Top-10 Things to Do in Sedona, AZ [Video Included]
These top things to do in Sedona AZ highlight the wonderment that this red rock community in central Arizona has to offer.
Sedona is one of the top road trip destinations in the entire country right now, so I thought it would be a good time to share some of the top things to do in Sedona. As someone who has lived in Arizona off/on for the better part of my life, I’ve been to Sedona dozens of times—I’m sharing my experience with you.
Sedona Scenic Drives
The first thing you have to do when visiting Sedona AZ is to drive along the Red Rock Scenic Byway that goes trough Oak Creek Village, where you will find many viewpoints and parking lots to access an abundance of hiking and biking trails.
To the Northeast of downtown Sedona, along 89a, you’ll find yourself driving through the majestic Oak Creek Canyon with creek-side stops, parks and viewpoints.
Red Rock Loop is yet another scenic Sedona drive that is a must when visiting the area. This is located along 89a to the west of town. Ultimately, wherever you drive in Sedona, you will have scenic views that will blow you away.
Slide Rock State Park
While you’re exploring Oak Creek Canyon, be sure to check out Slide Rock State Park. This is a wonderful area full of apple orchards, picnic tables, a museum and artifacts to peruse. The main attraction is Slide Rock itself, a large sandstone area with a natural flume in which people slide down (mainly in the summer months as the water is pretty cold). There is plenty of areas to lay back and relax, perhaps even jump into a deep pool of crystal clear water. Traverse upstream for some privacy, or check out the rim trail above Slide Rock.
Red Rock Crossing
This is the best place to hike around lower Oak Creek (just outside of town), while taking in the stupendous views of Cathedral Rock, one of the most iconic rock formations in Sedona. This is also one of those famous places in Sedona with a strong vortex that people gravitate to. There are spots in the middle of the creek where you can sit and listen to the flow of the water making its way downstream.
Red Rock State Park
Red Rock State Park has some of Sedona’s most beautiful hiking trails. Every trail showcases gorgeous rust colored views of red rock escarpments like Cathedral Rock. There are more than 300 acres of hiking trails that meander through a nature preserve along the banks of Oak Creek, which creates a diverse riparian habitat abounding with plants and wildlife. The hiking trails wind through manzanita and juniper trees while green meadows are framed by native vegetation.
There are picnic areas and also a beautiful visitors center with many displays and information for people who’ve never been to the area before.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
The Chapel of the Holy Cross has become an iconic Sedona Landmark and is certainly worth a stop. More than half a century after its construction, the Chapel continues to be a place of wonder, spiritual renewal, and sublime vistas for all to witness. Note: Many people park below the church, but there is lots of parking up the hill. To learn more, click on the following link as I have an article and video dedicated to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
Cultural Sites in Sedona
Nearby, Sedona has some precious cultural landmarks, like the Ancient ruins of Montezuma castle and Tuzigoot, both are wonderful examples of how the native people once lived in strikingly different ways. There is also the Honanki Heritage Site, which is a cliff dwelling that has a display of ancient rock art. Honanki is located in the Coconino National Forest, about 15 miles west of Sedona.
Hiking in Sedona
Sedona has an abundance of absolutely amazing hikes. You could spend a couple weeks there and not even come close to hiking them all. As a matter of fact, The forests, canyons and mountains around Sedona have more maintained trails than anywhere else in Arizona
While there seems to be endless places to hike in Sedona, here are some of our favorite Sedona hikes:
- Cathedral Rock
- Boynton Canyon
- Courthouse Butte Loop
- Bell Rock and Devil’s Bridge
Off-Roading / Jeep tour
Whether by foot or by 4 wheels, there is a lot of Sedona back country to explore. If you have a 4×4 there are many rugged roads to peruse, such as Schnebly Hill which is accessed right in town. If you don’t have a 4 wheel drive, you can rent one in town, or, go on a Jeep tour with one of the many local operators.
Sports, such as Golf and Tubing or River Rafting
There are four premium golf courses in Sedona, each nestled within the red rocks providing stunning views. The contrast between the bright green grass and the red sand stone makes Sedona a bucket list destination for golfers.
If water is more your thing, you can float down sections of Oak Creek in a tube. Or, you can raft or kayak down the nearby Verde River for some exhilarating chutes and calm floating pools. This is an excellent option for all ages.
Sedona Art galleries
One of the main attractions in Sedona is its rich art scene with dozens of world-class galleries. Sedona is highly regarded for its art scene and is comparable to Santa Fe, however not quite as robust. Whether you stroll passed an impressive public art installation, or pursue one of the fine-art galleries, there will certainly be something that catches your eye.
Well that’s a look at some of the topic things to do in Sedona, Arizona. If you have any questions about visiting this special area of the state, please leave a comment below. Visit my YouTube channel for more Arizona videos.
Frequently asked Questions about visiting Sedona AZ
What is the best time to visit Sedona?
Sedona is a year-round destination. It can get a bit hot in the summer, but the evenings cool down nicely. The winter months can get a bit chilly, but it's always sunny. To avoid the crowds, and for mild weather, the best time to visit Sedona is early November.
What makes Sedona so special?
The contrast between the vibrant red rock scenery and evergreen vegetation make it quite unique. Sedona is also internationally known for its uplifting power and Vortex meditation sites. The region also has lots of sunshine and is a year-round destination, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
Is Sedona expensive to visit?
While Sedona is not inexpensive to visit, it's not outrageous either. There are lots of lodging and dining options for every price range.
How do you get to Sedona?
While Sedona does have a small regional airport, most people will drive from Phoenix, which is about 115 miles and takes about 2 hours depending on traffic and stops.
Is there good hiking and biking in Sedona?
Yes! Sedona has an abundance of absolutely amazing hikes and biking trails. You could spend a couple weeks there and not even come close to experiencing them all. As a matter of fact, Sedona have more maintained trails than anywhere else in Arizona.