The Grand Canyon might be Arizona's most popular draw for tourists - but Sedona is becoming ever more popular as a hub for Grand Canyon visitors. The area´s serene beauty, its rich history and colorful folklore, its unique flora and fauna and fascinating geology are enticing many visitors to spend a few days, explore these lands and take advantage of the many activities offered here.
Today, more visitors are opting to stay in Sedona for an extended amount of time, with a day set aside for a Grand Canyon Tour. For Sedona has much to offer for all visitors – for the culturally interested, for thrill-seekers and active types, and for those looking to get away from it all and recharge.
If you decide to stay in town and on foot to get a good first look around, Sedona´s uptown with its many shops, galleries, trading posts and restaurants offers a splendid way to pass an afternoon. Make sure you also stop in at the Sedona Heritage Museum on Jordan Road, where you can catch a glimpse of the town´s demeanor 100 years ago. Uptown Sedona is also within walking distance of Tlaquepaque, an idyllic artisan village and shopping plaza modeled after a colonial Mexican town of the same name. Just a few steps further, across the bridge spanning Oak Creek, you can explore some of Sedona´s best art galleries along Highway 179.
Are you more the outdoors type, but not looking for exertion? Journey into the red rocks on a jeep tour or take the bird´s eye approach with an scenic air tour on an airplane or helicopter. Would you like to get up close and personal with Sedona's majestic landscape, and don´t balk at a bit of exercise? Why not take an amazing Sedona hike, test your skills on a exhilarating Sedona mountain biking trip, or explore these lands the old-fashioned way – on a horseback ride.
Are you interested in learning more about Sedona without breaking into a sweat or venturing into remote desert territory? Hop on board a Sedona Tour and enjoy an entertaining and knowledgeable introduction to this town´s major attractions, its history and stories as well as its unique geology and desert life.
Or are you set on discovering Sedona´s treasures on your own? Take a scenic drive! Just a few miles to the south of Sedona along Highway 179, Bell Rock awaits, one of Sedona's most famous and well-photographed Sedona red rock formations. Along the way, be sure to stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross on Chapel Road. This architectural and spiritual milestone is certainly a must-see for Sedona visitors. Top it all off with a visit to Sedona´s Airport Mesa, which features a breathtaking vista point especially popular at sunset. And be sure not to miss a unique Sedona experience at one of Sedona´s most famous vortex spots: feel out the magic energy of our airport vortex, halfway up Airport Road!
Nature lovers may want to explore in the opposite direction, where one of the most scenic drives in the United States awaits: Oak Creek Canyon. Just north of town, 89A winds up this awe-inspiring gorge, below fantastic red rock cliffs and along the clear waters of Oak Creek. Slide Rock State Park, a series of natural water slides and pools located right along this drive, is a fantastic way to spend the afternoon with the whole family on a summer day.
Those who would like to combine their explorations of the breathtaking scenery with an adventure into ancient cultures are advised to take a drive along Dry Creek Road to Sedona´s western canyons, where the ancient ruins of a thousand-year-old cliff-dwelling culture hold archeological treasures. Upon your return, take advantage of the proximity of Dry Creek Road to Upper Red Rock Loop Road and drive down to Red Rock State Park. Enjoy the creekside beauty of Crescent Moon Recreation area and don´t forget to snap the famous picture of Cathedral Rock at sunset.
If you´re drawn even further out, continue on 89a west and visit Jerome, one of Arizona´s most famous ghost towns, only about a 40-minute drive away. Today, this former mining town is a thriving little artist community full of studios, galleries and curio shops. Perched on the slopes of Mingus mountain, Jerome also offers a spectacular view of the red rocks from afar. While you´re there, hop on board the Verde Canyon Railroad in Clarkdale at the foot of Mingus Mountain, and enjoy a beautifully scenic ride along the Verde River into the vast desert canyons.
Sounds like there´s enough to do in and around Sedona to fill a few days? There sure is. Sedona has something for almost everyone – and it´s no coincidence that we like to say: You gotta come back!