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Southwest

10 Top Things to Do in Sedona, Arizona

May 27, 2024

Southwest

10 Top Things to Do in Sedona, Arizona

May 27, 2024

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I'm a travel creator and influencer coach based out of Arizona. This blog is where I share the best itineraries for US & beyond, 63 US National Parks, and influencer tips.

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Sedona is a natural paradise and a top spot for travelers worldwide. 

It has gorgeous and dramatic red rock formations, saguaro cacti across the desert landscape, and stunning creeks and canyons. 

In Sedona, things to do aren’t far from reach, but you might be wondering where to start.

If you aren’t into fitness, there are plenty of things to do in Sedona besides hiking, but there’s no denying that the hiking trails here are world-famous and worth every second of your time. 

Couple a few hikes to iconic locations with tasty food, shopping trips, and sightseeing, and you’ve got a classic Sedona adventure. What’s not to love?

So, if you’re looking for some fun things to do in Sedona, read on. This list has got you covered.

Disclaimer: Hey explorer! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of each purchase made through my links. I only ever recommend products I believe in and appreciate your support if you decide to use my links—thank you!

What to Do in Sedona, Arizona

Whether hiking to vortexes or visiting ancient monuments, Sedona is filled to the brim with fun and excitement — You’ll never find yourself lost on what to do. 

Now, without further ado, it’s time to dive into eight thrilling and unbeatable Sedona activities you’ll adore.

#1 See an Energy Vortex 

You’ve likely been hearing about energy vortexes in Sedona for a while now, but seeing them in person is something out-of-this-world, and you can’t miss it. 

Vortexes are epicenters of energy spread worldwide, and Sedona is home to plenty of them. 

Some are small and not well-known, but four major ones keep people returning for more: 

The Airport Mesa Vortex, Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock, and Bell Rock. 

Each site has its properties, exuding uplifting, feminine, masculine, or balanced energies, so choosing the best fit is up to you.

Whether you want to experience the spiritual energy at these sites or simply enjoy the scenery and snap some photos, visiting these vortexes should be on your to-do list.

Top Tip: Check out these ranked Sedona vortexes if you’re struggling to pick which one to see.

#2 Go to a Scenic Overlook

Listen, Sedona has some incredible scenic overlooks that don’t require hiking, but will leave you in awe. 

My go-to recommendation is Lover’s Knoll. 

You can drive up to this spot and enjoy it for sunset. I also love Yavapai Overlook — another great pull up spot!

#3 Travel Through Oak Creek Canyon

This is undoubtedly one of the prettiest things to see in Sedona.

Oak Creek Canyon runs 12 miles from Flagstaff to Sedona and has forests, vast mountain ranges, and a plethora of gorgeous plants and wildlife.

It’s tough to narrow down, but there are a couple of activities you can get stuck into. 

Starting with visiting the Village of Oak Creek, you can spend a few nights at stunning hotels near some Sedona attractions, including Bell Rock.

If you’d rather get into the thick of it, there are plenty of lodgings and campgrounds.

Scenic drives, fishing, and swimming in the crystal-clear creek are all an absolute must. 

And it wouldn’t be a Sedona trip without trying some of Oak Creek Canyon’s hiking trails.

#4 Go Shopping at the Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village 

Next up is the quaint Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village

This unique village was built to resemble a traditional Mexican village and showcases stone architecture and pathing that is truly breathtaking.

It’s a popular spot for events and weddings, but you’ll find that shopping is the best thing to do (hence the name). 

You can buy anything from jewelry at places like Cocopah Jewelry, clothing at Bennali, and everything in between.

You can also visit art galleries such as the Andrea Smith Gallery. The list goes on.

Then, once you’re done, there are plenty of eateries, cafes, and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat after a long day of exploring. 

The Oak Creek Brewery and Grill, in particular, offers some classic and tasty dishes.

#5 Drive on the Red Rock Scenic Byway

Sedona scenic drives are a great way for you and the whole family to glimpse the best and most beautiful sights in Sedona, and the Red Rock Scenic Byway is a top pick. 

This road runs along Arizona State Route 179 and spans 7.5 miles, so it’s perfect for a quick road trip.

Along this drive, you’ll come across Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and breathtaking scenic viewpoints at Castle Rock, Courthouse Butte, and Lee Mountain. 

These are just a few spots you can enjoy right from the comfort of your car, but you can stop for a hike or two along the way if you like.

Don’t worry, that’s not all. You’ll find some places to eat along the way, like the Red Rock Café where you can or the Oak Creek Espresso coffee shop.

#6 Spend Some Time at Red Rock State Park 

Nature lovers will get a real kick out of visiting state parks across the country, and Red Rock State Park is no exception. 

You can spend all day getting lost in everything the park offers, including the visitor center and park store, which have a range of exhibits and information on the park and scenery.

You can try your hand at some hiking trails, but one of the best things about the park is its designation as a monarch waystation. 

All this means is that it’s a fabulous spot to view tons of migrating butterflies depending on the time of year you visit (best between August and September).

The park has a small entrance fee of $7 for adults, $4 for children, and free for children under six. 

To top it off, it’s only a few miles from Slide Rock and Dead Horse Ranch State Parks.

Top Tip: Red Rock State Park offers a series of guided tours that differ daily, so check beforehand to see what interests you most. 

#7 Go Trekking on Scenic Hiking Trails 

As expected, in Sedona, Arizona, things to do are usually centered around hiking, and there is no shortage of options. 

You’ll be able to find any type of trail, from easy to more challenging, so you can be sure that any fitness level is accounted for.

Consider packing a bag with all your essentials — your camera, sunscreen, water bottle — the whole lot, and spend a day or two solely dedicated to hikes. 

This way, you’ll get a glimpse of the true beauty of Sedona (and get your steps in).

You can hike to vortexes like Cathedral Rock or the Airport Mesa or take leisurely strolls near Red Rock Crossing or Fay Canyon. 

Trails like the Birthing Cave, the Sugarloaf Trail, the Soldier Pass Trail, and the Doe Mountain Trail are all exceptional choices.

Read Next: Here are a few guides on the best Sedona hikes and some easy hikes in Sedona for you to check out.

#8 Visit the Tuzigoot National Monument 

While not in Sedona, this next spot is just half an hour out, but it is undoubtedly worth the trip. 

History nerds need to take the time to visit the Tuzigoot National Monument, which gives you a glimpse of the life of locals from thousands of years ago. 

The monument showcases a traditional village built by the Sinagua people as far back as 1000 A.D.

The monument is imposing, not only because of the beautiful rolling hills surrounding it but also because of the sheer scale of the ruins that are left. 

If you want to make the most of your time here, it’s best to visit the museum!

You can also enjoy self-guided tours and walks through the nearby Tavasci Marsh, marveling at the wildlife and plant species that fill the area. Set aside an entire day for this visit.

#9 Take a Ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad

Last but not least on the list of things to do near Sedona, AZ, is to take a ride on the incredible Verde Canyon Railroad. 

There’s no better way to get a quick and easy glimpse at the Arizonian landscape than by hopping on a train and traveling through Verde Canyon.

The Verde Canyon Railroad journey is four hours long between Clarkdale and Perkinsville and has comfy, inviting, and refurbished train cars. 

As you travel through the deep valleys of red rock, ravines, and lush forests, you can order food and drinks to keep you refreshed. 

You’ll also be able to spot some bald eagles and other wildlife along the way (just keep those binoculars handy).

#10 Go Wine Tasting

When you’re ready to take a break from hiking and exploring the rugged red rock landscapes, why not indulge in local flavor with a wine-tasting tour? 

Sedona is home to vineyards and tasting rooms that are a pretty pleasant surprise considering most don’t know Arizona has a great wine scene!

Head over to the Verde Valley Wine Trail, where you can sample an array of locally produced wines, from robust reds to crisp whites. 

Many of these wineries have stunning views of the surrounding scenery, which is one of my favorite parts of wine tasting in the area! 

Popular stops include Page Springs Cellars, known for its serene creekside setting, and Sedona Wine & Beer Company, where you can enjoy a diverse selection of wines in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. 

Where to Stay in Sedona

Now that you’ve got a list of some to-dos to add to your itinerary, you’ll want to figure out where to stay. Here are a few great options.

The Wilde Resort and Spa ($$$)

If you want to splurge a little, do it here at the Wilde Resort and Spa

You’ll be greeted with hot tubs, spacious and picturesque rooms, spa facilities, and countless amenities for a luxurious experience. 

Plus, the Airport Mesa and Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village are just a short drive away. 

Sedona Hilltop Inn ($$)

The Sedona Hilltop Inn is great if you want to marvel at the views of the Airport Mesa nearby. 

Besides the stunning views, the modern and well-decorated rooms are perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring. 

Sedona Springs Resort by VRI Americas ($)

This amazing Sedona Springs Resort is perfect for budget travelers, offering warm and spacious rooms with unbeatable views. 

You’ll have access to a pool and grill area, gym, laundry facilities, and any other amenities you’re looking for. 

Read more: Best romantic hotels in Sedona for couples.

Wrapping Up the Top Things to Do in Sedona, AZ

And that’s a wrap, folks — the top things to do in Sedona. 

From hiking to Bell or Cathedral Rock to sightseeing and snapping some epic photos at some of the most Instagrammable places in Sedona, the so-called Red Rock Country has it all.

If one thing is for sure, you can count on your journey being filled with some incredible activities to suit any traveler.

Read Next: Now that you’ve got a killer list of some must-do activities, here’s a useful and fun-filled 7-day Sedona itinerary for you to try as is or adjust to your liking. Have fun!

Sedona is a natural paradise and a top spot for travelers worldwide. 

It has gorgeous and dramatic red rock formations, saguaro cacti across the desert landscape, and stunning creeks and canyons. 

In Sedona, things to do aren’t far from reach, but you might be wondering where to start.

If you aren’t into fitness, there are plenty of things to do in Sedona besides hiking, but there’s no denying that the hiking trails here are world-famous and worth every second of your time. 

Couple a few hikes to iconic locations with tasty food, shopping trips, and sightseeing, and you’ve got a classic Sedona adventure. What’s not to love?

So, if you’re looking for some fun things to do in Sedona, read on. This list has got you covered.

Disclaimer: Hey explorer! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of each purchase made through my links. I only ever recommend products I believe in and appreciate your support if you decide to use my links—thank you!

What to Do in Sedona, Arizona

Whether hiking to vortexes or visiting ancient monuments, Sedona is filled to the brim with fun and excitement — You’ll never find yourself lost on what to do. 

Now, without further ado, it’s time to dive into eight thrilling and unbeatable Sedona activities you’ll adore.

#1 See an Energy Vortex 

You’ve likely been hearing about energy vortexes in Sedona for a while now, but seeing them in person is something out-of-this-world, and you can’t miss it. 

Vortexes are epicenters of energy spread worldwide, and Sedona is home to plenty of them. 

Some are small and not well-known, but four major ones keep people returning for more: 

The Airport Mesa Vortex, Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock, and Bell Rock. 

Each site has its properties, exuding uplifting, feminine, masculine, or balanced energies, so choosing the best fit is up to you.

Whether you want to experience the spiritual energy at these sites or simply enjoy the scenery and snap some photos, visiting these vortexes should be on your to-do list.

Top Tip: Check out these ranked Sedona vortexes if you’re struggling to pick which one to see.

#2 Go to a Scenic Overlook

Listen, Sedona has some incredible scenic overlooks that don’t require hiking, but will leave you in awe. 

My go-to recommendation is Lover’s Knoll. 

You can drive up to this spot and enjoy it for sunset. I also love Yavapai Overlook — another great pull up spot!

#3 Travel Through Oak Creek Canyon

This is undoubtedly one of the prettiest things to see in Sedona.

Oak Creek Canyon runs 12 miles from Flagstaff to Sedona and has forests, vast mountain ranges, and a plethora of gorgeous plants and wildlife.

It’s tough to narrow down, but there are a couple of activities you can get stuck into. 

Starting with visiting the Village of Oak Creek, you can spend a few nights at stunning hotels near some Sedona attractions, including Bell Rock.

If you’d rather get into the thick of it, there are plenty of lodgings and campgrounds.

Scenic drives, fishing, and swimming in the crystal-clear creek are all an absolute must. 

And it wouldn’t be a Sedona trip without trying some of Oak Creek Canyon’s hiking trails.

#4 Go Shopping at the Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village 

Next up is the quaint Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village

This unique village was built to resemble a traditional Mexican village and showcases stone architecture and pathing that is truly breathtaking.

It’s a popular spot for events and weddings, but you’ll find that shopping is the best thing to do (hence the name). 

You can buy anything from jewelry at places like Cocopah Jewelry, clothing at Bennali, and everything in between.

You can also visit art galleries such as the Andrea Smith Gallery. The list goes on.

Then, once you’re done, there are plenty of eateries, cafes, and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat after a long day of exploring. 

The Oak Creek Brewery and Grill, in particular, offers some classic and tasty dishes.

#5 Drive on the Red Rock Scenic Byway

Sedona scenic drives are a great way for you and the whole family to glimpse the best and most beautiful sights in Sedona, and the Red Rock Scenic Byway is a top pick. 

This road runs along Arizona State Route 179 and spans 7.5 miles, so it’s perfect for a quick road trip.

Along this drive, you’ll come across Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and breathtaking scenic viewpoints at Castle Rock, Courthouse Butte, and Lee Mountain. 

These are just a few spots you can enjoy right from the comfort of your car, but you can stop for a hike or two along the way if you like.

Don’t worry, that’s not all. You’ll find some places to eat along the way, like the Red Rock Café where you can or the Oak Creek Espresso coffee shop.

#6 Spend Some Time at Red Rock State Park 

Nature lovers will get a real kick out of visiting state parks across the country, and Red Rock State Park is no exception. 

You can spend all day getting lost in everything the park offers, including the visitor center and park store, which have a range of exhibits and information on the park and scenery.

You can try your hand at some hiking trails, but one of the best things about the park is its designation as a monarch waystation. 

All this means is that it’s a fabulous spot to view tons of migrating butterflies depending on the time of year you visit (best between August and September).

The park has a small entrance fee of $7 for adults, $4 for children, and free for children under six. 

To top it off, it’s only a few miles from Slide Rock and Dead Horse Ranch State Parks.

Top Tip: Red Rock State Park offers a series of guided tours that differ daily, so check beforehand to see what interests you most. 

#7 Go Trekking on Scenic Hiking Trails 

As expected, in Sedona, Arizona, things to do are usually centered around hiking, and there is no shortage of options. 

You’ll be able to find any type of trail, from easy to more challenging, so you can be sure that any fitness level is accounted for.

Consider packing a bag with all your essentials — your camera, sunscreen, water bottle — the whole lot, and spend a day or two solely dedicated to hikes. 

This way, you’ll get a glimpse of the true beauty of Sedona (and get your steps in).

You can hike to vortexes like Cathedral Rock or the Airport Mesa or take leisurely strolls near Red Rock Crossing or Fay Canyon. 

Trails like the Birthing Cave, the Sugarloaf Trail, the Soldier Pass Trail, and the Doe Mountain Trail are all exceptional choices.

Read Next: Here are a few guides on the best Sedona hikes and some easy hikes in Sedona for you to check out.

#8 Visit the Tuzigoot National Monument 

While not in Sedona, this next spot is just half an hour out, but it is undoubtedly worth the trip. 

History nerds need to take the time to visit the Tuzigoot National Monument, which gives you a glimpse of the life of locals from thousands of years ago. 

The monument showcases a traditional village built by the Sinagua people as far back as 1000 A.D.

The monument is imposing, not only because of the beautiful rolling hills surrounding it but also because of the sheer scale of the ruins that are left. 

If you want to make the most of your time here, it’s best to visit the museum!

You can also enjoy self-guided tours and walks through the nearby Tavasci Marsh, marveling at the wildlife and plant species that fill the area. Set aside an entire day for this visit.

#9 Take a Ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad

Last but not least on the list of things to do near Sedona, AZ, is to take a ride on the incredible Verde Canyon Railroad. 

There’s no better way to get a quick and easy glimpse at the Arizonian landscape than by hopping on a train and traveling through Verde Canyon.

The Verde Canyon Railroad journey is four hours long between Clarkdale and Perkinsville and has comfy, inviting, and refurbished train cars. 

As you travel through the deep valleys of red rock, ravines, and lush forests, you can order food and drinks to keep you refreshed. 

You’ll also be able to spot some bald eagles and other wildlife along the way (just keep those binoculars handy).

#10 Go Wine Tasting

When you’re ready to take a break from hiking and exploring the rugged red rock landscapes, why not indulge in local flavor with a wine-tasting tour? 

Sedona is home to vineyards and tasting rooms that are a pretty pleasant surprise considering most don’t know Arizona has a great wine scene!

Head over to the Verde Valley Wine Trail, where you can sample an array of locally produced wines, from robust reds to crisp whites. 

Many of these wineries have stunning views of the surrounding scenery, which is one of my favorite parts of wine tasting in the area! 

Popular stops include Page Springs Cellars, known for its serene creekside setting, and Sedona Wine & Beer Company, where you can enjoy a diverse selection of wines in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. 

Where to Stay in Sedona

Now that you’ve got a list of some to-dos to add to your itinerary, you’ll want to figure out where to stay. Here are a few great options.

The Wilde Resort and Spa ($$$)

If you want to splurge a little, do it here at the Wilde Resort and Spa

You’ll be greeted with hot tubs, spacious and picturesque rooms, spa facilities, and countless amenities for a luxurious experience. 

Plus, the Airport Mesa and Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village are just a short drive away. 

Sedona Hilltop Inn ($$)

The Sedona Hilltop Inn is great if you want to marvel at the views of the Airport Mesa nearby. 

Besides the stunning views, the modern and well-decorated rooms are perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring. 

Sedona Springs Resort by VRI Americas ($)

This amazing Sedona Springs Resort is perfect for budget travelers, offering warm and spacious rooms with unbeatable views. 

You’ll have access to a pool and grill area, gym, laundry facilities, and any other amenities you’re looking for. 

Read more: Best romantic hotels in Sedona for couples.

Wrapping Up the Top Things to Do in Sedona, AZ

And that’s a wrap, folks — the top things to do in Sedona. 

From hiking to Bell or Cathedral Rock to sightseeing and snapping some epic photos at some of the most Instagrammable places in Sedona, the so-called Red Rock Country has it all.

If one thing is for sure, you can count on your journey being filled with some incredible activities to suit any traveler.

Read Next: Now that you’ve got a killer list of some must-do activities, here’s a useful and fun-filled 7-day Sedona itinerary for you to try as is or adjust to your liking. Have fun!

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