Cathedral Rock Sunset - Sedona, Arizona


Okay – I have to be honest. A day in Sedona is doable, but definitely not enough! I will be returning for a much longer visit. Nonetheless, do not miss out on this phenomenal destination and make Sedona a part of your visit to Arizona even if it is just for a day. I highly recommend touring with Cody from Wandering Heart Adventures. In just eight hours, he picked us up from our women’s retreat location in Scottsdale, whisked us to Sedona, and managed to squeeze in lunch, and several top spots.  Here are the highlights of our day tour to Sedona.

Photo credit: Jamie Chapman

1. Majestic red rock formations. We stopped at three locations around Sedona to take pictures and admire the panoramic vistas of unique red rock formations. The colors were so vivid and the sky was so clear and blue that even I couldn’t take a bad picture! Driving into town we were greeted with majestic hills of oxidized red cliff formations formed by plate tectonics and erosion by wind and water. Nature’s masterpiece sculptures were breathtaking! As we drove around town, we appreciated the efforts to control the colors of the buildings to blend into the beauty of the red rock formations. There were hiking trails at a couple of stops. We didn’t have time for a hike so it’s on the list for my next visit.

Photo credit: Jamie Chapman

2. Chapel of the Holy Cross – This majestic church rises out of the cliffs abruptly and impossibly. We parked and walked up the short rise to the chapel. The scenery from atop the hill defied description. We could see miles into the desert landscape. The colorful blooming cacti and bright red rock formations provided unique vistas. Inside the church, an entire wall of glass provided a reverent natural background for worship.

3. Blooming wine industry. Our tour included a stop downtown for lunch and shopping. We made a beeline to Winery 1912, a tasting room in Sedona featuring local wines. We cozied up to a table overlooking the red rock formations. We sampled local red and white wines that left us with a very favorable impression of Arizona’s wine industry. When I return to Sedona, I will spend at least a day touring the Verde Valley Wine Trail between Sedona, Cottonwood, and Clarksdale.

Photo credit: Jamie Chapman

4. Beautiful artisan treasures. Our final tour stop was at the Tlaquepaque Artisan Village. The treasures we discovered reflected a unique confluence of native American, Hispanic, and settler cultures. Artwork, clothing, sculptures, and jewelry were handcrafted with care and provided amazing keepsakes of our magical trip to Sedona. We ended the day with sparkling wine in the bar at Rene Restaurant and Wine Bar. It was a great way to toast a wonderful visit to Sedona and last day of our women’s retreat!

Photo credit: Jamie Chapman


Closest airports: Phoenix and Flagstaff. Phoenix is larger and a Southwest hub.

Best time to visit: Spring or Fall to avoid the heat of the summer and cold winter weather

Where to stay: There are several spa resorts in the area. We almost booked our retreat in the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock but opted to have it in Scottsdale near the Phoenix airport.

Tour operator: I highly recommend Cody from Wild Heart Adventures.  He grew up in Scottsdale and lived in Sedona and has a great deal of insider information.

Photo credit: Jamie Chapman

I’m happy to customize a trip for you to this amazing Southwestern locale whether it’s a quick visit like ours or a longer stay. Sedona has so much to offer! Schedule your 30 minute complimentary discovery session today at a time that is most convenient for you at this link.

Join my Facebook Group for Empty Nest Mom Travelers and connect with us! Sedona and Greece are in the books and we’re planning our 2022 Italy Gal Getaway!

Leah Goerke
Escape The Nest Travel

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