’s a bustling small town pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Its nearest neighbor of any size is Cottonwood across the valley floor to the south about 17 miles.
Sedona wasn’t exactly what I expected. I always envisioned this place as a small village like town comprised mainly of artists of various genre. Well, I’m sure there is still an artist community here, but frankly, I found it to be a rather pricey tourist trap. There still is a certain quaintness to it, but the main street through the town is full of small strip malls and stores of all kinds along with several chain hotels. At the north end of town is a very pricey Spanish styled, walled shopping mall with, from what I could tell, upscale boutiques, art galleries and costly small restaurants. One unique attribute of Sedona is supposedly the climate. I have been told that it is typically about 20 degrees cooler in Sedona from the prevailing temperature in Phoenix. I wasn’t there long enough to experience such a difference so I can’t vouch for it.
I stayed in Cottonwood and found the prices for lodging considerably more affordable than in Sedona. Cottonwood is more typical of a small Arizona town, less touristy and geared more to the average family. I was attending a workshop in Sedona on this trip, so staying in Cottonwood, a mere 17 miles away, was very doable. This photo was taken from an eagle’s eye perspective from a mesa on top of one of the red rock formations to the east of the city. It is actually the site of the small airport that services Sedona and from where one can avail one’s self of a sailplane adventure over the valley taking advantage of the thermals and wind currents around the rock formations.