I have had Sedona, Arizona on my bucket list of domestic travels for half of my life for many reasons. It's red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests. It’s typical mild climate (although it snowed heavily while we were there) and vibrant arts community. Although to be honest, my highest interest in Sedona would truly be their New Age shops, spas and their vortexes. What is a vortex? They are swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration. These are specific places where the earth seems especially alive with energy. Many people state that they feel inspired, recharged or uplifted after visiting a vortex. For a spiritualist like myself, this is THE place to be.
We flew into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and rented a car for our journey. It is roughly a two hour drive from this airport to Sedona but it was is quite the scenic drive, in fact they even named a portion of it the Red Rock Scenic Byway. To be completely transparent, when I found out it was going to be snowing more than normal during our trip, I was slightly disappointed because I was afraid the beauty of the red rock would be covered, but the snow made it that much more angelic.
During our time in Sedona we stayed at the Arabella Hotel Sedona. We selected this quaint hotel for a number of reasons including their beautiful red rock views and their complimentary bicycle rental. The hotel is within walking/biking distance to the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. It is fashioned after a traditional Mexican village complete with cobblestone streets and stucco walls. Tlaquepaque holds over 50 specialty shops, exclusive art galleries, and fine dining. Unfortunately due to weather we were not able to visit the village but it is now on our list for our next trip.
During our time in Sedona we decided to take book a "Scenic Sedona Tour". We enjoyed driving around with our tour guide seeing all of the different areas of Sedona, and hearing all of the stories he had. Since the weather was still cold and icy we were not able to stop at many of the places we wanted to. One of the places we were not allowed to stop at that day was The Chapel of the Holy Cross, voted one of the “7 man made wonders in Arizona.” It was inspired by sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. The church was built in 1932 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The chapel is one of several of vortex areas I was interested in visiting but I was glad to get close enough to at least see it with my own eyes. We were able to have sometime outside at the Airport Mesa Overlook. The Overlook gives you a breathtaking view of the area and some even report seeing colorful orbs around them as they reach the vortex, which is said to bring a sense of rejuvenation and aids in creativity and inspiration. I had packed all of my crystals for this trip and laid them out on one of the rocks to charge them in this area. While I did not see any orbs I was certainly grateful for my trip out here which filled my hear with gratitude. It is hard not to feel that way when you are surrounded by so much of Mother natures beauty.
Another great place we spent some time in was Uptown Sedona. It is an area full of galleries, shops, touring companies and world-class restaurants. You can find yourself stopping in trading posts, cowboy stores, New Age shops, and enjoying the view of the red rock that is the backdrop of the area. While we were here we decided to stop in and have lunch at the Cowboy Club. This restaurant (formerly known as the Oak Creek Tavern) has been around for over seventy years. It originally opened in 1946 but during the 1950's and 60's there were over fifty western movies filmed in the area. So after a long day of shooting, big stars like John Wayne, James Stewart, Rock Hudson, and even Elvis were said to frequent the tavern. While having lunch we felt adventurous and tried the DiamondBack Rattlesnake Bites. We always like to try the local food when we travel. We can now say we tried Rattlesnake, and cross it off the list.
We also had a wonderful fine dining experience for dinner at Mariposa Sedona. Perched atop a scenic bluff, floor-to-ceiling windows and an expansive outdoor patio deliver panoramic views of Sedona’s majestic red rocks from every table. They also have two dramatic glass-enclosed wine vaults that house more than 600 bottles of wine, including many South American varieties. The food is delicious, the restaurant is truly stunning and I am sure the view is spectacular during the day. Chef Lisa Dahl has five gems in Sedona that you can dine at throughout the town.
While our Sedona trip was short, it really left a lasting impression on us. We have already booked our next visit out to Sedona in the spring and we are looking forward to visiting some of the places we did not get to see this time around. What I learned during this trip was some of the places I had on that so called "Bucket List Trips" list were not really "Bucket List" at all, they are really "Places I Can't Wait To Visit Again Trips". When you say "Bucket List" it makes you feel as though it is a spot you will only get to visit once in your life and for me, Sedona is not one of those places, I know I will travel there as much as I can.
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