Situated halfway between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon is Sedona, a city with one of the most perfect settings in the United States: ponderosa pines sprout from red-rock buttes and mesas, skies are always cobalt blue, and a creek (Oak Creek) runs through it.
Oh, and according to the New Age crowd, the whole place is covered in unseen cosmic energy fields.
Unfortunately, the town is not as attractive as its setting. Strip malls hawking cheap souvenirs and crystals greatly outnumber more respectable art galleries and dealers in legitimate Southwestern handicrafts. Hummer tours, espresso bars, and fudge repositories abound. Traffic is a problem. But you don't go to Sedona for the town.
You go for the scenery, which you experience through hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and golf.
The most posh place to stay is L'Auberge de Sedona, which has four stars out of five from Forbes Travel Guide. For between $400 and $500 a night, you can stay in one of the Creekside Premiere Cottages, which, according to the website, "boast the sounds of rushing water, boisterous birds and breeze through the trees."
For half a grand a night, those birds had better be boisterous!
And if you're into mystical therapies, you can splurge on the Intuitive Vortex wellness package (you don't want to know the price).
Whether or not you believe the town has cosmic energy, Sedona puts off a snob vibe that can be felt for miles around.
Suggested snob usage: "We'll be in Sedona for the weekend. No big deal, just an upper management retreat at L'Auberge."