View from a distance of a woman posing near the cliff next to Cathedral Rock, one of the best things to do in Sedona Arizona

25 Best Things to Do in Sedona (in 2023)

A vibrant town in a mountainous desert region, there are things to do in Sedona for all tastes.

It’s a place characterized by beautiful red rocks, towering buttes, and deep canyons. The Arizona town is known for having a rich artistic culture and contains a huge variety of galleries. Plus, the energetic activity in the area draws a vibrant new-age community.

I love visiting Sedona and count it as one of my favorite places to visit in Arizona. Let’s get into the best things to do in Sedona!

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25 Best Things to Do in Sedona

Devil’s Bridge

If you dare, venture out onto a natural red rock bridge with panoramic views of Sedona 

Panoramic view of a couple sitting at the top of Devil’s Bridge in Sedona
This epic photo atop Devil’s Bridge is a Sedona staple

📍 Google Maps | Entrance: Free 

One of Sedona’s most iconic features, Devil’s bridge draws tons of people wanting a photo perched on this towering natural bridge. The hike up to the bridge is steep but not overly challenging and winds through some beautiful red-rock countryside that Sedona’s famous for.

To get out ahead of the crowds, start your hike early in the morning which also happens to be optimal for photos. Parking can also be limited at the main trailhead (Devil’s Bridge Trail), so I recommend starting at Mescal Trailhead which is a 5.7-mile round-trip hike that tends to have less traffic. 

Montezuma Castle National Monument

See the ancient cliff settlements built by indigenous peoples

View of dwellings in Montezuma Castle in Sedona
Montezuma Castle is an incredible peek into Arizona history

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (928) 567-3322 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 4:45 pm daily | Entrance: $10

Montezuma Castle National Monument contains the remnants of incredible dwellings built into the cliffs by the Sinagua people sometime between AD 1100 and 1400. The structures have been well preserved and offer an incredible opportunity to glimpse into the past of the region. 

The national park lies about 45 minutes outside of Sedona – a drive that’s well worth it to see such a unique example of history.

👉 Just have a day to explore Sedona? This private tour of Sedona is customizable, and will take you to the top sites!

Bell Rock

Hike a few miles to this iconic bell-shaped rock formation 

Landscape view of the Bell Rock from a distance in Sedona
Bell Rock is one of the most iconic of Sedona’s many red buttes

📍 Google Maps | Hours: Open 24/7 | Entrance: Free

The monolithic Bell Rock butte emerges out of the Sedona countryside and is one of Sedona’s most recognizable towering red rock formations. While you can appreciate the butte from afar, a fantastic 3.5-mile roundtrip hike takes you to the top where you can enjoy panoramic views. 

Bell Rock is also the site of a vortex, a place of concentrated energy where some believe there is elevated spiritual activity.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

This intriguing chapel emerges from the surrounding red rocks, creating an impressive site

View of The Chapel of the Holy Cross at the top of red rocks in Sedona
Chapel of the Holy Cross is an impressive destination even for non-Catholics

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (928) 282-4069 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: Free

Constructed in the 1950s, this Catholic Chapel perches high up on a cliff face, seemingly embedded or emerging from the red rocks themselves. The church welcomes all visitors wanting to behold the architectural wonder, regardless of religious denomination, and has a small gift shop at the base. 

For those looking to attend a mass while visiting Sedona, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a wonderful place to combine religion and the area’s natural beauty.

Airport Mesa

For some of the best views of Sedona, this hike is a must

Scenic view at the Airport Mesa loop trail
Around nearly every ben in Sedona there’s a new stunning view to enjoy

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (928) 203-2900 | Website | Hours: Open 24/7 | Entrance: Free

The moderate Airport Mesa loop leads around the base of the large mesa and offers beautiful views of the scenery below. It’s one of the best places to watch the sunset and enjoy the beautiful color changes in the red rock country. 

Airport Mesa is also the site of one of Sedona’s vortexes where the Earth’s energy radiates at greater intensity.

Boynton Canyon 

This hike will take you to an iconic subway cave with sweeping views

Scenic view of the red rocks from the inside of a secret unique cave in Sedona
This unique cave is tough to find, but worth the search

📍 Google Maps | Entrance: Free

While slightly less popular than Devil’s Bridge and Cathedral Rock, Boynton Canyon and its subway cave are equally impressive. 

The 6.1-mile out-and-back hiking trail is considered to be moderately challenging. To reach the subway caves, take a side trail to the right about a mile from the final canyon viewpoint.

Soldier Pass

This hike leads to a massive sinkhole and a series of seven small pools called the seven sisters

A man sitting on the ground near the small pools at the Soldier Pass Trail
Soldier Pass Trail leads to a few unique natural formations, including the pictured Seven Sisters

📍 Google Maps | Hours: Open 24/7 | Website | Entrance: Free

Soldier Pass Trail is my favorite hike in Sedona, and in my opinion, beats out the more popular Devil’s Bridge and Cathedral Rock. I only saw a few other hikers on the 4.5-mile trail so we had all of the main sites to ourselves. 

The moderately difficult hike leads to a giant sinkhole called Devil’s Kitchen, the seven sisters, a series of seven small pools, and a unique cave. Each of these features is remarkable, but the trail also winds through what I thought was one of the most beautiful landscapes in Sedona.

Brins Mesa

Explore Sedona’s breathtaking landscape dotted with red rock buttes and canyons 

A man standing at the summit with a scenic background

📍 Google Maps | Hours: Open 24/7 | Entrance: Free

A moderate 3-mile hike, Brins Mesa is a great stroll for those wanting to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Sedona landscape. 

The trail also connects to various other hiking trails that wind through the red rock wilderness, making it a great kickoff point to explore. Once you make it to Brins Overlook you’ll be rewarded with unmatched views of the surroundings.

Brins Trail also allows vehicles and is a favorite among adrenaline-chasing offroaders.

Bear Mountain

One of Sedona’s more challenging hikes leads to what many recognize as the best views

View from the top of Bear Mountain in Sedona at sunset
The challenging hike up Bear Mountain is worth it for these unbeatable views

📍 Google Maps | Entrance: Free

On Bear Mountain Trail you will hike nearly 5 miles over which you’ll gain 2,000+ ft of elevation. The trail is not for the inexperienced hiker or the faint of heart, as much of the hike requires scrambling over sheer rock. Those with the gumption to take on one of Sedona’s most difficult hiking trails will be rewarded with stunning views of Fay Canyon and towering buttes.

Be sure to bring lots of water, sun protection, and wear shoes with good traction.

West Fork Oak Creek Trail

This beautiful hike leads through the forested Oak Creek Canyon punctuated by striking red rock formations

View from a distance of a man standing below the natural canyon and small river
This natural canyon formed by Oak Creek took our breath away

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 8 am – dusk daily | Entrance: Free

West Fork Trail winds through the lush Oak Creek Canyon just outside of Downtown Sedona. This easy, mostly flat walking trail turned out to be an unexpected highlight of my trip because of the unique scenery. While most of Sedona is a beautiful desert, the water of Oak Creek makes the canyon a verdant oasis and I couldn’t get enough of the greenery contrasting with the red rock.

Throughout its lifetime, the small Oak Creek has carved out incredible tunnels and unique formations in the canyon rock walls.

Cathedral Rock

Hike up to this monolithic red rock for breathtaking views of Sedona from above

View from a distance of a man posing near the cliff next to Cathedral Rock in Sedona
This view is the reason that Cathedral Rock is one of Sedona’s most popular hikes

📍 Google Maps | Website

There’s a reason that Cathedral Rock Trail is one of the most popular things to do in Sedona. The massive red butte truly resembles a massive cathedral and the hike up to it offers increasingly spectacular views. The hike requires a bit of rock scrambling and gets difficult in some places – especially if you attempt it at midday in summer as I did.

The hike terminates at the top of Cathedral Rock where, from its spires, the views of the valley below are spectacular. 

Grand Canyon

The iconic southern rim of the Grand Canyon is a short drive from Sedona

Aerial view of the scenic Grand Canyon
You can’t really imagine the immensity of the Grand Canyon until you’re standing on the rim looking down into it

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (928) 638-7888 | Website | Hours: Open 24/7 | Entrance: $35 per person

Arguably the world’s most recognizable natural wonder, the Grand Canyon is worth seeing at least once in your life. The drive to the south rim from Sedona only takes a couple of hours, so pack a bag for the Grand Canyon and make a day trip out of it!

We spent a couple of hours strolling along the walking trails at the top of the immense canyon walls. It was as spectacular as expected.

Visit Slide Rock State Park

Take relief from the hot desert temperatures with a dip in this canyon river with rock banks

View of the clear river water surrounded by red rock mountains
Possibly one of the coolest destinations to take a dip and cool off

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (928) 282-3034 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 6 pm | Entrance: $20 per vehicle

Slide Rock State Park is one of the most popular Sedona attractions and undoubtedly the most fun way to escape the desert heat in summer. 

The water of Oak Creek meanders between towering rock walls, creating a picturesque natural bathing area. The banks of the river are formed by the iconic red rocks that Sedona’s famous for and are perfect for relaxing after a swim. 

Hike up or down the river to find a less populated area, since the park draws tons of visitors each day.

📚 Related Reading: 19 Best Places to Go Camping in Arizona (By a Local)

Go on a Pink Jeep Tour

For a guided tour of the Sedona landscape, you can’t go wrong taking a jeep offroad

A pink jeep parked below the majestic rock mountains
(photo: Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (800) 873-3662 | Website | Entrance: starting at $57 per person

Pink Jeep Tours are a super fun and efficient way of seeing all of the top sites and attractions in and around Sedona. 

They offer tons of different tours including the Grand Canyon Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, a vortex tour, and many more. If you want to pack a ton of sigh-seeing into a short time, a Pink Jeep Tour is a perfect option.

Verde Valley Wine Trail

Explore Sedona’s various wineries scattered throughout this little-known wine country  

View of an arm of a man holding a glass of wine and a platter of pastry, different kinds of cheese, fruits, and sauces
Wine, cheese, and beautiful scenery

Entrance: Free | Website

Sedona has its very own wine country where you can sip a glass of local wine and enjoy views of the stunning landscape. There are multiple fantastic wineries scattered throughout the Oak Creek Canyon and together they make up the Verde Valley Wine Trail. 

Our favorites were Oak Creek Vineyards and Page Springs Cellars, both of which had great wine to enjoy with beautiful views of the surrounding nature. 

Vortex Site

Visit one of Sedona’s areas of energetic importance to connect with yourself and the Earth

View of the Cathedral Rock formations from below
Cathedral Rock is the site of one of the many vortices scattered throughout Sedona’s countryside

👉 Browse Tours on Viator

For many people, Sedona is considered a place of spiritual importance and revered as a sacred place. This is thanks to its sites of strong energy flow, known as a vortex. 

These vortexes are scattered throughout the countryside but draw in many visitors wanting to meditate, feel the energetic force, or just see what the fuss is about.

Most of the sites are somewhat remote and require a hike or bike to reach them. Otherwise, you can take a jeep tour to various vortex sites.

Red Rock Scenic Byway

This drive is a must for stunning scenic views without having to leave the car

View of the bridge at the Red Rock Scenic Bay in Sedona

📍 Google Maps | Hours: Open 24/7 | Entrance: Free

The 7.5-mile stretch of road called the Red Rock Scenic Byway winds through the Sedona wilderness and offers an opportunity to enjoy spectacular views of the red rock landscape. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to get out into the outdoors when hiking or biking isn’t possible.

Off-Roading

Sedona is an off-road aficionado’s paradise, with tons of vehicle-accessible trails

A yellow jeep on the desert landscape in Sedona, Arizona
(photo: rawf8 / Shutterstock)

👉 Browse Tours on Viator

The area surrounding Sedona is known as an offroading playground. The rocky and rough terrain makes it a popular destination for people to test their 4WD vehicles and driving skills.

Coconino National Forest has tons of trails designated for offroading vehicles that offer a variety of difficulties. The best trails are considered to be Devils Bridge Trail, Hangover Trail Out-and-Back, and Schnebly Hill Road OHV Route.

If you aren’t confident of your offroading capabilities, you can still enjoy offroading adventures by going on a Jeep Tour. 

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village

Peruse the many art galleries at the architecturally beautiful Tlaquepaque Village 

View of the Tlaquepaque  archway in Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village in Sedona
Tlaquepaque’s lovely grounds are as exquisite as the art contained in all of its galleries

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (928) 282-4838 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm | Entrance: Free

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village is a beautiful center designed to replicate a traditional Mexican village. The grounds themselves are worth visiting as they contain gardens, lovely benches, historic attractions, and art pieces. 

As the name suggests, Tlaquepaque is filled with art galleries displaying unique pieces, often celebrating Sedona’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty.

Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park

For a beautifully peaceful moment away from it all, stroll this park made specifically for peace  

A Buddha Statue near a small tower with buntings around in Sedona
It’s impossible not to feel at peace at the Amitabha Stupa

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (877) 788-7229 | Website | Hours: 7 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: voluntary donations

The Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park is an outdoor area whose purpose is to provide a tranquil place for people to meditate, pray, or just sit in peace. 

Stupas are one of the earliest types of sacred structures whose origins date back to the time of Buddha over 2,500 years ago. They are considered to hold the presence of buddha and offer a place of enlightenment and spiritual significance for people of all religions. 

Sedona’s Amitabha Stupa is one of the few in the West.

Mountain Biking

There’s no better way to see Sedona’s backcountry than from a bike

Five cyclists on the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park

The many trails that wind through the rocky, desert terrain in and around Sedona make it a top destination for mountain bikers of all skill levels. In fact, mountain biking is an awesome way to explore Sedona and see some of the more remote sites that are too far on foot. 

Some of the top-rated trails for mountain biking are Aerie to Cockscomb Trail, Chuckwagon Trail, and Hangover trail.

Visit the Palatki Heritage Site

See the remains of cliff dwellings constructed in the 12th century

Rock formations below the Palatki Heritage Site, near Sedona, Arizona

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (928) 203-2900 | Website | Hours: 9:30 am – 3 pm daily

Located in Coconino National Forest, The Palatki (red house in Hopi) Heritage Site contains preserved ancient dwellings carved into the red stone cliffs. The site is only accessible via a long bumpy road, but the unique attraction is worth the adventure.

Guides will take you on a short hike to the actual dwellings, explain preserved rock art, and teach you about the unique culture and history of the Hopi people who constructed the impressive structures. 

Sedona Beer Company

This small brewery is the best spot for a post-hike bite and brew

Two glasses of different beers served at the outdoor seating area at Sedona Beer Co.
Sedona Beer Co. was our favorite spot to enjoy a post-hike refreshment

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (928) 862-4148 | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 8 pm, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays

After discovering Sedona Beer Co., it became our go-to spot to have a beer and a snack after a hot hike. The small, humble establishment is quaint and homey, and the outdoor patio has a stunning red rock backdrop. 

The beer list is ample and they have some great food as well. Our favorite was the pretzel.

Explore Downtown Sedona

This small brewery is the best spot for a post-hike bite and brew

A black horse sculpture near the shops in downtown Sedona
(photo: Paul R. Jones / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps 

Sedona is an adorable small town that celebrates the area’s natural beauty with architecture inspired by the landscape. Many of the shops and restaurants are influenced by the rich culture and history of Sedona. 

The walkable downtown area, called Uptown Sedona is packed full of art and artisanal shops, restaurants, and cute cafes. From anywhere in the town you’ll have a gorgeous backdrop of the stunning red landscape beyond.

Ride the Verde Canyon Railroad

See Sedona from a refurbished antique railcar

An old train passing the scenic views at the Verde Canyon Railroad
The Verde Canyon Railroad is an awesome way to enjoy Sedona’s history and nature at the same time

📍 Google Maps | Phone: 1 (800) 582-7245 | Website | Price: starting at $109 

Undoubtedly the coolest and most unique way to see Sedona is on a refurbished antique railway car on the Verde Canyon Railroad. 

The four-hour trip through 20 miles of countryside offers spectacular views of otherwise impossible-to-reach places, which you get to enjoy from a charming train car with food and alcohol service. 

👉 Read Next: Best Things to Do in Phoenix

FAQs About What to Do in Sedona

How do I spend a day in Sedona?

A day in Sedona is done right by visiting Devil’s Bridge and Cathedral Rock, and exploring the Sedona wilderness. You’ll also want to have lunch in Uptown Sedona and then head to Slide Rock to cool off in the pools of Oak Creek. To finish the day, have a beer and dinner at Sedona Beer Co. 

What is Sedona best known for?

Sedona is best known for its beautiful red rock landscape and massive red sandstone formations that tower above the ground. Some of the most famous of these formations are Bell Rock, Snoopy Rock, Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge, Chimney Rock, and Coffee Pot Rock.

What is the best time of year to go to Sedona AZ?

Spring and Fall are the best times to visit Sedona as this is when the weather is mild and conducive to hiking and exploring the outdoors. Summer temperatures can get extremely hot, which limits outdoor activities. Winter months can bring ice and snow likewise confining you to indoor activities, though the crowds will be thinner off-season.

Are 3 days enough in Sedona?

Three days in Sedona is just enough to see some of the more popular natural attractions and explore the small mountain town. You may not be able to see every last site and attraction that the area has to offer, but three days would be enough to see Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge, Slide Rock, go wine tasting, and visit Tlaquepaque Village, all of which are must-see places.

***

Thanks for reading my guide to things to do in Sedona! All outdoor lovers, art aficionados, and the spiritually inclined should add Sedona to their list of must-see places. Up next, check out our picks on the best day trips from Phoenix (hint: Sedona makes the list!)

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