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Sedona: an inexpensive mini vacation for the whole family

When I think of the state of Arizona, I think of the heat and uncomfortable weather of the Mohave Desert, with little to do and see. However, Sedona, Ariz., does not fit into this category at all. The amazing backdrop to the town, along with all of the things to do and see in the community, make a trip to Sedona a fun adventure for any family.

Sedona is located in Arizona’s high desert under the southwestern rim of the vast Colorado Plateau. This town is a tourist spot year-round as the weather is always mild, with plenty of sunshine. Ideally, the annual average high and low temperatures are 74.7 and 45.7 degrees, respectively.

There are several activities to keep everyone with any budget happy and active in Sedona. For those who are looking for relaxation and a change of scenery, the red rock formations of Sedona are a wonderful variation from Fallbrook’s rolling hills. The area surrounding Sedona is called “Red Rock County,” and there are areas to pull off the road and take amazing photos as one drives around the town.

The quaint village of Sedona itself is tucked in between the red-rock formations, some of which are aptly named for the items they resemble. Coffeepot, Cathedral and Thunder Mountain are just a few of the formations that can be seen from Sedona. In addition, at the north end of the city is the Oak Creek Canyon, an area that is perfect for both blossoming and veteran photographers to capture the sunlight and formations from just the right angle.

With Sedona’s beautiful background, it’s not surprising to anyone that this area is a Mecca for people seeking spiritual guidance. Sedona is considered to be a holy place by many, and is revered as such. While not all tourists are necessarily spiritual, everyone can agree that these formations are to be admired.

Hiking and horseback riding are also popular ventures in Sedona. There are plenty of trails to explore, with single to multiple day excursions available.

In addition to great views, there are several storefronts on Sedona’s main strip that allow for antique shopping, the enjoyment of art and sculptures, as well as curio purchasing. There are also outlet shops at the southern end of Sedona, so the bargain hunter can find exactly what he or she is looking for at a great price.

For travelers visiting Sedona during warmer months, plan on taking a quick detour to Slide Rock State Park, which is located right outside of Sedona. The park is named after the famous Slide Rock, a stretch of slippery creek bottom adjacent to the homestead.

Year-round, visitors slip and slide down a slick natural water chute or wade and sun along the creek, which has been smoothed out by the water’s current. A nice picnic area, small shop and historical buildings make a nice setting for relaxation. There are several areas at Slide Rock for water play. Depending on the visitors’ bravery, they can hike alongside the creek to various slide areas, pools for swimming and diving, or shallow areas for watery fun.

Beware of the mossy stones, though; half of the reason it’s so easy to slide down these rocks is because of the moss that makes walking up the creek treacherously slippery. Wear rubber-soled sandals, and hold onto the side of the rock as you climb up to your starting point.

Overall, a trip to Sedona is a perfect change of scenery for anyone who still wants the small town feel of home, with the right amount of natural beauty and historical background to go with it.

To find more information on visiting Sedona, Ariz. go to

http://www.visitsedona.com. To find out more information about Slide Rock State Park, go to http://azstateparks.com/parks/SLRO/index.html.

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