Visiting Sedona

During your stay, you won’t find a shortage of fun things to do. It is a place that has something for every interest.

Here is a list of 50 things you can do while in Sedona and the Verde Valley. Let this list stimulate and help expand your imagination.

1 — Visit the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, located on Forest Road in Uptown. It is the perfect place to begin planning your stay here. The center is staffed by volunteers who can tell you where to go, what to see and how to get there.

2 — The camping in the Sedona area is some of the most enjoyable in the Southwest. There are a number of U.S. Forest Service and private camping grounds. Parking on National Forest land does require a Red Rock Pass. Day, week and year passes can be picked up at most local convenience stores and gas stations. Some campsites are free; others require a nominal fee.

3 — Shop ’til you drop at the many shops and boutiques in town. Prices accommodate every budget, and the shopping centers themselves are architectural treats.

4 — It’s always a great golf season in Sedona. Golf at one of Sedona’s 18-hole, executive or par-three courses. Two 18-hole courses open to the public — Oakcreek Country Club and the Sedona Golf Resort — are located eight miles south on State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek. Another course, Verde Santa Fe, is located off State Route 89A near Cornville.

5 — Pack a picnic lunch and eat outdoors in the grandeur of red rock country. Whether the fare is a simple sandwich or a wine-and-cheese feast, it will taste great in the open air. Day-use areas in Oak Creek Canyon are equipped with fire pits and barbecues. Follow posted fire rules.

6 — The Sedona Arts Center, on Art Barn Road in Uptown, has dozens of shows to attend, a gift shop and a Members’ Gallery where local artists’ latest works are displayed.

7 — Start pedaling and take advantage of the numerous bike trails throughout red rock country. There are several rental shops and tours available in Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek.

8 — Go for a swim at Slide Rock State Park, located seven miles north of Sedona on State Route 89A. The park is a favorite in the area, a popular swimming hole during the spring and summer months. Pets and glass aren’t permitted near the water. This is a pack-it-in, pack-it-out park.

9 — While at Slide Rock State Park, take a guided tour. Roam the historic Pendley orchards. The Pendleys were early Sedona settlers. Another tour teaches about the area’s natural history.

10 — Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, visible from State Route 179 between Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. The structure is the realized dream of Marguerite Staude, an area rancher. Drop in between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily for a time of quiet and to take in one of the most magnificent views in the area.

11 — Take a ride on the Sedona Trolley for a fun and informative, fully narrated 55 minute tour that takes you to all of the best places in town, including historic spots, breathtaking views, inspirational landmarks, vortex sites and plenty of photo opportunities.

12 — Cliff Castle Casino, at the Middle Verde exit off I-17 south of Sedona, provides plenty of entertainment on a regular basis. It has slots, special games, live gaming and blackjack. There is a supervised children’s area and a bowling alley, too.

13 — Lace up the hiking shoes and trek to famous landmarks like Vultee Arch, Submarine Rock or Wilson Mountain, or to various American Indian ruins. Bring plenty of water and always let someone know your intended route.

14 — Take a walk. You do not have to be an avid hiker to enjoy the Sedona area. Hiking trails can be as short as a half mile or long enough to satisfy even the most ardent explorer.

15 — Visit Tuzigoot National Monument near Cottonwood. The Sinagua people built and lived in this pueblo. See the ruins that still exist and learn how the Sinagua lived on this small mound above the fertile fields.

16 — You’ll be guaranteed to enjoy fresh trout for dinner if you try your luck at Rainbow Trout Farm in Oak Creek Canyon, north of Sedona. Equipment and fish cleaning is provided.

17 — Enjoy the views from Schnebly Hill Road, which winds above Sedona. The road is unpaved and rocky, but it isn’t a problem if you have a four-wheel-drive or sport utility vehicle. Or, you can rent a Jeep or take a Jeep tour.

18 — Sedona International Film Festival brings the world’s best films to Sedona throughout the year.

19 — Take in some local culture during one of several annual festivals throughout Sedona and the greater area. From the Yavapai County Fair to the Sedona Arts Festival, there is something nearly every month for visitors to experience. Stop into the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, located on Forest Road in Uptown, for up-to-date information.

20 — Take a four-wheel-drive trip through the national forest. The trips range from those with a New Age focus to tours specially designed for photographers.

21 — Jerome is the town high on the hill above Clarkdale. Once the fourth-largest city in Arizona, it boasts a history as bright as the copper it produced.

22 — Montezuma Castle near Middle Verde Road off I-17 is a preserved Sinagua pueblo ruin. It is five stories high and contains 20 rooms. Built in a recessed cliff above the fertile valley, indigenous traditions suggested that it was built by Montezuma, who Spanish settlers incorrectly assumed was the Aztec emperor Montezuma II. In actuality, the Aztecs never traveled this far north.

23 — Step back into the late 1800s, to the time when the U.S. Cavalry came into the Verde Valley. Fort Verde Historic Park in Camp Verde still attracts visitors from around the world. Visit the museum and don’t forget to tour the officers’ quarters, which are historically accurate.

24 — Visit the Clemenceau Heritage Museum in Cottonwood. The museum has old schoolrooms on display, so you can show your children that once there really were blackboards and inkwells.

25 — Take memories with you through photographs and videotape. Make sure to capture a Sedona sunset.

26 — Take a drive. State Route 89A into Oak Creek Canyon offers several pullouts for drivers to enjoy the surroundings. See the entire canyon from the overlook north of the switchbacks.

27 — Listen closely and you can hear the songs of Sedona’s many birds. The Verde Valley is a riparian area that draws many species. A birding guide will put you on your way to identifying many of them.

28 — Visit Red Rock Crossing by spending a day at the Crescent Moon Ranch Day-Use Area.

29 — Montezuma Well, near the Beaver Creek Ranger Station, was once an underground pool. After the roof caved in, the Sinagua built pueblos there. The hourly water flow has never varied since federal troopers began measuring it in the 1800s. The walk is worth it.

30 — Navigate the Verde River in a kayak, available for rent within the Verde Valley. Though an easy river to float during most times of the year, flows can change quickly. Check with the USFS for the latest conditions.

31 — Hike along the rim of Boynton Canyon, which is high on the list of the most beautiful places to see. It’s also considered to be a sacred site to the Navajo and a primary Sedona energy spot.
32 — Explore the world of art. If art is an old friend or a new acquaintance, you will enjoy browsing Sedona’s many galleries. Many creative people have settled here because of Sedona’s beauty and its support of artists.

33 — Visit the Sedona Heritage Museum at Jordan Historical Park. The Jordan family moved from Clarkdale to Sedona in the 1920s. The Jordan homestead now houses the museum telling Sedona’s story. It is located on Jordan Road in Uptown.

34 — Experience Sedona’s many cultural flavors at any of several restaurants in town. From vegans to epicures and for everyone in between, there is cuisine to suit every taste.

35 — Watch the sunset from Airport Road. The winding road ends at a parking area with an overlook at the top of Airport Mesa, offering spectacular views of Sedona and the Verde Valley. Stop in at the Airport Restaurant for a bite to eat while you are there.

36 — Meditate at each of Sedona’s famous energy spots. From the Airport Mesa vortex, enjoy one of the more spectacular, panoramic views. Cathedral Rock, near Red Rock Crossing, is the most photographed rock formation in the area. Bell Rock is distinctive and appropriately named.

37 — Play tennis at one of the area’s resorts. Tennis has long been a popular activity in Sedona, and there are a number of nice courts to play on.

38 — Go dining and dancing at one of the town’s night spots. A variety of nightclubs offers everything
from country and western music to rhythm and blues and contemporary original sounds.

39 — Don’t miss Out of Africa Wildlife Park for a walk on the wild side, located off State Route 260. Afterwards, stop by the best preserved Indian Wars Era fort in the country, Fort Verde, located in Camp Verde.

40 — At the Museum of Northern Arizona, in Flagstaff, you’ll find artifacts and exhibits that explain the culture and history of the area. The gift shop offers Hopi, Navajo and Zuni art.

41 — Soak in hot mineral springs on the Verde River. You’ll need directions and courage to use these rock-and-sand pools. There are no signs to point the way. Contact the Verde Ranger District for directions.

42 — Learn about the natural wonders that make Sedona an outdoor destination at Red Rock State Park. Daily tours and seminars teach park visitors about area plants and animals while introducing them to what they study on the park’s grounds.

43 — See Sedona from the air. Airplane and helicopter tours, as well as balloon rides of red rock country, are available.

44 — Grab a sketchbook and a few pencils. Sit anywhere and begin sketching. Don’t say you can’t do it; the beauty of the area will do it for you.

45 — Notice the plants around you. The ranger stations have information to help you identify the flora you see. Many were used for medicines and food in the past.

46 — Visit the Sedona Public Library. There is usually a display with a local focus and there is plenty of reference and reading material on Sedona and the surrounding area to
help you plan your excursions while visiting.

47 — There is plenty of good fishing in the area. Visit the Arizona Game & Fish Web site at for a weekly fishing report.

48 — Take a train excursion on the Verde Canyon Railroad from Clarkdale to Perkinsville. The engine will take you through rugged red rocks where you may see an American bald eagle or blue heron. Leave in the morning and return in the afternoon; in between, you will be enchanted by what you see.

49 — Hang-glide off Mingus Mountain. Drive on State Route 89A through Cottonwood and Jerome and on up the mountain to picnic, hike, watch hang-gliders or, if you dare, leap off the mountain yourself.

50 — Check out The Scene, the arts, entertainment and dining guide published by the Sedona Red Rock News every Friday. Or, buy the latest edition of the Sedona Red Rock News for a listing of events and activities. Better yet, stay informed by buying a subscription so you will know what is happening in Sedona all the time.