Located at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona is the crown jewel of the Verde Valley. Established in 1902 and incorporated in 1988, the city is named for Sedona Schnebly, the wife of early settler T. Carl Schnebly.
The 4,500-foot elevation, mild climate, and scenic splendor, work together to draw an estimated 4 million tourists each year. Many of those tourists come from out of state or foreign countries, and their effect is felt in every community in the valley. Many of those tourists have chosen to stay and make Sedona their home, as full-time or seasonal residents. The influx has created a building boom in the area and a dynamic, primarily high-end, real estate market.
Sedona has something for everyone, world-class resorts, small family-run motels, quaint bed-and-breakfasts, fine restaurants, outstanding shops, and diverse art galleries. The area's beauty makes sightseeing and hiking popular. Golf and tennis are almost year-round activities.
Visitors can take a jeep tour into the backcountry or view the red-rock monoliths from horseback or in a hot-air balloon. Other attractions include Slide Rock and Red Rock state parks, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona Arts Center, and Tlaquepaque (a Mexican-style arts-and-crafts village).With the opening of the Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking, and the Sedona International Film Festival and Workshop, a four-day celebration of independent films, Sedona has put itself at the forefront of independent filmmaking.
Arizona 89A through Oak Creek Canyon is the state's first designated Scenic Highway, and both Rand-McNally and Readers Digest have designated it one of America's most beautiful drives. Sedona also is a hub for visitors to Northern Arizona. Many tourist sites-such as Indian ruins, reservations, the Grand Canyon, Jerome, Meteor Crater, and Sunset Crater-are just a daytrip.
The State of Arizona has two visitor centers in the area, one in Sedona at the Chamber of Commerce Building (Arizona 89A and Forest Road) and one in the Village of Oak Creek in Tequa Plaza.
The U.S. Forest Service has two visitor centers in the area-one at the top of Oak Creek Canyon in the Vista Overlook and one at Indian Gardens in Oak Creek Canyon. A Red Rock Pass is required to park anywhere on Forest Service land and can be purchased at any gateway center. Visitors also can obtain tourist information, maps, and information on ecological and archaeological sites.
The Forest Service administers many area campgrounds including several on Oak Creek. The crystal clear creek is stocked with trout from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District includes a high school (Grades 9-12) in Sedona and two elementary schools (Grades K-8), one in Sedona and the other in the Village of Oak Creek, six miles south of Sedona. There are several area private elementary and high schools. Coconino and Yavapai community colleges and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, also serve the Sedona area.
Sedona boasts a wide choice of physicians, surgeons and dentists, with many specialties represented. Sedona Medical Center, an outpatient facility, has an emergency room and a cancer center, laboratory, X-ray, and a mammography unit. Two regional medical facilities - Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood, 20 miles west, and Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff, also serve Sedona.
Sedona has seven financial institutions. The Arizona Department of Commerce will customize a package containing forms needed for starting a business. Information on licenses, applications, applicable taxes, clarification of government regulations, and much more is included. For a customized package, call the department's Business Assistance Center in Phoenix toll-free at 800-542-5684.
More than thirty churches, representing many faiths, serve the area. Many churches are also nondenominational.
The Sedona Airport has a 5,100 foot paved runway, and the airport is lighted and radio-equipped. Charter-air services, and scheduled air and van shuttle services, are available between Sedona and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
For more information, call the Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Chamber of Commerce at 928-282-7722, or the City of Sedona at 928-282-3113.
Courtesy of The Verde Independent, Thursday, June 19, 2008.
For more information, view the Sedona Community Profile (PDF), prepared by the Arizona Department of Commerce.