When USA Today compiled a list of the Most Beautiful Places in America, Sedona, Arizona claimed the top spot. And no wonder! Nestled among a geological wonderland with multi-hued stone formations jutting upwards from the high desert floor, the Sedona area is truly breathtaking. This Shockey tour to America’s great Southwest features a four-night stay in Sedona; allowing plenty of time for us to enjoy its many recreational activities – art galleries, great dining, spa facilities and world-class shopping. We have also planned many other activities and attractions for this exciting tour that are sure to delight one and all.
DAY 1 – INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI – On our journey to Sedona and the Great Southwest, we will take different routes as we travel west and then back east; so that we may enjoy different attractions and experiences along the way. Our first overnight stay will be in Independence, Missouri.
DAY 2 – DODGE CITY, KANSAS – Our destination for today is famous Dodge City, Kansas. Here we will visit the reconstructed 1875 era downtown, the Gunsmoke Wall of Fame (that honors many of the characters of the famous TV show), an old Santa Fe railroad depot and the Boot Hill Museum. Nearby are an eight-foot tall bronze statue of famed lawman Wyatt Earp and a view of the 150-year old Santa Fe Trail Wagon. We overnight in Dodge City, Kansas.
DAY 3 – CAPULIN VOLCANO – LAS VEGAS, NEW MEXICO – Today will be spent traveling the back roads of Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle and New Mexico. We will get a sense of what the pioneers experienced when the crossed the prairie, when we travel through the Cimarron National Grasslands this morning. A unique experience this afternoon will be our tour of the Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeastern New Mexico. This well-preserved, symmetrical volcanic cinder cone rises steeply from the surrounding plains to an elevation of 8,182 feet above sea level. After time at the Visitor’s Center, we will drive to the top of the rim of the 400 foot deep crater to enjoy spectacular 260 degree views. We overnight in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
DAY 4 – SEDONA, ARIZONA – Arriving in Sedona, Arizona about mid-afternoon, we check into our accommodations, for the next four nights. We have the rest of the day and evening to explore, shop, dine and sight-see.
DAY 5 – SEDONA SIGHTSEEING – This morning, those who wish, may join us for a scenic outing to some of the Sedona area’s beautiful natural and man-made attractions; including the Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park, Red Rock State Park and the Montezuma Castle National Monument. Overnight same hotel.
DAY 6 – LEISURE DAY – Today is all yours; to enjoy the hotel’s amenities or use local transportation to go shopping and exploring. Overnight same hotel.
DAY 7 – GRAND CANYON – The South Rim of the Grand Canyon attracts over five million visitors each year and for good reason – it features astounding views of this great wonder of nature. Our day trip, to what has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the world, will certainly be a memorable one. Overnight Sedona.
DAY 8 – PETRIFIED FOREST AND PAINTED DESERT – ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO – This morning we are heading to northeast Arizona to visit the unusual Petrified Forest National Park and the adjoining beautiful Painted Desert. The many petrified logs we will see are extremely beautiful, having the most unexpectedly bright colors. We will also drive to many of the viewpoints of the rolling multicolored landscape of the Painted Desert and visit the park’s museum too. We overnight in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
DAY 9 – CADILLAC RANCH – CLINTON, OKLAHOMA – This morning we depart our hotel and make a stop at the Cadillac Ranch, a most unusual art exhibit. The ten graffiti covered cars are half-buried, facing west “at the same angle as the Cheops Pyramid.” Driving along part of the original Route 66 will bring us to Clinton, Oklahoma, where we will overnight.
DAY 10 – ROLLA, MISSOURI – As we drive east today, through Oklahoma and Missouri, we will make stops at the Oklahoma City Memorial and the Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Our last overnight will be in Rolla, Missouri.
DAY 11 – HOME – We are homeward bound with memories of our time in beautiful Sedona, Arizona and America’s Great Southwest. Meals: 9B