What are the five best things to see and do in Sedona?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Stacey Wittig

Sedona is richly endowed when it comes to amazing things to see and do. Since the town is surrounded by so much unique natural beauty, it makes sense to get out and explore it. Here are the five best things to see and do in Sedona:
1. Explore Oak Creek Canyon. Named one of the top 50 Scenic Drives by National Geographic Traveler, Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road begins north of uptown Sedona and continues 14.5 miles to Oak Creek Viewpoint. Visit the  Native American Crafts Market to browse authentic native jewelry directly from the artisans. On the return, hike one of the mysterious side canyons, take photos of the magnificent rock formations, swim in the creek at Slide Rock State Park or go fishing at Rainbow Trout Farm that provides gear and even cleans your fish.

2. Visit Sedona's sacred sites. Sedona’s fame as a spiritual power center draws seekers of all beliefs. Explore the legendary vortices — places where Sedona’s energy is felt most strongly — at Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral Rock. Visit Chapel of the Holy Cross wedged into high, red cliffs. Its architecture is reminiscent of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright  — he once taught the chapel’s commissioner. Sweet scents of burning candles greet you at the door and although the Roman Catholic Church maintains the chapel, all are welcome to meditate. Trek up short trails to the peaceful Amitabha Stupa — a significant Tibetan Buddhist site — or journey along one the many rock labyrinths.

3. Photograph Red Rock Crossing. One of the world’s most-photographed monoliths, Cathedral Rock is reflected in a wide, calm portion of Oak Creek called Red Rock Crossing that’s seven miles southwest of uptown. Have your hotel pack a gourmet picnic lunch and head out for spectacular setting at nearby Crescent Moon Picnic Site. Wade in the creek, listen to the birds darting overhead and let the views mesmerize. After lunch, take a leisurely quarter-mile hike to Buddha Beach — it’s full of stacked rock “sculptures” — to capture your own shot of the glorious cathedral of rock.

4. Take a Jeep tour. Back-road excursions have been the quintessential Sedona activity since the 1960s when Pink Jeep Tours originated the expeditions. Today you’ll find 4x4 tours to fit every interest. Journey to remote ancient ruins built into the red rock cliffs. Choose the heart-pounding ride over slick rock and straight up formations at Broken Arrow Canyon so picturesque that the 1950 Jimmy Stewart movie Broken Arrow was filmed there. Hire a guide to help experience the vortices. Or participate in the convergence of myth, meditation and native plants with Earth Wisdom Jeep Tours. You have countless choices.

5. Follow the Verde Valley Wine Trail. For an introduction to Arizona wines, experience the four wineries and six tasting rooms hidden in the red rock countryside and quiet canyons surrounding Sedona, Cottonwood and Jerome. Arizona’s Verde Valley has similarities to other distinguished grape-growing areas of the world. Sedona Adventure Tours offers leisurely wine excursions including the Water to Wine Tour. Float the Verde River on a Ducky kayak to a Tuscan-style farmhouse at Alcantara Vineyards. Celebrate your journey with wine tastings and hear stories about nearby ancient petroglyphs.

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