We learn the significance of warm weather months starting at a very young age. For all the years we’re in school, the season is known not by its first name but by its full name. It’s not just summer – it’s summer vacation.
Those two words are inseparable and entwined in our consciousness. Summer and vacation, summer and vacation: It’s a lesson that lingers. And one that serves us well through life, especially as we grow older.
Summer is the reward we give ourselves for hard work through the rest of the year. And Sedona is the reward we give ourselves when we crave something memorable, like the kind of joyous, carefree summer vacation we remember from childhood.
Sedona is Arizona’s playground. Castles and columns of soaring red rocks extend in every direction. Mountains and mesas surround the town that’s tucked away amid 1.8 million acres of national forest land. With more than 300 miles of hiking and biking trails winding through the seductive outback and hundreds of miles of Jeep roads – all buttressed by four wilderness areas and two state parks – it will take many summers to experience even a fraction of what Red Rock Country has to offer.
And here’s what makes Sedona a truly special getaway as the temperatures rise. Sedona sits at an elevation of 4,500 feet at the mouth of towering Oak Creek Canyon, which climbs to 7,000 feet in a matter of just a few minutes. That lofty perch makes for ideal summer days. They’re cool and comfortable in mornings and evenings, with some heat in the middle part of the day – the perfect time for a dip in the pool, a visit to a swimming hole, a soothing spa treatment or to browse the air-conditioned shops and art galleries that have made Sedona famous.
This is also the season that’s easy on the pocketbook. Arizona is regarded as a desert state so some visitors might stay away during warm weather. That foolish mistake is the savvy traveler’s gain. It means that many of Sedona’s businesses offer great summer deals to entice more visitors.
The lodging industry often leads the way with bargains galore. Now is your chance to stay at a resort by the creek or hidden away in a private canyon. Enjoy a luxurious cabin in the woods, romantic bed & breakfast or modern motel with remarkable views – often at steeply discounted rates or with free nights added on.
The same goes for many of the tour companies and attractions around town. When looking for the Jeep tour, vortex tour, helicopter ride, hot air balloon flight or mountain bike rental that’s best for you, be sure to ask about any summer deals they might be offering.
You can also find some sweet deals on the Visit Sedona website, which is regularly updated with specials and coupons.
Of course, the best deal comes directly from summer itself. This is the time of year when days are at their longest. All those daylight hours give you more time to spend in the beautiful outdoors beneath a sky that’s achingly clear and blue. It gives you more time to explore the wonders of the Sedona landscape and reconnect to a more innocent stress-free time in your life. After all, it’s summer vacation. Play like you mean it. We’re only given a few dozen summers in our lifetime. Make the most out of your next one by spending part of it in Sedona.
That’s an absolutely unbeatable deal.
(Brought to you by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau and contributor Roger Naylor, (800) 288-7336.)