Sedona is one of Arizona’s most popular destinations, and it’s only growing. Its natural features paired with its bustling culture, natural beauty, and Native American history make it a must-see for anyone planning a trip to Arizona. Now that you are leaving your clusia plants and cozy heaters behind, it is important you make the most of the trip.
Additionally, Airbnb and Sedona vacation home rentals are some of the most attractive in the country. This article discusses the eight best things to do in Sedona, but it is by no means an exhaustive list. It aims to showcase Sedona’s versatility to pique your interest. After your first visit, you can dive deeper and discover all of what Sedona has to offer.
Four primary landmarks are must-sees in Sedona. They are as follows: Airport Mesa, Devil’s Bridge, Bell Rock, and Cathedral Rock.
Airport Mesa is a large mesa covered in green shrubs that gives you panoramic views of Sedona.
As the name suggests, Bell Rock is shaped like a bell and towers over highway 179. You can see it from the highway, or you can hike up it if you’re brave enough. It’s located just north of the Village of Oak Creek.
Cathedral Rock is a larger version of Bell Rock also located off to the side of highway 179. However, I recommend taking one of the trails for the best views since it’s a little further off the road than Bell Rock. You can view Cathedral Rock using one of three methods. You can either walk up to the rock, take red rock crossing to Cathedral Rock or view it from the Crescent Moon picnic site.
Devils Bridge is one of the most popular trails in Sedona and this natural arch is one of the most popular natural attractions in Sedona.
You don’t have to hike or go on a 4wd trip to experience Sedona’s beauty. You can simply drive on one of its many scenic byways.
The Red Rock Scenic Byway offers stunning views and it’s easily accessible. If you have limited time in Sedona, the Red Rock Scenic Byway is an excellent choice to get the most out of your short stay. It offers a large-scale look at the potential options for your future visit.
North of Sedona, you can take the winding Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road. Taking this route lets you leave the red rocks behind to experience the oak-tree-lined, shady canyon. Taking this road will give you some views of other potential destinations such as Slide Rock State Park.
Red Rock Loop is an 8-mile loop that offers stunning views of Cathedral Rock. Several other overlooks along the road add to the drive’s allure, with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.
Airport Mesa, Devil’s Bridge, Cathedral Rock, and Bell’s Rock aren’t the only stunning hiking options in Sedona. The following are a few others that can give you the full Sedona experience.
Boynton Canyon takes you through a magnificent canyon in the Red Rocks Secret Mountain Wilderness. The short detour to Subway Cave is one of the most beautiful hidden secrets in Sedona. The hike isn’t too stressful, either, clocking in at 6.3 miles long. However, if you add Subway Cove, the hike is a full seven miles long.
Brins Mesa is nice for its versatility. You can either hike it as a short, 3-mile long out-and-back trail or add Soldier Pass, which turns into a six-mile excursion.
Bear Mountain is one of the most difficult hikes in Sedona due to its steep elevation gain and rugged topography. However, with difficult tasks comes a payoff- you get a panoramic view of Sedona from its highest point.
If you’re looking for a rugged, rocky look into Sedona, consider this difficult trail. It’s an out and back journey that takes you through twelve miles of rough terrain highlighted by rock formations such as the cow pies (not real ones), the Merry-Go-Round, and a spectacular view from Schnebly Hill Vista.
Diamondback Gulch has several steep declines and climbs and is 7 miles long. However, you don’t typically drive Diamondback Gulch for the views. You drive it for the precipitous drops and rises.
The Sedona vortex sites are considered energy centers that facilitate heightened awareness. Some people report tingling in their hands and feet. Others break into tears with no explanation. You might stumble upon some people practicing yoga or meditation when you visit these sites, and you can hike afterward.
This shopping center is one of the most unique in Sedona. With distinctly Mexican-style buildings, the Tlaquepaque houses over 50 boutique arts and crafts shops and restaurants.
It probably comes as no surprise that mountain biking is on this list. Hiking is a nice way to take in the sites at a leisurely pace, but if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, mountain biking can provide the thrill you’re looking for. Some popular trails include Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte.
If you’re looking to soak in some rays during the summer, or you want some family fun splashing around, Slide Rock State Park is an excellent choice. Both kids and kids at heart will enjoy sliding down the waterfalls into the pools, and one waterslide is even 80 feet long. There are several cliff diving spots for the adventurers as well.
Sedona has something for everyone. Mountain biking, shopping, hanging by a natural water feature. Additionally, it has some of the best Airbnb locations in the country. When you go to Sedona, you’re guaranteed to experience the beauty Arizona has to offer. With luxurious lodging and tasty, vibrant cuisine, Sedona is an excellent vacation destination.