More than red rocks - 7 must-do things in Sedona

More than red rocks - 7 must-do things in Sedona was first published in November 2011. Everything has been updated.

Sedona, Arizona is a spiritual Mecca. People come for the vortices located in the area known for their powerful energy fields. But it’s more than that. The town, nestled among magnificent red rocks, offers more than vortexes and fabulous scenery. Here are our picks for seven must-do things in Sedona.

Ooh and ah at the Red Rocks

things to do in Sedona - Everywhere you look in Sedona you'll see stunning red rocks photo Steve Collins

Everywhere you look in Sedona you’ll see stunning red rocks photo Steve Collins

Sedona has spectacular red rocks everywhere you look. Drive around, hike, bike camera at the ready. You really will ooh and ah.

Explore Palatki

Palatke pictograph

Pictograph at Palatki, Sedona, AZ, photo Steve Collins

Palatki, a Pueblo archeological site, is a gateway to the past. You can access both a cliff dwelling as a pictograph site on your visit here. They must be done on a tour. Tours leave every half-hour and advanced reservations are recommended as groups are limited to 10 people.  The cliff dwellings, home to the Sinagua people from around 1150 AD to around 1300 (when they mysteriously abandoned the dwellings). The pictographs (rock pictures) here are credited to diverse peoples passing though the area hundreds and even thousands of years ago. The small Visitor’s Center has lots of information about Palatki including a video presentation.  Allow about 2 hours to view the entire site. The area never gets too crowded as parking is limited. It’s advisable to make reservations in advance. If the parking lot is full, you won’t get in. Another way to see this site and others around Sedona is via jeep tour (see below). The sister site, Honaki, is open to visitors, but is relatively undeveloped. You must have either a National Park or Red Rocks Pass for your car in order to park at Palatki.

Take a jeep tour

One of Pink Jeep Tours’ signature pink Jeeps out amidst Sedona’s red rocks, photo/Pink Jeep Tours courtesy of Sedona Chamber of Commerce

If riding a bumpy Forest Service road in a topless Jeep or other vehicle appeals to you, book a tour. Guides are fun and knowledgeable. There are several companies offering these. Pink Jeep Tours has been in business over 50 years. You’ll see their vehicles all over town. Among other companies offering tours are Red Rock Jeep Tours and Sedona Offroad Adventures.

Visit a vortex

Airport Vortex, Sedona, AZ

The vortex near the Sedona airport, photo Steve Collins

The energy from Sedona’s vortexes (or vortices) has been pulling seekers here for a long time. These palpable centers of spiraling energy are scattered around town. There are four main vortexes: Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral Rock. Each is said to have its own energy and it’s said, that every visitor, will have a unique experience. If you visit Sedona, don’t leave without going to a vortex; it’s part of the local gestalt.

Enjoy the great outdoors

Scenic Oak Creek rushing through Sedona, photo/Steve Collins

Scenic Oak Creek rushing through Sedona, photo/Steve Collins

Fishing enthusiasts or folks just wanting to be out in nature will enjoy the trout fishing on either Oak or Beaver Creeks. Don’t forget to buy a license. There are a lot of hiking trails and biking trails in and around Sedona. Take your camera (there are great views), water, a hat and sunscreen. The area also offers a number of golfing options.

Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village

things to do in Sedona - Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village - "the art and soul of Sedona" photo courtesy Sedona Chamber of Commerce

Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village “the art and soul of Sedona” photo/Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Villagecourtesy Sedona Chamber of Commerce

Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village is a unique shopping area with more than 40 upscale boutiques, galleries and restaurants calls itself “the art and soul of Sedona.”  The original owner, Abe Miller, wanted the charming collection of Spanish-style buildings, on the banks of Oak Creek, to serve as an artists’ live/work complex. It did for a short-while after its 1973 opening, but the concept wasn’t viable. Miller had it built to look like its Mexican namesake, a small village near Guadalajara.  For authenticity, he even included a chapel, which today serves as a wedding venue. Stroll down the cobbled walkways, under stone arches and past cottonwood trees and through shady courtyards, a riot of colorful blooms in season. Browse, shop, stop for a cooling drink or a bite to eat.


Stargazing in Sedona, AZ

Sedona Sky panorama: Clifford Ochser, Sedona Star Gazing Tours, Sedona, AZ

Night skies in Sedona are beautiful. Because the town has strict light ordinances conditions are perfect for stargazing. Join Sedona Star Gazing  for night of star gazing. Watch the stars the way they should be seen; through a high-powered telescope. If you’ve ever looked through a high-powered telescope, you know how amazingly beautiful the heavens are; if you haven’t, you’re in for a memorable experience. There’s nothing like seeing a star-cluster or the rings of Saturn through one of these.

These seven must-do things in Sedona are a start. There’s much more to see and do in this special Arizona town tucked into the red rocks.

What are your must-do things in Sedona?

Please note: In order to park at many sites in the area, including Palatki, the vortexes and hiking places, you’ll need a Red Rocks Pass or National Park pass.

Some of the activities mentioned in 7 must-d0 things in Sedona can be dangerous and you may be asked to sign a waiver. Check the safety records of these companies and make sure they meet your standards. The writer does not endorse these businesses in any way. The information here is intended solely for your reading enjoyment.
















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15 Responses to “More than red rocks - 7 must-do things in Sedona”

  1. Traveling Ted
    November 8, 2019 at 8:20 am #

    I visited a few areas with pictographs in Quetico. They are always quite the thrill. Great list with awesome suggestions on where to stay and dine.

    • Billie Frank
      November 9, 2019 at 9:21 am #

      I love them and even more so, petroglyphs. They are voices calling from the past. Interesting that there are some in Quetico.

  2. Pat Murphy
    July 7, 2019 at 10:38 am #

    Billie, my husband and I were in Sedona during this same time. Had a marvelous time and met wonderful people. We discovered many of same places as you. Loved that Coffee pot restaurant, visited it each morning. We had a great couples massage at the Sedona Rouge.

    • Billie Frank
      July 8, 2019 at 7:40 am #

      We were actually in Sedona the previous year. The beauty of traveling is it gives you material for writing for a long time to comes. We are due for a trip back.

      • Pat Murphy
        July 8, 2019 at 4:48 pm #

        Check out some of my husbands Sedona pictures on you tube. Go to youtube and look up the channel lounovick72. Especially note Xanadu and Sedona and the orb hunters for some amusement. (-:

  3. Susan Lee
    March 5, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

    Have to go to Elote for dinner the best mexician food ever. Everything homemade and so fresh. They won’t take reservations but it is worth the wait that’s for sure.

    • Billie Frank
      March 11, 2019 at 1:15 pm #

      Thanks for your comment, Susan. Glad to hear that.

  4. Jaunting Jen
    June 26, 2019 at 4:13 am #

    Sedona is one of my favorite places in all of Arizona. Went to Palatki last time an I’m going to try and get to Honoanki this time too. Awesome post!
    Jaunting Jen recently posted..A Trip to the Tranquil, Ancient Ruins at Montezuma WellMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      June 26, 2019 at 9:30 am #

      Thanks for the kind words about the post. We’re on a mission to see as many ancestral pueblo and petroglyph sites as we can. I want to get to Honoanki, too.

  5. Kirsten
    June 26, 2019 at 8:48 am #

    Great tips! I still love the Pink Jeep tours! The scenery you see on them is just STUNNING.
    Kirsten recently posted..A Weekend of #FairmontMoments in San FranciscoMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      June 26, 2019 at 9:29 am #

      Thanks, Kirsten! Sedona is one of the most stunning places we’ve visited. I can never get enough of those red rocks.

  6. Ryan Biddulph
    June 27, 2019 at 8:32 am #

    Hi Billie,

    Super awesome. The red rocks are the start, but so much to do in this healing town located in a beautiful spot. I recall the new age aka self help types hosting retreats in the Sedona area for quite a while. One of my first Twitter buddies nearly a decade ago hailed from this lovely area.


  7. giáo viên bản ngữ
    July 10, 2019 at 9:41 pm #

    Sedona - a piece of land containing many mysteries that require further exploration. If there is a chance, I want to set foot on this land.

    • Steve Collins
      July 11, 2019 at 9:07 am #

      Hope you get there!

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