Looking for all of Arizona’s highlights in one spot? Launch into the heart of the desert to experience all the best things to do in Sedona, Arizona. This natural playground is one of the Grand Canyon State’s top destination, with activities for every style of traveler.
Among Sedona’s top tourist attractions are world-class hiking trails, parks, and outdoor adventures, with something to suit all skill levels and fitness levels. No matter if you’re traveling solo with a backpack or with a gaggle of kiddos in tow, there’s a lot to love in Sedona, with plenty of fun adventures waiting to be enjoyed.
Not sure what to do in Sedona? We’ve got you covered with this complete list of the best places to visit in Sedona, Arizona. Let’s dive in!
Best places to visit in Sedona, AZ
Slide Rock State Park
Looking to escape the heat of the Sedona desert and cool off while having tons of fun? Slip Slide Rock State Park into your Sedona travel plans.
With plenty of waterfalls to slide down in a natural playground setting, One of the most popular day trips from Sedona, Slide Rock State Park offers great fun for the entire family. One of the slides here measures 80 feet long—that’s a lot of adrenaline-fuelled fun! Spend a couple of hours, or bring a picnic and spend the entire day in the popular Arizona state park.
It’s worth remembering that the slipperiness of the rocks is due to the build-up of algae in the park. While it makes for some great slides, it can be tricky to navigate; good boots or water shoes are a must!
Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park
If you’re wanting to get out into nature and celebrate the spiritual heritage of Sedona, then you’ll want to check out Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park, one of the coolest places to see in Sedona.
As a holy place for the area’s native people, Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park covers 14 acres. At the park, prayer, reflection, and meditation are not only welcomed but recommended to truly feel the power of your natural surroundings.
Enjoy the Buddhist stupas, prayer flags, Native American medicine wheel, and statues, and appreciate all this beautiful and peaceful Sedona park has to offer.
Whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not, Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park an amazing place to spend some time recharging your batteries.
Cathedral Rock Trail
If you do just one iconic hike during your Sedona stay, the Cathedral Rock Trail is one of the most popular and Instagram-famous of them all.
A staple of the Arizona hiking scene, Cathedral Rock Trail is a short and simple 1.2-mile roundtrip route. The trail includes some fun scrambling passes as well as amazing views that’ll take your breath away. It’s a fun, short hike that’s easy to fit into your next vacation to Sedona without having to dedicate a full day to hiking. Although it’s a short hike, the Cathedral Rock Trail takes in some of the most beautiful vistas in Sedona.
PRO TIP: The Cathedral Rock Trail gets busy during the peak hours; try to visit early in the morning or just before the park closes!
Oak Creek Canyon Natural Area
When you’re staying in Sedona, spectacular natural scenery is a given. Even so, a visit to Oak Creek Canyon Natural Area is still bound to blow you, your friends, and your family away.
Often likened to a scaled-down version of the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Natural Area is famous for its stunning river gorge that slices through the surrounding area. Between the gorge and the waterfalls, it’s worth bringing your camera to capture the incredible views!
Even the drive to Oak Creek Canyon Natural Area is an attraction on its own, as you wind through beautiful desert scenery and rock formations. All in all, it’s a gorgeous day out and universally considered one of the most spectacular places in Sedona, Arizona.
Bell Rock Trail
Looking for a hike that’s beautiful and full of interesting natural rock formations? Even if you’ve only got one day in Sedona, try to tack the Bell Rock Trail onto your trip itinerary.
The 3.6-mile trail snakes around some of the most iconic formations in the Sedona hiking scene, including namesake Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Although much of the Bell Rock Trail is well-maintained, wide, and hard underfoot, there are some pretty steep hills; you’ll need a decent level of fitness and plenty of water while hiking here.
Be warned: As you get closer to Bell Rock itself, the trail tends to get a bit rough. Watch your step and take your time!
Boynton Canyon Trail
Most people check out the Boynton Canyon Trail, not for the trail itself but as the gateway to the secret Subway Cave, one of the coolest places to go in Sedona, Arizona.
Located within the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, this beautiful and popular hike clocks in around 6.3 miles. If you want to add on the slight detour to the secret Subway Cave, the whole hike will be approximately seven miles.
Most of the Boyton Canyon Trail is fairly flat, but there’s a big incline if you’re heading up to the Subway Cave. Many hikers tackle this trail every day, so you don’t need to be a pro; just take your time!
Looking for a breathtaking spot to get a dreamy panoramic photo of one of Arizona’s most beautiful mountain towns? Look no further than the Airport Mesa. Topping the list of things to do in Sedona, hiking up to this famous lookout point is a must for all travelers venturing through Arizona’s desert landscapes.
Located just south of West Sedona, the Airport Mesa offers unparalleled views of Sedona, including iconic rock formations such as Chimney Rock and Capitol Butte, sometimes known as Thunder Mountain.
The view from Airport Mesa is especially beautiful at either sunrise or sunset; if you feel comfortable with a nighttime hike, choose to embark either in the pre-dawn hours or before the golden hour.
Grab your camera, and hike the short Airport Mesa Loop. Stop at the top, take in the spectacular views, and have a picnic before descending back down to your starting point. The Airport Mesa Loop is different than most hiking trails around Sedona; it’s ideal if you don’t want to travel too far out of town.
Red Rock State Park
Want to check out one of the top tourist destinations in Sedona while supporting conservation efforts? Set your compass for Red Rock State Park.
This well-known 286-acre state park is world-famous for its titular red coloring and striking curving rock formations that unleash stunning views. In addition to plenty of hiking trails, Red Rock State Park is also home to the Red Rock Amphitheatre, hosting big-name concerts and events all year round.
There’s always something amazing going on at Red Rock State Park; check their website and socials before you go. Note: If there’s a concert or event, certain areas and parking lots may be restricted.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Although Sedona is a haven for hikers, there’s more than just natural beauty to be found in the state parks. That’s where the Chapel of the Holy Cross comes in.
Commissioned by Marguerite Brunswig Staude in 1932, this modern take on a church was built into the red rocks that Red Rock State Park is known for. The story behind it involves religious visions and a need for a spiritual connection through art.
Nowadays, the Chapel of the Holy Cross hosts over three million visitors every year. It’s a weird and wonderful attraction set within the natural playground of Sedona.
Devil’s Bridge Trail
If you’ve ever looked at Sedona hikes on Instagram, chances are the image you’ve seen was of Devil’s Bridge and, of course, the giant queue heading down the Devil’s Bridge Trail.
This iconic hike is only between two and four miles long, depending on where you park. Unless you go at the crack of dawn, there’s a heavy likelihood you won’t be alone, as standing on the trail’s namesake natural arch, the Devil’s Bridge, is a classic Sedona photo-op.
If you’re going to do this hike, try and aim for off-peak times and come prepared to wait and queue. Bring along snacks, extra water, and plenty of sunscreen.
Looking to cool off with a refreshing dip in a local watering hole? Set your sights on Grasshopper Point at the end of Oak Creek Canyon.
A natural pool, Grasshopper Point is popular with locals and tourists alike as a cooling respite from the Arizona heat. As the water gets deep in places, it’s become popular among cliff jumpers. (Do this at your own risk, of course!)
Around Grasshopper Point, you’ll also find spaces for picnics. Be warned: The parking lot is relatively small; it’s a good idea to get there early.
Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village
Want to indulge in some unique retail therapy on your Sedona trip? Hit up Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, a shopping village with its distinct Hispanic vibe.
As it’s been modeled after a traditional Mexican village, you’ll know that you’re in for a unique treat as soon as you arrive at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. With local artisans and boutiques spread across the village—as well as places to dine and drink—it’s a nice break away from Sedona’s scenic drives and hiking trails.
The shopping sections at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village are open from either 10 am to 5 pm or 6 pm, depending on the day. If you’re looking for a bite, some of the restaurants stay open until 9 pm.
Sedona Heritage Museum
Consider yourself a local history buff? Check out the Sedona Heritage Museum for an injection of knowledge and culture on your Sedona sightseeing itinerary.
Dedicated to preserving the culture and history of the Sedona region, the Sedona Heritage Museum educates and entertains its visitors through events, exhibitions, and unique insights into historic Sedona life. There’s even a special dress-up section for the kiddos where they mimic different walks of life throughout Sedona’s ever-changing past.
The museum is open daily from 11 am until 3 pm. You can choose from self-guided and expert-guided tours on your visit.
Thunder Mountain Trail
Wanting to hike a trail with views as impressive as its name? Beeline for the Thunder Mountain Trail, one of the top places to go hiking in Sedona.
The trail was named by Native Americans due to the frequency its main rock formation was struck by lightning. As a reward for scaling the 6,355-foot mountain, you’ll enjoy amazing panoramic views over the area. To get to the top, it’s a 3.2-mile hike from the trailhead at the visitor center.
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The Thunder Mountain Trail is described as moderate; ensure you have a fair level of fitness before you set out. On average, it takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the summit. Take your time, and bring plenty of snacks and fluids!
Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art
Love beautiful art galleries? On your Sedona vacation, be sure to check out Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art.
This 20,000-square-foot building is home to a diverse collection of art ranging from classics to contemporary pieces by local artists. As part of its commitment to diverse art, Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art celebrates different mediums, including glass art, sculpture, and jewelry, as well as more traditional fine art.
The art gallery is closed on Sundays; factor this in before you travel.
Coffee Pot Restaurant
If you’re going to spend all day hiking, climbing, and exploring Sedona’s outdoor activities, you’re going to need to start with a filling breakfast. And for that, there’s no better place than Coffee Pot Restaurant!
A Sedona staple since the 1950s, Coffee Pot Restaurant is the Home of 101 Omelettes. (Yes, you read that correctly!) There are plenty of choices here aimed to please the fussiest of eaters.
Located in Red Rocks Country, Coffee Pot Restaurant is the perfect place to either fuel up before heading out or replenish your energy after a big hike or bike ride.
Winning awards for the past few decades and featured on national news programs, Coffee Pot Restaurant is one breakfast joint you simply cannot miss. It’s even been owned by the same family—the Daher’s—for the past 30 years!
Recommended places to stay in Sedona for sightseeing
For most travelers, the most popular choices for where to stay in Sedona fall within the busy Uptown area and the quieter West Sedona. The areas feature a variety of excellent accommodations, including top-notch hotels, inns, resorts, and vacation rentals.
Experience a sophisticated stay with a Southwestern ambiance in a charming setting at this elegant, boutique-style inn. After a day of sightseeing, unwind with a soak in a spa tub or a hot beverage next to a crackling fire. The hotel also provides a gourmet breakfast to give you a great start to your day.
This quiet bed & breakfast is located just steps away from the heart of Uptown. Get transported away from the tourist crowds in the bright and comfortable rooms adorned with rich furnishings and Southwest accents. Relax on the patio and take in the desert scenery to fully unwind and get into chill mode after your sightseeing adventures.
The perfect escape for culture-seekers, the El Portal sits next to the ever-colorful Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village. The charming adobe hotel rings around a classic courtyard and garden, perfect for unwinding after a day of checking out all the tourist sites. Enjoy the plush comforts of the rustic-chic rooms, featuring soft Egyptian lines, cashmere blankets, and fireplaces.