Sedona, Arizona, gained its reputation as a place of outstanding red-rock scenery offering fantastic outdoor opportunities and the urban development to match its uniqueness. But there is more to its beauty than meets the eye. Sedona vortexes, famous for its spiritual power, draw visitors who seek to pursue their spiritual and personal enrichment of the body and soul. Unlike many rejuvenating locations, Sedona is vibrant, full of action, and by no means away from it all. On the contrary, it offers modern conveniences, superb accommodation, and even fantastic shopping. It has it all! In this post, you will learn about things to do in Sedona that meet your needs.
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Why is Sedona special?
If you believe in a vortex or not, Sedona has the ability to uplift your spirit. Its stunning landscape creates a perfect ground for relaxation, soothes your mind, and restores your soul. Many visitors claim that it also provokes a spiritual awakening, and no one leaves Sedona unchanged.
That is especially true if you come there to find peace and focus on healing versus running around with a list of must-dos. Still, it is worth to have one and use it to your liking.
Hiking in Sedona, Arizona
As one of the most scenic areas in Arizona, Sedona delivers as great a destination for casual hikers looking to spend a few hours walking along the red rocks and spectacular canyons. Trails range from easy family-friendly paths around buttes or along the base of cliff walls to more challenging routes that will take you high above the town to ridges with fabulous lookouts.
Discover 12 top-rated hiking trails in Sedona to find ones that suit your needs.
If you have time for only one of Sedona’s trails, you should choose the Cathedral Rock Trail. This 1.2 miles heavily trafficked out and back trail features beautiful views, but it is rated as difficult, in places involving crawling. Start early to get a parking spot and avoid the heat and crowds.
Or, if you are into photography, try to catch a sunset! You will need a forest pass, available for purchase at the parking lot on a self-serve machine.
Jeep Tours in Sedona
Taking a jeep tour is a must thing to do in Sedona for more adventurous visitors. This activity allows you to relax and soak in the natural beauty, but with some adrenaline-inducing challenges, while someone else does the driving. A local guide will introduce you to Sedona’s unique geology, flora, and fauna, while you can marvel at the wide-open panoramic views of the red rocks.
Select your tour wisely. Some of these off the road excursions can be quite rough, maybe more than you are capable of enjoying.
Even though there are several great tour companies in Sedona, the iconic Pink Adventure Tours is the most popular. It offers many incredible jeep adventures in Sedona as well as bus tours to the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and more. I did not take a Pink Jeep tour, but I was delighted with Red Rock Western Jeep Tour and its extremely knowledgable guide.
Experience Sedona’s Vortex
What is a vortex?
Vortex is defined as a stream of energy that comes directly from the earth that can be felt by those in presence. These vortexes are represented by the uniquely shaped rock formations believed to emit energy. Although all of Sedona is believed to be a vortex, there are four primary vortexes in the city, each radiating its own unique energy.
You will find many vortex tours in Sedona, but you can also try to find them on your own. Many of the New Age shops and boutiques in town are happy to point you in the right direction and offer free maps. For more information on Sedona’s vortexes, including a map and a list of tour operators, visit the Sedona visitors bureau.
Sedona has developed a worldwide reputation as a place of enlightenment. It promotes a variety of alternative healing and spiritual practices. There are wellness shops and boutiques scattered throughout the town. In addition, many of Sedona’s spas offer Native American-inspired treatments using indigenous materials like red rock clay and local plants.
Anyone on a journey of self-discovery can find out more from expert practitioners through Sedona Metaphysical Spiritual Association. Visitors can choose healing services like massage treatments, yoga, spas, hypnotherapy, or attend spiritual retreats in Sedona.
Visit Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park
Even if you don’t practice Buddhism, you can visit the park to find peace and relaxation. Situated on 14 pristine acres at the base of imposing Thunder Mountain, Amitabha Supa and Peace Park is deemed holy by native people.
The land is perfect for its intended purpose – spiritual transformation and healing through the extraordinary sacred architecture and geometry of the stupa, a prominent dome in Buddhism. The center of attention in the park is the Amitabha Stupa, which is 36 feet high.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Completed in 1956, the Chapel of the Holy Cross sits high atop the red rocks in Sedona, Arizona. The chapel was inspired and commissioned by local rancher and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude. It is a Roman Catholic chapel built into the stunning red buttes. Parking is limited, so I recommend going early. You can visit the chapel for free.
Red Rock State Park
This 286-acre nature preserve along Oak Creek boasts excellent views of Sedona’s more famous formations. The park offers a 5-mile trail network that is composed of interconnecting looped trails. The Eagle’s Nest Loop leads to the highest point in the park with an elevation gain of 300 feet.
The park offers daily activities year-round and is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry at 4:30 p.m. (the visitor center opens at 9 a.m.). From mid-May to August, the park is open from 8 a.m. to dusk. For more information, visit the park’s website.
Slide Rock State Park
Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, at the intersection of routes 89A and 179, is a charming outdoor shopping center designed in the style of a traditional Mexican village. The stucco walls house a variety of art galleries, New Age shops selling modern art and glassware, and restaurants.
The cobblestone streets and mosaic fountains provide an inviting old-fashioned atmosphere and lots of shade. Tasteful galleries and unique shops live in harmony with its lush natural environment where giant sycamore trees stand in testimony to the care taken in preserving the timeless beauty of the Tlaquepaque grounds.
With over 50 specialty shops and exclusive art galleries, the center delivers one of a kind experience. Most popular items include functional and traditional ceramics, blown glass creations, contemporary and Southwestern fine art paintings, weavings, decorative arts, architectural décor pieces, and stunning large format photography.
Plan on window shopping if you are on a budget!
Verde Valley Wine Trail
I visited Sedona twice, but it did not cross my mind to look for wineries in the desert. Turns out that I was wrong. Verde Valley Wine Trail invites wine enthusiasts to experience the production of Arizona wines.
It offers many different grape varieties and produces Zinfandel, Syrah, Petit Sirah, Seyval Blanc, Trimanette, Cabernet Pfeffer, Viognier, Malvasia, Tanat, Grenache, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Counoise, and more. If you do not have a designated driver, you can book a wine tour from Sedona.
Enjoy Sedona’s restaurants.
To be honest, I do not remember any culinary experiences in Sedona simply because, for me, views are more important than food. For that reason, I am sending you to the local recommendations for the Best Restaurants in Sedona.
Flights over Sedona
I can only imagine how magnificent flying over the red rock canyon must be. You can see Sedona from the sky in a hot air balloon or a helicopter.
Camping in Sedona, Arizona
As an upscale destination, Sedona offers such fantastic lodging options that not taking advantage of them seems like a sin. Even though it offers stunning natural beauty, it is still a city. For me, it does not feel like a camping destination, especially during the summer heat.
But of course, if camping is your thing you will find plenty of campgrounds in Sedona to suit your needs.
Hotels in Sedona
As one of the most popular destinations in the Southwest, Sedona has developed an expansive infrastructure of lodging options. You will find many hotels and resorts sitting on the banks of Oak Creek or tucked away in private canyons. Styles range from Southwestern haciendas to Native American pueblos to simple budget-friendly motels.
Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa Trademark Collection by Wyndham is located 3.1 miles from downtown Sedona and offer excellent views. This hotel features a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant. Rooms at the hotel feature free WiFi, a cable TV, and a coffee maker.
Hilton Sedona Resort definitely stands out as a great choice of accommodation. Set against world-famous red rocks, Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock is just minutes from shopping, dining, hiking, mountain bike trails, and over 40 art galleries. The hotel boasts suites designed with locally-inspired elements that capture the essence of Sedona. The facilities include a large outdoor pool, spa, sauna, steam room, fitness center, golf course and more.
Another one for the views, Sky Ranch Lodge Located in Sedona, offers an excellent location, an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, a garden, and free WiFi. It also provided a concierge service and a free shuttle service. Guest rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a microwave, a coffee machine, a bath or shower, a hairdryer, and a desk. At the hotel, each room is equipped with a private bathroom with free toiletries.
Overall, you will find accommodation for every budget in Sedona.
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