10414
Arizona

A Grand Christmas: Sedona’s Red Rocks & the Grand Canyon

Celebrate the holidays in Sedona and the Grand Canyon, where you’ll attend a candlelight service, explore festively decorated Sedona and enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner.
Rating (4.29)
Program No. 10414RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,499
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 3 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Sedona, AZ
D
Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:30 – 5:15 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the conference room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. At this time, everyone will be assigned to either Group 1 or Group 2. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Group 1 will have dinner followed by orientation. Group 2 will attend orientation followed by dinner. Each group will have their own Group Leader who will lead lectures and field trips, unless specified otherwise. Both groups will participate in all the same activities throughout the program. Once you have enrolled in the program, please remember to indicate on your Personal Information Form if you would like to be assigned to a group along with others enrolled in the program. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel conference room, we will have a buffet meal with choice of entrée, salad, side vegetable, and the chef's dessert of the day, plus a choice of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Sedona Overview, Regional Topic Lecture, Tlaquepaque Village
Sedona, AZ
B,L,D
Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 15 miles throughout the day; about 2 hours including frequent stops and walks. Walking approximately 1.5 miles throughout the day; mostly paved pathways; short walks with stops; some cobblestones and uneven terrain. Opportunities for more activity according to personal interest.

Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant, we will have a buffet featuring a variety of choices including eggs, breakfast meats, French toast, hot and cold cereals, and fresh fruit, plus coffee, tea, milk assorted fruit juices, water.

Morning: With both groups together in the hotel meeting room, everyone will receive an overview of the region’s geography put into context by a local expert. Then, we’ll split up into our groups for morning activities. In the afternoon, groups will swap activities. Group 1 will visit some of Sedona’s best-loved sites on a field trip via motorcoach led by the Group Leader. Along our journey, we’ll enjoy breathtaking overviews of Sedona and the Secret Mountain Wilderness, Airport Mesa's spectacular vistas, and a stop in bustling uptown Sedona. Continuing, we’ll spend some time at Tlaquepaque, Sedona, Arizona's Arts & Crafts Village, which is authentically fashioned after a traditional Mexican village. Meanwhile, Group 2 will learn about the archaeology of the Verde Valley region from a local expert in the hotel meeting room.

Lunch: At the hotel restaurant, we will have plated meals with a choice of entrée, plus coffee, tea, or water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Groups 1 and 2 will swap activities from the morning session so everyone gets to do both.

Dinner: Group 1: Hotel buffet. Group 2: At a local Sedona restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated dinner with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Group 1: In the meeting room, we’ll enjoy an evening of musical entertainment featuring Western ballads and folk tales – with a holiday twist – performed by local musicians who have been entertaining Road Scholar participants for two decades. From the sentimental to the hilarious, they will keep you wanting more. Group 2: We will then have some time to independently see the sights, soak in the festive atmosphere, and stroll Sedona's Uptown, decked out in unique southwestern holiday style. The Group Leader will be happy to provide suggestions. Afterwards, we’ll rendezvous at a predetermined time and place for transfer back to the hotel.

DAY
3
Tuzigoot National Monument, Historic Jerome
Sedona, AZ
B,D
Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

Activity note: Driving approximately 25 miles one way; about 1.5 hours roundtrip. Walking approx. 1.5 miles total throughout the day; some steep, paved sidewalks at monument and in Jerome; watch for curbs.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Boarding the motorcoach, we’ll travel to Tuzigoot National Monument with our Group Leader. Tuzigoot is an ancient village, also referred to as a pueblo, built by the Sinagua people. The pueblo consisted of 110 rooms including two and three-story structures. The first buildings were built around 1000 C.E. The Sinagua were agriculturalists with trade connections that spanned hundreds of miles. The people left the area around 1400 C.E. We’ll have the opportunity to explore the ruin, the Visitor Center, and the museum. Afterwards, we’ll reboard the motorcoach and travel to the historic mining town of Jerome. Located on Cleopatra Hill, Jerome was once the largest copper mine in the United States. Today, it is a magnet for artists with many interesting attractions and sweeping views of the region from halfway up Mingus Mountain. While here, we’ll enjoy a historic walking field trip with a local expert and hear about the old mine, the "Sliding Jail," and other area interesting sites. As Group 1 enjoys the walking field trip in Jerome, Group 2 will visit Jerome State Historic Park. The Douglas Mansion at Jerome State Historic Park was built in 1916 on a dramatic promontory and inside are maps, ore samples, and historic photos, as well as the story of the town's rise, fall, and rebirth. On the second floor, the 3D model of the town with the tunnels beneath is a unique highlight. The park also shows a video of the history of Jerome continuously all day. We’ll enjoy this piece of Jerome's history on a self-directed exploration of the mansion and the grounds.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in the quirky historic town of Jerome. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: The groups will swap activities for the afternoon. We’ll return to Sedona in late afternoon.

Dinner: Group 1: At a local Sedona restaurant, we will enjoy a plated dinner with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Group 2: Hotel buffet.

Evening: Group 1: We will then have some time to independently see the sights, soak in the festive atmosphere, and stroll Sedona's Uptown, decked out in unique southwestern holiday style. The Group Leader will be happy to provide suggestions. Afterwards, we’ll rendezvous at a predetermined time and place for transfer back to the hotel. Group 2: In the meeting room, we’ll enjoy an evening of musical entertainment featuring Western ballads and folk tales – with a holiday twist – performed by local musicians who have been entertaining Road Scholar participants for two decades. From the sentimental to the hilarious, they will keep you wanting more.

DAY
4
Oak Creek Canyon, Grand Canyon South Rim Christmas Eve
Grand Canyon
B,L,D
Grand Canyon Rim Lodges - Kachina or Thunderbird Lodge.

Activity note: Driving approx. 115 miles to Grand Canyon; about 2.5 hours. Walking approx. 1 mile total throughout the day; mostly flat, paved and dirt trails. Longer elective walking/hiking opportunities available.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll travel by motorcoach through scenic Oak Creek Canyon en route to the Grand Canyon. Upon arrival, we’ll embark on a walk with our Group Leader naturalist who will lead us while interpreting many points of interest during our journey. Some of the Douglas firs and ponderosa pines may be frosted with snow as we make our way onto the Colorado Plateau and past the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks.

Lunch: At a pleasant resting spot along the Grand Canyon’s rim, weather permitting, we’ll enjoy sack lunches including a sandwich, chips, fruit, and water.

Afternoon: En route to Grand Canyon’s South Rim Village, we’ll travel through a portion of the vast Navajo Nation and stop at the Desert View overlook, the location of Mary Jane Colter’s famous Watchtower and some of the best views of the Colorado River. We will have time to explore the watchtower with our naturalist available to answer any questions. Known for her many works for the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad, Mary Jane Colter was a female architect in the early 20th century and helped blend Spanish Colonial and Mission Revival architecture with Native American motifs. The Watchtower is an interpretation of a prehistoric “tower kiva’ with lavishly painted interior walls by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie. We’ll then continue by motorcoach along the East Rim to the Visitor Center at Mather Point with more views into the Grand Canyon en route. Aside from the expansive view of the Canyon at Mather Point, the Visitor Center has maps, exhibits, a film, and multi-media presentations that tell the story of this world wonder. We’ll take some time for independent exploration before continuing on our journey. Next, we’ll complete out transfer and check into our Grand Canyon National Park lodging in late afternoon. The two-story Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges are located on the canyon's rim. With easy access to the rim just steps away, you may wish to enjoy sunset along the paved sidewalk, taking in the canyon's stunning panorama and color display as evening descends.

Dinner: At a venue on the Canyon's rim, we’ll enjoy a delicious Christmas Eve buffet dinner with coffee, tea, water; beer and wine available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. If you wish to attend, the Grand Canyon Community Church will lead the annual Christmas Eve candlelight service at Grand Canyon National Park. Our Group Leaders will organize transport to/from the service. Alternatively, perhaps take some time to gaze at the stars from the canyon's rim or get to bed early with “visions of sugar plums” dancing in your head. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
Christmas Day at Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon Village
Sedona, AZ
B,L,D
Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

Activity note: Driving approximately 130 miles back to Sedona; about 2.5 hours. Walking up to 1.5 miles throughout the day; short walk to breakfast; walking along the rim or down the Bright Angel Trail could be icy.

Breakfast: We’ll walk to the most famous of all Grand Canyon eateries, El Tovar Hotel, and enjoy a plated breakfast using prepaid vouchers. Take in the historic ambiance, large picture window views of the canyon, and a full selection of breakfast entrees on Christmas Day. Juice, coffee, tea, water included.

Morning: Merry Christmas! After waking up this Christmas morning to a Grand Canyon sunrise on your own – or sleeping in – we’ll then walk the short way over to the historic El Tovar Hotel on the canyon rim for a leisurely and delicious breakfast. The El Tovar was designed by architect Charles Wittlesey, who also was chief architect for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. Following breakfast, our Group Leaders will each lead an interpretive walk, one along the canyon's rim trail and the other through the historic village to enjoy the holiday decorations in the many historic structures, some designed by Mary Jane Colter – Hopi House, Bright Angel Lodge and Lookout Studio. The choice is up to you! The remainder of the morning will be available for independent exploration. You may wish to visit the Kolb Studio a short walk from our lodging, where the Kolb brothers began taking photos of mule riders descending into the canyon’s depths over 100 years ago. Before rendezvousing at the lodge for transfer back to Sedona, you may want to take in a few more views from the rim across the canyon to the North Rim – 10 miles as the raven flies.

Lunch: En route to Sedona, we’ll enjoy light sack lunches.

Afternoon: Continuing our return to Sedona, be on the lookout for the snowcapped San Francisco Peaks and Arizona's highest peak, Mt. Humphreys, at 12,633 feet! We’ll arrive in Sedona with time for check-in and a social hour before dinner.

Dinner: At the resort, we’ll enjoy a delightful Christmas holiday buffet dinner with several entrée choices, traditional sides, and seasonal desserts, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We’ll gather together for a program wrap-up evening to share some of our favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends and recap our adventures during this special week. Also, tonight is typically when anyone who wishes dons their holiday finery – or crazy Christmas wear and accessories – to celebrate in fun and fellowship. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Sedona, AZ
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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