Back to Basics

Images courtesy of Kelli Leslie /

As publishers of Jetset Magazine, My husband (Darrin) and I have been privileged to travel to many luxurious destinations, and we have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them.

 But it was when we planned a family staycation to Sedona, Arizona, right in our own “backyard,” that we were surprised to discover a magical place unlike any we had ever visited.

Our destination was Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge, a collection of 16 rustic cabins set in beautiful Oak Creek Canyon on land that was homesteaded in the early 1900s. Our friends and Jetset contributors, Ken McElroy and Robert Kiyosaki, had just purchased the property along with their business partner Alex Brigham, and we were invited to check it out.

I’ll admit we were a bit surprised to learn that there is no cell phone service, no Internet access and not even a TV at Garland’s Lodge (and so were our kids). What we soon discovered, however, is what a huge advantage that is for a family vacation. We all learned just how important it is to take a break from the electronics for a while and just enjoy being together, doing fun family activities and exploring the gorgeous property. Darrin and I even took a relaxing yoga class by the creek. We also enjoyed our charming cabin with its cozy front porch and stone fireplace.

Breakfast and lunch are included at Garland’s Lodge, and dining there is an experience in itself. They ring a bell at mealtime and guests flock to the dining room for meals that are not only delicious, they’re healthy and organic. Many of the ingredients are grown right there on the property. Garland’s Lodge started doing “farm to table” long before it was the fashionable thing to do. In fact, they’ve received so many requests for their recipes that they’ve even produced their own cookbook. And the homemade apple cider pressed from apples grown in the property’s orchards is absolutely fantastic.

Many families have been booking the same weeks at Garland’s Lodge for as many as 20 and 30 years, so when they learned that the property had been sold, they were concerned that things might change. They have no reason to worry. Longtime owners Gary and Mary Garland patiently waited until the right buyers came along. “The Garlands are really just amazing folks and what they have produced there is really special,” Ken explains. “To change the direction of what Garland’s Lodge is would be a mistake. This is a legacy. We’re just hoping to be good stewards of the property for the next generation. ”

Because of its unique appeal, Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge has never had to advertise and can have a long waiting list for certain dates. In the past, the lodge has only been open from April 1 through November 15, so to enable more guests to experience the lodge’s simple pleasures, the new owners are planning to open the lodge earlier in the season in 2015.

Not long after we arrived, our kids forgot all about their electronics, and by the end of the weekend, they decided that this was one of the best family vacations we have ever had. We couldn’t agree more.


About The Author

In a world where business acumen and editorial flair collide, Tami Austin stands as a titan at the forefront of luxury publishing. As the vivacious Editor-in-Chief of Jetset Magazine, she’s a maven of the high-flying lifestyle, a curator of the finest experiences our planet has to offer. Tami's journey is a symphony of adventure, her life a passport brimming with stories, each stamp a testament to her influence on Jetset's glittering narrative. At the magazine's core pulses the essence of Tami’s vision, her editorial mastery painting each page with the kind of vibrant insights only a seasoned traveler and business guru could offer. She's not just steering the ship; she is the rhythmic pulse that keeps it afloat, guiding its course with the precision of a seasoned maestro. Under her leadership, Jetset has soared, hosting conversations with icons like Lady Gaga, Donald Trump, Patrick Dempsey, Richard Branson and diving deep into the minds of moguls such as Robert Kiyosaki. But the tale of Tami Austin goes beyond the sheen of Jetset's pages. In the sun-kissed realms of Scottsdale, Arizona, Tami is the cornerstone of her family, sharing the joys of life with her husband, Darrin Austin, the CEO/Publisher of Jetset, and their spirited children. And when the sun dips below the horizon, Tami swaps the pen for the microphone, serenading the country music world with her soul-stirring songs, a hidden gem polished in Nashville's storied studios. Need to pitch an idea that's as unique as Tami's journey? Just drop a line at editor@jetsetmag(dot)com and watch the magic happen!

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