A full Sedona experience can be had in three days if you plan an itinerary with activities that highlight the natural beauty, history, and outdoor opportunities of central Arizona. Here are our top ideas for how to spend a nature-filled 72 hours.
Day 1: Top Sights
Get acquainted with scenic Sedona on a short tour that introduces you to natural and man-made attractions like Oak Creek Canyon and Chapel of the Holy Cross. Or, take advantage of the early morning light on a photography tour where you’ll receive advice on capturing the scenery. Spend the afternoon in the rugged countryside to discover the natural landmarks for which Sedona is known. Depending on your interests, choose a tour that includes Native American sites and ancient rock art; check out Cathedral Rock; or follow in the footsteps of cowboys in Dry Creek Basin.
When evening rolls around, visit Blazin’ M Ranch in nearby Cottonwood for a barbecue dinner, live music, and Western-themed activities like roping. If living history isn’t your thing, learn about the dead on a ghost tour of Jerome, an old mining town past Cottonwood.
Day 2: Alternative Activities
Splurge on a helicopter tour to begin the day up in the air, looking down on Sedona and its high desert scenery. Afterward, discover a different side of the area on a Jeep tour that combines a tour of the desert with a visit to an Arizona winery for wine tastings. If you prefer to stay in town, opt for a Segway tour to explore Jordan Road or see the Sedona Heritage Museum.
In the evening, head out on a safari for the chance to spot local wildlife, such as elk or foxes, and enjoy the sunset in this tranquil environment. For a more mystical take on the landscape, take a sunset vortex tour to learn about this mysterious element of Sedona.
Day 3: Day Trip
Sedona’s proximity to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and the Utah border—both are two to three hours’s drive, respectively—offers several day trip options for those who want to see some of the geological wonders of the American southwest.
The Grand Canyon is understandably the most popular, but Antelope Canyon is a good alternative, with its sandstone slot canyon accessible only with a guided tour. If you’d like to get on the water in this desert region, consider a Colorado River rafting tour that includes floating around Horseshoe Bend. Or, see the otherworldly buttes of Monument Valley, accessible on a day trip to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Many day trips from Sedona include visiting the Navajo Nation or learning about the region from a Navajo guide.