Sedona, Arizona, where sunsets are fiery spectacles and starlit nights quickly follow, explodes with 360-degree panoramas. Drive the Red Rock Scenic Byway for unending views of Sedona’s signature red rock formations. Or take an off-road jeep tour. Then choose from more than 100 different hiking trails to get up close and personal with wind-carved rocks, sprawling forests of pinon pines, and silent canyons. Get wet with crowds at Slide Rock State Park or get quiet while cruising Sedona’s powerful vortexes.
As for human-made experiences, you don’t have to be religious to appreciate the Chapel of the Holy Cross built into the red rocks. Or believe in capitalism to enjoy popping into shops downtown or at Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village. Or be from Napa to enjoy the Verde Valley Wine Trail and sip local varietals. Or a historian to appreciate the ancient cliff dwellings and rock art of the Sinagua people. You just have to be a curious traveler in search of silence, spirit, and civilization. — Lynne Sullivan