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Sedona named one of nation's best small town destinations

PHOENIX -- Sedona, Ariz., located north of Phoenix, has been ranked as one of the best small towns to visit in 2014.

According to Smithsonian.com, Sedona was picked because of a lot more than the scenery (which also received a mention).

Uptown has restaurants, hotels, shops and public artworks like bronze cowboys and rearing horses; West Sedona is more of the same, plus a McDonald's with teal-colored arches, in compliance with municipal design guidelines. But the most distinctive structures are the sheer-walled Chapel of the Holy Cross, thrusting up from a 1,000-foot red rock plinth; the art-gallery village of Tlaquepaque, a graceful Mexican-inspired maze of shops; and the Church of the Red Rocks with wraparound views proclaiming the glory of God's creation. Senior pastor there, George Ault, says, "It's natural for people to come to a place of beauty and read spirituality in it."

The top small town to visit in 2014 is Chautauqua, NY, followed by Healdsburg, Calif., Williamsburg, Va., Steamboat Springs, Colo. and Woods Hole, Mass., respectively.

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