Where to go and what to do.
Sedona, Arizona, is one of America’s must-see destinations. You might be planning a southwest road trip, in which case you should include it on your itinerary.
If you are going to be driving in the desert or the southwest, make sure that your car is ready. For example, check your tires and your fluid levels.
As well as planning a road trip, another option is to simply fly into Flagstaff or nearby Phoenix and make the red rocks area your primary destination.
Regardless of the specific logistics of a trip to Sedona, the following are some of the important things to know.
Sedona is on many people’s bucket lists as far as travel destinations, particularly if you love the outdoors. There are stunning natural surroundings in the area, unlike what you’ll see anywhere else.
Activities Sedona is known for include hiking, biking, and exploring rivers, swimming holes, and waterfalls.
The town itself is also beautiful, and many of the cafes and restaurants have amazing views.
Sedona is around 45 minutes south of Flagstaff and two hours north of Phoenix.
Even if you’re flying in, you should rent a car. It’s a good idea to have one because most of the places you’re going to want to go are going to require you to drive.
Sedona does have a small airport, but there aren’t commercial flights.
When To Visit
The best times of year to visit Sedona are late in fall, in winter, and in early spring.
The hottest months include June through August, and there are often what are called monsoons or summer afternoon storms during those months.
If you visit in May and September, it’s probably going to be pretty hot too.
If you decide to visit in the hot months, you can still go hiking and do outdoor activities, but plan these things for early in the morning or late in the day.
Hiking is one of the main activities people go to Sedona for, so you should start as early as you can in the morning. The trailheads usually get full even before 8 a.m. on weekdays.
The Cathedral Rock Hike is the most popular in Sedona. The trail offers views of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Cathedral Rock is also the site of one of the famous vortexes in Sedona.
The trail goes up the east side of Cathedral Rock, across a flat area, and then it ascends up the rocks, which gets steep and challenging.
Another Instagram-worthy hike is Devil’s Bridge. It’s a 4.2 out-and-back trail that leads to a natural arch made of sandstone. You can walk below it, and you can also take stairs to the top of it. You can also walk across it if you’d like to.
If you love the idea of spiritual energy, the Sedona is perfect for you. The city is known for vortexes, which are described as swirling energy centers. People visit them for meditation and healing. Vortex sites are supposed to be places where the earth is particularly alive with energy.
Some people opt for Jeep tours to see some of the vortex sites and get a view of the scenery in general.
Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village
The Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village is another spot that should be a must-do on your Sedona itinerary.
It’s designed like a traditional Mexican village, and it’s been a landmark in Sedona since the 70s.
There are cobblestone walkways, beautiful architecture, and stucco walls. The shopping is outstanding, and you can see many of the artists working on the spot, plus there are great restaurants.
Uptown Sedona is the old town, and it’s filled with galleries, shops, cafes, and restaurants.
You’ll find jewelry and crystal stores fine dining, and this is also where most Jeep tours begin.
It’s a good part of the city to stay in as well. If you can book a hotel in Uptown, then you can walk to a lot of the best parts of Sedona, including Tlaquepaque.
Finally, if you do rent a car or drive to Sedona, be sure to make time for the Red Rock Scenic Byway, which is a drive along Highway 179. It runs from south of the Village of Oak Creek to Sedona. There are pullouts with parking and opportunities to stop and take in the sites.
The north end is near the arts and crafts village, and along this route are Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock. Just off the road is the Chapel of the Holy Cross.