Travel tips and must-dos in Sedona?
October 12, 2018 12:14 PM   Subscribe

Next weekend, I'm going on an impromptu trip to Sedona with a small group of friends. I'm very excited! Can you please share your favorite things to do in Sedona?

We'll definitely spend a day hiking, but don't have a lot of plans other than that. VRBO and a rental car is booked. I would say we are a very adventurous, well-traveled group but because of life and budget stuff, none of us have traveled much recently. We picked Sedona because we've all never been there. I did a search, but didn't find a lot of Sedona-specific tips and nothing newer than 2016. We have been to the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff (loved it). This trip is just Sedona (thought I'd mention that because most of the older questions are related to Grand Canyon/Flagstaff/other parts of Arizona).
I'd love to hear great hiking spots, restaurant advice and other basic advice. Probably casual dining spots over high-end restaurants. I don't think I'll be going to Gwenyth Paltrow's favorite spa (which I hear is nearby), but is there a place I could possibly book a great massage? Where do I get a good margarita or glass of wine? Thank you, thank you!
posted by areaperson to Travel & Transportation around Sedona, AZ (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Get a myofascial release treatment at Therapy on the Rocks on Route 89A. Hike Cathedral Rock, Soldier's Pass, Bell Rock, Oak Creek Canyon. If you don't have a 4x4 or high clearance rental do a Pink Jeep Tour.
Go stargazing - it gets super dark at night and there is a company that specializes in night sky tours with a telescope. The Airport Mesa vortex is easily accessible and powerful if you're curious about vortexes. The food at Pisa Lisa, Heartline Cafe, and Mariposa - all really good. I'm not sure about wine or margaritas because I don't drink.
posted by zdravo at 12:34 PM on October 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you like Mexican food, I highly recommend the Elote Cafe. It's one of the best Mexican restaurants in the US and definitely the best Mexican restaurant in Sedona. Excellent margaritas. It's not super cheap, but it's well worth it.

Go do a quick visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which has a beautiful view of Sedona and the surrounding area. I'm not a church person, but the building and the view is pretty cool.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 12:39 PM on October 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Take 89A over to Jerome. It’s an old copper mining town built right into a mountain. It’s super quaint, with shops and beautiful views and a couple of haunted local attractions.
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:39 PM on October 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Jerome was a lot of fun, the V Bar B ranch is home to an incredible solar calendar / petroglyphs that you can view on a free guided tour. Montezuma's Castle is also a cool historical site.
posted by ProtoStar at 12:46 PM on October 12, 2018

Nthing Jerome, it’s pretty astonishing and only about 40 mins drive from Sedona, but it’s a snakey route so be warned!
posted by freya_lamb at 2:17 PM on October 12, 2018

The Pink Jeep tours are pretty fun. Hiking in Oak Creek Canyon is really beautiful, there are a lot of trails different trails you can take. Slide Rock is a natural waterslide up in Oak Creek Canyon which is super fun too.
posted by fancyoats at 2:27 PM on October 12, 2018

If you are a fan of Maynard James Keenan, he has vineyards/tasting rooms in Cottonwood (Merkin) and Jerome (Caduceus). Both are a short drive from Sedona proper.
posted by MountainDaisy at 4:58 PM on October 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I would add Devil's Bridge to zdravo's list of hikes.
posted by metadave at 6:28 PM on October 12, 2018

The scenic drive on 89A from Flagstaff to Sedona is spectacular. I guess it might be just as spectacular going the other way, but there was something about that first switchback as we started to descend into Oak Creek Canyon that made the whole thing unexpectedly mind-blowing.
posted by fedward at 9:17 PM on October 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

One thing we did was take a hot air balloon ride. It sounds super cheesy*, but it's spectacularly beautiful. It's also neat to see how the balloons work, they're much larger than they look.

*FWIW we ended up doing a helicopter ride over the Grand canyon as well that trip and both said we would do the hot air balloon ride again but wishes we have bothered with the helicopter ride, in case that helps anchor our tastes.
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 11:07 PM on October 13, 2018

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