June, 2016 – From the time I got here, I thought taking the Sedona Trolley would be a good idea to get an overview of the area and hear some tips from a local tour guide. But I never got around to it until some friends were coming in and we decided to take both tours they offered.
Tour A goes through the south side of town, through Gallery Row and up to the Chapel of Holy Cross. Tour B goes through Dry Creek Valley with views of Boynton Canyon and Long Canyon.
As a solo RVer always driving myself, I liked the idea of leaving the driving to someone else for a while and just sitting back and enjoying the scenery.
Robert, our tour guide, has been living and hiking around here for 55 years and his stories were interesting about some of the many movies he’s seen made here, including when he met John Wayne.
He also gives tips on shops and local restaurants with good food and prices where the locals eat.
The back windows are more open, giving better opportunities for picture taking.
One of the first drive-arounds on the town tour was at the center called “the art and soul of Sedona” – Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village.
Even though I’m not a big shopping center fan, this is a completely different experience from the norm. Even though I had been here before the trolley tour, Robert shared some interesting facts I had not heard before. A lot of the material, including tile, statuary, wrought iron and even fountains were imported piece by piece from old Mexico and assembled here. But my favorite things here were the massive old sycamore trees. The original owners of the site would not sell to the developer without a provision that the trees would be saved and the shops built around it. In fact, one of the galleries has a tree growing through the shop!
The word Tlaquepaque means “the best of everything” in the ancient language of the Aztecs, and it really is unique enough to warrant a visit even if it’s just for window shopping.
But there’s a lot more to it than that – the sculptures displayed all throughout the property are wonderful, and the layout with the courtyards and fountains offer places to rest and just appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.
The restaurants are expensive but food was tasty and beer was cold, so to me, it is a great place to visit.
Along the way, Robert pointed out some well known Sedona rock formations, like these: on the left, Snoopy laying on his dog house – and some say with Woodstock on his nose. 😉
On the right is Coffee Pot Rock (a percolator in my view).
Our next stop was the Chapel of the Holy Cross, certainly one of Sedona’s best known sites. When Marguerite Staude was struck by the beauty of Sedona, she was inspired to build a church here and searched extensively before deciding on this location. The chapel was dedicated in the spring of 1957.
Looking up at the 90′ cross is impressive, but the view surrounding its entrance is truly amazing!
Supposedly, this is also one of Sedona’s famous energy vortex sites, but one of the reasons Marguerite confirmed this location was the sign she took it that these rock formations on the right looked like praying nuns to the slimmer Madonna and child on the left.
Looking down from the chapel, Robert told us about this house owned by a Romanian couple that cost $24 million, including a $1 million koi pond that meanders through the house. I’d say the view is a lot of what makes it worth it.
I really couldn’t help but think the landscape of this area was sacred enough without having to erect anything man-made there, however.
The million dollar view of Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock from the parking lot is pretty spectacular, too.
After the morning tour and lunch in Sedona, we hopped on Tour B that features more scenic attractions. It was cool to share the experience with my new friends, Patti and Traci – they were equally impressed with everything we could gawk at along the way.
We didn’t have nearly enough time here, but I sure enjoyed the views while I could!
I just can’t remember what Robert said this rock formation is called – I guess because I never did see what he was talking about. What does it look like to you?
So, I think the reasonable price of $25 for two 55 minute tours is a good deal and gives a nice overview of some of the major sights in Sedona. But I also think several days (if not more) is required to get even a taste of what this incredible town has to offer. I’ll be working on more pages with pictures and info of what I’ve been doing in the month I’ve been here, so stay tuned.
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