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Hot Place To Cool Down

At nearly 5,200 feet, Jerome is one of Arizona’s mile-high cities (Prescott and Bisbee also share the designation), and it’s a great place to cool off, especially in the afternoon when the sun sinks behind Cleopatra Hill. Hit up one of the wine-tasting rooms, shop for novelties in a former bordello, browse art galleries with panoramic views of the Verde Valley and Red Rock Country, and grab a burger in a haunted house. Hit the town on the first Saturday of the month and enjoy the lively Jerome Art Walk from 5 to 8 p.m. Visit for more information.

Hot Place To Get High

Whether you call it Capitol Butte or Thunder Mountain or Grayback Mountain, it looms large over West Sedona, shrouded in clouds in the winter and a magnet for lightning strikes during summer monsoon. And there’s a trail, albeit not a well-traveled one, that leads straight to the summit. It’s not an official Coconino National Forest trail, and you need to be an experienced hiker to even attempt it, so we aren’t going to give you the specifics out of respect for our local search-and-rescue team. We convinced a long-time resident and avid hiker to lead us on a 1.75-mile, nearly vertical push to the summit, and it wound up being one of the most difficult hikes we’ve attempted. If you have a fear of heights (or suffer from vertigo), don’t even consider this trail. Our blood, sweat and tears paid off at the end as we sat on the summit, signed the log, and marveled as Sedona went about its daily business 6,355 feet directly below us. If you are surefooted and have the right connections, give this adventure some consideration.

Hot Place To Pick Up Designer Duds

We all lament the lack of options when it comes to shopping in Sedona, but did you know that there’s a place where, on a good day, you might stumble upon a Salvatore Ferragamo clutch, Prada pumps, a Judith Ripka ring, an Armani suit or silk scarves from Cartier? Twice Nice Thrift Shop (1225 W. SR 89A in West Sedona; 928-282-2563), which bills itself as Arizona’s first “thriftique,” regularly receives brand-name and designer donations, and many times these items still have the tags attached.

All proceeds from Twice Nice benefit the Verde Valley Sanctuary, a multiservice agency that responds to the problem of domestic violence in Sedona and the Verde Valley. So you can feel good about yourself when you walk out of the store with a Lulu Guinness handbag for a fraction of what it would cost in a Scottsdale boutique. And even if you don’t find that French-fashion-house treasure, on any given day the 4,300-square-foot store’s racks include gently used clothes from Chico’s, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren and Banana Republic as well as furniture, electronics, home goods and books. Check back frequently, too. The store’s crew of volunteers put out new items daily.

Hot Redesign

Just like the world of fashion, home design is embracing bright colors like never before, even in the earth-tone-obsessed Southwest, says Stephanie Larsen, owner of Stephanie Larsen Interior Design (1120 SR 89A in West Sedona; 928-282-2389). Sedona homeowners are covering up sage green paint with bright turquoise, tossing out terracotta throw pillows in favor of hot pink accents… and (gasp!) painting natural wood cabinets and furniture in a rainbow of colors.

“Everyone is lightening up and getting rid of the dark, depressing, heavy colors and wood furniture,” says Stephanie, who has owned her design business in Sedona for 12 years. “And painted furniture and cabinets are a huge trend right now. People are favoring furniture with nickel hardware and even glass tile accents and metallic finishes. It’s about bringing glamour into a space.”

Stephanie says this is a trend that’s going to be around for a while, unlike the neon pink jeans everyone is wearing this summer. “This is timeless, and it’s bright and cheery,” she says. “It’s definitely here to stay.”

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