Outdoor enthusiasts, wellness gurus, and artists from around the world consider Sedona, Arizona to be a veritable desert mecca. One look at the scenery, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re considering a trip to Red Rock Country but aren’t sure where to start, here are 25 things to do in Sedona for all types of travelers. We think you’ll agree that it’s hard to deny the unmistakable energy of Sedona, Arizona.
This story was created in partnership with Visit Arizona.
1. Hike to a Vortex
For some, the jaw-dropping beauty of Sedona is best explained by a series of vortexes, or supernatural “hot spots” where energy is concentrated. (For others, it’s just a reason to put Sedona at the top of your bucket list.) Either way, it’s worth hiking to one of Sedona’s four vortexes (the commonly-used plural form for vortex) to experience the uplifting vibes. Learn more about them here.
2. Go for a Swim in Oak Creek
Although Arizona can certainly heat up, there are plenty of ways to cool off in Sedona. Pack your swimsuit and head for Grasshopper Point, where a number of small trails provide access to emerald green Oak Creek. This is a great way to spend an afternoon with a picnic and a good book—just remember to pack it all out. [LINK TO LNT STORY]
3. Photograph Cathedral Rock
Sedona is a photographer’s dream, and arguably features some of the most photographed natural areas on the planet. Find your own unique angle at Crescent Moon Picnic Area, where Red Rock Crossing offers sensational views of Cathedral Rock. Plus, this is another great swimming hole on warm days.
4. Take a Water-to-Wine Kayaking Tour
Join local outfitter Verde Adventures for a wine-tasting excursion—with a twist. You’ll float down the Verde River on inflatable kayaks before arriving at Alcantara Vineyards for a special outdoor tasting. Unguided and extra fun, you’ll be like a modern day explorer in search of Sedona’s best rosé.
5. Mountain Bike Epic Singletrack
For travelers seeking five-star singletrack, Sedona does not disappoint. In fact, 235 miles of designated bike trails weave through the landscape; up and over sandstone rock, around flowering yuccas, and down into dry creek beds. Trails range from beginner level to ultra-advanced. Pick up a rental (and even a guide) in town and get ready for the best riding of your life.
6. Go On a Self-Guided Wildlife Safari
The desert is full of life, and this is especially true in Red Rock State Park, Sedona’s local wildlife preserve. Here, javelina, mule deer, coyotes, skunks, and even bobcats can all be spotted. Birders will especially enjoy the banks of Oak Creek; a designated Important Bird Area.
7. Discover Your Higher Self
If the aforementioned vortexes were any indication, Sedona continues to be recognized as a place of healing and spiritual renewal. Discover your higher self with a number of specialists in town, or you can even embark on a multi-day retreat with Sedona Soul Adventures. Learn more about Sedona and how to take care of this natural landmark by taking the Sedona Cares Pledge and volunteering.
8. Indulge in Some Retail Therapy
Sample the artistic side of Sedona at Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village. Split your time between the numerous art galleries and admiring the larger-than-life foxglove flowers growing in the garden. There are even a couple of sweets and ice cream shops to keep the kids entertained.
9. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross
A Christian monument, Sedona’s Chapel of the Holy Cross is a popular destination for visitors of all religious denominations. The 90-foot cross built by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, is famous as one of America’s man-made wonders and is a must-see while in town.
10. Go for a Pink Jeep Tour
There isn’t a more iconic way to experience Sedona than in the backseat of a Pink Jeep. From the Verde Valley to unique heritage sites, your time in Coconino National Forest will be both fun and informative. Plus, there are countless options for rock-crawling tours from extra-rugged to paved so that you can select the perfect level of excitement for your group.
11. Sample Arizona’s Viticulture
Those who didn’t get enough of Sedona’s grapes on the kayak tour will be pleased to know there is an additional tasting room in Sedona: Winery 1912. Their wines are grown in Southeast Arizona at the largest and most diverse vineyard in the state, but their tasting room is exclusive to Sedona. Burning Tree Cellars, one of seven tasting rooms, is another great option in the neighboring community of Cottonwood.
12. Have a Laid-Back Lunch at Pisa Lisa
After a day exploring the sights of Sedona, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Get your fix at Pisa Lisa, where authentic wood-fired pizza topped with locally-sourced ingredients is served up hot or available for take-out. Save us a slice.
13. Take Home a Piece of Sedona
Souvenirs come in all shapes and sizes, but you won’t find a better selection than at Garland’s Indian Jewelry. Browse their selection featuring southwestern gemstones such as turquoise, opal, and lapis; or consider taking home a Navajo rug.
14. Enjoy Coffee with a View
Coffee with a view is a Sedona staple, and Creekside Coffee is a classic spot. Order a pastry to fuel up for the day’s adventures and sip it on the back deck, where stunning vistas of Sedona’s landscape make you feel like you’re in an IMAX Theater.
15. Take a Walking Tour of Sedona’s Art Galleries
Work off your lunch with a walking tour of Sedona’s numerous art galleries. Journey along Red Rock Scenic Byway from bottom to top. You’ll find local photography, sculptures, paintings, and much more along the way. By the end of the afternoon you’ll have a true appreciation of the art that this area inspires.
16. Quench Your Thirst with a Local Craft Brew
Many of Arizona’s cities are home to local craft breweries and distilleries, and Sedona is no different. Reward your hiking and biking efforts at Sedona Beer Company, where beers like “Kölschture Shock” lend to the easygoing atmosphere. Local tip: be sure to order the fried chicken sandwich.
17. Try Out Tiny House Living
Looking for unique lodging in this corner of the Grand Canyon state? Try out what it would be like to live in a tiny house at aptly named Tiny Camp. With five cabins and outdoor essentials like fire pits and hot tubs, we think you’ll find downsizing has its perks.
18. Go Golfing in Red Rock Country
Arizona is a fantastic place to putt. Spend the day golfing on one of Sedona’s four championship courses, where you can play eighteen holes year-round. The only drawback to golfing in Sedona is that it’s hard to keep your eyes on the game instead of ogling the incredible scenery.
19. Splurge on a Spa Day
After a few days hiking, biking, and golfing in Sedona, you might be feeling depleted. Treat yourself to a spa day at L’Auberge Sedona. Their creek-side spa offers an array of indulgent offerings, from deep tissue massage to seasonal specialties.
20. Wander Through Time (All the Way to 600 AD)
Just 40 minutes away from downtown Sedona, Tuzigoot National Monument is one of Sedona’s lesser-known heritage spaces. That means fewer crowds so you can spend the day learning about the history of the Sinagua people, not waiting in line for the perfect photo opportunity.
21. Take a Trolley Tour
For those who prefer a more relaxing pace, a Trolley Tour is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. This 55-minute ride will take you on a leisurely jaunt through town so you can get your bearings and learn more about Sedona, photo stops included.
22. Observe the Night Sky with the Pros
Did you know Arizona has more Dark Sky Places than anywhere else in the world? Sedona, of course, is one of these communities and enjoys sensational starry skies, year-round. Spend an evening with award-winning Sedona Stargazing for an even closer look.
23. Find Out Why John Wayne was in Sedona
One of the best ways to get to know a place is to learn its history. Spend a few hours perusing the past at Sedona Heritage Museum, where you’ll discover the namesake of Sedona as well as its farming, pioneering, and movie-magic past.
24. Earn Your Views
There is no shortage of hiking trails in Sedona. Create a goal for yourself and check off all seven of Sedona’s Secret 7 Vistas. While they vary in terms of length and difficulty, they all have one important thing in common—incredible views and fewer people.
25. See Red Rock Country from the Air
Last but not least, there is no better finale for your trip to Sedona than a flight in a hot air balloon. Soar high above the very trails, swimming holes, and art galleries you’ve spent a week exploring. There is no more magical feeling than being carried above Red Rock Country by the wind (and a trusty pilot).