Red Rock Country: 22 Outdoor Things to Do in Sedona, AZ

The first thing most people notice about Sedona is the red rock formations, but this city in Arizona has much more to offer, from its rich arts and culture scene to its abundance of outdoor activities. With its proximity to the Grand Canyon and Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona is a mecca for hikers and nature lovers. But the city also has a thriving downtown area, with art galleries, boutique shops, and fine dining.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to relax and take in the beauty of nature, there are plenty of things to do in Sedona, Arizona, to suit your outdoor needs. 

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Things to Do in Sedona, Arizona

Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village

Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village is a must-visit destination in Sedona, Arizona. This unique village of shops and galleries is set amidst beautiful gardens and courtyards and offers you a chance to experience the best of Mexican culture. The village features over 40 shops and galleries, as well as a variety of restaurants. You can browse through handcrafted jewelry, paintings, sculptures, and more. There’s also a wide range of things to do, from taking a pottery class to enjoying live entertainment. 

Metaphysical and Spiritual Experiences

Sedona, Arizona, is well-known for its stunning red rocks and scenic vistas. But what many visitors to Sedona may not know is that the area is also home to many metaphysical and spiritual experiences. From energy vortexes to mystical hikes, Sedona offers something for everyone looking to connect with the divine.

One of Sedona’s most popular metaphysical experiences is visiting an energy vortex. These swirling vortexes of energy are said to be portals to other dimensions, and many people report feeling a sense of peace and calm when they are in one. 

If you are looking for a more spiritual experience, several mystical hikes are available in Sedona. These hikes take you to sacred sites that Native Americans have used for centuries. The most popular hike is the Boynton Canyon Trail, which takes you to an ancient holy site that is said to be filled with powerful energy. 

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Nestled amidst the stunning red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. Built-in 1956, the chapel is set atop a natural rock formation and offers breathtaking views of the desert landscape. 

You can explore the chapel grounds and take in the sweeping views from the outdoor observation deck. Whether you’re looking for a place to reflect on your spiritual journey or simply enjoy the beauty of Sedona’s red rocks, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is sure to provide a memorable experience.

Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park

The Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park is a beautiful, spiritual place perfect for a day in nature. The stupa, or Buddhist shrine, is surrounded by a peaceful park with serene walking paths. The stupa is an astonishing sight adorned with colorful paintings and carvings. Inside, there is a small room where you can sit and meditate. 

The peaceful atmosphere of the stupa and park is perfect for restoring your inner peace. After spending some time here, you will feel more connected to the natural world and more in tune with your spirituality.

Airport Mesa

Airport Mesa is one of Sedona, Arizona’s most popular hiking destinations. The mesa offers stunning views of the surrounding red rocks and is a great place to watch the sunset. Several different trails lead up to the top of the mesa, and the hike can be tailored to any fitness level. 

Once at the top, there are several different areas to explore, and you can also enjoy a picnic or take in the views from one of the many lookout points. Airport Mesa is a popular destination for locals and tourists, and it is easy to see why. With its beautiful scenery and easy accessibility, it is no wonder that Airport Mesa is one of the top things to do in Sedona.

Verde Valley

The Verde Valley is a beautiful and diverse region between Sedona and Jerome. The area is known for its stunning red rock formations, crystal-clear rivers, and lush vegetation. You can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and rafting in the summer and skiing and snowboarding in the winter. The Verde Valley is also home to a number of interesting historical and cultural sites, including the Montezuma Castle National Monument and the Sedona Heritage Museum. 

Sedona Heritage Museum

The Sedona Heritage Museum is a unique place where you can learn about the history and culture of the area. The museum is in an old stone schoolhouse built in the late 1800s. The schoolhouse was initially used as a one-room schoolhouse for the children of pioneers who had settled in the area. 

Today, the museum is full of exciting exhibits that tell the story of Sedona’s past. You can see how the early settlers lived, how they made their living, and what impact they had on the area. The museum also has a gift shop to find books, souvenirs, and local arts and crafts. If you’re interested in learning about the history of Sedona, the Sedona Heritage Museum is a great place to start.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

The Montezuma Castle National Monument is a fascinating glimpse into the past. Nestled in the hills of central Arizona, the castle was once home to the ancient Pueblo people. The structure is remarkably well preserved and provides insight into the daily lives of the Pueblo people. 

The castle was built into a natural limestone cave consisting of dozens of rooms, each with its own purpose. The upper levels were used for living quarters, while the lower levels were used for storage and ceremonial purposes. The castle also had an extensive network of tunnels and stairways used to protect the inhabitants from invaders. Today, you can explore the Castle and learn about the rich history of the Pueblo people.

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon is one of the most popular things to do in Sedona. The canyon offers stunning views of red rock formations and a chance to explore the area’s diverse ecosystem. The canyon is home to various plant and animal life, as well as a number of hiking trails. You can also enjoy camping, fishing, and swimming in the creek. In addition, Oak Creek Canyon is a popular destination for rock climbers and bird watchers. 

Slide Rock State Park

Nestled in the heart of Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock State Park is one of Arizona’s most popular tourist destinations. The park gets its name from a natural water slide that forms when the creek’s water level is high enough. You can also enjoy hiking or spend hours cooling off in the refreshing waters of Oak Creek, fed by a nearby spring. And during the autumn months, the fiery leaves of the canyon’s sycamore and maple trees make Slide Rock a trendy spot for leaf peeping.

Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park is home to various hiking trails, scenic vistas, and interesting rock formations. The park is located just outside Sedona and is a great place to spend a day or two exploring the area. You can explore miles of hiking trails, swim in Oak Creek, or take a scenic drive through the park. There are also several ranger-led programs, such as nature walks and stargazing seminars. 

Palatki Heritage Site

The Palatki Heritage Site is a Native American cliff dwelling near Sedona, Arizona. The site was inhabited by the Sinagua people between 1150 and 1400 CE. The Sinagua were semi-nomadic people who moved between seasonal campsites in search of food and water. They built their homes on cliffs to protect themselves from enemies and the elements. 

Today, the Palatki Heritage Site is open to the public for tours and hiking. You can see the remains of dwellings, pottery, and petroglyphs left behind by the Sinagua people. The site also offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. 

Tuzigoot National Monument

Tuzigoot National Monument preserves the ruins of an ancient Native American pueblo. The Sinagua people built the pueblo around 1000 CE, and at its peak, it housed over 100 inhabitants. Today, the pueblo is nestled among towering cliffs and offers you a glimpse into the past. 

The ruins are well-preserved, and you can still see the homes, storage rooms, and public areas that the Sinagua people used. In addition, various artifacts have been found at the site, providing insight into the lives of the pueblo’s residents. Tuzigoot National Monument is a fascinating place to visit, providing a unique look at the history of Arizona.

Coconino National Forest

Located in central Arizona, the Coconino National Forest is home to many natural wonders. Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte are two of the most popular hiking destinations in the area, and both offer stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape. Devil’s Bridge is a natural arch popular with photographers, and Cathedral Rock is a popular climbing spot. In addition to these beautiful rock formations, the forest also boasts a variety of plant and animal life. Visitors can see everything from deer and elk to eagles and ospreys, and the area is also home to various cactus species. 

Cathedral Rock

Cathedral Rock is a remarkable natural formation. Rising over 1,000 feet above the surrounding terrain, the rock is a popular destination for hikers and climbers. The summit offers stunning views of the surrounding area, and the rock is an impressive sight. However, Cathedral Rock is more than just a pretty face. The rock is also an important geological feature, as it is one of the oldest rocks in the area. Additionally, the rock contains several minerals, including copper and quartz. As a result, Cathedral Rock is both a beautiful and scientifically significant site.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park

The Out of Africa Wildlife Park is home to more than 100 animals from all over the world. You can see lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras, and many other animals. The park also has a petting zoo, where children can interact with friendly animals such as goats and llamas. In addition, the park offers educational programs about animal conservation and the importance of caring for our planet. The Out of Africa Wildlife Park is a great place to learn about the animal kingdom and what we can do to protect it.

Unique Ways to See Sedona, Arizona

Jeep and ATV Tours

Jeep and ATV tours are the perfect way to explore Sedona’s natural beauty. Whether you’re looking for a thrilling adventure or a leisurely sightseeing tour, there’s a Jeep or ATV tour to suit your needs. With experienced guides at the wheel, you can relax and enjoy the scenery as you wind your way through canyons and across desert plains. Along the way, you’ll learn about the area’s history and geology and may even spot some wildlife. 

Hot Air Balloon Ride

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, a hot air balloon ride in Sedona will fit the bill. Nestled in the heart of Arizona’s red rock country, Sedona is among the most beautiful places on earth. The landscape is truly stunning with its soaring cliffs, winding canyons, and towering spires. And what better way to take it all in than from high above? As you drift, you’ll have plenty of time to take in the scenery and snap some photos. 

Helicopter Tours

Looking for an aerial tour of Sedona that will genuinely take your breath away? Then look no further than a helicopter tour! Helicopter tours offer a unique way to see Sedona, providing breathtaking views of the area’s stunning red rock formations. Whether you’re interested in seeing Sedona’s famous landmarks up close or simply enjoying the area’s natural beauty above, a helicopter tour will create lasting memories. 

Day Trips From Sedona, Arizona

Grand Canyon Day Trip (2 hours)

Sedona is just two hours from the Grand Canyon, and many tour companies offer transportation and guided tours. Carved throughout millions of years by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic and impressive natural features in the United States. Measuring more than a mile deep in places and nearly 277 miles long, the canyon is an awe-inspiring sight. Its dramatic landscapes are unlike anything else on Earth, and its scale is breathtaking. You can explore the canyon via hiking trails, mule rides, or whitewater rafting trips. 

Flagstaff, Arizona Day Trip (45 minutes)

Flagstaff, Arizona, is a beautiful city about 45 minutes from Sedona. Surrounded by forests and mountains, it is one of the best places to enjoy the outdoors. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike or bike through the many trails, go camping or fishing in one of the many lakes, or even take a scenic drive through the countryside. There are plenty of options for those who prefer to stay indoors. Visit one of the many museums or art galleries, catch a show at the local theater, or explore the historic downtown area.

Phoenix, Arizona Day Trip (2 hours)

If you’re looking for a sunny getaway, Phoenix, Arizona, is the perfect destination. Situated in the middle of the desert, the city enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year. From hiking and biking in the nearby mountains to strolling through the cactus gardens at the botanical gardens, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. And if you’re a fan of Mexican food, you’ll be in heaven – Phoenix is home to some of the best restaurants in the state.

Wrap Up: Things to Do in Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona, is a stunningly beautiful place to vacation. The area is renowned for its unique red rock formations, contrasting sharply with the blue sky and green vegetation. There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained, including hiking, biking, and exploring the town’s many art galleries and shops. Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to enjoy some breathtaking views, Sedona is the perfect destination.

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This article originally appeared on Wander With Alex. Photo Credit: [@Sopotniccy/DepositPhotos]


Alexandrea Sumuel is a nationally syndicated travel writer and founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog. Her work has appeared on MSN, YAHOO!, Euronews, and FOX, ABC, and NBC affiliates across the United States. 

Alex travels to experience, eat, explore, and occasionally escape! She collaborates with destinations, vacation property management companies, and hospitality technology firms to provide her readers with exclusive insights and information.