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LIFESTYLE

Arizona Wine - It’s Grand

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Developing Water In The Desert

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Summer - Fall 2016 DISPLAY UNTIL NOV 2016

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Pure Varietals From The Arizona Terroir

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The Way Life Ought To B e

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Briar Patch Inn Story by Christine Bailey Photos Courtesy of Briar Patch Inn summer

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The 19-cabin property covers almost nine acres along the shores of Oak Creek as it winds its way from through the steep rock walls of Oak Creek Canyon and south into Uptown Sedona. The canopy of trees and cool breeze off the water coupled with the higher elevation of Sedona make it a delightful retreat during Arizona’s hot, dry summer months. Purchased more than thirty years ago by JoAnn Olson, the property has evolved into one of the most sought after and revered destinations for couples, families, friends and individuals to escape for just a little while into the woods of Oak Creek Canyon. It has been voted the best bed and breakfast in Arizona for the last four years and was featured in Sunset magazine as one of the best cabin getaways. THE HISTORY In 1982, after moving her family from Paradise Valley to a 40-acre ranch in Cottonwood, JoAnn discovered the beautiful little B&B. “One day I was looking at the local paper,” JoAnn said, “and I saw the Briar Patch Inn for sale. I was curious and called the realtor to take a look. Ten minutes in I said I’d take it. I had no money, but I did have a home for sale in Paradise Valley.” Serendipitously, the sellers were looking to move to the Valley and so negotiations ensued. JoAnn purchased the property and soon after began refurbishing the existing cabins, which had been originally built in the 1940s. Over the next several years, the Olsons added to the property. Purchasing adjacent land as it became available and fixing up the old cabins they acquired

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Briar Patch Inn nestled along Oak Creek in Sedona may very well be the epitome of the way life is meant to be as they claim. It’s not just the reduced access to technology. It’s the slowpaced, private, quiet existence that lets you step outside of the turbulent river of life and settle into the moment.

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along the way into the cozy, comfy cabins guests enjoy today. Some, like the charming acorn house, were nothing more than a leaning fish shack. THE CABINS Refurbished and decorated over the last 34 years as the Olson’s acquired land and added to the property, each of the 19 cabins has its own style and personality. They range in size from the little one-room owl cabin with its private patio for two to the two-bedroom heron cabin with a full

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kitchen, a queen-size bed and two twin beds for four to the four-bedroom nine-person ponderosa (the only cabin with a TV) that has a living room large enough to fit 30. Each cabin has been personally decorated by JoAnn Olson, and each one evokes the creature comforts of a well-loved home. Most come with a fireplace (fully-stocked during approved burning summer

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seasons), kitchenette or kitchen, cozy patio and plenty of comfy nooks and crannies to read, relax and unwind. Several have unique features like the two-bedroom eagle cabin set high on the property with a beautiful view of the Inn’s acreage. The deck house balcony overlooks the creek, and the one-bedroom sycamore has its own living room and stone fireplace. But, the crowning achievement may very well be Casa de Piedra, nestled along the creek with a private patio. The latest addition to the property, the house of stone was designed by JoAnn Olson herself and built, stone by stone, by the Patch’s grounds crew. According to Rob Olson, JoAnn’s son and the manager for the past 20 years, the grounds crew, kitchen staff and housekeeping staff have all been with the Inn for the past twenty-five years. And just as the Inn inspires loyalty among the staff, it does also for the Inn’s guest. More than 30% are repeat customers, coming back year after year. Some love it so much, like one of the Patch’s innkeepers Polly Ashton Daniels, that they decide to retire there. Polly was a long-time visitor for more than a decade before she retired from her job in New Hampshire in 2004 and decided to move out to Sedona. Her job at the Inn was meant to be a six-month stint. That was almost 12 years ago. Her favorite cabin is the robin cabin; a “dear little house” is what she called it. For her it’s more than just the property, but also the Olsons. “They’re like family,” she said in a recent interview. “They’re so good to us, and it is quite an honor to have my name and number on the lodge door in case of emergencies. I’m so proud of that.” The Olson’s not only treat their staff like family, but their customers, too. “From the moment our guests checkin we are welcoming them into our own home,” said Rob Olson. THE PROPERTY From the moment you turn off of 89A onto the drive way, you begin your descent into the canyon. The gravel of the road crunches beneath your tires and the whir of tires on the highway fade behind you. Turn right and make your way along the drive until you come to a Y; turn left and park at the sign: Park here to register. Leave your bags in your car and take the path on your right to the main AZWINE lifestyle . com


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THE CREEK The creek itself is a constant murmur in the background. While not all of the cabins are close enough to hear the cool water rushing over the rocks, to wander around the property brings one in close contact with the cooler temperatures, and the burbling chatter as it travels south from the mountains to the north. Just a few steps from the front door of the main lodge is a tree shaded creek-side patio. Vines crawl across the rock wall below and the creek water rushes over the boulders in its way making miniature white water rapids. A narrow rock staircase leads from the patio to a seating area for two where you can relax. Wander further along the main path and you’ll find a low bench and an opening in the trees where you can get to the property’s swimming hole. For a special treat, be sure to schedule a massage in the property’s massage gazebo. This stone building opens onto the creek and the park land beyond. The breeze off the creek, the whirring fan above and the sound of the rushing water all contribute to a one-of-a-kind creek side experience.

Briar Patch Inn 3190 N. State Route 89A, Sedona, AZ BriarPatchInn.com, 928-282-2342

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lodge where you can check in with one of the innkeepers on staff. If it’s Saturday or Sunday, you’ll probably meet Polly. She’ll check you in, answer any questions you may have and give you a rundown of when and where breakfast and mid-day snacks can be enjoyed. The lodge itself is beautiful, full of nooks and crannies to sit and relax; books cover the shelves and coffee table books display the many wonders of Arizona and Sedona. The huge picture windows invite the out of doors inside and at the right time of year a cool breeze sweeps in through the screen doors. The property offers breakfast 8am until 10am daily and mid-day snack in the late afternoon until about 5pm. There are countless restaurants, cafes, fine dining establishments, bars and sandwich shops along 89A. If you’re looking for something quick and close, try Indian Gardens about a mile up the road. You’ll find house-made bakeries, sandwiches, soups and a store full of fruits, jerky and healthy snacks. If you’re looking for ideas, there’s a dictionary-size binder full of recommendations in the main lodge. Even in summer, Sedona is a busy little town. During summer, consider waiting until after 7pm to head back into town for dinner. The sun will be getting ready to set and the views are stunning. Ask the innkeeper if they recommend reservations; if so, they can make them for you.

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Unplug. Connect.

End your wine tour at a table for two

Briar Patch Inn A 9-acre oasis nestled in Oak Creek Canyon along the lush banks of Oak Creek. Nineteen historic cabins with Southwestern charm and Native American Art, fireplaces, kitchens and private patios. A hearty, healthy, homemade breakfast is included each morning and can be enjoyed creekside with live music in the summer or fireside in the lodge during the winter months. Relax with a soothing massage in our creekside gazebo after your hike in the spectacular Sedona wilderness.

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Owned & operated by the Olson Family for 34 Years. WeWith lookseveral forward to exceeding your expectations! stellar wineries nearby, Sedona is fast becoming a wine connoisseur’s A R I ZSunset OPair N Athat paradise. with the The unrivaled of the famous red rocks, world-class Magazine West’sbeauty Best Cabins resorts and spas, and will have a moment to savor for a lifetime. Perennial Topyou Choice Fodor’s & Frommers

#1 B & B Ranking Arizona 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016

The Most Beautiful Place on Earth In So Many Ways.

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

ARIZONA

3190 N. State RouteVISITSEDONA.COM 89A | Sedona, Arizona, 86336 90 www.briarpatchinn.com | 888.809.3030 / 2016 summer

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AZWINE 2016 - Briar Patch Inn  

Briar Patch Inn nestled along Oak Creek in Sedona may very well be the epitome of the way life is meant to be as they claim. It’s not just t...