Sedona is a truly magical place, and not only because of its energy vortexes. The city has beautiful natural areas and Native American sacred sites and ruins. Famous for its monumental red rocks, the town also has many nice hotels and restaurants, making for a great getaway. Here are the top things to do when you are in Sedona without setting foot in a spa.
Take a Rock Hike
Cathedral Rock is a can’t miss iconic rock. Visible from Highway 179 as you drive into Sedona, this is one of Arizona’s most impressive sites. A hiking trail goes around the rock, but climb up it to get amazing 360 degree views. Bell Rock, a natural rock formation that looks like a bell is another popular hiking location. You can hike along the rock and then to surrounding paths.
Eat at Elote Café
Locals and tourists line up around 4:30pm for dinner---and yes, there will already be a long line when you arrive. The popular restaurant does not take reservations, but it is well worth the wait. The award-winning Elote Café serves fresh Mexican and Southwestern cuisine with a view of the Red Rocks. Don’t miss the Elote corn---it’s what the restaurant is known for.
Stroll Uptown Sedona
Full of restaurants, cafes, shops, and art galleries, uptown Sedona is a quaint part of the city. This is the place to go if you are looking for crafts, jewelry, crystals, or artwork. The local art scene runs strong in Sedona. Be sure to visit Tlaquepaque Village, a bunch of shops and galleries that feature local art with a cobble-stoned pathway guiding the way.
Do a Jeep TourAn off-road jeep tour is the way to see the natural beauty of Sedona’s Red Rocks because it allows you to explore places you would not be able to get to otherwise. One of the most popular is the Broken Arrow tour by Pink Jeep Tours. The guides are knowledgeable about the plants, geology, and the history of the area.
See the Palatki Ruins
The Palatki Heritage Site is a maintained ruin site where visitors can see the Sinagua cliff dwellings and rock art alcoves. A guide will take you around the site and tell you details about the history and culture of the Sinagua people. The Honanki Cliff Dwellings are a short drive from there and show the amazing architecture and art of the Sinagua people.
Take a Wine Tour
The Verde Valley Wine Tour is a relaxed self-guided ‘tour’ that you can plan yourself. There are five wineries and six tasting rooms along the trail that produce their own unique wine. The Javelina Leap Winery and Oak Creek Vineyards are neighbors so you can visit at least two of them in a short amount of time. The tour is not just about the wine though as you take in the red rock valley and history of the area.
Stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross
You do not have to be religious to appreciate this architectural masterpiece. Built into the crevices of two red rocks, it is a man-made wonder. The church does not hold services, but visitors can meditate, pray or light a candle while taking in the view.
The uniqueness of Sedona is unlike any other area of the country. Explore its natural beauty and appreciate the views of the unique red rocks while you are there.