Sedona surprised me with it’s beauty! And that is saying something because I already live in a desert, so usually desert destinations don’t necessarily, “make the jaw drop.”
The scenery around every corner was better than all the photos I’ve seen online and I’m not kidding you guys… there was gorgeous scenery everywhere. Whether you are at the outdoor shopping malls, in a restaurant, driving between towns, playing a round of golf.. you couldn’t escape the beauty!
In this jam-packed Sedona itinerary I include a ton of bucket list sights to see that can easily be done in one day. If you want to spend some more time in the area OR if you just didn’t like something I recommended (hey, no hard feelings here!), I listed a bonus section at the bottom of this guide.
There’s a chance this free guide contains affiliate links. This means that I might make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase through these links, which goes towards little Rosie’s dog treats!
Sunrise Hike at Devil’s Bridge
Lunch at a local winery
Explore “Uptown” Sedona’s Shops
Sunset hike at Cathedral Rock
+ MORE BONUS IDEAS
Where is Sedona & How Do I Get There?
This gorgeous area of Arizona looks like something straight out of an old western movie! Surrounded by vibrant red rock formations, endless hiking trails, world-renowned golf courses, wine regions and so much more.
Since there is no major airport in town, you will need to fly into either Phoenix (2 hours away) or Flagstaff (45 minutes away). From there, you will need to rent a car and make the easy and scenic drive to Sedona.
Where to Stay in Sedona
While Sedona can be pricier than other areas of Arizona, you can definitely find accommodations that won’t break the bank!
Since my man loves his golf, we decided to stay in the Village of Oak Creek (about 15 minutes south of downtown Sedona) where most of the golf courses are. It ended up being a little more affordable, less traffic, and the town is just as scenic as Sedona! Majority of the hikes you will want to do are in between Sedona and Village of Oak Creek anyways, so it worked out well.
I stayed at the Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort and absolutely loved it! It is an apartment style room, so you have a kitchen with a full fridge, living area, balcony, and a private bedroom. The location couldn’t have been better (right on the golf course & walking distance from tons of restaurants). And to top it all off, their pool + hot tub was on top of a hill with gorgeous views of Sedona!
What to Pack for Sedona
On every guide, I always recommend my top 3-5 must haves for this specific trip! Because nobody ever wants to be bored with a long packing list recommendation when they are trying to travel plan, am I right?! Here are my top things that I think are a necessity for your trip to Sedona:
Sedona is a very outdoorsy destination with tons of hiking opportunities! It’s really important to have a good pair of tennis shoes or even better, hiking shoes! If you plan on going to anywhere with water, the hiking sandals are extremely nice! If you are just planning on doin the desert hiking trails (like Cathedral Rock or Devils Bridge), hiking boots or good tennis shoes are fine.
I wore regular tennis shoes on the hikes and I didn’t slip, but I did come pretty close a few times. If I ever went back to Sedona, I would definitely buy shoes with better traction. You can get a good pair of hiking shoes at any outdoor store (DICKS, REI, etc.), but I like to check reviews before buying.. AKA buy 99.9% of my stuff off Amazon haha!
SO important! First of all, you don’t want to be that jerk that litters on the trail with a plastic water bottle. Second, plastic water bottles are never enough water for a strenuous hike in the Sedona desert. And third, the water doesn’t stay cold in a plastic water bottle!
I would not only bring a water bottle, but have one that clips onto your backpack. That way you don’t have to take off your backpack to grab your water bottle OR hold it in your hands while you’re hiking. The hikes in Sedona are no joke and at many points in the hike, you are literally scaling the rocks. Trust me, you will want your hands free!!
Usually, I am a very minimal hiker and just carry my phone and water bottle with me.. but in Sedona you will definitely need a backpack! Like I said earlier, at many points in the hikes you will be scaling the rocks! You will want to keep your hands free during the entire hike, trust me! This one is inexpensive and comes in a ton of different colors.
These photos are all edited in one click using my “earthy pack” presets!! 🙂
This one day Sedona Itinerary is going to be jam-packed with the most popular & scenic hikes, fun things to do in the town, food recommendations and more! If you want to extend your Sedona itinerary to more than one day, I will also have a bonus section at the bottom of this guide. 🙂
Okay, here we go!
Morning: Devil’s Bridge Hike for Sunrise
Devil’s Bridge is easily the most popular thing to do in Sedona, and is what attracts so many people to the area! This easy & scenic hike will take you to a natural bridge made out of rock. You are able to walk across the top and take in the breathtaking views of Sedona.
I would HIGHLY recommend doing the Devil’s bridge hike for sunrise because it will be extremely crowded. The parking area is limited and if you show up in the middle of the day on a weekend, it is very likely you will not find a parking spot.
Just for reference, I started the hike in the dark (about 15 minutes before sunrise) and there was still a small line to get my photo on the bridge. By the time we hung out and enjoyed the views for about 45 minutes at the bridge, there was a 20+ minute wait to get your photo taken on the bridge.. CRAZY.
Once we hiked back (around 9-10am), there was no parking and the trail was PACKED with people hiking towards the bridge. So again, I would plan to be at the parking lot no later than sunrise or expect huge crowds!! Click here to read all the details about hiking to Devil’s Bridge!
Like how these photos were edited? Be sure to check out my mobile presets here! 🙂
Lunch at a winery
Did you know Sedona has a wine region?! Most people don’t!
If you like wine or even just enjoy the scenic views of a vineyard, head over to Page Springs Cellars for lunch on their patio! They have a full menu with pizzas, paninis, salads, cheeseboards and more. They are open from everyday from 11am – 7pm, but I would definitely make a reservation because this place can get busy. Click here to check out their food menu!
Make sure you don’t have too much wine because you won’t want to miss the sunset hike I have planned for you 🙂
If you have more than one day in Sedona and you like wine, there are tons of wineries in the area! I would definitely sign up for a wine tasting tour, so you can visit a few wineries without having to worry about driving back. This wine tour will pick you up from your hotel and take you to 4 wineries!
Explore the shops in downtown Sedona
Downtown Sedona is small, quaint, and filled with local shops. You could easily spend an hour or so strolling through the streets. Main street is located at the intersection of Arizona 89A and 179 and the rest of the side streets are easily walkable.
If you want to look like a local, make sure you call the area “uptown.” (;
Sunset hike at Cathedral Rock
My favorite hike in Sedona, BY FAR! I personally liked the views from here a lot better than Devil’s Bridge. Plus, the viewing area at the top is a lot bigger in comparison to Devil’s Bridge, so it doesn’t feel so crowded.
Disclaimer: This hike is difficult!! Not only is it incredibly steep, but you are literally scaling the rocks to get to the top! This is the hike I really wish I had actual hiking boots for, but hey.. you live and you learn! These are the ones I plan to get for next time!
The hike is only 1.4 miles out and back, but like I said, it is practically straight up. Be prepared to take some breaks or if it’s really busy, be prepared to stop to let people come down because the trail is so narrow.
It took me roughly 45 minutes to get to the top & I stopped quite a few times for photos. If you want to make the hike before sunset, plan to start the hike at least an hour before sunset! I would even say 1.5 hours if you plan to take a lot of photos when you get to the top!
TIP: I would also plan to get there a little early because there is very limited parking and this is an extremely popular trail for sunset. You will want to beat the big rush of people that come for sunset so you are able to find parking!
Bonus Things to do in Sedona
Do you have an extra day to spend in this adventure-packed city? There’s plenty more ideas where these came from! If I ever go back to Sedona (which I plan to), these things will be on the top of my list to do!
- Sign up for a Vortex tour to explore some of the many vortexes around Sedona! This is one of the most unique and quirky things about this town. This tour dives deep into the history of these vortexes and lets you explore several of them in a small group.
- Hike to the Birthing Cave, which is very close to Devil’s Bridge Hike. This cave looks really cool and isn’t extremely popular (yet), AKA.. not tons of crowds!! This guide goes into a lot of detail about the hike.
- Rent ATV’s to explore the Sedona area! This tour includes the ATV rentals, a guide that will take you to the most scenic spots, and snacks / water. Make sure you pack a bandana though so you don’t get sand in your mouth!!
- Spend the day at Slide Rock (warm months only)! This state park is a great way to cool off in the river, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and experience a natural water slide. 🙂
- Golf at one of Sedona’s many golf courses! These courses are scattered around the area and all have gorgeous views. Here is a list of all the courses.
- Road trip to Page, Arizona where you can see Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powel. I have been to this area a few times now and I swear it gets better every time! Be sure to read my guides on Kayaking in Lake Powel, Things to do in Page AZ, and Visiting Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend! 🙂
There are tons of other things to do as well! For more ideas, click here!
Things to Know Before Traveling to Sedona
- Should I worry about parking at the hikes? Parking fills up QUICK!! At both of the hikes I did it was very difficult to find parking. Just make sure you get their earlier than you expect the crowds to start getting there!
- What is so special about Sedona? Well, the scenery alone is what makes Sedona such a special town in Arizona! But, what is extra unique about Sedona is the vortexes that are scattered around the area. Here is a tour that will teach you all about the history and show you a ton of them!
- Is Sedona expensive? Depends on how you travel 🙂 Yes, Sedona is definitely one of the more expensive towns in Arizona. It has tons of golf resorts, spas, & beautiful wedding venues.. so with that comes a hefty price tag! There are tons of budget friendly options though and camping locations.
- Best month to visit Sedona? If you plan to do a lot of hiking, I would not plan to travel in the middle of the summer. The crowds at the hikes will be unbearable and there is almost no shade on these hikes. I would say late spring or early fall will be great months!
- How many days do you need to visit Sedona? I only spent one day in Sedona, but I do wish I had an extra day to explore more hikes or go wine tasting! One day is definitely enough to do this itinerary though 🙂
Okay, that’s a wrap!
This Sedona itinerary is jam-packed with bucket list sights, making it the perfect day trip for first-timers. If you wanted to see unique things or spend some extra time in Sedona, I also included a little bonus section for more ideas 🙂
Sedona has been on my bucket list for way too long, especially since I live so close to it (in Las Vegas). Now that I know that it’s even prettier than the pictures, I plan to go back time and time again to explore the area! Have any ideas for me to try on the next trip? Leave them in the comments below!
Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂
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