Sedona, one of the most popular cities in Arizona to visit, has been around longer than you might think. While the town was founded in 1902, humans came to the region around 6,000 years ago. Sedona got its name from Sedona Miller Schnebly, the wife of one of the early settlers of the homestead.
Whether you prefer wine tasting, hiking, or shopping, there are countless local travel spots for you to explore in the area. No matter the time of year or weather, you’re guaranteed to find something enjoyable to do for the whole family. From local hot spots to picturesque attractions, enjoy a lovely vacation in Arizona when you stop by Sedona.
This guide will talk about the top places for you to explore in Sedona and the surrounding area. Start planning your next vacation to Red Rock Country today.
Sedona is surrounded by around 1.8 million acres of national forest. It’s also buttressed by two state parks and four wilderness areas. The rocky cliffs and high mesas make this space the perfect location for those looking for adventure.
Cathedral Rock is one of the most photographed places in Sedona. It’s known as one of the four vortexes in the area. Other vortexes include:
- Airport Mesa
- Bell Rock
- Boynton Canyon
Vortexes are thought by some to be a place where the earth releases energy that can foster meditation and healing. Some people consider the entirety of Sedona to be a vortex. Cathedral Rock is thought to be one of the places where the energy is the strongest.
Regardless of how you feel about vortexes, Cathedral Rock is a great place for hiking in Arizona. The hiking trail is around 1.5 miles round trip.
The trail is thought to be moderately difficult due to the over 740-foot elevation gain. There are some spots where you will have to climb up over rocks. However, if you’re looking for a stunning vista, you won’t be disappointed.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Heading out to the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a must-see if you’re interested in hiking in Arizona. The trail to and from the church is just over one mile in total.
The church was designed by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright during the 1950s. The eye-catching structure sticks out from the red cliffs that sit a few miles south of Sedona. The stained glass window overlooks the Verde Valley and is held together by a large cross.
The culinary scene in Sedona is alive with hole-in-the-wall joints and high-end eateries. Regardless of what type of cuisine you enjoy, you’re guaranteed to find an exceptional restaurant that serves it.
Elote Cafe is an award-winning restaurant featuring Southwestern and Mexican dishes. Jeff Smedstad, the owner of Elote Cafe, spent 20 years traveling across Arizona, Veracruz, and Puebla. He uses those influences to craft exceptional meals made from locally-grown and seasonal ingredients.
Some of the most popular dishes at one of the best Sedona restaurants include:
- Mexican chocolate pie
- Smoked brisket enchiladas
- Lamb Adobo
- Cactus salad
Make sure you make a reservation in advance as the Elote Cafe fills up quickly.
Sedona Wine Country
You might not realize that Arizona is home to some of the most amazing wines in the world. Warm temperatures enable wine growers to have a longer growing season. Arizona grapes develop a denser flavor from being able to stay on the vine longer.
Vineyard tours are one of the easiest ways to check out these local travel spots. You can check out many wineries in Arizona in a single afternoon.
Decanter Tasting Room
The Decanter Tasting Room is a great place to kick off your tour. The wine bar features multiple wines grown throughout Arizona.
One of the things we love about the Decanter Tasting Room is that they pair their pours with food. You can enjoy a nice red or white wine while munching on a delicious charcuterie platter.
Alcantara Estate Vineyards
Alcantara Estate Vineyards is an eco-friendly property that offers daily tastings and group tours. There are over 12 different varietals and 13,000 vines at the vineyard. Some of the most popular types of wine include:
- Dessert wines
- Dry white wines
- Unique red blends
You can enjoy a glass of wine in their sprawling outdoor space after spending a day hiking to one of the many vista points.
Shopping in Sedona
Sedona Main Street is a walkable shopping district. There are a lot of free parking options. You can check out local galleries, eclectic stores, and high-end boutiques.
Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village
The Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village is a recreated Spanish Colonial village. This charming community was developed in the 1970s as a hub for local artists. You’ll feel like you’re walking through a Mexican hacienda as you explore flower-filled courtyards and cobblestone walkways.
There are more than 40 specialty shops in this village. Some of the items you can find for sale include:
You can always walk around and admire the artwork if you’re not in the mood to buy.
Uptown Sedona includes the town’s historical region. Explore stores filled with southwestern and contemporary fine art.
When it’s time to put your feet up after hours of shopping, head over to one of the local cafes to have a prickly pear margarita. While Uptown Sedona is more “touristy” than other places in the city, it’s a good place to find souvenirs.
Swing by These Favorite Local Travel Spots in Sedona
There is no shortage of fun and unique local travel places to explore when you vacation in Arizona. Don’t let the high heat of the summer scare you off. Experience amazing vistas and one-of-a-kind experiences from the Grand Canyon State.
Wine Tours of Sedona are here to help you experience Sedona wine country to its fullest. Our vineyard tours will take you to the best wineries in Arizona. Book a tour with us today.