I have lived in Sedona since 2000. Weekend tourist traffic requires some patience, but durin weekdays Sedona retains small town charm.
Tlaquepaque North Entrance
The Beginning of Talapaque Village
Abe Miller, originally a Nevada businessman, bought a beautiful piece of land along Oak Creek, that had magnificent old Sycamore trees. The former owner agreed to sell the land on the condition that Miller would build around, and not remove the trees. Miller wanted to create a shopping and dining village that would resemble a small village in Mexico. Miller wanted fountains, Mexican tile, carved doors, wrought iron details, and cobblestone streets. His vision was that Tlaquepaque would become an arts and crafts village for the budding artist community in Sedona. Miller hired architect Bob McIntyre, and the project began. Many of the carved doors, ironwork and other objects were imported from small villages in Mexico to achieve the authenticity of a Mexican village. A tiny chapel was built with religious murals and leather pews that would be a place for small weddings and sometimes just a place to take a moment to reflect. Tlaquepaque which means "the best of everything" opened in 1973. Today, Miller's vision has grown way beyond the arts and crafts village he imagined, and Tlaquepaque is the heart of many of Sedona's community events, a farmer's market, restaurants with casual to fine dining, interesting retail shops, and galleries which offer sculptures, glass, Native American and contemporary jewelry, carvings and other art forms. Talaquepaque North added more shops across from the original village. Many tourists as well as locals site Talaquepaque as their favorite place to visit in Sedona.
Open Year Around
Luminaria Cross in Main Courtyard During La Noche de Luminarias
Tower in Background of Galery
Summer is a riot of colorful flowers
Lodging Restaurants Near Tlaquepaque
Los Abrigados Spa Resort is located directly behind Tlaquepaque and many people who visit Tlaquepaque chose to stay there for the convenience of parking and walking through Tlaquepaque. Los Abrigados has a restaurant, spa and other amenities. There are several other lodging choices within walking distance.
For fine dining in Tlaquepaque, Rene's is a good choice. Rene's opened in 1978 and still offers fine Continental cuisine such as lamb, escargots, seared scallops and a wonderful Monte Cristo sandwich. Their desserts are excellent.
El Rincon offers Mexican favorites and items with a Native American twist such as Navajo pizzas. During the summer months, Flamenco music and dancers are featured.
The Oak Creek Brewery is very casual and specializes in local beers, pizza, ribs street skewers and burgers.
The Secret Garden serves breakfast lunch, dinner and specialty teas, coffees and pastries in a garden setting.
The Pump House in North Tlaquepaque is great for sandwiches or a snack in a casual, industrial setting.
Christmas Holiday Season is Delightful at Tlaquepaque
Special Events at Tlaquepaque
While for many, the best Christmas is one with snow, but for me, Tlaquepaque offers one of the best Southwestern Christmas traditions in La Noche de Luminarias which typically takes place during the second week of December. Sedona Volunteers fill 6,000 real luminarias (paper bags with sand and candles.) *See the photo of the cross of luminarias above. The flickering candle lights, combined with a light show of stars in the winter sky, (Sedona is a dark sky city) the crisp air, the smell of tacos, the sounds of musical groups who entertainment in different styles and areas attract crowds. Since parking spaces are limited, it's best to get there early or to park in Uptown Sedona and walk.
In September, there is a Fiesta which celebrates Mexican Independence with various Folklorica dancing groups and several groups performing traditional Mexican music.
A farmers market on Friday mornings offers a variety of local produce in the summer, and other local specialty foods.
A Variety of Stores and Galleries
There are several jewelry stores with fine jewelry, and several stores with Southwestern and handcrafted jewelry. A Christmas store is open year around, and clothing stores range from trendy to Southwestern casual. Shop for fine handwoven items, or pick. a high quality imported area rug. Two of the art galleries specialize in sculptures by Sedona artists, and some galleries offer fine art, Southwestern art and glass. There are two kitchen stores, and a booth to book Sedona activities.
Tlaquepaque is located at 336 Arizona Highway 179 (almost at the junction of AZ 89A),and most stories are open from 10 AM until 5 PM, daily except for major holidays and special evening events. The restaurants hours vary.
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