An Epic & Jam-Packed 5 Days in Sedona, Arizona
The Grand Canyon
For an outdoor, activity-filled trip, Sedona is one of my favorite places in the world. The hiking is incredible, the scenery is other-worldly and the convenience of being in a bustling city with various hotels and restaurants is the cherry on top. You could have an epic weekend or spend weeks in Sedona and truly never run out of things to do. Boasting wine tours and spas, as well as kayaking and hot air ballooning, there is something for everyone. From the sky, an ATV or on foot, Sedona's scenery will blow you away.
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Where to stay
Centrally located near hiking with great evening activities (think: making s'mores and live music).
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Amara Resort & Spa
Set in Boynton Canyon and spread out across 70 acres, this gorgeous resort is known for its well-designed casita guest rooms.
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Day 1: Arrive in Sedona
The easiest way to get to Sedona is to fly into Flagstaff. From here, rent a car and drive 50 minutes to your hotel. After checking in, have lunch on Sedona Main Street (also known as Uptown Sedona) and stroll around this walkable area that will act as your home-base for the week.
After lunch, hit the trails! Sedona has some of the world’s best hikes and you can’t visit Sedona without checking a few off your list. Even if you aren’t an avid hiker, there are trails for every age and fitness level. For a perfect intro to what Sedona has to offer, I recommend the Bell Rock trail. From Main Street, you’ll drive down the Red Rock Scenic Byway, giving you a taste of some of the area’s best landmarks. Park at the Bell Rock parking lot and from here, you have options. If you don't want any elevation gain, you can opt to walk around the base of Bell Rock for a flat, 2-mile jaunt. However, I recommend ascending the rock, which is not too difficult and fun for all ages. You can’t go all the way to the top, but you can get pretty close and even if you only go halfway, the views are unbelievable. From the base of the rock, follow the trail markers (which are rock-filled baskets) for the first 1/4 mile up. The markers come to an end, but you can keep going as high as you’d like. Enjoy the views!
Freshen up at your hotel and head back to town for dinner.
Day 2: Pink Jeep tour
After breakfast at your hotel or in town, it’s time for a Pink Jeep Tour. This is an integral activity when visiting Sedona (you’ll have no doubt seen these Barbie-pink vehicles on the road immediately upon arriving the day before). What’s great about PJT is that there is really something for everyone. You can choose a tour anywhere from 2 hours to 12 hours and choose your road preference from paved to rugged. Shorter, more mild tours will take you around the local Sedona landmarks, such as Chapel of the Holy Cross, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, etc. More rugged trips will take you off-roading to various backcountry canyons. You can’t go wrong! For the ultimate day out, consider the 11-hour tour that takes you out of Sedona to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, some of Arizona’s most incredible locations.
If you choose an all-day tour, head to dinner upon disembarking your jeep. If you opted for a shorter 2-4 hour tour, consider another afternoon hike. I recommend either Cathedral Rock or the Birthing Cave. Cathedral Rock is similar to Bell Rock, but bigger and debatably better. Like Bell Rock, the trail begins at the base of the rock where you’ll follow trail markers and scramble your way to the top for more epic views. The Birthing Cave is a 2-mile, easy trail that takes you into the mouth of the cave with incredible views (seriously, everywhere in Sedona has jaw-dropping views).
Have dinner and get ready for another amazing day.
Day 3: Devil’s Bridge and wine tasting
Get an early start today and head straight to the Devil’s Bridge trail. Devil’s Bridge is one of the most popular trails and THE most photographed spot in Sedona, so starting before breakfast will help avoid some of the crowds. If you have a 4x4 high-clearance vehicle, you can take a very fun off-road trail to a parking lot right at the trail head. If not, you can park on Dry Creek Road and walk to the trailhead, making the hike a total of 4 miles roundtrip. This hike is ranked easy-moderate and will take you 1-3 hours to complete.
Head back to town for brunch/lunch and then it’s time for a wine tour. Sedona offers a handful of various wine tours, depending on your preference. My recommendation for those wanting to keep the adventure going is the Water to Wine tour. This 2.5-hour tour sets you up in your own inflatable kayak to flat yourself down the Verde River straight to a vineyard for a truly unique experience.
Have dinner back in town.
Day 4: Shopping, galleries & relaxing
It’s been a busy few days, so treat yourself to a laid-back morning. Have breakfast in town and then consider strolling around Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village for some shopping, visit some local galleries, drive up to see the Chapel of the Holy Cross or check out the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park.
For lunch, pack a picnic and head to a local swimming hole. Choose from Red Rock Crossing, Grasshopper Point, Midgely Bridge, Crescent Moon Picnic Site or Slide Rock State Park. You can’t go wrong! You can spend the rest of the day relaxing and swimming in these incredible scenic spots.
Before dinner, you can treat yourself to a massage at one of Sedona’s many spas. Alternatively, you can set off on yet another hike.
Either before or after dinner (depending on time of year), head to Airport Mesa to watch the sunset. The views over all of Sedona will seriously blow you away.
Day 5: Final day
Today is your last day, so go out with a bang. Choose one last epic activity to cap it off. I recommend one of the following:
Hot Air Ballooning
Nothing can beat seeing Sedona from a bird’s eye view, so consider a sunrise balloon ride for the ultimate ending to an amazing trip.
Another epic way to see Sedona from above.
Horseback Riding Tour
An awesome option if you’ve had enough hiking but want to get out and see some more canyons and views.
Rent your own Jeep or ATV to give off-roading a try of your own. There are miles of backcountry trails to be explored in Sedona, whether you’re an avid off-roader or a newbie. I recommend checking out the Broken Arrow 4x4 Road.
For the afternoon, either relax at your hotel or opt to visit another swimming hole.
For dinner, make it special for your last night. Head out of town to one of the restaurants/wineries along the Verde Valley Wine Trail. Raise a glass to the end of an unforgettable trip!
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Kayla Zimmerman’s guide, Bachelorette Weekend in Scottsdale, AZ.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Arizona.