A Weekend in Sedona, Arizona: A Guide to the Perfect Itinerary

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Article written by: Rebecca
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Planning a weekend in Sedona? This itinerary covers the best hikes, attractions and dining!

It’s hard not to fall in love with Sedona, Arizona. The magic of the red rocks that tower above the town, the gorgeous hikes, the food and culture. And a weekend in Sedona is a great amount of time to experience everything in this fun small city.

I’ve been to Sedona twice now, and this guide covers my favourite things to do here, as well as tips on when to visit, how to get there and where to stay.

If you’re planning to visit Sedona for a weekend – and you should be planning to! – here are the top things to do in this magical town. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to visit in the United States.

A panoramic view of Sedona's red rock formations with a clear blue sky. A person stands at the edge of a cliff, emphasizing the vastness of the landscape.
At the top of Cathedral Rock

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Things to do in Sedona

Here are all my favourite things to do in Sedona. Mix and match these activities to plan an awesome Sedona weekend getaway.

1. Get outdoors and go hiking

With all those jaw-dropping red rocks surrounding Sedona, you’d be crazy not to want to get out and explore them. There are several hikes in the area of varying lengths and difficulties. Here are my personal favourite Sedona hikes:

  • Devil’s Bridge Trail – this is a short hike that is quite steep at the end. I found myself basically scrambling up some rocks towards the end of the hike, but the views at the end are worth it. This is a really popular hike, so go early.
  • Bell Rock – Bell Rock doesn’t really have much of a defined path, which isn’t the type of hike I normally like (I like to know exactly where I’m going!). But the views as we got up higher were just gorgeous and worth the confusion.
  • Cathedral Rock Trail – this hike is rated difficult, so come prepared with plenty of water and good hiking shoes. In some parts you’re basically rock climbing. If you have a fear of heights, this isn’t the hike for you! The views from the top are outstanding.
  • Sugarloaf Loop – we did this hike at sunset and were rewarded with incredible views over Sedona. It’s fairly flat. The Sugarloaf Loop takes you around a small peak, but make sure to head up to Sugarloaf Summit for the best views.

On a Sedona weekend trip, you can easily tackle a few of these hikes.

A breathtaking perspective from atop a natural sandstone bridge in Sedona, with lush greenery and rugged terrain extending into the distance. This is the view from the top of the Devil's Bridge Trail.
Devil’s Bridge Trail – one of the must-do hikes if you’ve got 2 days in Sedona

The most important thing to keep in mind when hiking in Sedona is to start early! It’s hot in Sedona and the hikes are all popular, so many of the car parks are already filled by about 8am.

In carparks of some trailheads you will need to purchase and display a Red Rock Pass in your car. Machines sell the daily passes for $5 (you can also buy weekly and annual passes if you’re planning to spend more than just a weekend in Sedona).

Keep in mind that Sedona is at 1,330 metres (4,350 feet), so take it easy to begin with as you may start to feel the effects of elevation (at least, that was my excuse for all my huffing and puffing!).

2. Explore Sedona’s magical vortexes

Many people are drawn to Sedona for its vortexes. I’d never heard of a vortex before I visited Sedona, but these Sedona attractions are areas alive with energy that supports healing and spiritual enlightenment.

All of Sedona is considered to be a vortex, but there are a few sites where the energy is more powerful – and they’re all located on or near hiking areas so you can combine two in one! Sedona’s most powerful vortexes are located at Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Airport Mesa.

While I’m interested in spiritual stuff, I’m not entirely connected to it, so I don’t recall feeling anything when I visited sites near the vortexes. But go explore them for yourself to see what impact they have on you!

Guided option: There are also guided tours if you’d like insights from someone who knows all about vortexes, like this tour by jeep.

3. Drive the scenic byway

The Red Rock Scenic Byway traverses highway 179 south of Sedona to Village of Oak Creek, and it’s one of those drives where you’ll want to stop every mile to take photos.

It’s definitely one of the most beautiful things to do in Sedona – and that’s saying something, as there’s a lot of competition for that title!

Plan a half day along the byway and stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross (see below) and Bell Rock before lunch in Village of Oak Creek.

4. Sip some Arizonan wine

Did you know that there’s a wine industry in Arizona? I had no idea – and they’re actually quite good! When you visit Sedona you can test out a few of the state’s wines.

Just 20 minutes outside of Sedona are four great wineries, and we spent an afternoon exploring most of them. You can also check out the Verde Valley Wine Trail if you have some extra time to go further afield to taste more wines.

Start the furthest away and work your way back to Sedona. At Page Springs Cellars you can do a tasting inside or step outside on to the patio to sip your wines. There are several tasting options available, some whites only, others mixing reds and whites.

Alternatively, grab a glass of wine and some snacks and take a seat overlooking the bubbling creek that passes through the winery. Tastings range from $15 to $18 and include a souvenir glass to take home.

A lush vineyard with rows of grapevines, each row marked by wooden posts, under a clouded sky, illustrating Sedona's agricultural charm.

Half a mile away is Oak Creek Vineyards and Winery, a boutique vineyard with an outdoor patio overlooking their vines. Tastings are $15.

Bonus: it’s dog-friendly if you’ve bought your pup along on your 3 days in Sedona!

A wooden flight board with six glasses of wine, ranging in color, accompanied by a tasting menu on a table with a mesh pattern, reflecting a wine tasting experience in Sedona.

We skipped Javelina Leap because we’d already sipped quite a bit of wine, but you should plan to go so you can taste wines at their saloon-style bar – the largest wine tasting bar in northern Arizona.

Our favourite of the wineries was without a doubt DA Ranch. We loved tasting wines both in the kitchen (where we felt like we were sipping wine in a friend’s kitchen) and outside in the huge, lush garden.

Check tasting times in advance because the estate is often closed for weddings and private events. Tastings are $22, which includes a glass to take home.

A cozy wooden lodge surrounded by a fence, green lawn, and mature trees, offering a sense of the rustic wineries in Sedona.

If you’re looking for still more wine, stop by Up The Creek Bistro and Wine Bar. This former gas station is now a restaurant with views over Oak Creek. They offer lunch, dinner and wine tastings.

Guided option: Want a designated driver? Try this Sedona wine tour that stops at four wineries and includes lunch.

5. Enjoy Sedona’s culinary scene

The glass door of Elote Cafe, reflecting the interior and exterior seating areas, with the restaurant's distinctive corn-inspired logo displayed prominently.

With so many visitors coming into Sedona, the city has developed a healthy foodie scene with plenty of mouth-watering options to fill a weekend in Sedona. Here are a few top choices for where to eat in Sedona:

  • Coffee Pot Restaurant – home to 101 omelettes! We loved fuelling up here for breakfast after a strenuous hike
  • Indian Gardens Café and Market – grab a table in the lush garden. We had a yummy sandwich for a casual lunch, but they also do salads
  • Picazzo’s – healthy Italian with a gluten-free focus
  • Elote – prepare for a long wait (but grab a margarita while you do). Get the eponymous dish of elote (fire-roasted corn)!
  • Mariposa – come here for sunset for the gorgeous views and delicious food
  • L’Auberge’s Cress on Oak Creek – fine dining right on the creek, this is such a beautiful spot

6. Slip down Slide Rock

A vibrant scene at the popular Slide Rock State Park in Sedona where people are enjoying the water, surrounded by towering red rock formations and greenery under a blue sky.

One of the most unique things to do in Sedona is to slip down the natural “slide” at Slide Rock State Park.

A strong, natural current and algae on the rocks propel those game enough to give it a go! There are also natural pools where you can swim around in, and some rocks for daredevils to jump or dive off.

When we visited, even thought it was a hot day, the water was shockingly cold! I could only go along the slide once before I needed to thaw out on the red rocks in the sunshine.

It’s a great place to cool off on a hot day, but keep in mind you won’t be the only one – on hot days the park is full.

Bring snacks and drinks (we saw people with small coolers), towels, plenty of sunscreen, and even portable lawn chairs and a sun shade if you’re planning to spend several hours there.

As well as the swimming area, there’s also a historical museum about the history of the park and some hikes if you prefer to earn your cool dip.

The park is open from May to October. It costs between $10 and $30 per car depending on the time of the year and day of the week. Check the website for up-to-date pricing.

7. Wander Main St

Downtown Sedona bustling with activity, with shops and a sign that says 'CHEERS' in the foreground and majestic red rock formations under a partly cloudy sky in the background.

The main street of Sedona (referred to as both Uptown and Downtown Sedona) is jam-packed with art galleries, restaurants, shops filled with crystals and souvenirs, and palm readers. It’s worth spending a few hours during your weekend in Sedona walking around and popping in and out of the shops.

After all that shopping, make sure to stop in to 89Agave for a prickly pear margarita – they’re not cheap but it seems to be the state drink of Arizona, so you have to try one!

A close-up of a vibrant red cocktail - a prickly pear margarita - with ice and a lime wedge, beside a pint glass of golden beer, both resting on a textured table surface, embodying the casual dining experiences in Sedona.

8. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross

The Chapel of the Holy Cross, a modern architectural marvel built into the red rocks of Sedona, with clear blue skies above and a foreground of lush green trees.

After you’re done hiking the Bell Rock and Cathedral trails, stop in at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. One of the most popular things to do in Sedona, this unique church is snugly and stunningly built into the red rock formations.

The inspiration for this Roman Catholic chapel came in 1932 but it wasn’t until 1956 that construction was completed.

You can stop to take some photos from the parking area at the main entrance or head up to the car park and enter the chapel. Inside, you can light a candle and check out the incredible views.

9. Treat yourself with a spa session

After hitting all of Sedona’s hiking trails, it’s time for some relaxation and pampering.

There are plenty of day spas in Sedona for massages, body scrubs and nail care. As a place known for healing and energy, Sedona’s day spas have a focus on holistic therapies.

Mii Amo’s spa menu includes deep tissue massage, CBD massage and Ayurvedic massage therapies, as well as energy clearing and Reiki.

The specialty at Sedona Tao Foot Spa & Massage is reflexology, but they also offer full-body massage.

10. Shop for unique arts and crafts

Stop by Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village for a souvenir to take home with you as a reminder of your weekend in Sedona.

Dozens of art galleries, jewellery stores, restaurants and bars are housed in sprawling stucco-covered buildings.

On our first trip to Sedona, we had a great lunch at Tlaquepaque (and my first-ever prickly pear margarita!) at the Oak Creek Brewery and Grill.

11. Head out on a day trip to the Grand Canyon

If you’re lucky enough to have a long weekend in Sedona, you can even take a day trip to the Grand Canyon.

It’s only a two-hour drive from Sedona to the Grand Canyon’s south entrance. You can easily visit the Grand Canyon in a day by car, although it will of course be a long day.

Guided option: If you’d prefer to have someone else do the driving, you can take a day tour from Sedona to the Grand Canyon. Or even take a historic train ride on the Grand Canyon Railway!

Sedona attractions map

Here’s everything I’ve mentioned in this article, laid out on a map of Sedona.

Sedona travel guide

Best time to visit Sedona

A dramatic evening sky over the layered red rock mountains of Sedona, with the last rays of sunlight illuminating the rock formations, and the town nestled in the valley below.

While Sedona has a fairly moderate climate and has four seasons (unlike some other parts of Arizona), the best time to visit Sedona is during spring and autumn (fall) when temperatures are far more manageable.

Of course, this means peak season, so make sure to book your accommodation well in advance. The streets will be packed, so prepare to be patient and you may need to wait for a table at some restaurants or book ahead.

Our second and most recent visit was in late May and it was still fairly temperate. The days were sunny and warm and the evenings brought a nice, light breeze.

Summer brings super-hot weather, so expect temperatures in the mid to high 90s (mid to high 30s Celsius). Some trails will shut during summer due to excessive heat.

While it can snow, winter is still a great time to visit Sedona, with fewer crowds.

How to get to Sedona

An aerial view of Sedona at dusk, capturing the sprawling town with its lights beginning to twinkle and the surrounding mesas and buttes shaded by the setting sun.

The closest airports to Sedona are Flagstaff and Phoenix (check Skyscanner for the best flights and prices). Flagstaff is about an hour from Sedona (and you may need to connect through Phoenix when coming from certain cities). It’s about two hours to Sedona from Phoenix.

Rent a car at the airport as you’ll need a car so that you can do all the things in Sedona that I’ve listed in this article. Coming in from either airport offers a stunning drive into Sedona!

There’s also a small airport in Sedona if you’ve got access to a private plane!

Where to stay in Sedona

Sedona has plenty of accommodation options suitable for couples, families and friends, so you’ll find something wonderful for your weekend in Sedona.

If you want luxury for your weekend in Sedona, then check out L’Auberge de Sedona. It has breathtaking views of the red rocks and creekside rooms. The resort has rooms, suites and cottages available. Check to see if L’Auberge has availability for your weekend in Sedona on Booking.com or Expedia.

Another option is Enchantment Resort in Boynton Canyon. You can stay active here with a fitness centre, golf course and tennis courts. The pool has the most stunning views of the red rocks. Check rates for Enchantment Resort on Booking.com or Expedia.

Sedona also has plenty of holiday home rentals. Unfortunately the Airbnb we stayed in on our trip isn’t available any longer.

But this 3-bedroom home is a great option, especially if you’re travelling with a group or family. There are two bedrooms inside the main house, with a 3rd bedroom (and bathroom) in a detached apartment by the front door. There’s a full-size kitchen for cooking family meals (plus a kitchenette in the detached apartment) and plenty of space for shared dinners. Surrounded by trees, the property feels secluded and private.

You can also check other available Sedona properties on VRBO.

A serene residential street in Sedona, flanked by vibrant green trees and with a striking red rock backdrop, showcasing the town's peaceful living environment.
There were some great hiking trails at the end of our Airbnb’s street

What to pack for a weekend in Sedona

Make sure to pack these items for your weekend in Sedona to help you stay cool and protected from the sun!

  • Reusable water bottle to stay hydrated (and avoid buying plastic bottles from the supermarket!)
  • Sunscreen and a good hat to protect yourself from the sun
  • A great camera or phone – Sedona is one of the most photogenic places I’ve visited!
  • Sunglasses
  • Good hiking boots or sneakers with grip if you’re hitting the trails on your Sedona weekend
  • Moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated in the dry desert air – this Brazilian Bum Bum Cream smells divine and is one of my favourites (even if it does have a funny name!)
  • A cute Herschel backpack to pack up everything you need for the day
  • Swimming attire – I love the gorgeous (and very affordable!) swimsuits from Cupshe

Did you find this article helpful? Consider buying me a coffee as a way to say thanks!

Have I inspired you to plan a weekend in Sedona? Drop any questions in the comments below so that I can help you plan your 3 days in Sedona itinerary.

Related posts

Before you go… you might like these USA travel articles:


  • Book flights to and around the USA online with Skyscanner. I like this site because it shows me which dates are cheaper.
  • Find a great hotel in the USA. Check prices on Booking.com and Expedia online.
  • Check out the huge range of day tours throughout the USA on GetYourGuide or Viator. There’s something for everyone.
  • A copy of the Lonely Planet guide to the USA will be handy.
  • One thing I always purchase is travel insurance! Travel Insurance Master allows you to compare across multiple policy providers, while SafetyWing is great for long-term travellers and digital nomads.


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I'm a travel junkie who started dreaming about seeing the world from a very young age. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. A former expat, I've lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the United States. I share travel resources, tips and stories based on my personal experiences, and my goal is to make travel planning just that bit easier.

1 thought on “A Weekend in Sedona, Arizona: A Guide to the Perfect Itinerary”

  1. We are going to Arizona. We want to visit One of the most unique things to do in Sedona is slide down the natural slide at Slide Rock Park. However, we plan to take the children with us. Can you tell me where it is better to rent a car?


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