Sedona is brimming with water recreation, making it especially attractive during the summer months. Sedona’s enclaves of creeks and eddies offer up renowned fishing spots. The Verde River lends itself to fishing, water play and whitewater rafting. Gasoline-powered boats are welcome north of Sedona at Upper Lake Mary. Fishing licenses are required and can be purchased at Arizona Game and Fish offices as well as most sporting goods stores and bait and tackle shops. For more information call (602) 942-3000 or visit www.azgfd.gov.
Water to Wine
The Sedona area is home to two of Arizona’s beloved state parks and is within an hour’s drive of four others. Slip slide away at Slide Rock State Park – a natural water slide carved into the slick-rock surface of Oak Creek Canyon.
Or float down a lazy river under a canopy of towering cottonwoods with Sedona Adventure Tours – provider of the Water to Wine tour – a perfect fit for a warm summer day. As you are guided along the Verde River, filtered sunlight dapples the water with a playful show of light and shadow. Through the trees are occasional glimpses of golden hills stretching into the distance. A red tail hawk rises slowly on a thermal in the deep-blue sky overhead. A sudden swirl in the shallows reveals a river otter diving for lunch. A gentle riffle at a bend in the river commands your brief attention, and a quick one-two with the paddle sends you through the chute with a cooling splash and a satisfied smile. Your paddling lesson an hour ago served you well and you catch the eye of the guide who flashes a thumbs-up. You settle back and become totally immersed in the ebb and flow of the current.
This splendid reverie is broken as, on the banks up ahead, appears a Tuscan farmhouse atop a low hill covered with grape vines. The boat scrapes bottom as you come ashore and gather with friends in the cool shade. A brief walk brings you into dazzling sunshine as you stroll up a stone pathway through the vines toward the farmhouse. Inside, you are greeted by the proprietors of the winery who stand with bottles ready for the tasting and snacks nearby as accompaniment. Walls of glass look out onto the expansive deck, the vineyards and the tumbling hills beyond. You swirl the first white, a Viognier, take a sip and sink back a little deeper in the overstuffed chair.
The Water to Wine Tour is a three-and-a-half-hour trip that includes a leisurely guided float down the Verde in a Funyak, a very-easy-to-master craft that makes the experience just the right amount of thrilling. It is immediately easy to see that the Verde is the only designated Wild and Scenic River in the state. An hour on the water brings you to Alcantara Vineyards, where tastings include a variety of reds, whites and pinks in a beautiful setting overlooking the vineyards. Round trip transportation from Sedona is included. This cool tour lasts approximately three to four hours, departing daily from the boathouse in Sedona at 1:30 p.m. and returning at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.sedonaadventuretours.com or call 877-673-3661.
Sedona's Arts and Cultural Activities
Sedona is also home to abundant arts and cultural activities and attractions, including more than 80 galleries, spiritual and metaphysical shops, specialty stores and local businesses.
In Sedona’s shops there are numerous one-of-a-kind gift items that are not available elsewhere, as well as classic favorites, such as name-brand sporting goods, clothing, books, CDs, toys and electronics.
When you shop in Sedona, you are likely to be delighted and surprised. There is so much to discover – from Native American crafts and healing gemstones to outdoor wind sculptures and many whimsical and handmade items. You can take home a hand-carved walking stick or wooden flute; perhaps a blown-glass bottle stopper or a custom bird house; and even healthy treats for your pet.
There are so many styles of art in great abundance that there is surely a piece to win every heart. Sedona’s world-class galleries feature original paintings and multi-media works, jewelry, photography, sculpture, pottery, rugs, art glass, woven textiles, hand-crafted furniture, collectible kachinas and fetishes. Both seasoned and beginning collectors agree that Sedona is one of the best places in the world to buy fine art and jewelry. There are so many options for every budget.
Two popular stops for made-in-Sedona gifts include the Sedona Arts Center gift store – representing dozens of local artists – and the Sedona Heritage Museum shop, which offers many quaint items with a historic flair, such as wooden pens made from the fruit trees on its property. Other Sedona products around town include candles; cactus jellies; bath, body and facial goods; custom-fitted Western boots – even a limited edition of wristwatches produced in the Swiss style. Large items can be shipped, but you might want to pack an extra bag for those small treasures you will want to carry with you.
For more information on everything Sedona has to offer, please go to www.visitsedona.com or call 800-288-7336.
(Brought to you by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce)