Top 5 Features that Make Up Sedona’s Energy from Tripbound’s Own Thomas B.
This week, we have a special guest blogger! Our own Thomas B., Tripbound’s most-seasoned travel coordinator, recounts his trip to Sedona, Arizona, during which he celebrated his one-year anniversary as a member of the Tripbound team. But, just a friendly heads up, you’ll finish reading with a serious case of wanderlust and a greater understanding of what draws people to this breathtaking oasis.
The 4-ish days I spent in Sedona went by incredibly fast. That’s the nature of vacation, right? It comes too slowly and goes too quickly. But you would be surprised how much you can fit into that small amount of time. And although I was tasked with taking pictures of the resort properties I visited, as well as experiencing the area as a typical tourist, the memories that lasted have nothing to do with the resorts, the usual visitor activities, or anything of that nature. It would be easier if I could just post a few pictures on Instagram with the caption “#Sedona #redrocks #Tripbound,” but that simply is not representative of my thoughts or feelings when reflecting on this trip. So, without further ado, here are my 5 favorite aspects of Sedona.
After all was said and done, it took us (my girlfriend and I) about 8 hours to fly from Richmond, Virginia, to Phoenix, Arizona. My first sensation upon landing was the dry air, which is so different from the humidity of Hampton Roads. It was also exceptionally sunny.
Our next step was to get the rental car and drive two hours north to Sedona. This was my first time renting a car, so with walking into the airport came the giddiness of a new experience. After waiting in line a few minutes we got called up by the attendant.
She was wearing your typical customer service uniform with a collared shirt and dress pants, but I noticed, hanging from her neck, was a brown leather pouch. After explaining our complimentary upgrade, I asked her what was inside. She opened the pouch and poured four small crystals into her hand, and proceeded to say:
“This one is for spiritual guidance. This one for wisdom. This one is for patience. And, of course, this one for abundance. I also wear a bracelet to help with circulation and attracting positive energy. What are your plans in the area?”
I responded, “We are visiting Sedona for a few days. I work for a company called Tripbound, and we do a lot of business there,” I replied.
She smiled, “Sedona is wonderful. There is so much healing energy there. Who knows? Maybe you will have a pouch like this when you get back.”
So many people in Sedona were like this woman—approachable, positive, kind, and a bit eccentric. These attributes really define the vibes of the locals, whether a front desk attendant, restaurant waiter, shopkeeper, or barista. They contribute greatly to the energy of the town that it is hard not to have a refreshing experience during your stay.
Natural & Organic Groceries
After checking into Wyndham Sedona we drove around West Sedona looking for a grocery store. There was a Safeway right across the street, but we also found this smaller store called Natural Grocers and decided to check it out.
This store was awesome! Everything that I looked at was organic and non-GMO. The eggs were free-range. They also have interesting options like buffalo steaks and ground elk meat. But the best offerings, in my opinion, were the dietary supplements. They had a whole section of the store dedicated to juices, oils, capsules, and powders for everyday health and healing. From relieving pain to boosting libido, Natural Grocers had holistic vitamins to help.
My purchases did not break the bank either. I ended up buying almost all of our groceries from this store during our stay, even when we moved to Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort on the other side of town. The clean, fresh food gave me the strength and energy necessary to walk, run, and hike throughout the trip.
Nothing goes with a red rock view in Arizona like a cold beer. There is, of course, the local Oak Creek Brewery to provide some of the best flavors of Sedona—Hefeweizen, Nut Brown Ale, Pale Ale, and more. You can visit their brewpub in Tlaquepaque Village to enjoy a flight.
If you would rather grab some bottled beer, I would recommend any of the following: Mudshark Brewing Company’s Full Moon Belgian-style white ale and Desert Magic IPA, Lumberyard Brewing Company’s Knotty Pine pale ale, Four Peaks Brewing Company’s 8th Street pale ale, and San Tan Brewing Company’s Devil’s Ale. Most of these fall on the hoppy side of the spectrum. Each of these Arizona brewing companies, however, has plenty of additional options available if you want something darker, sweeter, or more traditional. Because I had never seen any of these in Williamsburg, it was a real treat to have such a variety of local microbrews to appreciate each day.
You will also notice the variety of restaurants available in the area, and a lack of the usual chain restaurants. Other than a McDonald’s and a Taco Bell, I did not notice anything other than locally-owned restaurants and cafes.
The area has its fair share of southwestern food. Be sure to check out Café Jose for some huevos rancheros, or Javelina Cantina for nachos and a margarita. Do you like Thai food? Grab some pad thai at Thai Spices. Pizza to go? Order a pie from Pisa Lisa. Gluten-free options? Have a go at Karma Café. Feeling like classic American diner dishes with a menu and décor that is space-themed with UFO, alien, and Mars references? Then, by all means, have a meal at Red Planet Diner!
The restaurants in Sedona will satisfy anyone’s palate. The dining options reflect the variety, quality, and originality of the area. I could taste the freshness of ingredients used, and it was much appreciated. It was refreshing to have a long list of choices that did not include T.G.I. Fridays or Applebee’s.
Surrounding Red Rock Landscapes
Now, don’t get me wrong; the people, food, and beer in Sedona are all great in their own right. But, they would not be nearly as special without the surrounding landscapes. The mountainous red rock formations add that extra touch to everything you will do in Sedona: going shopping seeing red rocks, having a meal seeing red rocks, playing golf seeing red rocks, etc. It really is the major draw to Sedona, and most of Arizona.
The memory of Sedona that has stayed with me since I left was standing at the top of the hill at the entrance of Sedona Airport. There is an overlook there that is supposed to have the best view of the sunset. I didn’t get to see that because it was cloudy every night I was there, but I can imagine it would be beautiful. I stopped at this spot every day of my trip. There is a vortex in that area, so it might have to do with that. But, even if you don’t believe in the metaphysical, you still gain one invaluable insight: perspective.
There is something about standing on top of something large and tall and looking down on everything that puts your self, your life, and your world into perspective. I would look at the mountains of Sedona every day and think to myself, “These have been here for thousands of years before all of us, and they will be here for thousands of years after.” I don’t know much about the Native American tribes of the area, but I imagine they possessed a reverence of these monoliths. That reverence is the intangible something that Sedona offers to anyone who will take a moment to stop, look, and listen. And while many will fantasize about a guided tour in a helicopter, a jeep, or even a horse, I would argue that it doesn’t get any better than simply being alone (or with close family or friends) in a moment of silence at the top of the mountain.