Sedona is an amazing place with red rocks, impressive geological monuments, and other amazing sights. Activities include hiking, off-roading, biking, and normal tourist activities including shopping, art galleries, museums, and dining. Sedona is a wealthy area where many of affluent and entertainment figures frequent. I normally do not enjoy the overpriced tourist locations but Sedona had a lot more to offer. Sedona has much to offer and you could spend many weeks seeing all the sights. Here are just a few of the things to see and do in Sedona.
Tlaquepaque (T-la-keh-pah-keh) is a art and shopping community in the heart of Sedona. Tlaquepaque looks like an old Spanish village but it has only been around since the 1970s. The building were built around the beautiful and HUGE sycamore trees that flourished on the farmland that was there before the village. Originally it was built as an artist community with shops on the ground level and apartments and lofts above. It is now mostly shops on both levels. There are courtyards, fountains, statues, a chapel, and a variety of plants. While this is a definitely a tourist spot it is also a very fun place to stroll. There are interesting things everywhere you look and many of the furnishings such as doors and ironwork is vintage and repurposed to give it that old look.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a major tourist spot for good reason. The chapel was constructed in the red rock buttes overlooking the city of Sedona. The minimalist architecture seems to naturally flow from the surrounding red rocks. Try to enjoy this site outside of the normal tourist hours and spend a little time in quiet time in the chapel itself.
Trails, Trails, and More Trails
Sedona has a plethora of trails in all conceivable distances and difficulty levels. You will have to get a trail book because there are so many trails. One really spot is the Jim Thompson Trailhead. From that trailhead you can take any number of trails. I did the trail to the sacred pools and sinkhole. You pass many landmarks such as Steamboat Rock and the Wilson Mountain. There are many trails that start at this trailhead so you can customize your hike from easy to long and more difficult. We also took a sunset jeep tour up Soldier’s Pass and the golden hour light on the rocks was pretty spectacular.
National & State Parks
There are many national and state parks in and around Sedona which include:
- Dead Horse State Park
- Fort Verde Historic Park
- Jerome State Historic Park
- Red Rock State Park
- Slide Rock State Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Tuzigoot National Monuments
- Sunset Crater National Monument
- Walnut Creek National Monument
- Wupatki National Monument
This sounds weird but trust me on this one. While following the GPS we were led down the wrong road and that road led to the Sedona Community Cemetery. The road was one-way so I was just going to drive the loop and return to the main road. This was unlike any cemetery that I have seen. Rather than rows and rows of headstones there were plots with borders and one or more headstones within. I would guess that many of the plots were about 6′-7′ by about 10′-12′. These plots were then decorated with various items to remember the departed loved one. One had a golf theme, others had small gardens, others had a bench or two with some statues, some had a military theme, and some were religious themed. There were pretty spectacular views of the Sedona area from there also. It was like each plot was a small sanctuary and monument to the deceased. This was a very unexpectedly memorable place.
2370 Hwy-89A #6
Sedonuts offers a variety of excellent donuts. They are located in the Safeway plaza at the intersection of SR-89A and Shelby/Rodeo. Owners, Michael and Brandy Drechsel, make all of their offering from scratch each day. Prices are $1.30 for basic donuts and a little more for the fancier ones. I had the Mini Vortex and it was very fresh, light, and flavorful. It may have been the best that I have ever had. If not the best then it was certainly in the top five. I highly recommend Sedonuts.
2370 West SR-89A #1
While looking for a dinner spot we found Café Jose located in the Safeway plaza in Sedona. A tour guide mentioned them so we stopped in. The menu had a surprising amount of variety including Mexican food, breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, and entrees. We opted for the large breakfast for dinner. The portions were large and the meal was very affordably priced at about $11. The hash browns were cooked well and crisp on the outside and tender inside. The breakfast included five strips of very tasty bacon. We opted for the fruit cup which was not a cup but a cereal bowl filled with excellent, sweet strawberry slices, blackberries, and blueberries. The staff was friendly and very attentive. While eating I overheard another diner at the table behind us. He commented that the prime rib here was as good as any that he had in town. I did not try the prime rib but it is on my dinner list for the next visit. Café Jose is affordable and both the food and service are first-rate. I highly recommend Café Jose.
Other Places In & Around Sedona
There are many, many places to see just outside of Sedona including the towns of Jerome and Clarkdale. Flagstaff is only about 40 minutes outside of Sedona and from there you can drive to the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Sunset Crater, and a host of other locations.
- Cool Places Around Sedona (Jerome, Clarkdale, Williams)