I’ll never forget the first time I visited Sedona. My first sight of the red rocks set against the bright blue sky took my breath away. As well as being one of the most beautiful places in the United States, there are also endless things to do in Sedona which makes it the perfect vacation spot.
Table of Contents
- Best Things To Do in Sedona
- 1. Take a Jeep Tour
- 2. Chapel of the Holy Cross
- 3. Spend the Day at Slide Rock State Park
- 4. Sights, History, and Shopping
- 5. Guided ATV Tour
- 6. Explore the Food Scene
- 7. Verde Canyon Railroad Adventure
- 8. Vortex Yoga Hiking
- 9. Go on a Hike
- 10. Join a Winery Tour
- 11. Day Trip to the Grand Canyon
- 12. Go Mountain Biking
- 13. Fish in Oak Creek Canyon
- 14. UFO and Stargazing Tour
- 15. Join an E-bike tour
- Quick Travel Itineraries For Sedona
- Where to Stay in Sedona
- Best Restaurants in Sedona
- Getting to Sedona
- Things To Do in Sedona: FAQs
- In Closing
Tasty restaurants, unique shopping, outdoor adventures, and breathtaking scenery are just a few things that the city has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a place to visit for a romantic getaway, a trip with friends, or a family vacation, Sedona is the place for you. This is one of the best places to visit in Arizona!
After my first visit to Sedona, I never thought I’d live just 2 hours away from it. Now I escape to the red rocks, blue sky, and hiking trails anytime I can. Every time I visit I find something new to do so I promise you won’t run out of the fun things to do in Sedona.
Best Things To Do in Sedona
You can’t go wrong by picking any one of these 15 activities in Sedona. Whether you want an outdoor adventure, a day filled with beautiful views, or delicious food and wine, Sedona will definitely have something for you.
1. Take a Jeep Tour
If you’re looking for the perfect way to explore the iconic Red Rocks, I highly recommend you head out on this jeep tour. The 2-hour experience starts right in Sedona and heads out toward Dry Creek Basin. An off-road jeep tour might just be the best thing to do in Sedona.
Along the way, be prepared to learn from the guide about the famous red rock and take in a stunning sunset from the backroads. This is an amazing thing to do in Sedona for families, friends, or anyone looking to get off the beaten path. Find out more here.
Address: 35 Southwest Dr, Sedona, AZ 86336. Click here for directions.
2. Chapel of the Holy Cross
I’ll never forget driving into Sedona the very first time and looking out the window to see the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The stunning architecture combined with the red rocks is sure to leave you pretty speechless, just as it left me.
The Roman Catholic Chapel, completed in 1956, is one of Sedona’s top attractions and is a spiritual and peaceful place to visit. Visiting the chapel is free and it’s open from 9 am – 5 pm seven days a week. Check out their website to learn more about the history and when to visit.
Address: 780 Chapel Rd., Sedona, AZ 86336. Click here for directions.
3. Spend the Day at Slide Rock State Park
If you’re looking for things to do in Sedona in the summer, put Slide Rock State Park at the top of your list. Home to several natural rock waterslides, this state park is the perfect place to cool off and hang out among the stunning desert landscape.
My favorite time to visit slide rock is late in the afternoon after I’ve finished a long hike in the area. There’s nothing more refreshing than sliding down into the cool water.
Slide Rock is loved by many people so be prepared for it to be busy – especially in the summer months. The park hours and entry fee information is provided on their website. Be sure to check that out before you visit.
Address: Arizona 86336. Click here for directions.
4. Sights, History, and Shopping
One of my favorite things about Sedona is that it is full of history, mystery, and beauty. If you want to take in all of these elements, this sights, history, and shopping tour is perfect for you.
Over 5.5 hours, you’ll stop at 6 iconic spots in Sedona and enjoy delicious food, unique shopping, and rich history-all while touring around in an open-air vehicle. If you’re wondering what to see in Sedona, book this tour and you’ll get to immerse yourself in many of the best things to see in just half a day. Find out more here.
Address: 2370 AZ-89A, Sedona, AZ 86336. Click here for directions.
5. Guided ATV Tour
An ATV tour is the best way to truly experience the rugged red rocks of Sedona. Spend three hours exploring 30 miles of western Sedona – including climbing up Skeleton Bone Mountain. Along the way, your guide will point out locations that have been featured in over 40 Hollywood films.
Based on the age and skill level of your group, the guide will customize the route to best suit everyone. Be prepared with water, sunglasses, your camera, long pants, and closed-toe shoes.
I’ve been to Sedona countless times, but when I took this tour, I got a whole new perspective on the landscape and beauty that I’d never had before. Expect a thrilling adventure that you won’t forget! Learn more here.
Address: 3075 AZ-89A #3075, Sedona, AZ 86336. Click here for directions.
6. Explore the Food Scene
Sedona may be most famous for its red rock landscape but don’t make the mistake of overlooking its delicious food scene. Each time I visit I look forward to checking out a new restaurant.
For food inspired by Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, and Arizona, visit Elote Cafe. Make sure to enjoy the Mexican chocolate pie.
For delicious American food visit The Hudson. This one is my personal favorite thanks to its spinach and artichoke dip and the outdoor patio that offers some of the best views of Sedona.
Delicious homemade pizza in a tree-house-like restaurant. What more could you want? Make time to visit the Hideaway House to enjoy this unique experience.
Address: Elote Cafe: 350 Jordan Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336. The Hudson: 671 AZ-179 ste d, Sedona, AZ 86336. Hideaway House: 231 AZ-179, Sedona, AZ 86336.
7. Verde Canyon Railroad Adventure
If you’re looking for things to do near Sedona, this Verde Canyon Railroad Adventure is the perfect activity to add to your trip itinerary. Spend four hours riding in a vintage or open-air car and wind through the wilderness of Southwest America.
Along the way, you’ll see ancient cliff dwellings, historic mining sites, and the Verde River. This activity is ideal for people of all ages and is especially great for families.
What better way to take in the beauty of Verde Canyon than from the railroad? Click here to find out more and book your trip.
Address: 300 N Broadway, Clarkdale, AZ 86324. Click here for directions.
8. Vortex Yoga Hiking
Sedona is known to be a particularly spiritual place and some even believe it’s home to many different vortexes. If this sounds intriguing to you, consider spending 3.5 hours on this vortex yoga hiking tour; relaxing and unwinding in one of the most beautiful places in the country.
The tour includes hiking in the vortex areas, yoga, and guided meditation. Come prepared with water, a camera, sunscreen, and an open heart and mind. This is one of the more unique things to do in Sedona. Click here for details.
Address: The meeting location is finalized upon booking the tour.
9. Go on a Hike
My favorite way to explore Sedona is by foot on any of the countless hiking trails. Whether you’re looking for a 1-mile hike or a 10-mile hike, Sedona has something to offer. Plus, this is a great option for those looking for free things to do in Sedona.
For the most iconic destination and perfect picture opportunities, hike to Devil’s Bridge. For sweeping views and a quick climb, scramble up Cathedral Rock. If you’re looking for a challenge with lots of elevation gain and views over the entire valley, climb up Wilson Mountain. And finally, for a hot summer day, hike West Fork Trail and enjoy the creek the entire way.
I’ve lived in Arizona for 3 years and my favorite trails in the state are all located in Sedona. Be prepared with plenty of water and good shoes to traverse the red rocks. Click here to see more hikes in Sedona on All Trails.
Address: Devil’s Bridge Trailhead – Cathedral Rock Trailhead – Wilson Mountain Trailhead – West Fork Trail Trailhead
10. Join a Winery Tour
It may surprise you to know that Sedona and its surrounding area are home to many beautiful wineries. On this tour, you can spend the day visiting up to four different wineries including Dancing Apache, Javelina Leap, and Oak Creek Vineyard.
This highly-reviewed tour is perfect for those who want to see beautiful vineyards and taste delicious wine without having to find the places alone and drive in between. A personalized charcuterie board for lunch is included in the tour, as well as some discounts on tastings and bottles of wine to take home. Find out more and book your wine tour here.
Address: 100 Verde Valley School Rd, Sedona, AZ 86351. Click here for directions.
11. Day Trip to the Grand Canyon
Not only are there countless things to do in Sedona itself, but there’s also plenty to explore in the surrounding area. On your next visit to Sedona, it’s a must that you book this tour and take an intimate day trip to the Grand Canyon. I promise you, watching the sunset sweep across the expansive and beautiful canyon will be something you’ll remember forever.
This tour has so much to offer: a knowledgeable guide who narrates history and information along the way, a stop at Cameron Trading Post to experience Native American craftsmanship, a stop at Desert View Watchtower, a moment to watch the sunset, and a complimentary dinner. Book your trip here.
Address: Pick-up location finalized after booking.
12. Go Mountain Biking
There are so many ways to explore the beauty of Sedona; by foot, in an ATV, in a jeep, or on a mountain bike. Mountain biking in Sedona is unique because there aren’t many other places in the world that can compare to the landscape.
Even if you don’t own your own mountain bike, or you flew in without your bike, don’t worry. You can rent bikes from Thunder Mountain Bikes and choose to explore one of the five main mountain biking areas: Village of Oak Creek, Dry Creek, Adobe Jack, Broken Arrow, or Carroll Canyon.
Before you head out, know that most trails are multi-use; meaning you’ll likely encounter people hiking the same trails. Be mindful of your skill level as most trails range from intermediate to expert.
Address: 1695 W. State Route 89A Sedona, AZ 86336. Click here for directions.
13. Fish in Oak Creek Canyon
Grab your fly rod and head to Oak Creek Canyon to try and catch some brown trout, Gila trout, or rainbow trout. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do in Sedona.
Oak Creek is a great fishing location if you’re looking for a small stream. This kind of water requires some finesse fishing and offers the opportunity to practice some different skills and strategies.
Make sure to purchase a fishing license ahead of time and stick to the catch and release section. This area is between the Hwy 89A Bridge crossing at Slide Rock State Park and upstream to the AGFD Sterling Springs Fish Hatchery property boundary.
Address: N State Rte 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336. Click here for directions.
14. UFO and Stargazing Tour
If you’re looking for unforgettable ways to spend an evening in Sedona, this UFO and stargazing tour is the perfect thing to do in Sedona at night. Spend an hour observing the night sky in a way you never have before. Your knowledgeable guide will help point out secrets overhead, and explain things to you as you track unidentified objects up above.
This tour is great for those interested in the night sky and open to learning new things. Be prepared with warm clothes, snacks, and drinks. Find out more and book here.
Address: The meeting location is finalized once the tour is booked.
15. Join an E-bike tour
If you’re keen to see many of Sedona’s attractions at your own pace, this self-guided e-bike tour is perfect for you. A staff person will get you fitted with the right bike and gear, and then you’re free to explore the red rocks and shopping of Sedona at leisure.
The tour takes you to some of the most iconic spots; such as Bell Rocks, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Cathedral Rock, and the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village. One of the best parts of exploring the city on an e-bike is that you don’t have to battle for parking in the more popular areas.
Enjoy the convenience and the beauty of exploring Sedona by e-bike. Click here to book this highly-rated e-bike trip.
Address: 235 N State Rte 89A 235 n, Sedona, AZ 86336. Click here for directions.
Quick Travel Itineraries For Sedona
Whether you only have one day or seven in Sedona, there are plenty of ways you can fill up your time to see as much as possible. Here are a few suggestions of how you can best plan your next trip:
1 Day in Sedona Itinerary
To start the day, head out on an 8 am Red Rock Jeep Tour. This is the perfect way to get out and explore the red rock as soon as the day begins. After your jeep tour, drive 15 minutes to the south side of town to the Chapel of the Holy Cross to relax and take in the majestic beauty before you.
For the rest of the afternoon, head across the road from the Chapel of the Holy Cross to hike up to Cathedral Rock. Next, head 25 minutes north to Slide Rock State Park to cool off and unwind in Oak Creek Canyon. Finish the day off back in the center of town and enjoy dinner at The Hudson.
2-3 Days in Sedona Itinerary
Day 1: Day one in the city is for adventuring and taking in the red rocks. Spend the morning on a guided ATV tour of the Sedona trails. After exploring the trails, freshen up and head into town to shop in the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village. After an afternoon of shopping, have your reservation ready to enjoy dinner at Elote Cafe (dining is by reservation only).
Day 2: Day two will start with an early morning hike to Devil’s Bridge – this way you’ll beat the heat and the crowds. After your trek, get back into town and give your legs a rest during an afternoon on the Verde Canyon Railroad Adventure.
Day 3: Your final day in Sedona will start by touring local vineyards and wineries on the Sedona winery tour. After the tour, spend the rest of the day relaxing by Oak Creek, fly fishing for brown and rainbow trout.
1 Week in Sedona Itinerary
On your first day in Sedona, take it easy by simply enjoying the many sights and sounds. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to start the trip, book the Vortex yoga hiking tour and spend 3.5 hours appreciating your surroundings. Days two and three are for outdoor adventures. Spend the second day exploring by taking the Red Rock West Jeep Tour. Feel free to step it up a notch and explore the red rocks on ATVs for your third day of activity.
Days four and five are for exploring the surrounding area. First, take a day trip to the Grand Canyon for new beautiful sights and a spectacular sunset dinner. On day five, hop on the Verde Canyon Railroad to explore the beauty of Verde Canyon.
On day six, stay local to Sedona and hit the major landmarks such as the Chapel of the Holy Cross and Cathedral Rock on a self-guided e-bike tour. That night, enjoy a slice of Sedona and some homemade pizza at the Hideaway House.
Use day seven to either spend the morning mountain biking or exploring the trails on foot-like hiking to Devil’s Bridge. In the afternoon of your final day, cool off by hanging out at Slide Rock State Park.
Where to Stay in Sedona
These are a few of the best neighborhoods in Sedona for tourists:
Uptown Sedona – Best for NightLife
Uptown Sedona is best for those who are wanting to be close to the town’s activity, shops, and restaurants. This area is super walkable and often busy in the high seasons so it has a high-energy vibe. Beyond the many shops and restaurants, Uptown is also home to the Sedona Heritage Museum.
Click here for more information on a Best Western Plus located in the Uptown Sedona area.
West Sedona – Best for First-Time Visitors
Although West Sedona is only 3 miles from Uptown, it offers a different vibe thanks to its many local breweries, coffee shops, farmers’ markets, and art galleries. I suggest this area for first-time visitors because you’ll still be close to the city’s activity, but can enjoy a more artsy and unique energy.
Click here to book the Wilde Resort and Spa in West Sedona.
Oak Creek – Best for Families
Oak Creek is located 7 miles south of Sedona and is a peaceful and rejuvenating area overflowing with beauty. If you want to experience being out in nature, I highly suggest basing yourself here as the area is close to all of the activity of Sedona, yet surrounded by the unique parks and restaurants of Oak Creek.
Click here to find out about Element Sedona in the Village of Oak Creek.
Best Restaurants in Sedona
Not only is Sedona known for its beauty and outdoor adventures, but it’s also home to many exquisite restaurants.
Elote Cafe is an upscale Mexican restaurant that’s a must-visit for any foodie when in Sedona. Make sure to plan ahead as it’s dining is by reservation only and is often booked up a month in advance. To start, order their signature street corn-inspired dip, “Elote”, and follow it up with braised brisket enchiladas. For dessert don’t miss out on Mexican Chocolate Pie.
Click here for directions.
The Hideaway House
The Hideaway House is loved by locals and visitors alike. Not only does this restaurant have delicious pizza, but it also has three outdoor patios that overlook the red rocks of Sedona. Make sure to order their roasted peach, caramelized onion, and pancetta pizza. The restaurant is quite affordable considering the level of food-with entrees costing around $25-$30.
Click here for directions.
The SaltRock Kitchen is located in the Amara Resort and Spa and is the perfect place to escape for happy hour drinks and appetizers. Don’t leave without tasting one of their signature margaritas, roasted corn dip, or short rib tacos. The food and drinks are perfectly accompanied by views of the red rocks of Sedons from their outdoor patio.
Click here for directions.
If I had to choose my favorite restaurant in Sedona, it would have to be The Hudson. This restaurant is a classic American eatery with a Southwestern flare. Make sure to start dinner with the spinach and artichoke dip, or bruschetta, and follow it up with the mushroom burger or BBQ braised pork tacos. The dining room has an open and fun vibe and you also have the option to sit outdoors on their patio that overlooks Sedona.
Click here for directions.
Pump House Station Urban Eatery and Market
If you want tasty food in a beautiful location, Pump House Station must make it onto your list. This rustic A-frame restaurant surrounded by trees and set on the creek, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’re most well-known for their urban burrito and smoked salmon benedict for breakfast, and their warm homemade sandwiches for lunch.
Click here for directions.
Getting to Sedona
The best way to get to Sedona is to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, rent a car, and drive 2 hours north to Sedona. Alternatively, there’s a small airport in Flagstaff, AZ which is only 40 minutes from Sedona but is likely to have fewer flight options.
If you prefer to travel by train, the Amtrak passes through Flagstaff, AZ. From there, you could rent a car and make the 40-minute drive down to Sedona.
The best way to get around Sedona itself is by car. There’s a local shuttle that offers rides to and from the popular hiking trails. The downtown area is also very walkable.
However, if you’re wanting to get to Sedona to and from the airport, and intend to take day trips to places nearby, I suggest renting a car. Click here to search for the best deals on rental cars in Sedona.
Things To Do in Sedona: FAQs
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about visiting Sedona:
What is Sedona known for?
Sedona is known for its iconic red rocks and the outdoor adventures that come with the landscape. It’s also known for its spiritual energy.
When is the best time to visit Sedona?
The best time to visit Sedona is March through May when the flowers are blooming and the temperatures are lower. Between September and November is also a great time to visit.
Is Sedona worth visiting?
Sedona is totally worth visiting. There’s a variety of things to do so it’s perfect for romantic couple getaways, family vacations, or friend trips.
How many days should I spend in Sedona?
In order to get the whole experience of Sedona, you should spend at least 3 days there.
Is Sedona safe?
Sedona is known to be a very safe place to visit and walk around in. However, take the usual precautions and use common sense as you would when traveling to any other destination.
What is the most popular thing to do in Sedona?
The most popular thing to do in Sedona is the hike up to Cathedral Rock.
What foods should I try in Sedona?
You should try the pizza at Hideaway House, the lamb adobo at Elote Cafe, and Spinach and Artichoke Dip at the Hudson.
In summary, there are countless things to do and places to visit in Sedona. I never regret any time I spend in Sedona and I always leave feeling refreshed and inspired. With a variety of things to do – from ATV rides, to wine tasting, to a day trip to the Grand Canyon – you can’t go wrong with adding Sedona to your bucket list of places to visit in the USA.