Sedona 3 day itinerary landscape splendor
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Perfect Sedona 3 Day Itinerary

Let’s dive into your trip planning to Sedona, Arizona with a perfect 3 day itinerary! We’ll make it easy to turn this into a 2 or 4-5 day itinerary, as well. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time explorer, Sedona promises an unforgettable experience and is easy to get to.

Sedona is one of those places you almost won’t think is real. There is something about the breathtaking red rocks that just looks unreal and gives you just the awe you are looking for, whether you’re going with friends, family, or just the ladies (or men). So, buckle up for your Sedona 3-day itinerary – a delightful blend of adventure, relaxation, and natural wonders. We hope you enjoy this and other of our straight-forward destination guides, and have happy, breezy travels.

How to get to Sedona, AZ

Let’s talk logistics. Sedona is nestled amidst majestic red rock formations, and getting here is not difficult at just over 2 hours of drive time from Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport. If Coming from Phoenix, hop on I-17 North and take the scenic State Route 179 (Red Rock Scenic Byway) – a 7.5-mile visual feast that’ll set the tone for your Sedona journey. The drive itself is quite lovely, and I always enjoy seeing the large saguaro cacti as we leave Phoenix.

If you’re not from nearby, you’ll want to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), which is serviced by all major U.S. airlines. American Airlines has a hub at PHX and Southwest Airlines uses it as a base, meaning it will have good flight connectivity for either of these airlines. That’s great for you, as it means easy and not too pricey flights to PHX to get to Sedona.

Montezuma Castle on drive to perfect Sedona itinerary

Along the drive from Phoenix, we recommend a quick stop to see the Montezuma Castle National Monument (about 1.5 hours into the 2 hour drive). It’s not a long stop and doesn’t require much walking. It’s always nice to stretch your legs on the drive. While I won’t list it as a “must do”, it’s a very cool stop to get a piece of history and take a few pictures. You won’t see anything like it once you get to Sedona.

As you drive into Sedona, part of the Coconino National Forest, on the scenic highway, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of towering red rock formations and lush greenery. It’s hard not to immediately stop to take pictures, but believe us, there is the time and the views will get even better!

Sedona 3 day itinerary drive up to Sedona

Your Sedona 3 day itinerary in a glance

Day 1

  • Arrive & check-in
  • Dinner
  • Stargazing

Day 2

  • Early morning booked experience or day-trip
  • Casual lunch
  • Afternoon hike or spa
  • Sunset activity & dinner

Day 3

  • Early morning hike
  • Check-out
  • If time, explore downtown Sedona and Tlaquepaque
  • For +1/2 days, take a day trip to the Grand Canyon or Antelope Canyon, do another hike+spa combination, or visit the wineries of Verde Valley.
  • For -1 day, skip the activity on day 2. Do a quality hike, have a nice meal, and do a bit of stargazing.

Now that you know the basic flow, let’s walk through a more detailed look at the itinerary details so you can add detail to each day, and there is a summary you can copy and save at the end of this post. You will have the perfect blend of casual vibes and awe-inspiring experiences during your 3-day itinerary. So buckle up, we’re about to take you on a ride through the red rock wonderland!

Where to stay in Sedona

Luxury Resorts / Spa Options:

Choosing a luxury resort for your Sedona getaway will make your trip easy and relaxing, allowing you to unwind in style and enjoy all that this magical destination (I promise we’re not exaggerating) has to offer. Each location has a highly-rated spa, making it easy to fit in a spa visit during your trip.

  • Enchantment Resort: Nestled amidst the breathtaking red rocks of Boynton Canyon, Enchantment Resort offers luxurious casita-style accommodations, a world-class spa, and access to exclusive hiking trails.
  • L’Auberge de Sedona: Situated along the banks of Oak Creek, L’Auberge de Sedona features elegant cottages and suites, award-winning dining experiences, and indulgent spa treatments in a serene creekside setting.
  • Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa: Boasting Mediterranean-inspired architecture and lavish amenities, Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa offers spacious guestrooms, a full-service spa, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the red rocks.

Boutique Options:

A boutique hotel in Sedona offers a personalized and unforgettable experience that’s sure to make your visit truly memorable. We stayed at one during our last trip, and highly recommend it.

  • Adobe Grand Villas: This boutique retreat offers uniquely designed villas with luxurious amenities such as in-room fireplaces, jetted tubs, and private patios. Guests can also enjoy a gourmet breakfast served in a charming dining room.
  • Amara Resort and Spa: Tucked away along the banks of Oak Creek, Amara Resort and Spa combines modern elegance with Southwestern charm. The boutique hotel features stylish guestrooms, a rejuvenating spa, and a picturesque outdoor pool area.
  • Casa Sedona Inn: Set against the backdrop of Sedona’s iconic red rocks, Casa Sedona Inn offers intimate accommodations in a serene setting. Guests can relax in cozy guestrooms, unwind in the peaceful courtyard, and savor homemade breakfasts each morning.
  • A Sunset Chateau: This boutique B&B is nestled amidst Sedona’s red rock landscape, A Sunset Chateau offers elegantly appointed suites with stunning views, cozy fireplaces, and private balconies. It’s the perfect retreat for a romantic getaway or peaceful escape in Sedona.
    • We stayed here with our family, and loved that there is a great playground just a short walking distance away! Breakfast was always outstanding.

Hotels Near Trailheads:

If you are looking to hike in the morning, without fighting for parking, these hotels are a great option. Being near a trailhead could save you valuable time on your vacation when you want to recharge and eliminate stressors. In addition to the Enchantment Resort from the Luxury section, these are great options:

  • Sedona Real Inn & Suites: Conveniently located near the trailheads of popular hiking destinations such as Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock, Sedona Real Inn & Suites offers comfortable accommodations with easy access to outdoor adventures.
  • Arabella Hotel Sedona: Situated within walking distance of the Sedona Trailhead and other hiking trails, Arabella Hotel Sedona provides guests with cozy rooms, stunning 360-degree views of the red rocks, and proximity to downtown shops and restaurants. We also hear they have complimentary wine tastings.
  • Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock: Nestled at the base of Bell Rock, Hilton Sedona Resort offers spacious guestrooms, multiple dining options, and access to nearby trailheads for hiking, mountain biking, and outdoor exploration.
  • Alma de Sedona Bed and Breakfast Inn: Located near the Thunder Mountain trailhead, this adobe bed and breakfast offers private spiritual ceremonies, a labyrinth, and a medicine wheel. You can choose from several loop trails, including one to Chimney Rock, longer hikes to Capitol Butte, or the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for amazing views.
  • Ambiente Resort: This luxury lodging will provide miles of hiking trails accessible from the Adobe Jack Trailhead.

With these top accommodation options, you can find the perfect place to stay in Sedona, whether you are seeking luxury, boutique charm, or easy access to outdoor adventures!

Itinerary Details + Things to Do in Sedona, AZ

Explore and eat at Tlaquepaque

In between hiking and taking in the views, set aside an hour or two to explore Tlaquepaque. It is an enchanting village with cobblestone streets, art galleries, and boutique shops. Stroll through courtyards adorned with fountains and sculptures. Savor a meal at one of the charming restaurants. There is a candy shop and toy shop for the kids, but the cute feel of the area is easily the selling point.

Entering Tlaquepaque during perfect Sedona itinerary

Restaurants we recommend: The Secret Garden Cafe (go for lunch) or Rene at Tlaquepaque (go for a date night). Both have completely envy-worthy patios that feel very bistro-esque. We enjoyed Oak Creek Brewery and Grill with a seat on their upstairs patio, but I would really only recommend it for a quick stop to grab a drink before heading out to a top restaurant. s

Easy hikes in Sedona

There are wonderful hiking options in Sedona, and we have yet to experience a bad one. We have taken all of the hikes below with our family. The hardest is Cathedral Rock, but quite a few families brought their kids all the way up. Enjoy these leisurely, yet stunning hikes!

  • Bell Rock Pathway: Take a stroll along this well-marked trail with stunning views of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. There is the option to do the entire climb, but we like to go up a ways as the views looking back down are amazing!
  • Cathedral Rock Trail: Enjoy a short but scenic hike to the base of Cathedral Rock, where you can relax by Oak Creek and soak in the tranquil surroundings. Arrive early or get a ride-share as parking is difficult.
    • Alright, so this is classified as an easy hike, but there is one spot where you need to climb through a steep crevice. Be aware if that scares you! The view from the top is WORTH IT. Below is our photo from the very top around a bend.
  • West Fork Trail: Follow this easy, mostly flat trail as it winds through a picturesque canyon with towering cliffs and lush vegetation. It does not have red rock views like the above two, so I recommend this one only if you have done Bell Rock and Cathedral already.
    • On West Fork Trail, there are fun river crossings so wear shoes that can get wet. It is cooler here than in central Sedona — giving much-needed relief on hot days or afternoons when you still want to get out hiking. We loved this stop.
    • This trail is just past Slide Rock State Park, which is a great cool-down option, but it does get crowded so I am not recommending Slide Rock State Park since that does not give us the breezy Sedona vibes.
  • Boynton Canyon Trail: This trailhead parking gets busy, but we love that this trailhead is away from a lot of the Sedona congestion. You’ll enjoy a steady, easy climb up and then some great red rock views at the top. Feels like a hidden gem trail versus some of the other hikes.
  • Birthing Cave Trail: This is somewhat of a popular hidden gem, but this 2 mile out and back hike has a fantastic photo spot at the cave. Park at the Long Canyon Trailhead. Note: if you go on a Pink Jeep Tour you may see this on that excursion!

Can’t decide? Let’s make this easy. Bell Rock Pathway you can do in ~1-2 hours without a lot of hard work, so you can do it any time of the day you have flexibility. Cathedral Rock gets busy so start here one of your mornings. Save West Fork Trail if you have done the first two. It’s okay to skip. Do Boynton Canyon Trail if you had enough time to do the others, but just can’t get enough of the red rocks.

Breezy extra: If you love these easy Sedona hikes, you will love Colorado’s Garden of the Gods as well!

Challenging hikes in Sedona

Ready to take on a little bit more! These are fabulous hikes to get a workout, great views, and a little adrenaline.

Sedona hike devils bridge on 3 day itinerary couple walking
  • Devil’s Bridge Trail: Embark on a challenging hike to reach the iconic natural sandstone arch known as Devil’s Bridge, offering sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. This is our top recommendation if you want “the photo”.
    • This one is wonderful. The elevation kicks up as you approach the Devil’s Bridge lookout, but it’s very doable. I have heard there can be lines at the iconic viewpoint, so time your visit to avoid crowds if you can. We did not take the kids on this hike (that is us in the photo above — we trusted our camera to a stranger and it worked out great!).
  • Bear Mountain Trail: Conquer this strenuous 5-mile hike that rewards you with panoramic views of Sedona and the surrounding red rock formations.
  • Soldier Pass Trail to Brins Mesa: Challenge yourself with this rugged hike that takes you through lush forests, past ancient ruins, and up to expansive vistas atop Brins Mesa. Seven Sacred Pools is on the Soldier Pass Trail as well, just past Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole. Go early for parking at the trailhead.
    • Research or note recent rain levels to see the Seven Sacred Pools on your hike. There are occasions when they are dry, so plan your expectations accordingly!

Top dinner options in Sedona

Ah, the joy of indulging in delicious cuisine after a day of exploration! Sedona boasts some top-notch dinner spots that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Whether you’re in the mood for southwestern flavors or international delights, Sedona has got you covered.

  • Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill: Indulge in Latin-inspired cuisine with stunning views of Sedona’s red rocks. This was our date night pick and our top recommendation. The vibe and food was well worth it! Arrive before sunset, and make a reservation.
  • The Hudson: Enjoy modern American fare in a cozy atmosphere, perfect for a romantic dinner. Highly recommend this as well.
  • Elote Café: Savor delicious Mexican dishes made with locally sourced ingredients in a vibrant setting.
  • Sounds Bites Grill: We enjoyed this spot for good food and live music. It’s different than the fine dining you’ll get at Mariposa, but it is a fun night if you don’t want a standard dinner. Kid friendly. Best if you are on a 4/5 day itinerary as it’s not a must-do.

Stargazing opportunities galore

Imagine this: You’re lounging under a starlit sky, the majestic red rocks of Sedona framing your view. It’s not just a dream—it’s real! Sedona is a stargazer’s paradise, offering some of the best spots to gaze up and get lost in the celestial wonders above. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience; it’s truly a spectacle to remember.

  • Airport Mesa: Head to the Airport Mesa overlook for panoramic views of the night sky and the twinkling lights of Sedona below.
    • This was our choice for stargazing during our last visit. Bring something to lay or sit on or you’ll get a crick in your neck like me. It’s worth it though!
  • Sedona Star Gazing: Join a guided stargazing tour led by knowledgeable astronomers who will show you the wonders of the cosmos through high-powered telescopes.
  • Baldwin Trailhead: This awesome hiking trail is perfect for stargazing. You’ll see some of the best views of the night sky above the stunning Cathedral Rock formations in Sedona. Just park your car at the start of the trail and walk about 0.1 miles to a flat area of smooth rocks. Don’t forget to bring a comfy chair or blanket to sit on.

Perfect Sedona Itinerary Tours

Want to take your Sedona 3 day itinerary to the next level? Whether you’re into jeep adventures, helicopter rides, or guided hikes, there’s a tour for every type of explorer.

  • Pink Jeep Tours: Experience the thrill of off-road adventure as you explore Sedona’s rugged terrain in a custom-built pink Jeep. You will see these Pink Jeeps everywhere around town. I wouldn’t necessarily take the kids out on them, but they are very popular with girls’ trips and big groups.
  • Sedona Helicopter Tours: Soar above the red rocks and marvel at the breathtaking landscapes from a bird’s-eye view.
  • Red Rock Balloons: Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Sedona from the sky. Red Rock Balloons offers sunrise hot air balloon rides that showcase a perspective you won’t forget of the stunning red rock formations, verdant valleys, and meandering rivers of Sedona and the Verde Valley. Yes, it’s an early start, but you can do it. Our pickup was at 4:30 am, but it felt like a magical way to start the day. We very much enjoyed this experience.
    • Tip: Don’t schedule this on the last day of your itinerary. If the wind isn’t right, they will have to cancel and then you won’t have a day left to reschedule.
Sedona best itinerary red rock balloons tour arial view

Sedona itinerary day trips

While Sedona itself is a treasure trove of beauty and adventure, there’s no harm in exploring the surrounding areas too, right? Every drive to/from Sedona is easy and spectacular. From the nearby Verde Valley wineries to the majestic Grand Canyon to the wonderous Antelope Canyon, there are plenty of day trip options to add an extra layer of excitement to your Sedona 3 day itinerary. We love this option to extend your trip to 4/5 days in Sedona, as well. You won’t regret getting in the car to roam around.

Sedona to Grand Canyon day trip

Extend your Sedona 3 day itinerary +1 day, if you can. Exploring the Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim from Sedona is an unforgettable day trip filled with awe-inspiring vistas and natural wonders. Here are some of the best options for making the most of your journey:

Sedona day trip to Grand Canyon landscape

Drive Yourself:

If you prefer flexibility and independence, consider driving yourself to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. The journey takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours each way, offering scenic views of Arizona’s diverse landscapes along the route. On the way to Flagstaff from Sedona, you will be on the Oak Creek Canyon scenic route. It’s lovely and worth the drive! Once you’re at the Grand Canyon, be sure to stop at viewpoints like Desert View, Lipan Point, and Yavapai Point for panoramic vistas of the canyon. We prefer this option.

Outdoor enthusiasts — Lace up your hiking boots and explore the Grand Canyon’s South Rim on foot. Trails like the South Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Trail offer breathtaking views of the canyon and opportunities to immerse yourself in its natural beauty. Remember to pack plenty of water, snacks, and sun protection. If you want to enjoy the Grand Canyon mainly by car, take a leisurely drive along Desert View Drive or Hermit Road for stunning views of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. These scenic routes offer multiple overlooks and viewpoints where you can pull over and admire the canyon’s vast expanse.

Sedona daytrip to Grand Canyon hiking photography

Guided Tour:

Joining a guided tour from Sedona to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim allows you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey while expert guides share insights and stories about the region. Tours typically include transportation, park entry fees, and stops at iconic viewpoints like Mather Point and Grand Canyon Village.

  • Consider just three option types if you enjoy tours instead of self-driving.
    • Families: Keep the kiddos happier on this train tour instead of on a bus!
    • Private option: If you’re like us and you have an aversion to larger group bussing, this private tour is a good option.
    • General options: The most highly recommended group tour is this one.

Helicopter Tour:

For a truly unforgettable experience, consider booking a helicopter tour from Sedona to the Grand Canyon. Soar above the rugged landscape and descend into the depths of the canyon for unparalleled views of its majestic beauty. Helicopter tours often include additional amenities such as champagne picnics and sunset flights for a truly luxurious experience.

Whether you choose to drive yourself, join a guided tour, embark on a helicopter adventure, hike the canyon trails, or simply enjoy a scenic drive, a day trip from Sedona to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim promises to be an unforgettable experience filled with awe and wonder.

Sedona to Antelope Canyon

Exploring Antelope Canyon from Sedona is an incredible day trip filled with stunning slot canyons and mesmerizing rock formations, and another reason to extend your trip +1 days. I’m sure you have seen some friends post drool-worthy Instagram photos from here! Below are some of the best options for making the most of your journey:

Sedona daytrip to Antelope Canyon iconic photo
Photo by Fudo Jahic on Unsplash
  1. Guided Tour: Joining a guided tour from Sedona to Antelope Canyon is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to experience this natural wonder. Tours typically include transportation, park entry fees, and guided walks through the canyon with knowledgeable guides who share insights about its geology and history. Some tours also include stops at nearby attractions like Horseshoe Bend for a comprehensive day of sightseeing. We prefer this option.
  2. Self-Drive: If you prefer flexibility and independence, consider driving yourself from Sedona to Antelope Canyon. The drive takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours each way, offering scenic views of Arizona’s desert landscape along the route. Be sure to make advance reservations for guided tours of Antelope Canyon, as access to the canyon is restricted and tours often sell out in advance.
  3. Combo Tours: Many tour operators offer combination packages that include visits to both Antelope Canyon and other nearby attractions such as Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, or the Navajo Nation. These combo tours allow you to maximize your time and experience multiple highlights of the area in a single day.
  4. Photography Tours: If you’re a photography enthusiast, consider booking a specialized photography tour of Antelope Canyon. These tours are led by experienced photographers who can offer tips and guidance for capturing the canyon’s unique light and shadow play, making them ideal for capturing stunning photographs of this iconic natural wonder.

Whether you choose to join a guided tour, drive yourself, or opt for a combination package, a day trip from Sedona to Antelope Canyon promises to be an unforgettable experience filled with natural beauty and wonder. Do be advised to book in advance.

Verde Valley Winery Visits or Tour

If you’re traveling with adults and enjoy winery days, let’s elevate your Sedona getaway from ordinary to extraordinary with a visit to Verde Valley. You could either do this instead of some of the hiking options of our 3 day Sedona itinerary or build in +1 day for this option.

Picture this: winding through picturesque landscapes, savoring exquisite wines, and immersing yourself in the rich culture of Arizona’s Verde Valley. While Sedona is undoubtedly a popular destination, Verde Valley offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas. So, if you can add an additional day to your itinerary, don’t miss out on the opportunity to spend a day exploring the charming wineries nestled in this verdant region. Here are your options.

Sedona itinerary verde valley winery grapes
Photo by Maja Petric on Unsplash

Private Tour Option:

Embark on an exclusive wine-tasting journey through Verde Valley’s picturesque vineyards. With a private tour, you’ll enjoy personalized attention as you savor exquisite wines and gourmet pairings, meet the passionate winemakers, and soak in the breathtaking scenery at your own pace. Ideal for couples seeking a romantic escape or small groups looking for a tailored experience. We love the door-to-door service of Arizona Private Tours, if you want to truly be pampered.

Small Group Tour Option:

Join fellow wine enthusiasts on a small-group tour of Verde Valley’s boutique wineries. Led by knowledgeable guides, you’ll explore hidden gems, sample a variety of wines, and learn about the winemaking process firsthand. With intimate group sizes, you’ll enjoy the camaraderie as you indulge in culinary delights and soak up the stunning vistas together. Perfect for friends, families, or solo travelers seeking a social yet immersive wine-tasting adventure. This original wine tour is relatively basic, but it does offer a charcuterie. Transportation is the bare bones of what you need anyhow!

p.s. We left out a self-driving option for obvious reasons. But if you have a friend that wants the driving gig, feel free as that will save you some money. Don’t forget to set up the tasting reservations with your chosen vineyards though!

Why Visit Sedona

Feel the Sedona vortex

The Sedona vortexes are mystical and energetic sites scattered throughout the stunning red rock landscape of Sedona, Arizona. These vortexes are believed to be swirling centers of energy that radiate healing, spiritual growth, and transformation. While the concept of vortexes is not scientifically proven, many visitors to Sedona report feeling a profound sense of peace, clarity, and rejuvenation when they visit these sites.

There are four main vortexes in Sedona, each with its own unique energy and characteristics:

  1. Bell Rock Vortex: Located just north of the village of Oak Creek, Bell Rock is one of the most easily accessible vortex sites in Sedona. It’s known for its masculine energy, which is said to enhance mental clarity, focus, and inner strength. Many visitors enjoy hiking to the base of Bell Rock or simply sitting in its presence to absorb its powerful energy.
  2. Cathedral Rock Vortex: Rising majestically from the desert floor, Cathedral Rock is a prominent landmark and a powerful vortex site in Sedona. Its feminine energy is believed to inspire emotional healing, intuition, and spiritual awakening. Hiking to the saddle of Cathedral Rock is a popular activity for those seeking a deeper connection with this sacred site.
  3. Boynton Canyon Vortex: Nestled within Boynton Canyon, this serene and picturesque vortex site is surrounded by towering red rock cliffs and lush vegetation. The energy here is said to be balancing and harmonizing, promoting inner peace, renewal, and connection with nature. Visitors can hike the Boynton Canyon Trail to experience the tranquil beauty of this sacred site.
  4. Airport Mesa Vortex: Perched high above the town of Sedona, Airport Mesa offers panoramic views of the surrounding red rock landscape and is known for its strong and dynamic energy. This vortex is said to facilitate spiritual growth, self-discovery, and inspiration. Many visitors come to Airport Mesa to watch the sunrise or sunset and soak in the transformative energy of this powerful site.

Whether you’re a believer in the metaphysical properties of vortex energy or simply drawn to the natural beauty of Sedona, visiting these sacred sites can be a truly enriching and uplifting experience. Just remember to approach them with an open heart and mind, and allow yourself to connect with the profound energy that permeates this magical desert landscape.

Visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross

Nestled amidst the towering red rock formations of Sedona, the Chapel of the Holy Cross stands as a testament to both architectural marvel and spiritual serenity. With its striking design and breathtaking backdrop, this iconic landmark offers visitors a glimpse into the intersection of faith and natural beauty.

Sedona 3 day itinerary chapel of the holy cross
Photo by James A. Molnar on Unsplash

While the Chapel provides a unique and memorable experience for those who seek it, it’s worth noting that Sedona boasts an abundance of other equally captivating viewpoints and attractions. From scenic hiking trails and panoramic overlooks to serene creekside spots and hidden gems tucked away in the landscape, there are countless opportunities to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Sedona. If you are on our 3 day Sedona itinerary, you can skip this stop to avoid being over-scheduled.

Best time to visit Sedona

Sedona offers something special year-round, making it a great destination for a 3 day itinerary anytime. Spring (March to May) brings mild weather and blooming wildflowers, summer (June to August) is perfect for outdoor activities despite warmer temperatures, fall (September to November) showcases stunning foliage and cultural events, and winter (December to February) offers mild temperatures and fewer crowds, making it ideal for exploring the town and enjoying outdoor adventures. Whether you prefer hiking, photography, cultural experiences, or simply relaxing, Sedona has something to offer in every season.

Remember, Sedona’s high elevation keeps extreme heat at bay, making it a pleasant destination year-round! Our visits have been in May and August, and we have always had a great experience and good weather hiking days.

Tips for visiting Sedona

These tips should help you make the most of your visit to Sedona and ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience in this stunning desert oasis! We’re officially jealous if you have a trip coming up.

  1. Plan Ahead for Popular Attractions: Sedona is a popular destination, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead, especially if you’re visiting during peak seasons. Book accommodations, tours, and restaurant reservations in advance to ensure availability and avoid disappointment. Start early if you’re hiking trails that have minimal parking.
  2. Stay Hydrated: The desert climate of Sedona can be dry, especially during the summer months. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re engaging in outdoor activities like hiking or exploring.
  3. Protect Yourself from the Sun: The sun in Sedona can be intense, so don’t forget to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Consider bringing a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt for additional sun protection.
  4. Be Mindful of Altitude: Sedona sits at an elevation of around 4,500 feet above sea level, so if you’re coming from a lower elevation, you may need some time to acclimate.
  5. Respect the Environment: Sedona’s natural beauty is its biggest draw, so be sure to respect the environment and leave no trace while exploring the area. Stay on designated trails, pack out any trash, and avoid disturbing wildlife or sensitive habitats.
  6. Embrace the Local Culture: Sedona is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous art galleries, museums, and cultural events throughout the year.
  7. Keep an Eye on the Weather: Weather in Sedona can be unpredictable, especially during the monsoon season (July to September). Keep an eye on the forecast and be prepared for sudden changes in weather, including thunderstorms and flash floods.
  8. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation: Sedona is known for its serene and spiritual atmosphere, so take some time to slow down, relax, and connect with nature. Whether it’s through meditation, yoga, or simply taking a stroll through the red rock landscapes, embrace the peaceful energy of Sedona during your visit.
  9. Be Car Seat Ready: If you are flying in and have kids still in car seats, refer to our car seat packing tips. You will want good seating on the drive in and around Sedona.
  10. Be Open to Unexpected Discoveries: One of the best things about visiting Sedona is the sense of wonder and discovery that comes with exploring its natural beauty and unique attractions. Be open to unexpected experiences, chance encounters, and moments of awe and inspiration as you immerse yourself in all that Sedona has to offer.
  11. Be Camera Ready: This is one of our favorite destinations in the world. Get those phones and extra cameras charged, and photograph every view possible.

Red Rocks Pass

For recreating around Sedona, you will find parks and areas that need a Red Rock Pass displayed.

If you purchase your pass online, no printed copy of the pass will be available. Instead, your license plate number will be used to confirm compliance. There is a daily pass option, a 7-day option, or an annual pass. If you’re staying 3+ days, the 7-day pass typically pays out.

Final thoughts on three days in Sedona, AZ

Three days in Sedona – you will get a blend of adventure, relaxation, and wonder. Here is the itinerary you can copy down.

Day 1: Arrival & Stargazing

  • Arrive in Sedona and check-in to your accommodation.
  • Enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Experience the magic of Sedona’s night sky with a stargazing session.

Day 2: Exploration & Relaxation

  • Start your day with an early morning booked experience or venture on a day trip to nearby attractions.
  • Indulge in a casual lunch at a charming cafe, something convenient and relaxed.
  • Choose between an afternoon hike amidst Sedona’s stunning landscapes or unwind with a rejuvenating spa session.
  • Witness the mesmerizing sunset, followed by a delightful dinner at a scenic spot.

Day 3: Nature & Departure

  • Rise early for a morning hike.
  • Check out from your accommodation, but if time permits, take a leisurely stroll through downtown Sedona and explore the artistic enclave of Tlaquepaque, soaking in the local culture and craftsmanship.
  • Depart Sedona, filled with memories of a rejuvenating and enriching adventure.

Optional: Extend Your Stay

  • Consider adding extra days to your itinerary to take advantage of our suggested day trip ideas to more National Parks and further explore the beauty and charm of Sedona and its surrounding areas.

This is truly one of our favorite destinations in the United States. Happy breezy travels!

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  1. I have passed by Sedona numerous times, always thinking we need to stop. This is a great guide–and inspiring me to put it on our Fall or winter travel list.

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