I’ve done my share of world traveling. I’ve backpacked and hitchhiked, I’ve done a few luxury tours, and I’ve gone the group route. The one thing that all of these different types of travels have in common is the getting out and exploring. No matter if you’re traveling alone, with loved ones or with strangers (soon to become life-long friends), there’s nothing quite as exciting as exploring someplace new.
I didn’t have to go far to explore the place I most recently discovered!
For years I’ve heard about the spiritual and healing properties of Sedona, Arizona. The area attracts large numbers of people because of its vortexes. These are particular spots with highly concentrated energies. The energy is said to be excellent for praying, meditating and even healing. Since the 80s, visitors have flocked to Sedona to experience these vortexes. The most powerful are Bell Rock, the Sedona Vortex, and Cathedral Rock. It’s likely you’ve seen the latter in pictures; you’ll know it by it’s two spires of red sandstone.
Sedona offers great hiking opportunities, and many people even hike in with their camping supplies to stay over. There are well over 100 trails open to hikers and many locals still haven’t even seen the area in its entirety yet.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that the vortexes became popular, but the area has been a sacred place for hundreds of years previously. There are two heritage sites where visitors can see original cliff dwellings that belonged to the indigenous people of the area, the Sinagua. These sites are called Palatki and Honanki, and when you visit you can see the original pictographs painted on the walls of the dewllings. To this day the Native Americans still perform their traditional ceremonies in the same spots.
Many of the people who have arrived in Sedona are artists and artisans. When you visit Uptown Sedona I guarantee you’ll be impressed by the community and culture that has grown there. The world-famous Sedona Art Center began as a kind of gathering place for artists. There they could work together, teach each other, and support the art scene. It’s now a draw because of its nationally recognized workshops and galleries. Artists travel to this cultural center from all around the world to connect wiht likeminded individuals and the energetic properties of the area.
Tlaquepaque is well-known as the “art and soul of Sedona.” The name itself means “the best of everything” and that is exactly what you’ll find there. The number of shops, galleries, artists and even cafes is impressive. It’s its own little cultural mecca in the heart of Arizona.
This is an absolutely stunning place to visit – whether strolling around the towns, hiking through the red rock formations or exploring the landscape and history on a Sedona Jeep tour. It reminded me that every corner of the world has something spectacular to offer – even our own corner!
Carol Atkins is a Group Travel Leader with YMT Vacations.