What to do in Sedona, Arizona

More about Sedona

At the turn of the 20th century, a friendly and hardworking young woman named Sedona Arabelle Miller Schnebly moved to Arizona with her husband, leaving Missouri behind. Charmed by the stunning landscape of dramatic red rocks, oak forests and desert plateaus, the couple settled down there and opened a post office. Today, the thriving city that bears her name - Sedona, Arizona - is one of the best cities to visit in North America.

Just about everything in Sedona is perfect. It has the ideal dry, mild climate, dramatic red rock scenery that you can’t find anywhere else, a fascinating culture, and hundreds of miles of trails for hiking and biking. If you’re planning to visit Sedona, Arizona, there are so many wonderful things to see and do that you may have to prioritize.

Explore Sedona's red rock scenery
At the top of your list, the city’s main attractions are the red sandstone formations that made Sedona famous; the Red Rocks of Sedona. The spectacular formations will take your breath away as you enter the town. Once you're here, get outside and explore! There are miles and miles of hiking trails, from short easy strolls, to strenuous back country treks. Get off the beaten path, and get yourself right into the red rocks, where you can savor the peace and beauty.

If you're planning some hiking, make sure to bring along decent hiking boots or shoes, since the terrain is rocky, and a women's travel hat for sun protection is a good idea, too. Also, make sure to see the rock formations at sunrise or sunset, when the sun’s light makes the rocks seem to give off a bright red and orange glow. If your hotel has a balcony facing the rocks, this is a great time to relax outside, and just soak in the scenery.

Sedona Red Rocks
Sedona Red Rocks

Discover abandoned cities and ancient ruins
History lovers flock to Sedona to see the ancient native ruins around the city. There are stunning ruins of cliff dwellings and abandoned villages at the Montezuma Castle, Tuzigoot, and Palatki Ruins. This area was populated by the Sinagua people many centuries ago. They abandoned their settlements and moved away, and there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the event. This area is also home to more than a thousand ancient petroglyphs carved into the rocks.

Take a day trip to the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is just a short drive from Sedona. It is one of the most famous and most inspirational views in the entire world, and it is something every person should see in their lifetime. When you see it, the scale is almost incomprehensible. It truly is "awesome" in the original sense of the word. From Sedona, you can easily do this as a day trip.

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon

You can drive to the Grand Canyon yourself, and look down into the mile-deep canyon from vista points along the South Rim, or even do a short trip part way down. If you don't have a rental car, there are companies that will pick you up in Sedona, and do the full day trip for you. If you have time for a more extensive visit, you can backpack through the canyon, raft through it on the Colorado River, or ride a mule to Phantom Ranch - located right at the bottom of the canyon.

Experience a mysterious energy vortex
Sedona is famous for its vortex sites. These are places with the earth's energy fields are particularly strong. Some of the most famous vortex sites in Sedona include Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon. Vortex sites are known for different types of energy - you may hear people refer to upward or inward energy, or masculine and feminine energy. Some people have reported miraculous healings or visions, others walk away with new insights and perspectives, and still others feel nothing at all. Who knows how it will affect you?

Various companies offer vortex tours in Sedona. Adventurous Wench has a 3-day Sedona getaway for women, that includes hiking in the red rocks, touring Sinaguan ruins, and a vortex or jeep tour, so you can experience the best of Sedona.

Try ballooning, yoga, or spas
For a unique view of the Sedona desert, the Grand Canyon and the Red Rock formations, why not go up, up and away in a beautiful hot air balloon? There are lots of balloon adventures available that will have you soaring silently with the eagles, as you admire the view below your feet.

If you love yoga or spas, there are many wonderful places all around Sedona. Many yoga retreats offer outdoor yoga at the Red Rocks, and hikes through the Coconino National Forest. There are also dozens of world class spas around the city, offering a variety of treatments including outdoor massage and mud baths. Golf lovers can spend the day on the region’s many quality golf courses.

Explore Sedona

show route and directions
A markerTuzigoot, Arizona -
Tuzigoot National Monument, 100 Main St, Clarkdale, AZ 86324, USA
[get directions]

B markerGrand Canyon, Arizona -
Grand Canyon National Park, 2 Albright Ave, GRAND CANYON, AZ 86023, USA
[get directions]

C markerCoconino National Forest, Arizona -
Coconino National Forest, Village of Oak Creek, AZ, USA
[get directions]

Wine tasting, anybody?
You can also head over to the Verde Valley and go for a winery tour at any of the vineyards in the region. Take a wine tasting class, or a tour, and experience some of the most beautiful countryside and compelling wines in the country.

Shop for arts and crafts
Don’t forget to save some time for shopping and dining, two other activities that Sedona has honed into an art. Visit Tlaquepaque, and arts and crafts village surrounded by towering oak trees and the Oak Creek in downtown Sedona. Home to art galleries, shops and fine restaurants, the village is modeled after an authentic Mexican village, and has been an important stop for all Sedona visitors for more than 40 years.
Whether your dream vacation involves hiking past ancient ruins and camping under the stars, or staying in a five star resort, playing golf and unwinding at the spa, Sedona has something for everyone, all in front of one of the most powerful and breathtaking landscapes on earth.

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Comments 12 comments

robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey

I have always wanted to visit Sedona-- thanks for all the fascinating info.

Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland

Thanks so much for writing this...this is my vacation destination this September!!!

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 5 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi robie2! Sedona is fascinating indeed - it's worth the trip. Thanks for dropping by.

Erin LeFey - I'll be at Red Rocks this September, too! See you there! :-)

drumweaver profile image

drumweaver 4 years ago from our blessed earth mother - canada...

thank you for this hub.... i just got back from visiting Sedona for the first time and fell in love with it... very special place for sure.. and will definitely be going back some time.... it was good to be with the ancient red rock stone people! blessings... w (((o)))

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 4 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Hi Drumweaver - I'm so happy you got to visit Sedona and discover what a unique place it is! There's something very special about the way it makes me feel.

ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

I wrote a hub about Sedona also. Sedona is awesome. So is your hub. There is so much to do there, so much adventure, serenity and fresh air. Thumbs up and sharing.

Anne Pettit profile image

Anne Pettit 4 years ago from North Carolina

Without your beautifully written hub, I never would have thought about Sedona. Thanks!

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 4 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Thanks, Yusenoh! I just checked out some of your hubs too - very interesting!

Doc Sonic profile image

Doc Sonic 4 years ago from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Very nice hub. Of all the places I've been to, the one that comes closest to perfection is Sedona. Thanks for the great hub and pictures.

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 4 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Thanks, Anne - It's a beautiful place to visit, especially if you're into hiking or outdoor activities!

happyexplorer profile image

happyexplorer 4 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere Author

Thanks, Doc! It sounds like you love Sedona like I do. (-:

Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 4 years ago from Texas, USA

I have been to Sedona 18 years ago; your article brings back happy memories for me, Nice post.

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