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The best things to do in Sedona: 8 can’t-miss experiences

Don't miss these activities in Sedona

Gherks / Pixabay

Located in the heart of Arizona’s high desert, Sedona is a place of breathtaking beauty, spiritual energy, and outdoor adventure. Complete with towering red rock formations, a vibrant arts scene, and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities, Sedona offers a wide range of experiences for visitors to explore. No matter what you are looking for, Sedona has something in store for you. Here are a few of the best things to do in Sedona during your trip to the Verde Valley region.

1. Hike in Red Rock Country

Cathedral Rock in the distance is reflected in a pool of water at sunset
Alexey Stiop / Adobe Stock

Embark on a journey through Sedona’s iconic red rock landscapes by hitting the trails. With over 400 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy walks to challenging treks, there’s something for every skill level in Sedona. The most popular hike in Sedona is Devil’s Bridge, which is the largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area. This 1.8-mile roundtrip journey is great for both casual and experienced hikers and is one of the most whimsical sights you’ll see during your trip to Sedona.

2. Float down the Verde River

Autumn along the Verde River in Arizona
TomR / Adobe Stock

The Verde River is one of Arizona’s only two Wild and Scenic Rivers, and this hidden gem is just waiting to be explored. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful paddle along the river, a refreshing swim in its cool pools, or a leisurely hike along its banks. Whatever experience you are looking for, the Verde River has you covered. Several companies offer kayak rentals, scenic tours, and wine tastings along the banks of this breathtaking waterway.

3. Explore Sedona’s vibrant art scene

son silver west art gallery in sedona sign
Paul R. Jones / Shutterstock

Sedona has been recognized as one of the best small cities in the entire country for the arts, with over 80 galleries and shops scattered across the city. Head to uptown Sedona to explore famous art galleries like Son Silver West Gallery and the Renee Taylor Gallery. If you want to get involved yourself, then drive over to the Sedona Arts Center to participate in a pottery class or check out Paint N Play, which offers painting workshops for people of all ages.

4. Practice mindfulness at a yoga retreat

yoga at cathedral rock
Tom Tietz / Shutterstock

Reconnect with your inner self and find peace amidst the tranquility of Sedona’s natural surroundings with a yoga retreat or mindfulness workshop. If you find yourself in Sedona in May, then you can check out the Sedona Yoga Festival, which is a weekend dedicated to self-discovery and community connection through the art of yoga.

Additionally, you can experience the mystical allure of Sedona’s vortex sites, which are believed to be centers of energy that promote healing, meditation, and self-discovery. Some renowned vortex locations include Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, and Boynton Canyon.

5. Take a sunrise or sunset hot air balloon ride

Hot air balloon
FloridaStock / Shutterstock

Experience the allure of Sedona from a whole new perspective with a sunrise or sunset hot air balloon ride. During these times of day, the sun paints the sky a palette of vibrant hues and creates a beautiful glow on the red rocks. From the serenity of the morning’s first light to the breathtaking beauty of the evening’s golden hour, a hot air balloon ride offers a unique opportunity to witness Sedona’s landscape come alive.  

6. Enjoy culinary delights 

bridgesward / Pixabay

Indulge your taste buds with Sedona’s diverse culinary scene, which features a fusion of Southwestern flavors, international cuisine, and farm-to-table fare. Sedona is home to top chefs, restaurateurs, brewers, and vintners from all over the world, making the city one of the best places to visit for foodies. Whether you’re enjoying a meal at a chef-owned restaurant with a view of the red rocks or grabbing a bite to eat at the Sedona Food Truck Festival, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds in Sedona. Don’t forget to try Sedona’s signature prickly pear margarita for a taste of the Southwest!

7. Experience a Jeep or ATV tour

pink jeep tour in arizona
Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock

For an adrenaline-fueled exploration of Sedona’s rugged terrain, embark on a jeep tour or rent an off-road vehicle. Hop on the back of these vehicles to traverse rocky trails, navigate steep inclines, and discover hidden gems that are inaccessible by foot. If you decide to take a guided tour, then your guides will tell tales of Sedona’s history, geology, and Native American heritage along the way.

8. Take a day trip to the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon
DomCarver / Pixabay

Embarking on a day trip from Sedona to the Grand Canyon is an absolute must for any traveler seeking to witness one of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. The Grand Canyon is about 115 miles away from Sedona, which is roughly a two-hour drive. As you journey from Sedona to the canyon’s rim, be prepared to be humbled by the sheer majesty of this iconic landscape. 

Check out these things to do in Sedona today

marc70 / Pixabay

Sedona is a place of unparalleled beauty, adventure, and spiritual enrichment that beckons travelers from all over the world to experience its magic. Now that you know the best things to do in Sedona, what are you waiting for? Book your trip today! Sedona is a wonderful place to visit any time of year, but the fall and spring are often considered to be the ideal times to visit. Temperatures are typically more comfortable during these times, as the summer in Sedona can get incredibly hot.

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Amanda Teague
Amanda, an accomplished freelance writer with four years of experience, is a dedicated explorer of both the world and the…
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