AOL PICK from our Editors
Sedona has long lured an artistic community who finds endless inspiration in the beauty of the region. Artists have settled among the red rocks and galleries have opened. In recent years, many of the traditional T-shirt-based souvenir shops have been replaced by boutiques and specialty stores, which has made Sedona feel more upscale. Uptown’s compact collection of retail outlets makes it the prime shopping arena, but be sure to continue down Highway 179 to Tlaquepaque, the re-created Mexican village, where you'll find an entertaining array of galleries and shops. The section of Highway 179 south of Tlaquepaque, known as Gallery Row, is lined with world-class galleries clustered in small plazas like Hozho Center and Hillside Sedona.
Founded in the late 1950s, this artistic and cultural hub includes a Fine Arts Members Gallery and a Community Exhibitions Gallery, displaying the largest selection of local artists’ works in the area. Since the Center is a 501(c)3 organization, purchases do not include sales tax, which equates to almost a 10% savings. Free art demonstrations are regular events (check the website for times and details for upcoming events). Feeling inspired? SAC also conducts a year-round School of the Arts that offers workshops in three to five day formats, but you will need to reserve your place at least one to two weeks in advance.
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Neighborhood: Village of Oak Creek
This artist cooperative exhibits the works of 40 local artists and, best of all, the work spans a variety of price points which makes it the perfect stop for bargain-hunters like us. Since the gallery is staffed by the artists, you’ll often find them creating new pieces or demonstrating techniques when you visit. The work on display covers all mediums, making this a great place to pick up a one-of-a-kind item. Creations include bookmarks, cards, designer clothes, photography, jewelry, handbags, glass art and silk painting.
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Neighborhood: Near Uptown
This little place is hidden away on a side street not far from Uptown, but if you’re looking for a special, hard-to-find gift, this is your best bet. The building that once housed Sedona’s first general store now brims with custom furniture, garden accents, antiques and seasonal items. Hummingbird House carries a more rustic style of arts and crafts than is usually found in Sedona.
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Neighborhood: Highway 179 Corridor
This multi-level shopping center carved out of a hillside, shelters assorted galleries, shops and restaurants. It serves as a primary anchor to Gallery Row and includes lots of splashy water features and shady places to sit for the less retail-driven. Choices range from the fine art of Gallery of Modern Masters to handcrafted gifts from St. Croix Sedona to the fresh olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars of Sedona Olive Oil Co.
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It’s almost impossible to resist this gallery with their courtyard all a-twirl with mesmerizing multi-armed wind sculptures. Oversized rock chairs are scattered about the grounds looking like Fred Flintstone’s patio (you’ll be amazed at how comfortable they are). The big outdoor pieces may not be suitable impulse buys with airlines charging for luggage, but inside El Prado also features a richly varied collection. Peruse paintings, ceramics, pottery and wood, in a blend of traditional and whimsical styles.
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