Must-do's in Sedona, Arizona

Sedona aka “Red Rock Country,” is a gorgeous Southwestern vacation destination, particularly for nature lovers, fitness buffs, spiritual seekers, and photographers. For anyone who loves being outside, exploring gorgeous natural landscapes, and relaxing & rejuvenating in a beautiful natural setting, Sedona comes in as the perfect vacation choice. Really, it does not get much better than this in Arizona, especially when it comes to gorgeous natural scenery and wonderful hiking trails. With stunning red rock vistas in every direction, 100’s of miles of picturesque trails, and several scenic drives, Sedona offers an unending supply of activities for the nature enthusiast.

Below is my list of what I believe are the 29 must-do’s in Sedona. Incorporating just a few of these activities into your trip itinerary will ensure that you are seeing the best-of-the-best Sedona has to offer! Note: 10 items are marked with a star. These are those which I consider the top things to do if you are limited on time!

1. Walk across Sedona’s largest natural sandstone arch*

Devil's Bridge in Sedona, Arizona

On any given day, dozens & dozens of cars line up along Dry Creek Road, as this is the starting point for Sedona’s most popular trail, Devil’s Bridge. Unfortunately, due to the rough road which requires 4WD, you must hike a connector trail (Chuck Wagon) before arriving at Devil’s Bridge if your car won’t make it. Don’t worry, both trails are scenic and the journey is well worth the effort for the incredible ending viewpoint of Sedona’s largest natural sandstone arch. If you are brave enough to walk this narrow bridge, the resulting photo (taken by someone on the other side) is a once-in-a-lifetime photo souvenir! Even with the connector, the trail is still just about 4 miles RT and requires a bit of climbing near the end, so come prepared and bring extra water.

More info on Devil’s Bridge

2. Explore a vortex site

Bell Rock climb in Sedona AZ

What is a vortex? A vortex is reportedly a site of natural energy which provides either masculine (yang), feminine (yin), or neutral (yin/yang) balancing healing energies. Feminine vortexes are said to be meditation hotspots, while masculine vortexes are more energizing. The theory goes that a special energy swirls up from the core of the earth, making certain Sedona sites areas where intense healing can take place. In Sedona, you will find 4 major vortex hikes. Twisted juniper trees are said to signal intense energy – you may come across several of these on your hikes. During your time here, you will notice many vortex shops & tours, new age shops, spiritual healers, etc. as Sedona is becoming more popular with spiritual seekers. People now travel from across the world to experience these sacred healing sites.

There is no need to spend loads of money on a special vortex tour when you can easily get out there and explore these “magical healing” sites on your own. No one really knows for sure if these sites really do possess special powers or if they were just made up to draw in more tourists. Therefore, you are better off exploring them on your own terms so no needless money is wasted. One thing’s for sure – there is no denying that there is something special about these towering ancient red rocks (regardless of whether vortex energy is real) and you will definitely feel something in the air as you explore these jaw dropping trails/vortex sites.

Vortex hiking options

Stunning views from the Airport Mesa loop trail in Sedona, Arizona
The Airport Mesa loop is probably the most scenic of the 4 vortex hikes. The trail is long but pretty easy so pretty much doable by anyone in decent shape. Note: those afraid of heights should definitely skip this one due to the steep drop offs!

Vortex hikes include Cathedral Rock (feminine), Bell Rock (masculine), Boynton Canyon (neutral), and Airport Mesa (masculine). Both locals and tourists have sighted multiple UFOs at Bell Rock. This is no surprise as the area is reportedly a strong vortex site. The energy at Bell Rock is particularly strong which might help explain the frequent otherworldly occurrences. The entire Sedona area is a hotspot for alien sightings. In fact, the small city is known for being home to the most number of sightings in the world! The gorgeous Chapel of the Holy Cross is a no-hiking required vortex site (more info later on). Don’t worry if you cannot make it to a specific vortex as the entire Sedona area is considered to be a positive vortex with the above mentioned hikes simply being areas of more concentrated energy.

Read more about Boynton Canyon & Bell Rock

3. Hike to Chicken Point

The gorgeous Chicken Little overlook at the end of Sedona's Little Horse trail

Chicken Point is a scenic viewpoint, accessed via Pink Jeep tours or (preferably) via a semi challenging hike. The jeep tours, in my opinion, are a waste of money as the point of coming to Sedona is to explore nature in the gorgeous red rock wilderness. The Jeep tours take away from the natural setting. Save yourself some cash and reach the same majestic viewpoint by hiking Little Horse or Broken Arrow. Both these trails are moderate journeys to the same incredible endpoint. Enjoy the views and the sense of accomplishment which only comes by arriving at the scenic overlook via your own 2 feet!

Read more about the Little Horse trail

4. Treat yourself to brunch at the Enchantment Resort

Scenic brunch at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona

Enchantment is Sedona’s most prestigious lodging option. Incredible red rock views surround every inch of the property. While staying at the resort is the preferred option, sometimes this is impossible as the rooms are incredibly pricey, not to mention often sold out months in advance. Regardless of whether you end up staying on-site, brunch at Che-Ah-Chi (the resort’s premier restaurant) is definitely a must. While most of Sedona’s breakfast choices are quite casual without much in the way of a view, Che-Ah-Chi offers a fine dining experience along with magnificent views via the floor-to-ceiling windows or outdoor patio dining.

And of course, excellent food and service to match the views is always a bonus. Try the Mocha French Toast or one of the skillets served with the tastiest homemade salsa! Despite the high pricing, brunch at Che-Ah-Chi is still a great value compared to other breakfast options, which are crowded without much ambiance, and still overpriced.

A full review of Che-Ah-Chi

5. Explore 7 sacred pools & Sedona’s most active sinkhole

Arches along the Soldier's Pass trail in Sedona, Arizona

Soldier’s Pass is one of Sedona’s most unique trails, where in addition to striking red rock vistas, you will also get to explore a few unique natural features. Three natural arches, 7 sacred pools (a set of cascading natural pools carved into the sandstone), and the most active sinkhole in Sedona, are all sites of interest you will get to explore along this moderate 2.5 mile out-and-back hike. The best part of this trail is the unique scenery changes as you go from wide open red rock panoramas one minute to a shady quiet trek through the Red Rock Secret Wilderness the next.

Read more about the Soldier Pass trail

6. Explore an incredible chapel built into the rock formations*

Sedona's Chapel of the Holy Cross surrounded by red rock formations

The most incredible red rock overlook can be accessed via a short drive up to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This amazing Roman Catholic cathedral is unlike any you have ever seen before. It was built in between 2 massive red rock formations. While it is not open for services, anyone can come in to pray, meditate, light a candle in honor of a love one, or simply admire the amazing architecture which includes lovely stained glass windows held together by a giant cross. The views are stunning both inside and out and one cannot help but appreciate Sedona’s natural paradise even more in such a gorgeous spiritual building. The Chapel is by far the most stunning man-made creation in this area of the country. In this rare case, the man-made wonder rivals the natural landscapes!

Check out that view!

Amazing views from The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona

More info on The Chapel of the Holy Cross

7. Take a leisurely cruise along Oak Creek Canyon*

Beautiful red rock views along Oak Creek Canyon drive in Sedona, Arizona

Oak Creek Canyon Drive is a picturesque 14 mile stretch of land located in between Flagstaff and Sedona. It’s so gorgeous in fact that it is second only to the Grand Canyon in terms of tourist traffic. Along the way, you will get to witness the scenery change from green ponderosa pine forests near Flagstaff to towering red rock formations near the Sedona. In between, leafy deciduous trees and peaceful flowing views of the creek provide a serene backdrop unlike any other in Arizona – you will almost forget you are in the desert. The dramatic scenery changes arise from the fact that the elevation starts near 7000 ft in Flagstaff and drops to nearly 4000 once you arrive in Sedona.

Asides from grand views, there’s lots of great stops along the way including Native American craft markets, several scenic overlooks, the West Fork and Cookstove hiking trails, scenic picnicking areas, and secret swimming holes. Slide Rock State Park has been featured on numerous TV specials. Here you will find rare natural water slides cut into the rocks.

The best time to plan your drive is during the beautiful summer season. If you are lucky enough to visit during a winter storm, the snow dusting the red rocks is quite surreal to behold. Either way the drive is marvelous anytime of year. The experience of driving through a mountainous pine area into a red rock desert within just 20 minutes is truly breathtaking!

Read more about the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive

8. Try some homemade Prickly Pear ice cream

Prickly pear ice cream at The Black Cow Cafe in Sedona AZ

Uptown, the touristy downtown area, is loaded with all sorts of indulgences including comfort style restaurants, fudge shops, ice cream shops, frozen yogurt, etc. The best stop in this area is the Black Cow Cafe, a small local shop which features homemade ice cream, apple pie, baked goods, and specialty coffee drinks.

Although there are about a dozen flavors available, you should try the Prickly Pear, a southwestern specialty that is simply divine. Be sure to get it in a homemade waffle cone for the true ice cream experience! What a treat on a hot 100 degree Sedona summer afternoon, even more so after a hike that knocks your socks off! They make all their desserts in house, so at least you can feel a little less guilty that you are indulging in a “healthier” treat!

9. Hike to the summit of Doe Mountain*

Views of Sedonas gorgeous rock formations atop Doe Mountain

Doe Mountain is one of Sedona’s most underrated hikes. It’s really a shame that so many tourists miss out on this spectacular gem which features some of the most outstanding views of them all. A moderate 400 foot climb leads you to a mesa where you will be able to explore diverse plant life, search for wildlife tracks, and enjoy bird’s eye views of the stunning red rock landscapes. From Doe’s Summit, you really feel as if you are on top of the world. By far, this is one of the top spots in town for photographers. It’s crazy how little traffic this trail receives and even moreso how little effort is required to access such world-class views!

Read more about Doe Mountain

10. Challenge yourself to 13 creek crossings via the West Fork

Beautiful creek view along the West Fork Trail in Sedona, Arizona

The West Fork trail is one of the most used trails within the Coconino National Forest. During fall foliage season and the summer season, it’s almost impossible to find a parking spot after 10am or so. With 13 fun & challenging creek crossings, plenty of leafy trees, and even some fall foliage, it’s no wonder so many flock here first. Being located in Oak Creek Canyon, West Fork is home to a diverse variety of plant life which you will not see anywhere else in Sedona. Also this trail sees some of the best fall foliage in the state.

To ensure parking, you must get here really early. Therefore, I recommend stopping for a fantastic breakfast and coffee at Indian Gardens, which not only opens early, but is also conveniently located just down the road. The hike is longish at 3.5 miles each way, however, very flat, relaxing, and beautiful the entire way. Plus, it’s very shady, making it a nice “escape the summer heat” option.

More info on the West Fork Trail

11. Take in a gorgeous sunset at Airport Mesa

A beautiful Sedona sunset from the Airport Mesa overlook

The Airport Mesa overlook is Sedona’s hotspot for sunset photography. Few experiences are quite as memorable as watching a breathtaking sunset over the red rocks. Beautiful Bell & Cathedral Rock provide a stunning backdrop. A perfect date night in Sedona includes watching a romantic red rock sunset, followed by dinner at one of Sedona’s fine dining establishments (check out Cucina Rustica). Taking in an amazing Sedona sunset – it’s one of the simplest and cheapest experiences you will have during your time here, yet also one of the most memorable. For a less crowded alternative, visit at sunrise.

More info on Airport Mesa

12. Enjoy an easy stroll along Wilson or Fay Canyon

Breathtaking views from Wilson Canyon trail in Sedona AZ

One of the great aspects about Sedona is that you will find a trail for every fitness level. There are just as many easy picturesque hikes as there are rough & tough all day adventures. Basically, if you want to explore the great outdoors, there will be some type of trail to fit your current fitness level. 2 of the easiest trails in town offer no shortage of great views, so there is no need to push yourself above your current fitness level. Both Fay and Wilson Canyon are under 3 miles, almost totally flat, and shady enough to hike during the heat of summer (morning only!). Neither will take more than an hour and a half to complete. These hikes are the closest you can get to nature strolls in this area. Other great short, flat hikes to consider include Templeton at Cathedral Rock and Marg’s Draw.

More info on the Fay Canyon and Wilson Canyon trails

13. Enjoy patio dining amidst the red rocks

Pretty patio seating at The Hudson in Sedona AZ

Not surprisingly, there are many places to dine outside in Sedona while enjoying incredible vistas of the red rocks. Spring and fall are the best times weather-wise (and crowd-wise) for al fresco dining in Sedona. Some of the best restaurants offering the best views include Hideaway House (a casual Italian style restaurant with great home-cooked food), Wildflower (a Panera knock off with a similar “You Pick Two” deal), and The Hudson (a casual upscale restaurant with a creative menu – try the Butternut Squash ravioli!). Any of these restaurants are great casual choices with a relaxed vibe, so you can come in straight from the trails.

Also check out my list of the 15 best restaurants in Sedona

14. Take in the stunning vistas at Midgley Bridge

Beautiful Midgley Bridge on the Wilson Canyon hike in Sedona AZ

As one of the most photo worthy stops along scenic Oak Creek Canyon drive, the famous Midgley Bridge always draws a big crowd. The parking lot will be loaded almost anytime of day. So much in fact that if you arrive too late you will be out of luck in terms of finding a spot. Asides from spectacular scenery, you can also access a number of scenic trails here including Wilson Canyon, Wilson Mountain, and the Huckaby. Like the West Fork, Midgley is a very popular destination, so you must set off super early in order to secure parking (the lot is very small!). Stop for an early morning espresso at Indian Gardens (opens at 7:30am!) located just down the road.

15. Escape the crowds at Red Rock State Park*

Pretty red rock scenery at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, Arizona

As it is located quite aways outside of town, Red Rock State Park does not attract nearly as much traffic. It’s actually a pretty quiet little nature oasis, and thus, the perfect place for birdwatchers and photographers. The trail system here is short (just 5 miles total), and all trails are of easy-moderate intensity. Like all Sedona trails, the views are outstanding no matter which trail you choose, although Eagle’s Nest provides the most awe-inspiring scenery. Check out one of the free ranger led nature walks held daily and/or one of the birdwatching walks held on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

More info on Red Rock State Park 

16. Leaf peep along the West Fork trail

A great medley of fall colors along the West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon

If you time your Sedona visit perfectly (typically around the 3rd-4th week of October) you will get to hike one of the most colorful fall tails in Arizona. While nearby Flagstaff offers the most dazzling foliage due to the abundance of aspens which turn golden this time of year, Sedona offers a more traditional vibe with the type of hues you would find in New England, thus West Fork’s nickname as “New England in Arizona.”

Plenty of deciduous trees including maples, oaks, and sycamores line the West Fork Trail, in turn creating a medley of gorgeous autumn hues that will put you in a fall mood despite the surrounding desert scenery. Add in serene creek and red rock views, and West Fork is the fall winner in Arizona. However, it is pretty darn popular this time of year, so avoid weekends if possible, or at least set your alarm to beat the Phoenix crowds!

Fall foliage along the West Fork

17. Cruise along the scenic Red Rock Scenic Byway*

Stunning red rock scenery along the Red Rock Scenic Byway in Sedona, Arizona

SR 179, otherwise known as the Red Rock Scenic Byway, is another one of Arizona’s favorite scenic drives. If you plan on hiking Little Horse or any other trail out this way, you will end up taking this route to get to the trailhead. Even if you are not heading out this way for a hike, the drive is well worth it for the incredible red rock scenery. On this drive, you will pass many of Sedona’s most notable rock formations. Various overlooks along the way give you the opportunity to take some photos and stretch your legs (or better yet plan for a hike!).

Driving this route is a great way for a new visitor to get acquainted with the various rock formations. Did you know that each formation has been given a unique nickname? See if you can find Courthouse Butte, Snoopy Rock, Coffeepot Rock, etc on each hike. Note that this drive is pretty low on traffic early on in the morning and oftentimes backed up by late afternoon. Prefer to let someone else do the driving? Sign up for an open air trolley tour – a much better value than the Jeep tours!

18. Browse the shops & galleries of Uptown Sedona

Scenic Uptown Sedona area

Uptown Sedona is the tourist hotspot in town – basically the gathering place where everyone goes when they are done with their outdoor activities for the day. Shops, restaurants, bars, galleries, treat shops, fudge shops, wine tasting, olive oil tastings…there is a bit of something for everyone jam packed into this small but lively area. The highlight is a short little nature stroll which runs along the road (known as the Sedona History Walk) which features some of the best views of the red rocks you can enjoy without hiking. Several restaurants in the area have nice outdoor patios, specifically the ones found at Hyatt’s Pinion Point shops.

You will find lots of cute shops here where you can pick up touristy southwestern decor or Native American crafts. They sell the cutest little cactus gardens. Prickly pear everything including jams, syrups, hot sauce etc can all be found here. Why not pick up a special Southwestern treat for yourself to commemorate your trip?! There is a great little Christmas shop (Merry Christmas Sedona) where you can take home a cacti ornament memento. The pet shop (Whiskers Barkery) is a great place to pick up a present for your furry friends. Also be sure to check out the monthly art walk if your visit coincides.

Uptown Sedona directory

19. Climb Cathedral Rock

The Cathedral Rock trail in Sedona, Arizona

Cathedral Rock is another one of the go-to spots for new tourists. With fabulous scenery and vortex energy, it’s one of the first spots new visitors flock to. The hike is scary and challenging and definitely not a good choice for those afraid of heights. Fortunately, you do not need to go all the way up to appreciate the majestic scenery. Another alternative to avoiding the Cathedral crowds (as well as the super scary climb) is to follow the Templeton trail when you see the first fork in the trail. This peaceful, easy trail follows the creek and offers just as magnificent views, only with a complete lack of crowds and no death defying rock climbing!

20. Take a peaceful stroll along a creekside trail*

Beautiful red rock and creek views along the Templeton Trail in Sedona AZ

Only a few of Sedona’s hikes offer any decent views of the creek. If you are the type who absolutely prefers water along a hike, then you will want to keep the Templeton, Huckaby, or West Fork in mind. These trails all feature abundant creekside views, as well as gorgeous red rock scenery.

21. Have breakfast on the patio at Indian Gardens*

Delicious Breakfast Burrito at Indian Gardens in Sedona AZ

Indian Gardens is without a doubt the best breakfast & lunch option in Sedona. In fact, it is always my first choice pre and post-hike. Expertly crafted espresso drinks (with beans from local Flagstaff roaster Firecreek), delicious breakfast fare (all homemade), and a beautiful garden patio with lots of trees and shade, all combine to make Indian Gardens the absolute winner in Sedona. The patio is so relaxing and natural, really the perfect fit for a nature oasis like Sedona. The casual ambiance is perfect either pre or post hike.

Try the Grains and Greens Bowl, the breakfast burrito, or one of the homemade pastries (the pumpkin muffin and coffeecake are delicious!). Or pick up a pre made sandwich or salad and take it on the go for a fuel boost during your hiking adventure!

A full review of Indian Gardens

22. Stroll around the Village of Tlaquepaque

The beautiful Village of Tlaquepaque in Sedona, Arizona

Like Uptown, the Village of Tlaquepaque is another great Sedona gathering area with all sorts of fun touristy activities like shops, galleries, and restaurants. This area is a bit fancier than Uptown and features attractive landscaping and fountains with a charming Old World Mexico vibe. While most of the restaurants are a bit overly touristy, El Rincon is a nice authentic Mexican find and The Secret Garden offers a fantastic breakfast and espresso menu, although both are overpriced as expected in a tourist area. All the restaurants within the Village have lovely patios which are just perfect as soon as the milder spring and fall seasons roll around. Overall, The Village is just the perfect place to unwind after a long day on the trails.

Numerous events are scheduled throughout the year including flamenco dancing and art walks. If your visit happens to fall around the holidays, you are in for a real treat as the Village looks spectacular with all the lights, in an event known as “Red Rock Fantasy.” In addition to lights you will find a whole lineup of festive activities including classic holiday films in the courtyard, ice skating, and more!

Tlaquepaque directory & events lineup

23. See the red rocks dusted with snow

Red rock surrounded by snow on the West Fork Trail in Sedona

The spectacular & relatively rare sight of Sedona’s red rocks capped with a fresh layer of snow truly is one of the most awe-inspiring sights you will witness in your travels out West. While Sedona is no stranger to the snow (the city typically sees a few storms each season), the snow melts incredibly fast, and thus, you have to time your visit perfectly to enjoy this enchanting sight.

Right after a winter storm is the best time to take a leisurely winter cruise down Oak Creek Canyon. Seeing the trees, red rocks, creek, and cacti all covered with snow truly transforms the area into a magical winter wonderland not found anywhere else. Be sure to plan for a stroll along the West Fork- most of the trail closed, however, the first 1/2 mile or so is absolutely stunning in winter!

Pictures of Sedona after a major winter snowstorm

24. Challenge yourself to a steep climb up the Cookstove

Dramatic views of the pines from the Cookstove Trail in Sedona AZ

The Cookstove is one of my favorite trails in all of Northern Arizona, both for the stunning panoramic views of Oak Creek, and for the quiet non touristy vibe. The Cookstove is one of the few places where you can get out there and explore this beautiful area of the country without dozens of tourists all doing the same thing. Fortunately, this trail barely receives any traffic due to a semi hidden location on Oak Creek Drive and the intense popularity of nearby West Fork. In an area so overcrowded with tourists, it really is a treasure to have a trail like the Cookstove remain so underused.

After a very steep climb of just over a half mile, your reward is the most stunning overlook of Oak Creek. Due to this hike’s picturesque location, you will be looking out at mountains of pretty pine forests as opposed to the red rocks – quite a drastic difference in scenery, and a refreshing change if you are seeking something different after several days of red rock hiking. The trail is very shady, making it a good summer choice, although you must be prepared for a moderately hard trek uphill in a high altitude area (4500 ft).

More info on the Cookstove trail

25. Hike to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain*

Breathtaking scenery from the Sugarloaf Summit/Tea Cup Trail in Sedona AZ

The combined Teacup/Sugarloaf Summit trail is one of the most picturesque, relaxing, and least crowded hikes in Sedona. It’s’ super close distance to town is another plus. This trail is one of the best bang-for -your-buck options as so little effort is required to take in such grand views. Your journey begins with an easy stroll along the Teacup trail until arriving at the short, steep climb (just 0.3 miles) up Sugarloaf, where you will then be treated to 360 degree views of the entire area. The views are so amazing that you will want to laze around here all day. The entire trail offers great red rock scenery, particularly of the famous Coffeepot Rock formation. Lush greenery including tons of prickly pear cacti & diverse plant life make this a particularly picturesque hike.

More info on the Sugarloaf Summit trail

26. Cool off at a creekside swimming hole

Creek crossing along the Huckaby Trail in Sedona AZ

The most famous summer cool off hotspot is Oak Creek Canyon’s famous Slide Rock State Park, made famous from the unique natural waterslides carved out of the sandstone. However, it is a bit pricey and insanely crowded the entire summer season, so if either a hefty price tag or lengthy wait bother you, then you might just want to check out one of Sedona’s many “secret” swimming holes. From Midgley Bridge, you can take a short downhill trek along the Huckaby to a secret swimming hole. Other options include the Templeton Trail, Grasshopper Point, and Red Rock Crossing – a popular scenic picnicking site.

27. Hike the amazing Airport Mesa Loop*

The breathtaking Airport Mesa Loop in Sedona, Arizona

Not only is the Airport Mesa trail one of the 4 vortex hikes in Sedona, it also offers some pretty fantastic red rock views. Tremendous red rock scenery is visible for almost the entire 3.5 mile loop, so you will definitely want your camera handy for this one! This trek is relatively easy, although the beginning section includes a few very scary drop offs. The lush prickly pear cacti which line the route set this trail apart from others being that they are the greenest and most alive I have seen on any Sedona trail!

More info on the Airport Mesa hike

28. Treat yourself to handcrafted chocolates from Chocolatree

Chocolatree in Sedona Arizona

Chocolatree is a local vegetarian restaurant which also specializes in homemade chocolates of all kinds – truffles, peanut butter cups, cakes, basically anything you could possibly think of. With an on-site chocolate factory, everything is totally fresh and delicious. Everything is gluten-free and several sugar free selections are available. They serve one terrific hot cocoa as well. Asides from the sweet treats, Chocolatree is home to one of the best outdoor patios in town – lush and green with trees, fountains, and even relaxing hammocks! Also, the healthy burritos are awesome!

A full review of Chocolatree

29. Stargaze

Blood Moon in Flagstaff AZ

With sunny skies most of the year, low light pollution, and plenty of open space, Sedona is one of the top stargazing destinations in the Southwest. Sign up for a guided stargazing tour or simply go out on your own and enjoy the starry skies in the open desert.

A few more things to do…

Brins Mesa hike in Sedona AZ

*Hike Brin’s MesaBrins Mesa is one of Sedona’s most gorgeous trails. Unfortunately, it’s a bit too overcrowded with tourists, and thus, would not be my top choice for visitors wanting to explore this beautiful area in a more remote setting. However, if you have the extra time, go for it!

Incredible views from the Brin's Mesa trail in Sedona, Arizona

*Enjoy a creek side brunch. Several restaurants in town offer nice views of the creek. Check out Etch Restaurant in the beautiful L’Auberage resort for a fine dining option, and Ken’s Creekside for a more casual ambiance.

*Treat yourself to the best pizza in town at Pisa Lisa. Excellent woodfired pizzas, terrific homemade gelato, and an attractive casual ambiance make Pisa Lisa a great choice post-hike when you just want to refuel with some tasty carbs!

Delicious cheese pizza at Pisa Lisa in Sedona AZ

*Try out some cactus fries at the Barking Frog Grille (update closed) or Cowboy Club. It’s always fun to try out something new and interesting, especially anything made with regional prickly pear!

Daytrip Destinations

*Day trips to Flagstaff, Jerome, and Cottonwood. Flagstaff should be the first consideration for a day trip as it is home to a number of great hiking trails, a world renowned observatory, and a historic downtown with lots of local restaurants and coffee shops. Also the city is home to the gorgeous San Francisco Peaks – the highest mountain range in Arizona with a peak of 12,637 feet!

51 things to do in Flagstaff

Pretty summer wildflowers in Flagstaff, Arizona

Jerome is a historic town which bills itself as “the largest ghost town in America.” Ghost tours, art galleries, restaurants, and a state park are the main attractions here. The town is very overrated in my opinion, although The Asylum is a pretty good restaurant with nice views of the Verde Valley. Unless you run out of things to do in Sedona, Jerome probably isn’t worth the drive other than dinner at the Asylum. The Halloween season is pretty fun due to the many ghost tours and spooky parties around town.

An overview of Jerome

The historic, haunted Jerome Grand Hotel
Great views from the Asylum restaurant

Cottonwood is home to a tiny downtown where you can try out a few independent restaurants and enjoy local wine tastings. Tea lovers must relax and enjoy a pot of prickly pear tea and homemade cupcake at Wild Rose!

Downtown Cottonwood AZ