New Mexico to Arizona
We left the beautiful Hotel Santa Fe and made our way to the historic plaza for breakfast at the Hotel La Fonda. After breakfast, Ed, the hotel’s in-house historian, greeted us in the lobby and shared the interesting history of the La Fonda Hotel and Santa Fe. Did you know that Santa Fe was the oldest capital of the U.S. and was founded in 1609?
The Road To Sedona
We started on our seven-hour journey to Sedona, Arizona ready to explore a new state and try some new craft beers! The journey took us back past Albuquerque along I-25 to I-40 west. We got to see some breathtaking terrain and made many stops to take pictures. The colors in the layers of rock, made up of varying earthy tones, were like nothing we’d ever seen before. We even drove some of the historic Route 66 road and popped into a classic gas station, the 66 Pit Stop, and local Laguna Burger, known for their green chile burgers.
We saw a sign for an Indian Village gift shop and decided to stop for some souvenirs. Upon arrival, we found ourselves at the Continental Divide, where the rain that falls west of the line travels towards the Pacific, and rainfall on the right travels into the Atlantic.
After a long, windy drive down the mountain road, we arrived at the beautiful L’Auberge de Sedona Resort, a breathtaking resort set in Sedona’s famed red rocks. We were warmly greeted by Gudren in the hotel lobby, who would serve as our guide to the afternoon activities in Sedona.
We took a five-minute drive to Tlaquepaque, a quaint village of arts, crafts, shops and restaurants. Gudren walked us around the shopping center, which was unlike any other with its beautiful cobblestone walkways, fountains and greenery. She shared stories of local artists and pointed out some beautiful spots to take photos. After we strolled around, we walked to the second floor of the plaza to the Oak Creek Brewery & Grill.
Craft Beer Spotlight
The Oak Creek Brewery & Grill
We were seated at a high top table that overlooked the plaza with a beautiful view of the red rocks beyond it. The waitress suggested we try “The Seven Dwarfs”, their sample flight featuring seven of their locally brewed beers, we took her up on these suggestions and ordered two flights for the table, which we were thoroughly impressed with! To accompany the beer, we ordered all-American favorites like the smokehouse burger, beer-battered onion rings and French fries. Ready for our next adventure, we headed off to Sedona Stargazing to enjoy the vast Arizona sky.
After dinner, we hit the road on a windy 20-minute drive down a dirt road to the “dark site,” an open field perfect for stargazing. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Niles, an astronomer extraordinaire, and watched the sunset. Seeing the glow of the sun against the red rock was absolutely stunning, and we eagerly snapped photographs. Niles led us into the open field, which was filled with lawn chairs, parkas and colorful Mexican blankets to keep warm. We bundled up and listened attentively to Niles introduce the stargazing “tour” and his equipment. Niles had binoculars positioned on a stand and a homemade telescope that was just about as big as a full-grown adult! We started our tour by simply gazing into the sky as Niles pointed out stars and constellations with his laser pointer. As the sky began to darken, we took turns viewing stars and planets through the telescope as Niles narrated the sky. As a group, we concluded that our favorite part of the tour was viewing Jupiter through the telescope. It was absolutely amazing and the best way to end the day! Join us tomorrow as we say “cheers” for the last time to the Craft Beer Trail.