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How to Spend One Day in Sedona

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Sedona is an Arizona desert town near Flagstaff that’s surrounded by red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests. It’s noted for its mild climate and vibrant arts community. One day in Sedona can help you tap into some of the best things in the city.

There’s a lot to do in Sedona and you could easily spend four to six days here and not run out of things to do. With just one day in Sedona, here are the things you don’t want to miss.

On my latest road trip through Arizona I knew I wanted to visit Sedona. Originally I wanted to spend at least two days here but because we ended up going through Las Vegas instead of Phoenix, it was pretty out of the way but we still wanted to see it, even for a day before heading to Page and the Wave.

I have friends who went and just loved it and the incredible views on hikes made it a priority on the trip. Road trips with limited time don’t lend themselves to having a ton of time in places though. Hopefully, I’ll get to go back, maybe on a romantic getaway!

Getting to Sedona

Sedona is a pretty small city compared to others around it. It’s basically in the red rocks and you have incredible views from all over the city. We drove in during the morning and drove out in the evening.

You can get to Sedona in just 45 minutes from Flagstaff or 2 hours from Phoenix. The drive from Flagstaff was incredibly scenic and you wind through the pine trees in the mountains watching the landscape slowly change from forest into red rocks. It’s incredible!

Hike Devil’s Bridge 3 hours 4.2 miles free

Devil’s Bridge is a really popular hike in Sedona and for good reason! It’s a free hike and you can park in the limited parking lot or along the road.

This was an awesome hike because it brought you to a very cool natural bridge at the top of a mountain. The trail is an in and out trail and requires climbing a lot of staircases and rocks toward the end. There were some scarier spots along the hike because of the number of people hiking it and the steep steps. The bridge itself is really wide and you can’t walk all the way across anymore because the other side is broken so you can walk out onto the bridge and back.

You should plan on bringing plenty of water with you and expect to see lots of people. It gets pretty hot and there is little cover from the trees, especially on the beginning of the trail. I ended up getting a sunburn because I was not prepared for this!

Eat Local for Lunch

Sedona has a ton of amazing Mexican food and if you’ve only got a day there, this is some food you should try! We went to Tamaliza which was very authentic and is family owned and operated. There are also lots of fresh, organic, and healthy places to eat all throughout Sedona. Be sure to eat locally while there with all the amazing options!

Hike Cathedral Rock 0.7 miles 45 minutes $7 for pass

In the afternoon, we chose a shorter, more strenuous hike and honestly, we didn’t have the energy to finish it, but the view from the rocks was so beautiful I totally think it was worth it!

Cathedral Rock has more limited parking than Devil’s Bridge but we did find parking in the parking lot. You must pay the $7 for the Red Rocks pass and leave the pass in your car in order to do this hike. There’s also no cover from trees along this hike so be prepared to be in the sun!

Note: The Red Rocks Pass is used for hikes throughout the Coconino Forest and the pass includes tons of hikes in Sedona. Make sure you check out the pass if you’re going to Sedona and want to do more hikes!

It’s a very strenuous all uphill hike that offers amazing views. The trail is not clear at all and requires a lot of scrambling to get to the top. We went about halfway up and still got great views. We chose not to finish the hike because we wanted to hike for a great view and still have time to do some shopping. We’re glad we saw the beauty of this spot and did this quick hike.

Shop at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village

Originally conceived as an artist community, Tlaquepaque is a perfect setting to witness Sedona arts in their work. With over 50 specialty shops and exclusive art galleries, shopping becomes a joyful revelation of fabulous art treasures and distinctive gifts around every corner. The whole area has been fashioned as a traditional Mexican village and it’s been around since the 1970s.

Many of the items are very expensive (original art usually is!) and the buildings themselves are so fun to walk around. There are fountains, restaurants, and tons of beautiful Western artists pieces on display. We had fun walking around with tea and shopping as we were relaxing after a lot of hiking for the day.

Just one day in Sedona was not enough, but with one day you can definitely get a taste of what Sedona has to offer. I can’t wait to go back and I’m glad I was able to share what I did while there. Know any thing else awesome to do in Sedona? Let me know below!

#cityguide #arizona #hike #sedona #redrocks

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