The Ultimate Visitors Guide to Sedona

Mountains and downtown in Sedona, Arizona

Surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest land, sand-stone rock formations, and protruding buttes all amongst a desert land full of cacti, Sedona, Arizona is recognized as one of the most beautiful and diverse U.S. southwest vacation destinations. While here visiting Sedona, you can discover tranquility gazing at the multi-colored stone formations, adventure by hiking and biking on the hundreds of trails, and discover a new sense of spirituality in the land that the Native Americans settled on hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Though many visitors travel to Arizona solely to see Phoenix or the Grand Canyon – which, by the way, is only 2 hours from Sedona – it would be a shame to be so close to other natural beauties and miss them. Sedona offers some of the world’s most natural, beautiful landmarks. In fact, the canyon walls of Sedona actually show nine layers of stone from different geological periods that span over hundreds of millions of years. 

Though we agree that Sedona’s incredible landmarks should be enough to draw anybody to this city, Sedona also offers a wide range of other activities other than gazing at its red rocks. For example, there are various top-tier restaurants with home-grown food, wine tours in the Verde Valley, and stargazing expeditions in the desert night. Let’s explore just some of the main attractions and outings that Sedona, Arizona has to offer.

Sedona, Arizona

1. What Sedona is Known For

Sedona is known as Red Rock Country for its incredible scenery from the Red Rock State Park to two hours north at the Grand Canyon. Visitors can take one of the more than 100 different trails of all levels that lead into these red rocks and walk away with a new sense of beauty, and photos to prove it. Travelers are enthralled by many of Sedona’s trails, but one of the most famous is the difficult Cathedral Rock Trail, which leads hikers to one of the most photogenic, famous rock formations all while looking at wildflowers along the way.

In addition to its natural beauty, Sedona’s origins leave it an even more famous location. About 37,000 years ago, the first Native Americans roamed the area. At this time, nearly one-sixth of the world’s surface was covered in glacial ice. Over hundreds of thousands of years, different settlers migrated and left this area all the while the climate changing from ice to desert. 

Because of this complex, rich history, Sedona is regarded as a place both sacred and powerful. In fact, people from all over the world travel to Sedona to experience the vortexes in the area that supposedly stem from the famous red rocks. People are said to feel empowered, inspired, and mentally stronger after experiencing a vortex. For more information on these vortexes, check out this website.

So, it’s beautiful and has the ability to leave you feeling like the better version of yourself. Have we convinced you yet that this place is the place to be? Let’s check out even more of what Sedona can offer. 

2. When To Go To Sedona

Surprisingly, this desert location has four different seasons, each offering their own activities and fun. Regardless of the season, Sedona remains a sunny location with mild temperatures compared to other parts of the United States. 


Temperatures during the summer months often reach 3 digits (100 degrees Fahrenheit) by early afternoon, so this is something to definitely keep in mind before booking your ticket in July. But if the heat is your thing, bring your suit and SPF for a definite warm, pool-side trip. Moreover, summer is home to monsoon season which many visitors say is surprisingly beautiful to observe. 


Weather in spring is often mild, pleasant, and rain-free. Be sure to book your tickets in these months to see the area in full bloom. Expect to see a multitude of cactus flowers, including the prickly pear and hedgehog cacti as well as a multitude of wildflowers in every color. Spring also offers spectacular sunsets that leave the most amazing backdrop behind Sedona’s red rocks. 

Note: this tends to be the highest tourist season in Sedona for obvious reasons.


If you’re an artist, this is time of the year to visit! You will see an array of mother nature’s most beautiful colors from scarlets to mustard yellows all against the scene of Sedona’s beautiful red rocks. Be sure to get a scenic view from a rooftop bar or restaurant such as View 180 to check out these colors during an explosive sunset. 

Autumn reflections along the waters in Sedona Arizona.


There are relatively few tourists in town during the winter months which is surprising considering the temperatures range from 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to 30 degrees Fahrenheit at night, which many hikers say is an ideal range to explore the outdoors. Moreover, December offers a wide variety of activities for the entire family.   You may be lucky enough to see a blanket of white snow covering the red rocks – a view no one can forget.  

3. Things To Do In Sedona

Now that you know what it is known for and which season you want to visit, here are some of the many things you can do in beautiful Sedona. Whichever season you pick, don’t forget your camera and tennis shoes to this scenic, wild, wild, west.

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village

Named after a colorful Mexican city on the outskirts of Guadalajara, this arts and crafts village is situated near Oak Creek has become a legendary landmark of Sedona for over half a century. Visitors say even if you don’t want to buy anything, it is worth the visit to see this artistic community. 

Outdoor Activities 

From hiking and biking to rafting and jeep tours, you cannot reference Sedona without talking about its hundreds of outdoor activities. In fact, Jeep and ATV tours are one of the most popular outdoor activities offered in Sedona and are likely to sell out quickly – so, buy tickets fast. 

Water erosion on top of Battlement Mesa. Named after some western movies filmed in the area. Sedona, Arizona.

There’s so much Sedona offers in terms of outdoor activities, we thought we’d make a list of must-do activities while you’re there: 

  • Jeep/ATV tours: Grab a cowboy hat for this modern way to experience Sedona.
  • Sedona Vortex Tour: Learn about the magical vortexes here. Maybe you, too, can leave Sedona with a new sense of inspiration through the enigmatical vortexes
  • Bike Trails & Lessons: There are oodles of different companies and each offer lessons and instructors at different levels
  • Horseback Riding: Experience Sedona with horses in the ultimate Wild, Wild West way.
  • Water Adventures: The Verde River allows you to see Sedona from another perspective: rafting, floating, or kayaking. If you’re looking to be “outdoorsy” while vacationing, check out their “Classic Water to Wine” tour which allows the water to do the work as you float down the Verde with a glass of wine in hand. 
  • Camping: Grab your tents. We’re going to sit around a campfire, look at the Sedona stars and tell ghost stories next to the red rocks.
  • Hiking: There are hundreds and hundreds of different trails to take while in Sedona. The best part about Sedona is that its natural landmarks offer different levels. 

Sights To See/Hike

Whether you’re an avid hiker or would rather stroll along a walking path, these are some of the must-see sights in Sedona. 

  • Red Rock State Park: This is a 286-acre nature preserve holds one of Arizona’s most famous landmarks: The Cathedral Rock. Be sure not to forget your camera to this sight. Note: This trail offers a 0.7 to 3.9 mile trail with a difficulty rating of easy to hard
  • Devil’s Bridge Trail: This is a natural sandstone arch that visitors note you must see. Note: This trail is a 4.2 heavily trafficked trail with a difficulty rating of moderate
  • Slide Rock State Park: Just north of Sedona, this state park was once a homestead apple farm. Though you can still find apple trees there, it is now known as one of “America’s Top 10 Swimming Holes.” Note: This trail is a 0.25-mile trail with a difficulty rating of easy


It’s a desert… bet you weren’t expecting wine! The Verde Valley near Sedona offers the dry climate needed for proper wine making and access to water the grapes need to thrive! Be sure to check out the many wineries offered in and just outside Sedona here


  • Sedona Heritage Museum:This museum offers the real-life perspective and information on mid-1870s settlers or as they are called: The Original Cowboys. Yee-Haw!
  • Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art: Awarded best gallery in Arizona as well as rated one of the best 25 best galleries in America, this museum features a wide range of artists. Note: It’s open Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 


Something everyone in the family can do from ages two to 102. The clear desert skies make for a beautiful, natural movie of constellations and shooting stars. In fact, there are few places better in the whole U.S.A. to stargaze than Arizona. There are professional tours offered here, but we also suggest just grabbing a glass of wine with a friend, love, or pup, and just looking up in awe.

Spas & Spiritual Wellness

It should come as no surprise that this city of spiritual health and well-being has no shortage of spas and wellness packages. Take a look at some of the many spas offered in Sedona here. With just a little bit of digging you’ll find the perfect fit to reboot your life again.   


When looking up after hitting your golf ball on a course in Sedona, you will most likely be tempted to look instead at the incredible backdrop offered by the red rocks against the clear blue sky. Golfing here is a bucket-list dream for many golfers, including professionals. Moreover, Sedona’s temperate climate allows almost year-round play.  Sedona offers courses for players of all levels whether you’re a novice or professional, so don’t be afraid to pick up that club and take a swing at one of these courses.

4. Where To Eat In Sedona

Sedona incorporates its farm-grown food into the restaurant scene masterfully. Whether you’re in the mood for southwestern, spicy cuisine, upscale steaks, or seafood, or just want to grab a bite and look at the red rocks, we can show you where to eat in Sedona.

If you’re visiting for multiple nights, put on your cowboy hat and be adventurous by trying a new type of food each night. Though Sedona is all about locally grown food, it masters the ability to incorporate its home-grown vegetation into a wide variety of flavors and cultural dishes. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best restaurants Sedona has to offer.

5. Where To Stay in Sedona

Sedona is in no shortage of great views. So, almost no matter where you stay, you’re bound to have a great view from either your hotel room, camping site, or AirBnB. One thing to note is that there are three major areas of town: Uptown Sedona, West Sedona, and the Village of Oak Creek (VOC), which are all within 5-7 miles of each other. 

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly lodging, your best bet is to look in West Sedona or Village of Oak Creek.  Here’s a list of different hotel, resort, and bed and breakfast options. Yet, don’t forget there are alternative lodging experiences such as Airbnb, GlampingHub, and good-old-fashioned camping. 

As you can see, Sedona has no shortage of entertainment, sunny days, or outdoor activities. It offers itself as a city full of diverse restaurants and liveliness as well as an escape to see mother nature’s incredible artwork. If you’re looking for your next journey, whether it consists of a spiritual retreat with the red rocks’ vortexes, intensive hiking, or sipping wine along the Verde River, look no further than Sedona, Arizona. 

Even more to keep in mind, these are just five of things to know before visiting Sedona. Upon arriving here, you will have your own discoveries in the red rocks, adventures on the hiking trails, parties by the pool, cool wine to drink under the hot sun, and a night of stargazing, just to name a bit of what your future in Sedona entails. We can hardly wait for you to get here ready to discover your adventure! Please check out another one of our articles written to help you while visiting Sedona.