There are so many things to experience and explore while you are visiting Sedona, Arizona and the Verde River Valley that you might just decide to extend your stay to see and do them all! But just in case you can’t, I have put together a list of my top ten favorite things to do in Sedona including tours, historical sites, hikes and recreation. While all of my favorites might not match your personality, I hope it will at least give you some ideas so that you can get the most out of your time here in Sedona.
Hiking is one of the most popular recreational activities for visitors coming to the Verde River Valley and Sedona, Arizona. Even people who have never hiked before get wrapped up in the beauty of the red rocks, clean air and desert flora and fauna that Sedona and the Verde River Valley provide. My favorite hike is Bell Rock Pathway. You’ll get to see great panoramic views of the red rock formations in Sedona. If you haven’t hiked in this area, visit The Hike House for in depth hiking information and any supplies you might need.
2. The Blazin M Ranch
I like the stage show at the Blazin M Ranch because it is good clean all-American family entertainment at its best, and the chuckwagon supper was great, as well. Just don’t say “toss the biscuits” unless you are ready to catch one! I brought my family and some out-of-town guests to the Blazin M and we laughed and chuckled all the way home. Its a great evening out with fun activities before supper, a great meal, and a hilarious stage show all rolled into one.
3. Horseback Riding
Take in the majestic scenery of Sedona and the Verde Valley with a horseback ride at the M Diamond Ranch. The M Diamond Ranch, a 100 year old family run, working cattle ranch offers a one or 2 hour trail ride or a full morning or evening experience that combines a horseback ride with a Cowboy Cookout, complete with kids’ activities and entertainment. I have recently visited the M Diamond Ranch with some family and we truly enjoyed the horseback ride. The guide was friendly, the scenery awesome, and the overall experience left all of us smiling for hours.
4. Take a Sedona Tour
There are lots of choices for touring Sedona’s red rocks. Jeep tours are the most popular, and Pink Jeep Tours is the leading company, known for their wide selection of tours and stellar customer service. If you want to get a little more “down and dirty”, drive an ATV into Sedona’s back country on a guided tour with Arizona ATV Adventures, the only guided ATV tour in the area. Don’t worry if you haven’t driven an ATV before, the nice folks at will train you before you ride out on one of their ATVs. And let us not forget Sedona’s famous energy vortexes. If you are visiting Sedona for spiritual, metaphysical, and healing reasons go to my favorite vortex tour company, Sedona Red Rock Tours.
I enjoy exploring the past and the Verde River Valley and Sedona area are rich with history from Native American history, especially the history of the Sinagua culture, to the Pioneers of Sedona. You will find many places to explore and ignite the imagination of yourself and your children. You will find everything from an amazing five-story cliff dwelling, well preserved petroglyph sites, to a self-guided trail exploring a variety of volcanic formations. Make sure to check out these historical sites Montezuma Castle, Palatki Heritage Site, Honanki Heritage Site, Wupatki National Monument and the V-Bar-V Heritage Site.
6. Experience the Verde Canyon Railroad
Take a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad, Arizona’s longest-running nature show. The railroad meanders through the inner sanctum of Arizona’s other “grand canyon,” where each season creates a new reason to ride. Splendid vistas and centuries-old Indian ruins are around the bend as the train pulls away from remnants of a mining era which helped establish neighboring communities. Make sure to spend some time out in their open air cars and witness the abundant wildlife in the area including the American Bald Eagle.
7. Enjoy the view from the Sedona Airport Mesa
Make sure to go up to Airport Mesa overlook especially at sunset. From its vantage point, you can view most of the city of Sedona below and the rustic red rocks that make the area so attractive. If you go around sunset you will catch light dancing on the rocks.
The sunsets in Sedona are absolutely beautiful. The crimson colors of the sunsets play well against the red rocks of Sedona and the change in lighting breaths life into the rocks.
8. Visit Out of Africa Wildlife Park
One of my favorite places to visit in the Verde Valley has to be Out of Africa Wildlife Park. The park offers fun, exciting and educational attractions for the whole family to enjoy such as Wildlife Preserve,Tiger Splash, African Bush Safari, Giant Snake Show, Wonders of the Wildlife Show and Predator Feed. My all time favorite attraction at the park would have to be watching the big cats at Tiger Splash, or maybe it’s getting to feed my favorite giraffe Pilgrim while on the African Bush Safari, or wait, I also love to feed Chalet at Predator Feed. Well, now I can’t decide what my favorite thing at the park is, I guess it is EVERYTHING!
9. Explore the Art Scene
Into art? Take a day to explore the amazing galleries in Sedona. When it comes to exploring the world of art in Sedona, the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village is the place to be. Originally conceived as an artist community, Tlaquepaque is a perfect setting to witness gifted artisans absorbed in their work. It’s not uncommon to venture upon a well-known sculptor working on his or her latest piece right in one of the Tlaquepaque galleries.
10. Indulge Yourself with a Massage or a full Spa Experience
If I were coming to Sedona for vacation, I would go to a spa or schedule a massage for the first day. There is no better way to leave the big city stresses behind. My wife’s favorite spas are the Spa at Sedona Rouge and the Sedona New Day Spa. She loves them both equally. If you just want a massage, I can tell you that we have become regulars at Uptown Massage. I have had many massages there and they have all been excellent. If you start your vacation off with a spa visit or a massage, it will make the rest of your vacation oh so nice.
Like I said before, there are many things to do in Sedona and the Verde Valley, you will find your own favorites and we would like to hear about them. Leave a comment below and let us know what some of your favorite things to do in Sedona are.