35+ Unique Things to Do in Sedona, Arizona
Nestled in the heart of Arizona’s Red Rock Country, Sedona is known for its stunning natural beauty and spiritual energy. With a plethora of outdoor activities and cultural experiences, there’s no shortage of unique things to do in Sedona.
We have wanted to visit Sedona, Arizona for years. With so many hikes and things to do, Sedona, Arizona was an obvious choice for us to base ourselves in for a week of remote work! Since Sedona has so many things to do, I know how overwhelming it is to pick the best experiences. To make it easier for you to plan your own trip to Sedona, I’ve listed out all the best unique things to do in Sedona. I also share where to stay, how to get to Sedona, what to pack, and more!
Beyond the usual tourist attractions, there are some truly unique and offbeat experiences waiting to be discovered. From stargazing at one of the world’s best observatories to immersing yourself in a vortex meditation session, here are the best unique things to do in Sedona.
Best Unique Things to Do in Sedona, Arizona
Unique Hikes in Sedona, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona is a hiker’s paradise. With its stunning red rock formations, lush forests, and picturesque canyons, Sedona offers some of the most breathtaking hiking trails in the Southwest. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, Sedona has something for everyone. From leisurely strolls to challenging climbs, there are plenty of hikes to choose from that offer magnificent views and unforgettable experiences.
What makes hiking in Sedona so unique is that the entire area is surrounded by hiking trails. We have literally never been to a more trail-dense destination!
Here are some of the most unique hiking trails in Sedona, featuring landscapes and views you can experience only in Sedona!
Hike to Devil’s Bridge
You’ve probably seen photos of the iconic Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona! The hike to Devil’s Bridge is one of the most famous things to do in Sedona, Arizona.
Devil’s Bridge is a 4 miles out-and-back trail, rated moderate with a 521 feet elevation gain. This trail gets really crowded, both in the parking lot and on the trail. If you can, go early early early, and on weekdays if you want a more solitary experience.
Depending on how crowded it is, you will get to a line before getting to Devil’s Bridge itself. This is a line for those who want to walk out onto the bridge! You can bypass the line if you just want to view the bridge without walking on it.
If you want to walk out on the bridge, be prepared to wait in line. We waited in line for the Devil’s Bridge for about an hour. The best angle for photos, in our opinion, is slightly up the hill next to the end of the trail facing somewhat diagonally towards Devil’s Bridge.
If you’re nervous about heights, walking on Devil’s Bridge may not be for you. That said, the bridge is MUCH wider than the photos make it look. There’s plenty of space on either side and no need to get anywhere near the edges. It’s really not that scary (and I consider myself afraid of heights!).
Hike to Birthing Cave
The short (2 miles round trip) hike to Birthing Cave offers one of the best views in all of Sedona, Arizona. To get to the trailhead, you can simply search “Birthing Cave Trailhead” on Google Maps. There is a small parking area in front of the trail. You’ll see signs for Long Canyon Trail, but not for Birthing Cave. The easiest way to follow the Birthing Cave trail is to download the route map on All Trails on your phone prior to hiking! This way you can follow the trail with your phone since there isn’t signage for Birthing Cave on the trail itself.
Birthing Cave can be very crowded, however, so go as early in the morning as possible to have the most solitary experience (and an easier time taking photos!).
We visited around lunchtime, and as gorgeous as this place is, it was hard to fully appreciate all of the chaos going on around us. There were hikers scaling walls and falling, plus a group of more than 15 kids and only 2 adults to manage them. All of us were close together inside a small cave, with few walkable paths to safely climb in/out. It was overwhelming, to be honest.
Still, I have to say that hiking to Birthing Cave is one of the best things to do in Sedona, Arizona, for the incredible view alone!
Photo Tip! Use a wide-angle lens to be able to capture both sides of the cave wall. If you don’t have a wide lens or are using a phone camera, you can use pano mode to mimic a wide angle and capture the full cave.
Hike Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock is one of the most iconic sights in Sedona, Arizona. The hike is only 1.2 miles out and back, but it’s uphill the entire way with an elevation gain of 741 feet. You are literally climbing up a rock. While the incline is mostly gradual enough to walk up, you will have to do a bit of scrambling at parts.
This hike can get super crowded. Go early in the mornings and on weekdays for fewer crowds! In summer, hike Cathedral Rock early in the morning regardless of crowd concerns, just to beat the heat.
Location tip! When you get to the top of the trail, you’ll see the view from the photo below. If you walk to the left on the trail facing the main viewpoint you’ll find another short path that leads to a hidden spire up a rock scramble. It was much less crowded than the main viewpoint, and we even got to witness a newlywed couple taking wedding photos as the sunbeams bounced off the spire. It was so beautiful and so peaceful.
Hike Soldier Pass
If you only have time for ONE hike in Sedona… make it Soldier Pass!
Soldier Pass is one of our favorite hikes in Sedona, Arizona. The 4.5-mile round-trip hike offers a little bit of everything that makes the area so special:
- Red Rock views all around
- Seven Sacred Pools – The 7 pools may or may not be full when you visit – it all depends on the weather! But if you visit after a rainstorm, you might get to see a flowing stream carrying the water downhill from one pool to the next.
- The Devil’s Kitchen – a dramatic sinkhole you’ll see after just a few minutes on the trail!
- A stunning hidden cave
- Thought to be an energy vortex
Hike Boynton Canyon to the Subway Cave
The Boynton Canyon Trail to Subway Cave is located in the Red Rock – Secret Mountain Wilderness, down a side trail from the popular Boynton Canyon trail. Of the caves we visited in Sedona, this was my favorite. We went in the late afternoon on a weekday after work, made some friends on the trail, and otherwise had the place mostly to ourselves to enjoy.
The hike to Boynton Canyon and Subway Cave is 6 miles round trip. The offshoot to the cave is not well-marked, so I highly recommend downloading the map for Boynton Canyon Trail in All Trails.
Unique Outdoor Things to Do in Sedona
Sedona beckons with a world of outdoor wonders, beyond just hiking. Rev up the excitement with thrilling ATV rides, conquer rugged terrains, and embrace off-road challenges. Experience the breathtaking magic of a Sedona sunrise, as vibrant hues paint the sky and illuminate the majestic landscape. Dive into the cosmos on a captivating night sky tour, guided by experts who unravel the mysteries of Sedona’s starry heavens. In Sedona, outdoor adventures abound, inviting you to explore nature’s playground and embark on unforgettable escapades.
Catch the sunrise over the red rocks
Here are 4 locations known for beautiful sunrise views in Sedona, Arizona:
- Airport Mesa
- Red Rock Crossing and Cathedral Rock
- Bell Rock
- Doe Mountain
We enjoyed our sunrise experience at Bell Rock, since we could see views in all directions, and Bell Rock was less crowded than more popular locations!
Take an ATV Tour
While there are many ways to explore Sedona, taking an ATV tour is a truly unique experience that offers a thrilling adventure through the rugged terrain.
One of the main reasons why ATV tours are so special in Sedona is because they allow you to access areas that aren’t easily reachable by foot or car. You’ll have the opportunity to venture deep into the canyons, climb steep hillsides, and blaze through dusty trails while enjoying unparalleled views of Sedona’s natural beauty.
Here are some of the best ATV routes and tours in Sedona:
- Broken Arrow Trail: The Broken Arrow Trail is a 4×4 trail that winds through stunning red rock formations, offering incredible views of Cathedral Rock and other iconic Sedona landmarks. This trail can be accessed through several different tour companies, including Pink Jeep Tours and Red Rock Western Jeep Tours.
- Soldier Pass Trail: Another popular route for ATV tours in Sedona is Soldier Pass Trail. This trail offers breathtaking views of towering red rocks and unique geological formations like Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole and Seven Sacred Pools.
- Diamondback Gulch Tour: For those looking for a more thrilling adventure, the Diamondback Gulch Tour is a must-do experience. This guided tour takes you on an exciting ride through steep inclines, rocky terrain, and narrow canyons – all while surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery.
- Outlaw Trail: This ATV tour takes you on an adventure through scenic forests with striking cliff faces where outlaws used to hide away from authorities many years ago.
- Schnebly Hill Road: This trail is one of the most popular ATV routes in Sedona. The route starts just south of downtown Sedona and winds its way through beautiful red rock formations up to Schnebly Hill Vista. Along the way, you’ll encounter steep climbs, sharp turns, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
- Dry Creek Basin: This advanced-level ATV route takes riders through a rugged landscape filled with towering cliffs, deep canyons, and winding creek beds. The trailhead is located at Dry Creek Vista Trailhead near Boynton Pass Road just outside of town. From there, riders will navigate their way through challenging terrain including rocky outcroppings and tight switchbacks before reaching breathtaking views overlooking miles of red rocks and open desert vistas.
Take a Pink Jeep Tour
Pink Jeep Tours is a renowned adventure tour company that has become synonymous with Sedona tourism. Their fleet of vibrant pink Jeeps is not only eye-catching but also a symbol of the unforgettable experiences that await you. From off-road thrills to captivating history, they have it all covered.
One of their most popular tours, the Broken Arrow Tour, takes you on a heart-pounding off-road escapade. Buckle up as your expert guide maneuvers through challenging terrain, conquering steep hills and rugged trails. Along the way, you’ll be treated to jaw-dropping vistas, including Submarine Rock and Chicken Point, providing picture-perfect moments and breathtaking panoramas.
If you’re seeking a more serene adventure, the Scenic Rim Tour is your ticket to tranquility. Sit back and relax as you cruise along the edges of Sedona’s mesmerizing canyons. Marvel at the sheer grandeur of nature’s handiwork and let the sweeping views leave you in awe. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the raw beauty of this enchanting destination.
For history buffs and culture enthusiasts, the Ancient Ruin Tour is an absolute must. Step back in time as you visit ancient Native American archaeological sites like Honanki Heritage Site and Palatki Heritage Site. Wander through the remains of dwellings that were once inhabited by indigenous peoples, and let your guide transport you to a bygone era through fascinating stories and legends.
See Sedona by Air in a Hot Air Balloon
A hot air balloon ride in Sedona is a fantastic way to appreciate the region’s stunning landscapes from a unique vantage point. As you gently ascend, you’ll be treated to sweeping views of Sedona’s famous red rock formations. The colors and contours of the canyons, cliffs, and desert terrain create a captivating sight that changes with the shifting light. It’s a peaceful and reflective experience that allows you to connect with the quietude of Sedona’s landscape.
A hot air balloon ride in Sedona is a memorable and unique activity suitable for romantic getaways (did someone say perfect marriage proposal date?), family adventures, or simply finding solace in nature. It provides a unique perspective and a chance to create lasting memories while admiring the breathtaking scenery from above.
There are two companies that offer hot air balloon tours over Sedona:
- Red Rock Balloons: Red Rock Balloons is a renowned company that offers hot air balloon rides in Sedona. They provide a safe and personalized experience, allowing passengers to enjoy panoramic views of Sedona’s red rock formations and natural beauty.
- Northern Light Balloon Expeditions: Northern Light Balloon Expeditions is another reputable company that specializes in hot air balloon rides in Sedona. With experienced pilots and a focus on safety, they offer unforgettable journeys that showcase the incredible scenery of the area.
Slide Rock State Park
Nestled amidst the stunning red rock canyons, the unique Slide Rock State Park offers an unforgettable outdoor adventure combined with refreshing relaxation.
Slide Rock State Park is renowned for its impressive natural waterslide, formed by the slippery creek bed and smooth red rocks. It’s a thrilling experience as you glide down the water slide, propelled by the cool waters of Oak Creek. The sensation of sliding through the canyon while surrounded by the picturesque scenery is simply exhilarating.
Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, towel, water shoes, and sunscreen!
Oak Creek Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon is a natural wonder located in Sedona, Arizona. It is known for its towering red rock formations, lush greenery, and crystal clear creek that runs through the canyon.
The area offers an array of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and swimming. The most popular hike in Oak Creek Canyon is West Fork Trail which takes hikers through a picturesque oak forest along the creek.
For those who prefer to relax and take in the views at a slower pace, there are plenty of picnic areas scattered throughout the canyon. One of the most popular spots for picnics is Grasshopper Point where visitors can enjoy stunning views of Cathedral Rock while enjoying a meal.
In addition to its natural beauty and recreational opportunities, Oak Creek Canyon holds historical significance as well. It was once home to Native American tribes who used the land for hunting and gathering resources. Today, visitors can learn about these tribes’ cultures and traditions at cultural centers like Palatki Heritage Site.
Red Rock State Park
Red Rock State Park is a gem that shouldn’t be missed. Nestled at the base of Sedona’s iconic red rock formations, this park offers a peaceful retreat and an array of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts.
Exploring the park’s hiking trails is a fantastic way to discover its unique wonders. With trails suitable for different skill levels, you can traverse the landscape and marvel at the diverse flora, fascinating geology, and captivating vistas. The Eagle’s Nest Trail, in particular, rewards hikers with breathtaking panoramic views of the red rock cliffs and sweeping landscapes.
While in Red Rock State Park, take time to relax along the tranquil banks of Oak Creek. Whether it’s enjoying a picnic surrounded by nature’s beauty or finding a quiet spot to dip your feet in the refreshing waters, the park offers a serene atmosphere to unwind and connect with the outdoors.
Night Sky Tour (Stars and UFOs)
When the sun sets and darkness envelops the sky, Sedona’s night sky comes alive, offering a celestial spectacle that is truly awe-inspiring. One of the most unique and captivating experiences in Sedona is taking a night sky tour. Whether you’re a stargazing enthusiast or simply curious about the mysteries of the universe, these tours offer a captivating journey into the cosmos.
Night sky tours in Sedona provide an opportunity to witness the wonders of the universe with the guidance of knowledgeable astronomers and guides. You can join astronomy experts who will unveil the secrets of the night sky, pointing out constellations, planets, and distant galaxies. With the aid of high-powered telescopes, you’ll have a chance to observe celestial bodies in stunning detail, marveling at the beauty of distant stars and nebulas.
In addition to traditional stargazing tours, Sedona also offers unique experiences like UFO skywatching. Some tour operators specialize in UFO-focused expeditions, taking you to locations renowned for sightings and offering insights into the UFO phenomenon. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, these tours provide a fascinating exploration of the night sky, sparking conversations and expanding our perspectives on what lies beyond our world.
Drive the Red Rock Scenic Byway
Embark on a breathtaking journey through Sedona’s natural wonders by driving the Red Rock Scenic Byway. This iconic road winds through the stunning red rock formations that have made Sedona famous worldwide. As you traverse this scenic route, be prepared to witness mesmerizing vistas, unique rock formations, and an awe-inspiring display of nature’s artistry.
One of the must-see attractions along the Red Rock Scenic Byway is the Cathedral Rock. This majestic formation rises proudly from the landscape, creating a striking silhouette against the clear blue sky. Stop at one of the designated viewpoints and marvel at the grandeur of this natural masterpiece, or venture on one of the hiking trails that lead you closer to its majestic presence.
Another captivating sight along the byway is the Bell Rock, known for its distinct bell-like shape that dominates the skyline. Take a moment to soak in the energy of this iconic landmark, believed by many to be a vortex site with powerful spiritual energy. You can even embark on a hike around the base of Bell Rock, immersing yourself in the surrounding beauty and perhaps even uncovering hidden trails and rock formations along the way.
Kayak the Verde River
Embark on an unforgettable adventure by kayaking the Verde River, a hidden gem nestled in the scenic landscapes of Sedona. This winding waterway offers a unique perspective of the region, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty while enjoying a thrilling outdoor activity.
As you paddle along the tranquil Verde River, be prepared to encounter breathtaking views of the surrounding red rock formations, lush vegetation, and diverse wildlife. The river meanders through peaceful stretches, creating a serene and calming atmosphere that invites you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
One of the highlights of kayaking the Verde River is the opportunity to explore hidden alcoves, secret canyons, and secluded swimming holes. Take a break from paddling and dip your toes into the refreshing waters, or simply bask in the serenity of your surroundings. Along the way, keep an eye out for a variety of bird species, including herons, eagles, and ospreys, as they gracefully soar above the river.
For an especially unique kayaking trip on the Verde River, check out one of the popular water to wine tours which stops at wineries along the kayaking trip!
Unique Historical Things to Do in Sedona
Beyond the striking red rock formations, Sedona harbors a rich tapestry of stories and remnants from bygone eras. Step back in time and immerse yourself in unique historical activities that unveil the fascinating past of Sedona. From exploring ancient Native American rock art sites to delving into the Wild West heritage of the area, these unique experiences offer a window into the vibrant tapestry of Sedona’s history.
Sedona Heritage Museum
At the Sedona Heritage Museum, you’ll find engaging exhibits that showcase the town’s pioneer era, Native American influences, and the growth of its vibrant arts community. Step back in time as you explore the museum’s displays, photographs, and artifacts that depict the challenges and triumphs of Sedona’s early settlers. Gain insight into the daily lives, industries, and cultural traditions that shaped the region.
In addition to its exhibits, the museum hosts educational programs, workshops, and events that further enrich your visit. You may have the opportunity to attend talks by local historians, participate in hands-on activities, or enjoy performances that showcase the artistic heritage of Sedona. The museum’s serene gardens and outdoor spaces also provide a peaceful setting for reflection and appreciation of the surrounding natural beauty.
A visit to the Sedona Heritage Museum offers a delightful blend of education, nostalgia, and appreciation for the town’s cultural roots. Immerse yourself in Sedona’s history, connect with its diverse heritage, and gain a deeper appreciation for the unique spirit of this captivating destination.
Visit Honanki Ancient Ruins
Located amidst the breathtaking red rock canyons, Honanki is an ancient cliff dwelling site that dates back over 700 years. This archaeological treasure provides an opportunity to explore the remnants of a once-thriving community and connect with the Native American cultures that once called this place home.
When visiting Honanki, you’ll embark on a guided tour that takes you through the remnants of ancient dwellings, pictographs, and petroglyphs that adorn the canyon walls. The knowledgeable guides share intriguing stories about the daily lives, customs, and spiritual beliefs of the Sinagua people who inhabited this area centuries ago. Marvel at the well-preserved rock art, which depicts intricate symbols, animal figures, and human forms, offering glimpses into their rich cultural heritage.
Visit Palatki Ancient Ruins
Palatki Heritage Site is a sacred place in the Coconino National Forest that offers a glimpse into the ancestral history of the Sinagua and Yavapai-Apache tribes who once called this area home.
At Palatki, you’ll have the opportunity to explore ancient cliff dwellings and experience the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous people. Guided tours provide insights into the daily lives, traditions, and spiritual practices of these ancient communities. Marvel at the well-preserved rock art, including intricate petroglyphs and pictographs, which tell stories and convey the beliefs and symbolism of the ancient inhabitants.
Aside from the captivating ruins, Palatki is also renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. The site is nestled among stunning red rock formations and offers panoramic views of the surrounding canyons. Take a moment to absorb the serenity of the surroundings, connect with the spirit of the land, and appreciate the harmony between nature and human history.
Step back in time at Montezuma Castle National Monument
This remarkable archaeological site showcases the well-preserved ruins of a 1,000-year-old cliff dwelling, providing a glimpse into the lives of the Sinagua people who once thrived in the region.
As you explore Montezuma Castle, you’ll be captivated by the impressive five-story structure built into the limestone cliffs. Admire the intricate masonry and imagine the bustling community that once inhabited these dwellings. While you can’t enter the castle itself to preserve its preservation, the self-guided trails and informative displays offer fascinating insights into the ancient culture and history of the area.
In addition to the main attraction, the Montezuma Well is also worth a visit. Just a short drive from the castle, this natural limestone sinkhole is a serene oasis surrounded by lush vegetation and home to unique aquatic life. Take a stroll along the trails that encircle the well, learn about its ecological significance, and marvel at the interconnected system of springs and canals that sustained the ancient inhabitants.
Unique Spiritual Things to Do in Sedona
Renowned for its powerful energy vortexes and profound sense of tranquility, this Arizona haven offers a plethora of unique spiritual activities to nourish the mind, body, and soul. From meditation at an energy vortex to engaging in crystal healing workshops, Sedona provides a sacred space for introspection and personal growth.
Visit a Crystal Healing Shop
In the heart of Sedona’s spiritual embrace, crystal healing shops offer a transformative experience that taps into the ancient wisdom and profound energy of these precious gemstones. These shops invite visitors to explore the metaphysical properties and healing vibrations of crystals, as well as their alignment with the body’s energy centers, known as chakras. Engage in hands-on activities, such as selecting and cleansing crystals, and learn how to harness their unique energies for emotional balance, spiritual growth, and overall well-being. Whether you’re a skeptic or a seasoned crystal enthusiast, these boutique crystal shops provide a space for deepening your connection with the earth’s natural wonders and unlocking the transformative potential that lies within.
Check out these local rock shops for a unique spiritual crystal experience in Sedona!
- Sedona Crystal Vortex: Known for its vast selection of crystals and metaphysical tools, Sedona Crystal Vortex offers various workshop offerings, dates, and availability.
- Crystal Magic: Located in the heart of Sedona, Crystal Magic provides an array of spiritual and metaphysical offerings, including crystal workshops and classes.
- Sedona Sacred Rocks: This serene retreat center focuses on providing transformative experiences through crystal healing workshops and sessions.
Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park
This sacred space offers a unique opportunity for reflection, peace, and spiritual connection. The Amitabha Stupa, a sacred Buddhist monument, stands as the centerpiece of the park, radiating a sense of tranquility and offering visitors a place for meditation and contemplation.
At the Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park, you can take a leisurely stroll through the serene grounds, adorned with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze and vibrant gardens that create a harmonious atmosphere. Experience the profound stillness and healing energy that permeates the area, providing a respite from the outside world.
Visitors have the opportunity to engage in personal meditation or participate in group meditations and ceremonies led by knowledgeable practitioners. Take a moment to offer prayers or intentions, and experience the profound sense of peace that can be found within the park’s sacred space. Many visitors also leave small offerings, such as flowers or prayer flags, as tokens of gratitude or wishes for peace and well-being.
Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross
Perched majestically amidst the awe-inspiring red rock formations of Sedona, the Chapel of the Holy Cross stands as a symbol of spiritual devotion and architectural marvel. This iconic landmark offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience a place of tranquility, beauty, and contemplation.
As you approach the Chapel of the Holy Cross, you’ll be struck by its striking location, seemingly emerging from the surrounding rock formations. Step inside the chapel to admire its stunning design, which seamlessly blends with the natural landscape. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide breathtaking panoramic views of the red rocks, creating a serene and awe-inspiring atmosphere.
Visit a Vortex
Sedona, Arizona is considered by many to be a hub for energy vortices.
Twisted tree trunks are allegedly warped by the power of this energy. Hikers and yogis seek out trails thought to lead to energy vortices. Proponents swear by the area’s healing powers. While there isn’t definitive science to support the idea of an energy vortex, it’s undeniable that being in nature is good for our spirits. Whether you believe energy vortices exist or not, it’s worth visiting one of the spots thought to be one, if only to see what, if anything, you feel!
While I can’t say for sure whether you’ll find an energy vortex in Sedona, I can tell you there is something special about this place and its mesmerizing red rocks.
Each of these locations is considered an energy vortex in Sedona:
- Airport Mesa
- Cathedral Rock
- Bell Rock
- Boynton Canyon
We got up for a sunrise hike at Bell Rock, one of many locations thought to be a source of this energy. We stopped at this spiral rock formation on the ground just in time to see the sun peek out above the rocks. Watching the sun illuminate the area was certainly its own kind of magic, vortex or not.
Unique Shopping and Dining Experiences in Sedona
Beyond its awe-inspiring landscapes and spiritual allure, Sedona entices visitors with a vibrant dining and shopping scene that reflects the town’s eclectic charm.
Visit a Brewery
Sedona boasts a range of breweries that offer not only exceptional brews but also a glimpse into the local flavors and community spirit.
For good beer and good food, we recommend Sedona Beer Co, in the heart of town. They have nice outdoor seating area, beer flights, and delicious waffle fries! Their dedication to crafting brews that reflect the spirit of Sedona is evident in every sip. From their signature Sedona Blonde Ale to their rich and flavorful Red Rock Amber, the beers at Sedona Beer Company showcase the region’s unique character. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample their rotating seasonal beers, which feature exciting flavor combinations inspired by the surrounding landscapes.
Another standout brewery in Sedona is Oak Creek Brewery, a beloved institution known for its quality craft beers and inviting atmosphere. With a wide selection of brews on tap, including their award-winning Nut Brown Ale and refreshing Hefeweizen, Oak Creek Brewery offers something to please every palate. Pair your beer with delicious pub-style food and soak in the welcoming ambiance of this local gem.
Last, but not least, make sure to include Oak Creek Brewing Company in your brewery tour. Located in a charming historic building, this brewery offers a diverse range of small-batch beers crafted with passion and attention to detail. Sip on their classic Hefeweizen or venture into their ever-changing lineup of specialty beers, which reflect their creativity and innovation in brewing.
Visit Vineyards on Verde Valley Wine Trail
Embark on a delightful wine-tasting adventure through the picturesque landscapes of Sedona by exploring the Verde Valley Wine Trail. Exploring the Verde Valley Wine Trail is a true delight for wine enthusiasts and travelers seeking to discover the flavors of Sedona. Whether you’re a connoisseur or a casual wine lover, the trail offers a chance to savor handcrafted wines, meet passionate winemakers, and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds each winery.
Some of the standout wineries along the trail include Page Springs Cellars, Oak Creek Vineyards & Winery, and Alcantara Vineyards. Each winery offers its unique varietals, showcasing the diverse terroir of the region.
At Page Springs Cellars, sample their handcrafted wines while enjoying the serene atmosphere overlooking the vineyards and Oak Creek.
Oak Creek Vineyards & Winery, on the other hand, offers a more intimate setting where you can sip on their award-winning wines and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.
Alcantara Vineyards, with its beautiful Tuscan-style winery, invites visitors to explore its vineyards, indulge in wine tastings, and soak in the ambiance of its picturesque estate.
Shop at Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village
For a unique outdoor shopping mall experience, the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village is a perfect choice. The architecture of the “village” feels like a step back in time (in a good way!). The courtyard is worth a visit even if you aren’t a big shopper!
This enchanting destination captures the essence of a traditional Mexican village, with its charming architecture, cobblestone streets, and an array of art galleries, boutiques, and eateries. Visiting Tlaquepaque is like entering a hidden oasis where creativity thrives and shopping becomes a delightful exploration.
Once inside, meander through the labyrinthine pathways lined with galleries showcasing a diverse range of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and jewelry. Take the time to admire the talent of local and international artists and perhaps even find a unique piece to bring home as a cherished memento of your visit.
Shop at Garland’s Navajo Rugs
Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Sedona by visiting Garlands Navajo Rugs. Located in the heart of the city, this unique gallery showcases an impressive collection of authentic Navajo rugs and Native American artwork. Exploring Garlands Navajo Rugs is an opportunity to appreciate the intricate craftsmanship and vibrant storytelling woven into each piece.
In addition to the rugs, the gallery also features a selection of Native American artwork, including paintings, pottery, and jewelry. These creations offer a glimpse into the artistic expressions and traditions of Native American cultures, further enriching your experience at Garlands Navajo Rugs.
Sedona Arts Center
Discover the vibrant arts scene of Sedona by visiting the Sedona Arts Center. Situated in the heart of the city, this renowned institution celebrates the creativity and talent of local artists, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the world of visual arts. A visit to the Sedona Arts Center is an opportunity to appreciate captivating artworks, participate in workshops, and explore the artistic spirit that permeates the city.
Stroll through the gallery and take in the captivating artworks on display, each reflecting the unique perspectives and talents of local artists. Engage with the artists and gain insights into their creative process during special exhibitions and events. The Sedona Arts Center also hosts art workshops and classes, allowing visitors to unleash their own creativity and learn from experienced instructors.
Beyond the gallery, the Sedona Arts Center boasts a charming gift shop where you can find one-of-a-kind art pieces, jewelry, and handcrafted souvenirs. This is the perfect place to find a memento that captures the essence of Sedona’s artistic energy.
Indulge in One of Sedona’s Luxurious Spas
The best way to relieve tired muscles after hiking in Sedona has got to be a visit to one of Sedona’s spa resorts! From luxurious treatments to breathtaking settings, Sedona offers a range of spas that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
One of the standout spas in Sedona is the Mii amo Spa at Enchantment Resort. Nestled amidst the awe-inspiring red rocks, this world-class spa offers a holistic approach to well-being. Immerse yourself in their signature treatments inspired by Native American traditions and reconnect with your mind, body, and spirit. The serene atmosphere and stunning views create an unforgettable spa experience.
For a truly unique spa experience, consider visiting the Amara Spa at Amara Resort and Spa. This tranquil oasis blends the natural beauty of Sedona with luxurious amenities. Unwind in their outdoor heated saltwater pool overlooking the iconic red rocks, or indulge in a therapeutic massage inspired by the healing properties of the surrounding landscape. The Amara Spa is a sanctuary of relaxation that perfectly captures the essence of Sedona’s serenity.
Another noteworthy spa in Sedona is the Wilde Resort and Spa. Step into their peaceful haven and choose from a range of rejuvenating treatments, from massages to facials and body wraps. The spa’s tranquil setting and skilled therapists ensure a blissful experience that will leave you feeling revitalized and renewed.
Take a Day Trip from Sedona for More Unique Arizona Adventures
With a longer stay in Sedona, you will also have time to visit many of the surrounding attractions! Here are some day trip ideas you should not miss on a trip to Sedona.
Visit the Old West Town of Jerome
Jerome is a charming and eccentric destination that will transport you back in time. Located about 28 miles southwest of Sedona, Jerome is perched on the side of Cleopatra Hill and offers a unique blend of history, art, and stunning views.
Visiting Jerome is like stepping into a living museum. Once a booming mining town, it now showcases its rich past through well-preserved buildings, quirky shops, and a vibrant arts scene. Take a leisurely stroll through the town’s narrow streets, lined with galleries, boutiques, and antique shops, where you can find one-of-a-kind treasures and artworks.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Jerome State Historic Park. Learn about the town’s mining heritage and enjoy panoramic views of the Verde Valley from its hilltop location
Visit a Natural World Wonder at the Grand Canyon
Located about 120 miles northwest of Sedona, the Grand Canyon is easily accessible and promises a truly unforgettable experience.
Visiting Grand Canyon National Park is a must for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. This colossal chasm carved by the Colorado River over millions of years showcases stunning layers of colorful rock formations, vast open spaces, and breathtaking vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. Marvel at the sheer magnitude of this natural wonder and be captivated by its ever-changing beauty as the sunlight dances upon its rugged landscape.
There are endless opportunities to explore and immerse yourself in the Grand Canyon’s splendor. Take a leisurely walk along the rim and soak in the panoramic views, or venture down into the canyon on one of the many hiking trails available. For an even more unique experience, consider taking a helicopter or airplane tour to witness the grandeur of the canyon from a unique aerial perspective.
Don’t forget to visit the visitor centers and museums scattered throughout the park, where you can learn about the geological history, native cultures, and natural wonders of the Grand Canyon.
Museum Hop in Phoenix
Phoenix is located approximately 120 miles south of Sedona and offers a perfect blend of cultural experiences, artistic treasures, and natural wonders.
Start your exploration by visiting the Phoenix Art Museum, a captivating destination that boasts an extensive collection of artworks from around the world. Immerse yourself in the diverse exhibitions, from contemporary pieces to classic masterworks, and be inspired by the artistic creativity that graces the museum’s halls.
For a deeper appreciation of Native American cultures, head to the Heard Museum. This renowned institution showcases the art, history, and heritage of indigenous communities through a remarkable collection of Native American art and artifacts. Delve into the captivating stories and traditions of Native American tribes, and gain a profound understanding of their rich cultural legacies.
To experience the natural beauty of the desert, make your way to the Desert Botanical Garden. Stroll along the garden’s winding paths and marvel at the stunning array of desert plants and cacti. Learn about the unique ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert and discover the diverse flora that thrives in this arid landscape.
Beat the Heat in Flagstaff
Nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of the Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff offers a delightful escape and a myriad of unique experiences.
Flagstaff’s high elevation brings a cooler climate and a distinct mountain-town atmosphere, making it a refreshing getaway from the desert heat. A visit to Flagstaff provides an opportunity to explore the vibrant downtown area, brimming with historic charm, local shops, and inviting eateries. Take a leisurely stroll along the streets lined with quaint storefronts, and immerse yourself in the laid-back ambiance that characterizes this mountain town.
Nature enthusiasts will find Flagstaff to be a gateway to outdoor adventures. Located near the San Francisco Peaks, the city offers easy access to hiking and biking trails, scenic drives, and opportunities for wildlife spotting. Enjoy a hike amidst the towering ponderosa pines in the Coconino National Forest, or take a scenic drive along the scenic highways that showcase the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscapes.
Flagstaff is also home to several fascinating museums and attractions. Discover the wonders of astronomy at the Lowell Observatory, where you can stargaze through powerful telescopes and learn about the cosmos. Explore the cultural heritage of the region at the Museum of Northern Arizona, which houses an extensive collection of Native American artifacts and exhibits on the geology and natural history of the area.
For those seeking a change of scenery and a taste of vibrant city life, a day trip to Scottsdale is an absolute must. Located just 120 miles southeast of Sedona, Scottsdale offers a delightful fusion of urban sophistication, art, and architectural wonders.
Scottsdale, known as “The West’s Most Western Town,” showcases a charming blend of Old West heritage and modern elegance. Its vibrant downtown is teeming with trendy boutiques, art galleries, and gourmet restaurants, making it a shopper’s paradise. Stroll along the bustling streets, soak in the lively atmosphere, and indulge in some retail therapy. For art enthusiasts, Scottsdale’s renowned art scene is a treasure trove. The city boasts a plethora of art galleries and hosts the Scottsdale ArtWalk every Thursday evening, where visitors can explore local talent and vibrant exhibitions.
While in Scottsdale, architecture aficionados should not miss the opportunity to visit two unique gems – Taliesin West and Arcosanti. Taliesin West, the winter home and architectural school of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is a testament to his genius. Embark on a guided tour to delve into the visionary mind of Wright, marvel at the distinctive design elements, and discover the architectural philosophy that continues to inspire generations.
A short distance away lies Arcosanti, an experimental town founded by visionary architect Paolo Soleri. Offering an alternative perspective on sustainable urban design, Arcosanti embraces the concept of arcology – a harmonious integration of architecture and ecology. Explore this architectural wonder, learn about its sustainable practices, and witness the melding of art and architecture amidst the breathtaking desert landscape.
Explore Page, Arizona’s Most Instagrammable Destination
The stunning town of Page is situated approximately 130 miles northeast of Sedona. Page is renowned for its awe-inspiring natural wonders and offers a plethora of unique experiences that are not to be missed.
One of the highlights of a visit to Page is exploring the world-famous Antelope Canyon. This mesmerizing slot canyon showcases breathtaking sandstone formations, sculpted by thousands of years of wind and water erosion. Join a guided tour and venture into the narrow passages, where shafts of sunlight create a mesmerizing display of colors and shapes. Be prepared to capture the perfect Instagram-worthy shots as you navigate through the canyon’s intricate beauty.
Another must-see attraction in Page is the iconic Horseshoe Bend. Located just a short distance from the town, this natural wonder offers a jaw-dropping view of the Colorado River as it curves around the striking rock formations. Take a short hike to the overlook, and be prepared to be amazed by the sheer beauty and grandeur of this natural marvel. The vastness of the landscape and the unique horseshoe-shaped bend make for a truly awe-inspiring sight.
While in Page, you can also explore other nearby attractions such as Lake Powell, a stunning reservoir that stretches across the border of Arizona and Utah. Enjoy a boat tour or rent a kayak to explore the crystal-clear waters and hidden coves. For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Glen Canyon Dam is a must.
Explore the Iconic West at Monument Valley
While not particularly close to Sedona, Monument Valley is simply too iconic of a destination to not include on this list, since it is totally doable as a long day trip from Sedona!
Monument Valley is located approximately 175 miles northeast. This majestic destination is renowned for its stunning red sandstone formations, dramatic mesas, and sweeping desert vistas, offering a truly unique and awe-inspiring experience.
A visit to Monument Valley is like stepping into a wild Western movie set. The striking landscapes have served as the backdrop for numerous films and are synonymous with the rugged beauty of the American Southwest. As you approach the valley, you’ll be greeted by towering sandstone buttes and mesas that seem to rise from the desert floor, creating a mesmerizing and otherworldly atmosphere.
Explore the valley by taking a scenic drive along the 17-mile loop road, which winds its way through the heart of the monument. Marvel at iconic landmarks such as the Mittens, Three Sisters, and Totem Pole, each bearing their own unique shape and character. The ever-changing light casts a spellbinding array of colors on the rock formations, creating a photographer’s paradise.
For a more immersive experience, consider joining a guided tour with a local Navajo guide. They will provide insight into the rich cultural history of the area, sharing stories, legends, and traditions that have been passed down through generations. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the spiritual significance of the land and the Navajo people who call it home.
How to Get to Sedona, Arizona
The closest major airport to Sedona, Arizona is the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). From Phoenix, Arizona, it’s a 2 hours drive to Sedona. I recommend renting a car at the airport and self-driving to Sedona. We were in Cedar City, Utah before visiting Sedona, so we drove from there.
Sedona, Arizona Map
Where to Stay in Sedona, Arizona
We used Hilton Honors points to stay at the Element Sedona hotel. It was well-located near Bell Rock and many trailheads, with decent views. Plus, they are pet-friendly, which is a must for us when traveling with Mara Cat!
For a luxurious stay, we’d choose L’Auberge de Sedona. The rooms are stunning and the views can’t be beaten!
For a budget-friendly option, you can’t beat the location of the Wildflower Inn. The reviews are positive, too.
If you’re camping, check out more info on RV and tent campsites in Sedona, Arizona here.
Weather in Sedona, Arizona
Like many destinations in the US Southwest, Sedona, Arizona has cold winters and hot summers. We visited in February and thought it was perfect for hiking since it was not too hot. If you visit during the summer, I recommend starting all of your hikes as early in the morning as possible before it heats up. Temperatures can become dangerously hot and the hiking trails in Sedona are generally exposed without much shade.
What to Pack for Sedona, Arizona
Regardless of when you visit, you’ll need to bring:
- Water – we use a 3-liter water reservoir/bladder in our backpacks for hikes. Even if you aren’t hiking, however, you’ll want to make sure to have a reusable water bottle to carry with you because of the hot and dry climate.
- Backpack to carry everything (but the car!) in
- Camera (see our camera gear here)
Here’s what I recommend packing if you are visiting in the winter:
- Underwear (duh!)
- Baselayer – wool pants and a shirt
- A thermal/wool sweater
- Thermal hiking pants (him) or fleece-lined leggings (her)
- Wool socks
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Warm coat
- Wool hat
- Microspikes for hiking on icy trails
All of our winter hiking gear can be found in our Amazon storefront in our Winter Hiking Gear list!
Here’s what I recommend packing if you are visiting in the summer:
- Underwear (no one likes a sweaty bum)
- T-shirts/tanks (sweat-wicking and with SPF are best!)
- Hiking pants or shorts (if you opt for pants, I recommend the kind you can roll up or convert for hot days)
- Light, water-wicking socks
- Hiking boots or sandals
- Light jacket and sweater for cool nights and mornings
Final Thoughts on the Best Unique Things to Do in Sedona
For hiking lovers and those who appreciate deeply connecting with nature, Sedona, Arizona is a dream destination. There are so many great things to do to commune with the earth and with one’s self. Sedona’s beauty is undeniable. It is easily one of the most photogenic places we’ve ever been to. That said, we experienced a lot of crowds and traffic, and finding parking for the trailheads was often difficult. I personally felt overwhelmed by the number of people on the trails, so I recommend hitting the trails as early in the morning as possible and on weekdays. Even then, expect to have company so you are not disappointed not to have a solitary experience!
Check out my other USA guides for more travel advice to help you organize your own adventures!
Great post. I have visited Sedona several times but this gave me so many new places to visit. Thanks!
Oh I am so glad to read that!! It is truly a unique destination and I’m happy we could add some new ideas to your list!