The popular things to do in Sedona cover a wide range of interests. Next to the Grand Canyon, this is the most-visited and most-photographed area in Arizona. If you’re planning to visit, you’ve come to the right place. On this page, you will find a collection of helpful trip-planning information.
Interesting Area Facts
Sedona is a classic small western town covering only 18 square miles with a population of just over 10,000 at the last census. The town is about 120 miles north of Phoenix in the upper Sonora desert region of the state.
The landscape is largely unspoiled and quite diverse. You will see towering stone walls thousands of feet high surrounding the lushly forested Oak Creek Canyon of the Verde River Valley.
The “Red Rocks” are a major attraction. The natural formations are composed of a type of red sandstone found only in the Sedona area. At sunrise and sunset, the rocks appear to glow in hues of brilliant orange and red, as though they are illuminated from within. Hiking around these red rock formations and photographing them are among the popular things to do in Sedona.
Best Times to Visit
Anytime is a good time to visit. The winters are mild with average daytime temperatures in the mid 50s and 60s. Daytime summer temperatures are significantly lower than those in the southern regions of the state. From June to August, temperatures are typically in the low to mid 90s.
If you are thinking about camping, remember that it gets cold at night. Nighttime lows are in the 30s and 40s for much of the year. During the summer and early fall the overnight lows are usually in the 50s and 60s.
Many festivals are held in the area between February and June. The annual marathon is held in early February. The Sedona Film Festival is an 8-day event usually running from the last week of February to the first week of March. The Jazz Festival is in April and the Bluegrass Festival is in June.
The festivals bring more folks into town and finding lodging is not always easy while they are going on. The best advice is to make your reservations early if your visit will coincide with one of the festivals.
Things to do in Sedona
There are plenty of things to do in Sedona year-round. The area is geologically and archaeologically significant. There is a spiritual significance, as well. Many of the rock formations are sacred to Native Americans and New Age thinkers believe this is a very special place.
- Sedona Tours
The Sedona Tours cover a wide range of interests and transportation preferences. Whether you want to hike or float through the air, you will find a tour that suits you. Here’s a look at some of the most popular tours in the area.
The Spiritual Healing Walkabout is one of the eco-hiking tours of Red Rock country. The guides created the tour to help you feel more connected to nature and wildlife. The tour lasts for 5 hours and includes a picnic lunch in a lovely natural setting.
- Western Experience
Taking the Complete Western Experience Tour is one of the fun things to do in Sedona. The tour includes a two-hour jeep ride on the Lil Rattler trail followed by a 1 ½ hour horseback ride along the banks of the Verde River. You’ll ride under large cottonwood and sycamore trees, cross the river on horseback and enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade of the trees.
- Hot Air Balloon Rides
This is a popular area for hot air ballooning and has been for many years. The weather cooperates on more days than not. Flights usually take off early enough for you to enjoy the sunrise as you glide over the lush Verde River Valley.
- Jeep Tours
Several 4x4 jeep or blazer Sedona tours have been created to allow you to easily and safely experience the area’s outback. One of the choices is the tour of Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley in Navajo Land. Monument Valley is a well-known landmark, especially among western movie buffs. It has been the site of more on-location western flicks than any other spot in the west.
- ATV Tours
The West Sedona Valley is one of the nation’s few remaining wildernesses. ATV trails have been carved into this wilderness to allow you to experience the area from up close. The tours typically last for three hours or more and cover about 30 miles of the canyon area. The guides customize the tours to accommodate various interests, ages and ATV experience. One of the trails leads to the top of Skeleton Bone Mountain and gives you an awesome view of the valley floor.
- Luxury Custom Tour
If none of the other tours sound exactly right for you, you can create your own. There are Sedona tour guides that will take you around to see the sites in comfort. You choose the tour based on your interests and the guides will help you decide exactly what to do in Sedona.
Popular Places to Stay
Because it is a popular tourist destination and because there are so many things to do in Sedona, there are dozens of hotels to choose from and a number of fine resorts in the area. The three here are perfect choices when you just want to relax and get away from it all.
- Briar Patch Cabins
The Briar Patch Cabins do not have telephones or TVs. What they do have to offer is peace and quiet. There are more than a dozen cabins to choose from. Some are just perfect for honeymooning or romantic getaways.
- Adobe Village
The Adobe Village has the widest variety of accommodations to choose from. You can stay in the original Bed and Breakfast Inn, choose one of the Red Rock Suites or have your own Private Villa. All of the choices are right next to the Coconino National Forest.
- Oak Creek Mobilodge
Many people choose to see the area by travelling in an RV. There are several RV camping sites in the area. Oak Creek Mobilodge is one of the popular facilities and is located only one mile from all of the Sedona sites and within driving distance of all the parks, monuments, theaters, spas and other area attractions.
Popular Sedona Restaurants
Eating is something you have to do, but it can also be one of the interesting things to do in Sedona if you choose the right restaurant. There are hundreds in the area. These three are favorites of residents and visitors, alike.
- L’Auberge on Oak Creek
Many people feel that eating at L’Auberge is what to do in Sedona; that no trip would be complete without sampling the contemporary Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. As the name suggests, the restaurant is positioned in such a way as to take advantage of the Oak Creek Views.
- The Hideaway
Located in “uptown”, the Hideaway is not as hard to find as the name might have you think. The menu is classic Italian and features large portions of salads, pasta, pizza and more. You get great views from the upper deck and you can even bring your dog to dinner with you.
- Cowboy Club
Featuring Western and Southwestern favorites in a cowboy-style setting, the Cowboy Club is a popular choice for casual dining. The grilled steaks are tender. The ribs are juicy and the French fries are simply the best.
Now that you know more about the things to do in Sedona, you’re probably ready to start packing. You are sure to have some unforgettable experiences!
Additional Resources for Sedona