Sedona is one of Arizona’s best-kept secrets, but after we reveal the fun you can have in the city, you’ll be sure to tell your friends about it. On your way to tour the Grand Canyon or stay in Phoenix? Make a stop between the two to bask at the glorious desert scenery present in the red cliffs that blaze like fire in the setting sun. Let’s take a look at Sedona more in-depth.
Why Visit Sedona?
Sedona straddles the border between Yavapai and Coconino countries around the Verde Valley in Arizona. It has a small population of 10,000, which are friendly and welcoming of tourists. While there are plenty of things to do in Sedona, Arizona, the main attraction is the series of Redstone cliffs that turn a fantastic orange at dusk and dawn, which you can climb. Overall, Sedona offers a small-town feel, a lot of natural architecture, and outdoor activities.
How to Get to Sedona From Phoenix
If you’re interested in traveling to Sedona from Phoenix on vacation, know that you don’t have to rent a car. While you’ll feel more comfortable in your own vehicles, the Sedona: Broken Arrow Pink Jeep Tour and Mini Coach Tours are inexpensive and give you a full taste of the Arizona mountains. You can also combine a Sedona and Grand Canyon tour, which takes 14 hours.
Where to Stop When Driving to Sedona From Phoenix
- Black Canyon City: 45 minutes North of Phoenix, Black Canyon City contains multiple Old West-style buildings and is the home of Jack Swilling, Phoenix’s founder.
- Agua Fria National Monument: 1.2 hours North of Phoenix, Auga Fria is a 71,000-acre moment with 450 distinctive Native American structures and pueblos.
- Montezuma Castle National Monument: 1.35 hours North of Phoenix, Montezuma Castle is a well-preserved cliff dwelling that holds a lot of history for the Sinagua.
Where to Stay
If you’re going to Sedona as a day trip from Phoenix, stay in a 2-3 star hotel to save on costs. The Sleep Inn Phoenix North I-17 faces the highway and serves continental breakfast. You can also try the Midtown Garden Hotel or the Four Points by Sheraton if you want an upgrade.
Sedona has fewer options, but if you want a more relaxing vacation, stay at the Arabella Hotel Sedona, the Sedona Summit, or the Sedona Rouge Hotel and Space for a quality 4-star stay.
What to do in Sedona, Arizona
The first thing you’ll see when you enter Sedona is the beautiful rock formations that tower over the countryside. Seeing these formations first hand is a real treat, but you’re not just limited to hiking, rock climbing, exploring, or mountain biking up the Bell Rock Trail. You can also:
- Visit Cathedral Rock: A major rock formation, Cathedral rock is accessible from the Templeton and Baldwin Trails, but hikers can use the Cathedral Rock trail.
- Visit Bell Rock: The main rock formation in Sedona is called “Bell Rock,” which is accessible by the Courthouse Butte Loop and the Bell Rock Pathway or trail.
- Hike to Chapel of the Holy Cross: It’s bizarre to see a chapel in the middle of the desert, but this religious site and art installation is popular with tourists. Hike towards the Chapel early in the day to avoid the persistent crowds that will likely rush you through.
- Pink Jeep Tours: Hop on a Pink Jeep Tour to see the countryside from an open-air pink jeep. Passengers will be pulled through the desert, off-road style, for a memorable time.
- Arts and Crafts Village (Tlaquepaque): Sedona’s famous market, or the Arts and Crafts Village, is a market that sells Mexican-style goods, food, and art all year.
- Visit the Local Parks: After you’ve had your fill with nearby attractions, take a trip to Slide Rock State Park, Oak Creek Canyon, and Red Rock State Park. Hikers can experience the Devil’s Bridge Trail, which isn’t as treacherous as it sounds.
- Take a Detour to Airport Mesa: If you came by car, you can drive towards the town’s airport, Airport Masa. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset and marvel at Sedona.
Most of Sedona can be seen in a day’s time, making it the perfect 10-hour detour while traveling between the Grand Canyon and Phoenix. Be sure to watch the sunrise before you go.