Spiritual Sedona

I LOVE Sedona. There are so many great places to eat and so much to see and BUY. Take a Pink Jeep tour or fish in Oak Creek.


L'Auberge de Sedona

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by wanderer 2005 on September 7, 2005

L'Auberge is French country in the Red Rock Mountains. This hotel is all about service and making you feel pampered. Located down a steep driveway at the base of Oak Creek, this hotel makes for a memorable experience. It’s also been called, "one of the most romantic getaways in the world," by Travel + Leisure magazine.

There are three types of accommodations here. You have a choice of rooms inside the lodge, private cottages, or the creek-side lodge, which is a two-storey, four-bedroom, full-kitchen suite for those who need a lot of room.

The lodge rooms are spacious and each uniquely decorated in French-country chic. All 21 rooms inside the lodge have private balconies with chairs to relax on while overlooking Oak Creek or the mountains. There are two huge fireplaces in the foyer of the lodge to enjoy a nightcap, and reading rooms to enjoy a book in the evening.

The 33 cottages on the premises are the epitome of luxury. Complete with fireplaces, large covered porches, and fresh-cut flowers each day, who wants to go home? Cottages are one- or two-bedroom suites nestled on the creek side and are very private.

All rooms have complimentary in-room coffeemakers and bottled water and provide nightly turndown service. The resort also offers in-room spa services and a gorgeous pool in the garden.

Many a wedding has been done here (my sister’s, for example), and the wedding planners are extremely helpful. From start to finish, the staff here is truly committed to making your special day an event to remember.

There are two restaurants on site, one that offers a wonderful champagne Sunday brunch and lunch and the other a nightly dinner service.

L’Auberge is a great place to spend a romantic weekend in Sedona. See my attached review of Rene, a French restaurant not on the premises, to make your weekend that much more special.

Luxury this good comes at a price—and this is no exception. There are other properties that offer lower room rates, but the view, the gardens, the ambience, and the service can’t be beat here.

L'Auberge De Sedona
301 Little Lane
Sedona, Arizona, 86336
(928) 282-1661

Cave Springs

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by wanderer 2005 on September 20, 2005

Best Things Nearby:
Slide Rock state park, Downtown Sedona

Best Things About the Resort:
Relax, fish

Resort Experience:
Camping in the high country is a popular pastime here in Arizona. People flock North to escape the 110-degree heat of Phoenix and beyond. A few campgrounds allow camping all year-round, some are only open during season.

My favorite campground is about 7 miles north of Slide Rock State Park and across Oak Creek. A little place called Cave Springs. Cave Springs is a great, small campground with coin operated showers, and potable water as well as restroom facilities. Located right on Oak Creek, you can fish or wade with your dog in the cool water, hike a trail or just sit and relax. The area is lush with vegetation and trees and all sites have fire pits, grills and running water. You can purchase ice, firewood, fishing licenses and small supplies from the camp store and there is a camp host who lives on the property.

There is a 7-day stay limit and reservations are required. The fee is $18 a day, and you can reserve online at:

www.reserveusa.com/jsp/commonpage.jsp?goto=/nrrs/az/cave/newindex.html

Or you can call 928/282-1629. The above website will give you all the info you need to know. Warning: Reservations are hard to come by in the summer months. I suggest you reserve very early, otherwise you may get stuck with a lot that’s in a high traffic area, or away from everything. You can camp with either a camper, trailer or just a tent--the choice is yours. Campsites allow eight people per site, and only one car is allowed. They will allow parking at the front of the park for $3 a day for extra vehicles.

It’s peaceful, quiet, and tons of fun to camp here. And like I said, Slide Rock is right down the road. With over 40 sites to choose from, surely you can find something you like. I like the fact that there’s a host that lives on the property--keeps out the riff-raff and keeps people quiet at night.

Cave Springs

Sedona, Arizona
928/282-1629

Coffee Pot Restaurant

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by wanderer 2005 on September 9, 2005

Dinner choices in Sedona are plentiful. Breakfast, however, is a much easier choice. The Coffee Pot restaurant is a wonderful local place that’s always busy. It’s truly easy to find. Just look for Coffee Pot Rock and then look down. It’s right under it, on Highway 89A.

Prepare yourself for a great, hearty breakfast—and be prepared to wait. There’s always a wait, but is not usually more than 20 minutes at a time. There’s a small gift shop in the lobby to browse for a last-minute gift while you wait.

Now, the food is what keeps locals and visitors alike coming back time after time. They boast being the home of 101 omelets. They have combinations you would never imagine. For instance, peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and banana, avocado and sprouts… the list keeps going. The huevos rancheros is great, as is the steak and eggs. The waffles are FABULOUS. I’ve never had a bad meal or a bad experience. The staff is really great. No matter HOW busy it is, they’re always in a good mood and always helpful. But, let’s get real here, the food is the reason we all go out to eat, and the food here is so good and a great value. I’ve never had lunch here, but they do offer a pretty extensive lunch menu as well.

Like I said, be prepared to wait for a table. Weekends are always busier than weekdays, but the wait is never very long. The parking lot is small, so park across the street; it’s easier. Most of the businesses around the restaurant have tow-away signs if you’re not visiting that particular establishment, so don’t chance it and park across the street.

The Coffee Pot is open 7 days a week until 2pm.

Coffee Pot
2050 West State Route 89A
Sedona, Arizona, 86336
(928) 282-6626

Rene at Tlaquepaque

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by wanderer 2005 on September 15, 2005

Rene at Tlaquepaque is my favorite restaurant here in Sedona. Classic French food at its best, its location in a quaint shopping center makes it perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary dinner. The restaurant is named after the original owner/chef René Baudat, was opened in 1977, and has been mentioned in Zagat’s, Fodor’s, and The Mobil travel Guide, which gave it three stars. Pretty impressive.

The menu has some Southwestern influences rolled together with French cooking. Paired with a great wine list of over 100 different wines, the result is a truly unforgettable meal. My personal favorite entrée is the Rene signature, which is rack of lamb carved tableside. You can get it for one or for two people, and it’s an elaborate production, as they wheel it out and slice at right in front of you. DELISH! Another fave is the sweet potato ravioli topped with Boursin cheese sauce and pecans. This is something you can’t get just anywhere, so you should be bold and try it!

The French onion soup is also fabulous, topped with four cheeses, as is the lobster bisque, rich and creamy, with a splash of truffle oil. TO DIE FOR!

Dessert is classic French and flambéed tableside as well. You can choose from classic crepes Suzette, bananas foster, or cherries jubilee. I LOVE the bananas foster. The tableside service makes you feel like royalty, and you deserve it. I take my husband here for his birthday every year, and every time it feels like the first.

If you don’t want to spring for dinner, they do offer lunch with mostly salads, sandwiches, and benedicts.

The owner, Deborah, was a server here a long time ago, and now she runs the place and is a real sweetheart. She usually greets all guests at the door and checks on you during your meal.

I’m telling you that this is a wonderful place for a romantic dinner. You have everything you need here: ambience, great food, wonderful wines, and superior service. What more can you ask for?

Rene at Tlaquepaque
336 State Route 179
Sedona, Arizona, 86339
+1 928 282 9225

Tlaquepaque

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by wanderer 2005 on September 7, 2005

Tlaquepaque is a shopping experience in Sedona that should not be missed. If you want unique and one-of-a-kind gifts, this is the place for you. The plaza is modeled after a traditional Mexican village and houses over 40 shops, including over a dozen galleries, jewelry shops, five restaurants, and half a dozen clothiers.

The atmosphere here is that of artsy meets the Southwest, with everything from hand-blown glass and handmade shoes to paintings, pottery, silver, leather, silk, music boxes, and even furniture. The plaza was originally conceived as an artist’s community in the 1970s, and it’s not unusual to see an artist working on one of their latest pieces. It’s best to take your time walking through this beautiful plaza, because you never know what’s around the next corner or through the next archway. Cobblestone walkways and fountains trickling make this truly a one-of-a-kind shopping event.

Wedding also take place in this plaza. There’s a small chapel on the grounds that is the perfect location for a spring wedding, as is the beautiful courtyards. Don’t be surprised to see a wedding party or two.

Parking is free on the grounds as well as across the street. Getting in and out of the center can be a little difficult, as the road that it sits on (Highway 179) is a major thoroughfare for the city and gets very busy. There are several public restrooms on the grounds as well as drinking fountains. Comfortable shoes a recommended, as there are stairs and cobblestone walkways.

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village
336 State Route 179
Sedona, Arizona, 85339
(928) 282-4838

Slide Rock State Park

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by wanderer 2005 on September 9, 2005

Slide Rock State Park is a great place to deter from your shopping and sightseeing, especially if you have children. Slide rock is a natural water chute that is as fun as it beautiful. The scenery is wonderful around here. It’s down in a canyon off the main highway in the Coconino National Forest. Surrounded by trees and red rocks, don’t forget your camera. Several movies have been filmed here, starring popular actors like Rock Hudson, James Stewart, and Charles Bronson.

The park was originally an apple orchard in the early 1900s and became a national park in 1985. The fees are $8 per vehicle, and try to have exact change, as it seems that none of the park rangers ever have any. You park your car at the top and trek about a third of a mile down a trail to the waters’ edge. There are some stairs involved to get to the rock, so wear good water shoes. The rocks are also slippery, so water shoes are a must. There are restroom facilities and drinking fountains throughout the park, as well as barbeque grills and picnic tables. There are several trails around for hiking if you’re interested, as well as a volleyball court on the trail down. There is a small market halfway down to the water, but I suggest bringing plenty of drinking water, snacks, a camera, and towels.

The park can get very packed in the summer months, but there is plenty of room for everyone. The water in the summer is usually a cool 66°F, while the temperature outside can reach 90°F, so this is a great place to cool off. In addition to the slide, there are plenty of places to wade in the water and swim. The park service actually tests the water for E-coli everyday to ensure visitors’ safety.

Located 7 miles north of Sedona off highway 89A, you’ll see the turnoff on the left to the parking area. There’s a Dairy Queen about a mile south if you want some munchies on the way.

Pets are allowed at the park, but not in the swim area. There are park rangers around to observe and make sure everyone is obeying the rules.

This is a great place to spend the day having a picnic or just sunbathing. Don’t forget the SPF.

Slide Rock State Park
7 miles north via Oak Creek Canyon road (Highway 89A)
Sedona, Arizona

Vortexes

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by wanderer 2005 on September 16, 2005

Vortexes, or vortices, are synonymous with Sedona. A Vortex is an area with a high concentration of swirling, magnetic energy. They are also believed to be portals to other realms. Some believe they are the gateways to Heaven. These vortices have been known to scare animals. Bend trees, defy gravity and make people feel strange.

I don’t know about all that, but what I do know is what I see. Twisted Juniper trees that look like they’ve been thru a twister, as the tree trunk itself is twisted up.(See picture below. tree is on the right) Some people say they feel calm or relaxed when around the vortices and I can only say that I do feel a sense of peace when in these specific areas. Strange, but true. Sedona has long been a spiritual place for many and is famous for these centers of energy. There are a few of them in around here, the most popular being, near the Chapel of the Holy Cross, at the top of Cathedral Mountain, Bell Rock and a place called Airport Vortex and Boynton Canyon.

If interested, there are several tour companies that offer vortex tours for a fee, of course and new age bookstores offering information.

Energy Vortexes
State Route 179 & Bell Rock Blvd
Sedona, Arizona
928/282-4119

Pink Jeep Tours

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by wanderer 2005 on October 3, 2005

Take an off-road tour of beautiful Sedona, the surrounding Oak Creek Canyon, and the Grand Canyon in a pink jeep...yes, a PINK jeep. If you like adventure, then this is the attraction for you! Pink Jeep Tours offers people an exciting way to see Southwest and all it has to offer.

All tours leave from Sedona and take anywhere between 2 and 11 hours, depending on what you want to see. These jeeps are the Wrangler kind, meaning they’re open to the elements. The top is covered to keep the sun off. They’re also extremely comfortable and unexpectedly spacious, with leather captains chairs to lounge in. (Don’t forget your seat belt!)

The Grand Canyon tour is great, but it literally takes all day. It’s 11 hours and includes lunch and pick-up and drop-off at your hotel. You’ll drive from Sedona, through Flagstaff, and up to the South Rim. You’ll have both a visual tour on the jeep’s DVD player and a wonderful tour guide-narrated tour. You’ll learn about the vegetation, breeds of animals, and the Colorado River’s history. Bring plenty of film, cuz you’ll need it for all the great vantage points you’ll have. Lunch at the El Tovar Hotel is wonderful and plentiful. You won’t leave hungry.

Pink Jeep Tours provides cold drinking water while the jeep is stopped, but I suggest bringing a bottle of water to drink while the jeep is in motion, along with a few snacks, just in case: it IS a long day. (By snacks, I mean nuts or granola bars, because food really isn’t allowed in the jeeps.) Bathroom facilities are far and few between, so don’t drink 8 gallons of water before you leave. I also suggest dressing very comfortably and wearing hiking boots, as there is a small amount of walking involved on any given tour. You’ll be much happier and safer than if you wore sneakers. Bring a hat, and don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen. A light jacket that you can tie around your waist is always a good idea. Depending on the time of year, it might be a chilly drive back without one.

Tours start on the hour, and there are bathroom facilities at the launch site as well as a coffee shop. There is a small gift shop, but as I’m sure you can guess that water and film are expensive there. There’s a Walgreen’s down the street for that kind of stuff.

The tour guides are all very informative and fun to have around. I don’t think it’s possible to stump them. The best part is getting away from all the other tourists and getting to go off the major roads and highways, so it’s just you and the wilderness. On the way back from the Grand Canyon, you make a stop at the Cameron Trading Post for souvenirs and a snack, a nice end to a terrific day!

Pink Jeep Tours
204 North State Route 89A
Sedona, Arizona, 86339
(928) 282-5000

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by wanderer 2005 on September 9, 2005

The Chapel of the Holy Cross juts out of the desert like an epiphany. If you blink, you may miss it. Located on the south side of Twin Buttes, just off the main road to Sedona (Highway 179) on Chapel Road, the chapel is a beautiful stop on your way in or out of town.

The chapel was the idea of Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who was not only a painter and sculptor, but also a student of Frank Lloyd Wright’s in the 1930s. She wanted a permanent tribute to her parents, who died in the 1940s. Built into the picturesque red rocks of Sedona, it is quite a sight. There are no actual services held here; it’s more of a spiritual place to take time and reflect. On the front door is a sign that reads, "Peace to all who enter." There are a few pews and an altar, but the real joy is the block glass window that reflects the sunlight and illuminates the room like nothing you’ve ever seen. Take a moment to light a candle in someone’s name or just say a small prayer. All faiths are welcome here. There is also a small gift shop downstairs where you can find your run-of-the-mill religious items and some really nice items exclusive to the chapel.

There is a winding driveway that leads to the top with plenty of parking and a pretty steep walk up a circular concrete ramp to the top. Make sure and wear comfortable walking shoes; cute heals won’t be good in this situation. The ramp is wheelchair accessible.

At the top are some of the most magnificent views of Sedona, Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and Oak Creek 200 feet below you. There are some great pictures to take in this area, especially at sunset. Even if you’re not religious, this is a fantastic place to get some incredible pictures.

The chapel is open from 9am to 5pm daily, except Christmas, Thanksgiving, Good Friday, and Easter.


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