Big Park, or more commonly, the Village of Oak Creek, is set among scenic red-rock buttes and canyons, making it the perfect destination for those seeking the striking scenery of Arizona, beyond the Grand Canyon. A bedroom community of Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek offers adventure tours, trails, camping, and fishing, as well as urban exploration in native arts, crafts, and cuisine.
1. Hike Bell Rock
When you arrive in the Village of Oak Creek, you’re sure to notice the popular tourist attraction and back drop of the village, Bell Rock. While viewing the butte is amazing in itself, climbing Bell Rock is even more awe-inspiring. Popular trails are scattered about the mountain with one leading to the mountain’s top. More experienced climbers can attempt to climb to the top of the spires, a slippery slope that truly requires skill, but is well-worth the effort. At the top of the mountain, you can see miles of Arizona’s wilderness and beauty, a sight that’s sure to take your breath away—if you’re not already winded, that is.
Address: Bell Rock Trail, AZ
Website: Bell Rock
2. Experience native culture at the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village
A center for art and Hispanic culture, Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village is the perfect place for an afternoon of shopping and dining. Pick out the perfect earrings for that special person in your life or find a traditional Native American necklace from one of many jewelers in the area, many of whom are supplied by hundreds of local designers. If you’re not into jewelry, there are paintings, pottery, and even rugs on display and for sale at the Tlaquepaque art galleries. When your adventure has come to its end, be sure to stop in one of the cafés for a bite to eat before leaving.
Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village
Address: Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, 336 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ
Website: Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village
3. Western Jeep Tour
For an outdoor adventure that will take you through the surrounding wilderness, check out A Day in the West Tours. At A Day in the West, you can have the off-roading experience of your dreams, and view the Village of Oak Creek and Sedona’s surroundings in a Jeep. With six tours to choose from at varying rates and lengths, you can choose the perfect trip for yourself, your family, or your group of friends, ensuring memories that will last a life time. If you want a deeper connection with nature, horseback tours are also available, with many of the same sites as the Jeep tours on the itinerary. Specialty tours, including wine tastings at one of Arizona’s most famous vineyards are also a booking option. Want all the above? Combination tours with Jeeps, horses, and special locations and events are available for your vacation needs.
A Day in the West Tours
Address: A Day in the West, 252 N. Hwy. 89-A, Sedona, AZ
Website: A Day in the West Tours
4. Paint, draw, or sculpt your own art
Here's a 360° sneak peek at our current show! The 37th Annual Juried Members' Exhibition kicks off tonight with an opening reception from 5 to 8pm and awards announced at 6pm. See you there!Posted by Sedona Arts Center on Friday, 3 March 2017
Lots of action in the Ceramics Department today! Don't miss out on our "Alternative Firing" Workshop starting Sunday...Posted by Sedona Arts Center on Wednesday, 1 February 2017
While visiting the Village of Oak Creek, be sure to stop in the Sedona Arts Center. Located 16 minutes away, the Sedona Arts Center is more than just an art gallery, it is also a learning center for kids and adults alike. Featuring work from local artists, the center is home to paintings, jewelry, and sculptures made from both clay and metal. Art workshops for portraits, ceramics, field expeditions, photography, and more are held regularly, meaning even if you’re just passing through, there’s sure to be a class where you can relax and learn about art during your trip.
Sedona Arts Center
Address: Sedona Arts Center, 15 Art Barn Road, Sedona, AZ
Website: Sedona Arts Center
5. Photograph Cathedral Rock Trail
If Bell Rock is out of your experience range, take a more moderate hike on the Cathedral Rock Trail. As one of Arizona’s most photographed sites, Cathedral Rock offers scenic views of the surrounding areas, while being a dramatic, Instagram-worthy mountain itself. Different trails lead up and through saddle points, perfect for outdoor climbing exploration. Need a cardio destination while on vacation? Cathedral Rock is perfect as the main trail is primarily used for hiking and running by locals.
Cathedral Rock Trail
Address: Cathedral Rock, AZ
Website: Cathedral Rock Trail
6. Pray at the Chapel of the Holy Cross
For a religious experience in the mountains, head to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, located 10 minutes outside of the Village of Oak Creek. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic monument and prayer center built into the side of Sedona’s buttes, and stands as both a symbol of Christianity and human innovation. From the chapel’s exterior, you can see the Holy Cross, which is made from stone that blends well with the surrounding rock. The cross’s color and mountainside setting almost gives you the illusion that the building was formed out of Arizona landscape naturally. Inside, you will find rows of benches where you can sit and pray or simply observe the alter and artifacts. All may enter the chapel, so even if you’re not religious, you can still enjoy the architecture.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross
Address: Coconino National Forest, 780 Chapel Rd, Sedona, AZ
Website: The Chapel of the Holy Cross
7. Drive through Oak Creek Canyon
Finally, immerse yourself in nature at the namesake of the village, Oak Creek Canyon. About thirty-minutes outside the village, Oak Creek Canyon is the perfect destination for hiking, picnicking, fishing, water-play, and even camping. The creek flows year-round at the bottom of the canyon, and provides water to the surrounding plants and animals. Be sure to pack a camera so you can photograph the flora and fauna that surround the canyon’s multiple trails. Camping is also available at one of three campgrounds, each located next to the trout-stocked stream. If the fish aren’t biting, you can always swim in the creek, hike a nearby trail, or sit back and watch a bird before cozying up in your tent. Not the camping type or don’t have time to stop? Take the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive. From your car you can see much of the canyon’s glory, just as if you were outside on the nature trail—just try not to Snapchat and drive.
Oak Creek Canyon
Address: Oak Creek Canyon, AZ
Website: Oak Creek Canyon
Explore the Village of Oak Creek
From Jeep adventures, to hiking, to relaxing among the arts, the Village of Oak Creek will immerse you in Arizona’s nature and heritage. So the next time you’re in Arizona, do drop in and experience the wonder yourself.
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