Sedona is a city that lies on the border between Yavapai and Coconino counties in Verde Valley area of Arizona. It covers an area of eighteen and a half square miles and has a population of almost twelve thousand residents. The educational needs of the city is serviced by the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District. Prominent schools in the area include Verde Valley School, Sedona Red Rock High School, Sedona Charter School, Sedona Center for Arts & Technology and the University of Sedona. Sedona is a city that is known for its red sandstone formations, which are known as the Red Rocks of Sedona. When the rising or setting sun shines its sunlight on these magnificent formations then they appear to glow with a bright orange glow. This makes a majestic backdrop for just about any endeavor including biking, hiking and camping.
What many people don’t realize about Sedona is that there are a number of famous residents who currently live, or who have lived there in the past. These include Deborah Walley, Lucille Ball, Ann Miller, Donald O’Connor, Israel Regardie, Mary Wills, Sean Young, Jack Fry, Lois Moran, James Gregory, Orson Welles, Max Ernst, Joe Beeler, Sharon Stone, Glenn Scarpelli, Robert Shields, Ted Danson, Gerard Maguire, United States Senator John McCain, Diane Ladd, Michelle Branch, Eric Byrnes, Al Pacino, Justin Frankel, Samaire Armstrong, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Russell and Stanley Jordan.
Sedona can trace its history back to 1876, when fifteen hundred members of the Yavapai-Apache Native American tribe were forced off their land and moved almost two hundred miles to San Carlos. During this forced march, several hundred members of the tribe lost their lives due to the climate and starvation. It was during this time, that Anglo settlers established apple and peach orchards in the area. In 1900, two hundred members of the Yavapai-Apache were allowed to return to the town and two years later a post office was established in the town. The population of the town grew slowly and by the mid-1950s, their were only about two hundred people in the area. During the 1960s, the town was finally fully connected to the electrical grid and began a period of development. All during the 1980s through the 1990s, the town evolved into the tourist destination that can be seen today.
Sedona is a city that is very fond of its celebrations. One of the more popularly known festivals that is held in the city is the Sedona Film Festival. This festival takes place over a period of five days and features more then a hundred and twenty five films which include full-length features, student films, foreign films, animations, shorts and documentaries. During this festival, the Festival Workshop is held to teach and inspire the next generation of film creators. This workshop was founded by Frank Warner and it brings in film industry professionals to the town of Sedona. Awards that are given out during the Sedona Film Festival include “Best Feature Film”, “Best Foreign Language Short Film”, “Audience Choice Awards”, “Best Animated Film”, ”Best Documentary Film” and ”The Discovery Film Award”. Other festivals and special events that are held in the town of Sedona include the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Festival, The Sedona Miracle Annual Charity Fundraiser and the Sedona Marathon.
A popular attraction is Slide Rock State Park. This state park is located just seven miles outside of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon. The park takes its name from a water slide that was formed by the bed of Oak Creek. All around the park are the brilliant red rock formations that are common to the area. Also in the park is a forty acre apple farm. This area was first worked by Frank Pendley in 1907 when he showed up to the canyon to take advantage of land being given to settlers under the Homestead Act. In 1914, Arizona placed a road through the canyon and Frank Pendley ended up building several tourist cabins during the 1930s. These cabins still survive to this day. In 1985, Arizona State Parks acquired the area and turned it into a park two years later. The park has several scenic hiking trails which include Clifftop Nature Trail, Pendley Homestead Trail and Slide Rock Route. In 2009, Slide Rock State Park received over a quarter of a million visitors making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state.
Another popular attraction in the town is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This beautiful Catholic chapel is built right into the majestic mesas of the town. This chapel is located on the land of the Coconino National Forest and was designed by August K. Strotz. The chapel was built over a period of a year and a half and cost over three hundred thousand dollars. It was finished in 1956. The following year, it received an award from the American Institute of Architects. In 2007, residents of the state of Arizona declared the chapel to be one of the Seven Man Created Wonders of the State of Arizona.
Other attractions in the town include Cathedral Rock, Evening Sky Tours, Sacred Earth Tours, Northern Light Balloon Expeditions, Avant Garden, Stoneman Lake, Sedona Arts Center, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon Trail, Red Rock State Park, Oak Creek Canyon, Red Rock Balloons, Sedona Heritage Museum, Devil’s Bridge Trail, Bear Cloud Gallery, Mii amo a destination spa at Enchantment, Oak Creek Brewery, Oakcreek Country Club, Sedona Golf Resort, Rainbow Trout Farm, Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art, Tlaquepaque, Sedona Off Road Center, Arizona Safari Jeep Tours, Sedona Dream Theater, Oak Creek Vista Overlook, Gifted Hands Gallery, Mountain Trails Galleries, Center for the New Age, Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, Imagine Art, Lanning Gallery, Sedona Summit Resort, Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa, Kings Ransom Hotel and the Best Western Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas. The city is also home to several notable restaurants which include Sedona Airport Restaurant, Takashi Japanese Restaurant, Red Rock BBQ Company, Hideaway Restaurant and the Orchards Grill Restaurant.