Chapel of the Holy Cross is built right into the sandstone cliffs.
You might think there’s not much of a connection between the above. But yet there is. Shopping, spirituality and scenery are so interconnected in Sedona and Oak Creek that it’s hard to do one without experiencing some component of the other. Part New Age enclave, part down-to-earth high desert outpost, part sophisticated oasis, Sedona and Oak Creek exude a look and feel that’s appreciated by young and old, rich and poor. The towns of Cottonwood and Jerome create their own alluring vibes, too.
Much of this otherworldly aura emanates from the rocks. And when you visit here, look around and see the abundance of orange and red formations transcend into majestic spires and outcroppings as the sun inches across the sky; you can’t help being in awe of the surrounding natural beauty and the effect it has on all your senses, the way their very existence touches your soul. These sandstone rocks, unique to Sedona and the outlying area, date back some 250 million years. A tremendous amount of energy is contained within their layers, good juju powerful enough to transform our own physical, emotional, mental and spiritual composition in myriad ways. No kidding.
Wouldn’t you want to bring a piece of this home? You can in a variety of forms such as crystals and a load of all other kinds of rocks, Native American arts and crafts, high-end artwork, much of which depicts inspiring scenes from the region, and also all kinds of antiques and collectibles that embody the rugged spirit of the West. And that’s just to name a handful!
In Sedona, there’s a whole area devoted to shopping for arts and crafts, most of which are noteworthy, and of superlative quality. The Goldenstein Gallery, an establishment that represents fifty distinguished local and regional artists working in a variety of mediums, is a good place to start. The Village Gallery of Local Artists in the Village of Old Creek also represents many fine regional artists that show everything from photography to jewelry and fashion to sacred art and more.
Native Americans, from the Yavapai and Apache tribes–along with those of other tribes such as the Hopi and Navajo–have left a significant imprint on the area, one that visitors benefit from today in the form of a vibrant shopping scene. Kachina House in West Sedona is worth the trip for its vast selection of artifacts, jewelry, weavings, pottery, fetishes, baskets and yes, kachinas, carved figures or dolls that represent a deified ancestral spirit for Native Americans, primarily the Hopi.
Out in Cottonwood–a spectacular forty-five-minute drive from Sedona offering picture postcard views along the way–Cowboy Shop is a must for imbuing yourself with a taste of the Western way of life. Time to pick out those cowboy boots and hat you’ve always wanted.
In Jerome, the old mining camp turned historic ghost town turned chic shopping destination, just forty-five minutes north of Sedona, people delight in browsing about within this National Historic Landmark of a town. Here, you’ll also find lots of great galleries and boutiques including Raku Gallery, Made in Jerome Pottery and. Situated at the top of the town, overlooking the entire Verde Valley, Jerome Grand Hotel offers many opportunities for taking in some of the best vistas around. So pop in here when in Jerome or even better, plan to stay a night or two.
Little compares, however, to the extraordinary views proffered within the twelve-mile stretch of Oak Creek Canyon and in and around Sedona. Try to take all this in from a variety of perspectives to fully absorb the intensity of this geological wonderland.
One of the best vantage points and also not surprisingly one of the most spiritual is found at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Roman Catholic chapel built into the buttes of Sedona that is a marvel to behold. Completed in 1956 and also listed as a National Historic Landmark, thousands of visitors continue to make the pilgrimage here to pray and/our resource themselves with the magical-ity of this site and little church. And guess what? You can shop for souvenirs here, too.