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The 10 best things to do in Sedona

Take in the best things to do in Sedona, from red rock landscapes and fine art galleries to historical sites and trails

Written by
Jackie Dishner
Krista Diamond

When you think of Sedona, you’ll probably be thinking of huge, open landscapes, rocky mountain views and hues of rich orange. And there’s a reason for that – Sedona is a special, spiritual place, and you feel it as soon as you enter. But beneath the clear blue skies and huge expanse of sandstone, there is a rich culture to explore. 

First, there’s the art. Alongside a ton of free outdoor sculptures, there are a whole collection of great galleries putting on new exhibitions every month. Then there’s the hiking trails, reaching incredible viewpoints (and making for great photos). But don’t miss out on Sedona’s local wineries, vortex sites and crystal shops on offer too. Whatever you’re here for, here are the best things to do in Sedona right now. 

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Top things to do in Sedona

What is it? The heart of Sedona, this state park attracts families and groups all year round for baking sun, picnics and a lot of splashing in pools. 

Why go? If you’re in Sedona, you have to visit Slide Rock. The mountains of iconic red sandstone are truly something to behold, and parts of the park have bodies of water which are deep enough to jump into from the cliffs. Our tip? Arrive early to get a space in the nearest parking lot, and bring lots (and lots) of water and sunscreen. 

What is it? Every first Friday of the month, members of Sedona Gallery Association host special art exhibits, events and openings at various galleries, and it’s absolutely free.

Why go? Since 1931, there’s been a thriving arts and culture scene in Sedona, helped by Max Ernst and Joe Beeler, citizens of Sedona who have put it firmly on the cultural map. First Fridays includes various galleries, including Tlaquepaque and Renee Taylor Gallery, and are a great way to get a feel for the city. 


What is it? It’s not difficult to choose among several jeep touring companies in town. Go with the company that started it all, Pink Jeep Tours.

Why go? For the most adventurous fun, opt for the combined Broken Arrow and Rim Tour. Entertaining guides maneuver open-air Jeep Wrangers over trails that sit below the red rock spires, then crawl up and over steep rocky paths. No tipping allowed. The jeeps, I mean.

What is it? Believe it or not, vineyards grow in Arizona’s dry heat. Microclimates and rich volcanic soils of the Verde Valley mimic what is found in Europe and produce delicious varietals.

Why go? Between several small batch vineyards along Oak Creek and individual tasting rooms right in Sedona and in nearby Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Jerome, visitors will find a bottle or two to take home. Alcantera Winery even partners with a touring company that brings guests to its vineyard by kayak.


What is it? It resembles a walled-in Spanish village, but inside is an outdoor arts and crafts destination.

Why go? It’s filled with colorful shops, art galleries, a wine bar, and cafés with outdoor seating. The garden-like setting, with Spanish tile accents, lush plants, shade trees and water fountains, makes this a welcome diversion from red rock adventures beyond its arched entryways.

What is it? It’s not a trip to Sedona without experiencing a vortex, a subtle energy force produced from oxidized minerals within the red stone. Five specific locations are known for it, and the most loved is Cathedral Rock.

Why go? There’s no “X” that marks the spot. Rather, vortex energy is felt through intuition or emotion. Try feeling it at the top (360-degree views) of this challenging hike. Starting at the trailhead off Back O’ Beyond Road, this rock formation is one of the most photographed in town.

See Cathedral Rock and other Sedona sites on this tour.


What is it? An astonishing wedge of concrete that’s been sliced into the red rocks on Coconino National Forest land. The chapel was commissioned in the 1940s by local sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude and remains a heavily visited tourist attraction to this day.

Why go? To gaze upon its architectural splendor, if nothing else. In 2007 the residents of Arizona voted the chapel one of ‘Seven Man-Made Wonders’ of the state, along with the Grand Canyon and Frank Lloyd Wright's school/desert home Taliesin West. But if you’re at the chapel you may as well have a wander along its winding paths and light a candle.

Find the best Sedona photo opps.

What is it? From a rocky forest road, the largest cliff dwellings in Red Rock Country are an impressive image. Built between A.D. 1150 and A.D. 1350, they were suddenly abandoned by the Sinagua, Pueblo ancestors of the modern-day Hopi.

Why go? Climb up stairs to explore Honanki’s stone ruins, layered and stacked into several rooms built high into the canyon walls. A trail takes visitors to the Palatki petroglyphs and pictographs that tells their story. Visitation is limited. Reservations are required.


What is it? To avoid crowds, consider hiking this easy 3-mile (roundtrip) trail. It passes through a lightly vegetated area of mostly juniper over large round, flat mounds of rock resembling giant cow pies.

Why go? A connecter trail to the longer, moderately challenging Hangover Loop, Cow Pies opens to a view of surrounding red rock mountains and verdant basin. To get to the trailhead, take bumpy Schnebly Hill Road (high-clearance vehicle recommended) for 3.5 miles off SR 179.

What is it? It’s a good idea to find at least one spiritual connection to the region—one you can take home, that is. Try this gift shop in Uptown, where healing stones dangle like stars from the ceiling.

Why go? Get aura pictures taken, cleanse chakras, and talk to psychics here. But don’t overlook the organized baskets of crystals. Information cards explain their healing qualities. Pick the stones that speak to you and buy a pouch to carry them in. Whether the energy works or not is up to you.

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