The Best Guide to 3 Days in Sedona, Arizona

Travel Itinerary
0 ratings

Kat Smith
Itinerary by: Kat Smith
a month ago
Travel Writer
Duration: 3 days

Itinerary Introduction

Welcome to Sedona, home to one of the Earth’s vortexes. Never heard of a vortex before? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either before visiting Sedona but you won’t be there long until you learn all about them. To give you a head start though, a vortex is thought to be a swirling center of energy that helps with self-reflection, meditation, and healing. People say you can physically feel the Earth’s vibrations when you find a quiet place to embrace nature and fully immerse yourself in your mediation. Don’t be surprised when you see people taking off their shoes on lookout points at hikes. It’s not something I usually see on trails but they’re just searching for a deeper connection with the vibrations. Whether you’re traveling to connect with the Earth or are simply looking for a great place for a desert adventure, Sedona is just the place for you. From plenty of activities for adventure seekers to luxurious options for R&R, you’ll be wishing you had more than 3 days to spend in Sedona! All pictures by me, Kat Smith.

Useful information about Sedona, Arizona

Best times to visit Sedona, Arizona

Unless you’re looking for a winter wonderland, Sedona is really a nice place to visit year-round. The daytime highs never really drop below 60F and it’s rarely below freezing at night, even in the heart of the winter. Depending on what you’re hoping to do while in Sedona, the summer might be the least ideal time to visit, given that hot, hot desert heat. *Winter in Sedona As I mentioned, the winter in Sedona is much milder than in most places in the U.S. The average highs are in the low 60s F and the average lows are in the mid-30s F. In my opinion, this is great hiking weather since you’ll want to embrace the sun, instead of hiding from it like you’ll need to do in the summer. *Spring in Sedona Spring in Sedona is really beautiful. You’ll be rewarded with temperatures around the low 70s during the day and low 50s at night. The downfall with traveling to Sedona in the spring is that it rains more during this season than others. Although, the average rainfall is less here than average for most places, so it might not be too risky. I’d just recommend having a spa day in mind in case you need rainy day plans! *Summer in Sedona Here’s the deal: summer in Sedona is hot. Point blank. I’m talking average temperatures above 100 degrees. The only saving grace from this though is that it’s a dry heat, not a humid heat. Coming from someone born and raised in the Southern US, humidity makes the heat feel a lot worse. Another good point about summer in Sedona is the nights are still cooler, around the high 60s on average. Keep in mind also that summer is Sedona’s peak tourist season so if you prefer fewer crowds, I’d opt for a different season. *Fall in Sedona Fall is by far my favorite month to travel in the US, Sedona included. Although not completely covered in forests, there are still plenty of yellow, orange, and red leaves to be spotted. The temperatures are also starting to cool down, the average high is around 80 and average lows in the 50s. It was pretty windy when we visited but since the sun was out and the weather was warm, the wind was a nice treat on the trails.

Getting to Sedona, Arizona

To get to Sedona, you have two main options: drive or fly. We chose to drive here during a road trip and stopped in Sedona before visiting other Arizona hotspots like the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. If you have the time, I’d suggest driving and enjoying more of what Arizona has to offer but if you’re limited on time, you have a few airport options. Sedona does have an airport but it’s small and reserved for private planes. Most people instead will fly into Flagstaff Airport or Phoenix International Airport. Flying into Flagstaff is the most convenient of options, unless of course you have a private plane lying around. From Flagstaff, you can rent a car and be in Sedona in about 40 minutes. You’ll be thankful for that car when you’re in Sedona as it’s much easier to have your own vehicle to enjoy all that the area offers. On the other hand, it might be easier to get a flight into Phoenix since it’s a large airport but if you opt for this route, you’ll have a 2-hour drive in a rental car to get into Sedona.

Where to stay in Sedona, Arizona

Sedona fits into all budgets really well. From free, yep, you read that right, to luxurious and even incredibly unique, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect place to stay. Although Sedona is quite small, it’s divided into 2 main areas: Uptown Sedona and West Sedona. Uptown Sedona is a bit more touristic and is home to most of the shops, restaurants, and tourist agencies. This is the side of town that’s really walkable, while West Sedona is more residential and has mainly chain restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores. West Sedona isn’t as pedestrian-friendly but it is a cheaper area to stay. *Free If you’re into camping, whether in your car, van, RV, or tent, you’ll love the free camping options in Sedona. We travel usually in our van so never pay for a night of accommodation, thanks to apps like iOverlander. In Sedona, there were a few incredibly popular camping areas just south of West Sedona, on the way to Cottonwood) and a less crowded area just north of Uptown Sedona, on the way to Flagstaff. We did a few nights at both, opting to stay closer to town for our 2nd and 3rd nights in Sedona, and staying north of the city on our 1st and last night. Do note that the camping areas close to Sedona were really crowded, even on the weekdays. I recommend finding your spot a few hours before the sun goes down so you’re not searching for a flat spot at night. *Budget While there are a few hotels that fall into the budget price range, Cedars Resort and Alma De Sedona Inn B&B are all great options. Keep in mind though, budget in Sedona still comes with a higher price tag than you may prefer. The cheapest hotel in town still clocks in at around $160/night. Cedars Resort is right in Uptown Sedona, making it a convenient place to walk to shops, restaurants, or a coffee shop in the morning. Like the entire town of Sedona, it also boasts fantastic views. This is one of the best-priced rooms you’ll find while in Sedona. Although more of a mid-range hotel, if you’re willing to pay a bit more, Alma De Sedona Inn B&B is a great choice. Alma De Sedona sits on the westernmost edge of West Sedona, making it a convenient spot if you’d like to spend more time soaking up nature and less time in town. Plus it offers breakfast to guests, so you won’t need that coffee shop in the morning anyways. This hotel has a much more luxurious feel at a manageable price range. *Luxury For a luxurious visit, consider staying at Creekside Inn or Amara Resort & Spa. The up-scale hotels range in Sedona from around $500/night to $950/night. The Creekside Inn is probably not what you’d expect out of Sedona. It’s a small inn with limited rooms nestled next to a creek in a wooded forest. This place I imagine is particularly beautiful in spring when things are in bloom and in the fall when you can enjoy the foliage. It’s quaint, comfortable, and looks brand new. It’s south of Uptown Sedona. The Amara Resort & Spa, on the other hand, is probably exactly what you imagine out of a luxury hotel in Sedona. The views of the red rocks are incredible, the rooms are spacious, and the pool area is pristine. It’s located at the northern end of Uptown Sedona, so you’d easily be able to walk around the town center right from your hotel.

Sedona, Arizona - Travel Itinerary

Day 1

11:00 - 13:00

Red Rock Scenic Byway

AZ-179, Sedona, AZ, USA
The Red Rock Scenic Byway is only 7.5 miles but it’s jammed packed with incredible views and places to stop along the way. You could drive right through and be done in minutes or take your time and spend a few hours. It’s in the area of Cathedral Rock so if you opt for that hike on Day 2, you’ll get to not only see the landscape but immerse yourself into it. Photo by me, Kat Smith.
Article By: Kat Smith

Notes

After arriving from the airport, you’re going to want to soak up as much of Sedona as possible. Trust me, the views are even better than you can imagine! To really understand where you’ll be spending your next few days, take a drive. There are two scenic drives to choose from and both are wonderful. You can choose between the Red Rock Scenic Byway or the Red Rock Loop Road.

11:00 - 13:00

Red Rock Loop Road

Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
Another option for a scenic drive is the Red Rock Loop Road. While it’s less popular than the Red Rock Scenic Byway, it’s not any less beautiful. This loop also boasts incredible views along the way and can be done quickly or leisurely. It’s up to you how long you spend on either route but I’d suggest slower is always better! Photo by me, Kat Smith.
Article By: Kat Smith

Notes

I’d suggest using basing your choice based on which is more convenient from your hotel and the vineyard you opt on visiting.

14:00 - 18:00

Page Spring Cellars

1500 N Page Springs Rd, Cornville, AZ 86325, USA
Page Spring Cellars is on the way to Cottonwood, down a scenic highway that won’t be anything but beautiful to drive down. At Page Springs, you can simply enjoy the wine, take a tour of the vineyard or even opt-in on some yoga or a massage. Other great vineyard options are Arizona Stronghold, Alcantara Vineyards, Winery 1920, and Javelina Leap Vineyard. Picture by Grape Things on Pexels.com.
Article By: Kat Smith
Price covers: Entry+Drink
Prices for Page Spring Cellars
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 44.00 USD

Notes

What better way to welcome yourself to Sedona than through a cheers at one of their most famous vineyards? While you’ll be going to the vineyard after you arrive and enjoy a scenic drive, do your best to arrive at the vineyard before dark so you can fully enjoy the space.

Day 2

09:00 - 14:00

Boynton Canyon Trail

Boynton Canyon Trail Head, Arizona 86336, USA
The Boynton Canyon Trailhead is down a small road in West Sedona. It’s not far from the city center and very easy to get to. This is a popular trail though so parking is limited. You can park on the main road, at the insection near the parking lot, but I do recommend starting early to guarantee a close spot. This trail is around 7.3 miles but given a few detours that you’ll definitely want to take, it’s actually an 8.7 mile route. I suggest using AllTrails to make sure you stay on the trial while hiking, although this one is pretty upfront minus some of the detours. Although all Sedona is considered a vortex, there are few vortex centers and Boynton Canyon is one of them. The first detour is the “Boynton Pass Vortex” right near the start of the hike. It’s a quick, uphill detour that provides great views. From here, most of the trail is through wooded areas. In the fall, the Aspens were a beautiful bright yellow. The joy of this trail isn’t the entire hike but more the 3 viewpoints you’ll get to. The next detour is to the Subway Cave. This spot is epic! You’ll want to keep an eye on the map to know when to veer off the trail because otherwise it isn’t marked. Getting into the cave isn’t super easy but it’s well worth it…unless you’re scared of heights, then you might disagree. We always hike with our dog but since he’s small, we put him in a carrier for tricky and dangerous areas like this. Big dogs, unless incredibly trained, shouldn’t join their owners to the cave. After enjoying the cave and exploring the surrounding area, you need to hop back on the trial to get to the canyon. The canyon itself is a really magical place. We shared the spot with a few other hikers but all were quiet and respectful of nature. It’s a great place to have your lunch and just soak it all in before turning around and heading back. Picture by me, Kat Smith
Article By: Kat Smith

Notes

I hope you didn’t have too much fun at the vineyard yesterday because today is for hiking! After doing a few amazing hikes in Sedona, there are two that really stood out for me. I wouldn’t suggest doing both hikes in one day, unless you’re in much better shape than I am, but instead you can choose which one sounds more appealing.

09:00 - 14:00

Cathedral Rock Loop

Yavapai Point, Arizona 86351, USA
One of the most popular hikes in Sedona is Cathedral Rock but I’d opt for the entire loop, instead of just the down and back lookout point. The loop is 8 miles but it took us closer to 9 miles, with the detour. We actually chose to do the loop backwards, getting to Cathedral Rock at the beginning rather than the end of the trail. We opted for this way because although it's seemingly more uphill, we decided we'd rather go up rocks, than down them. This was simply our personal decision, either way, you're guaranteed a great hike! This loop was way less trafficked than Boynton Canyon, minus when you intersect with people going up to Cathedral Rock. When you cross over that trial though, I highly recommend you join the crowds and check out the viewpoint. It’s a short yet steep detour. What’s so fantastic about this hike is that you have incredible views the entire 9 miles. There’s a small wooded area that traverses next to a river but otherwise, it’s desert views as far as the eye can see. It’s really something special! Picture by me, Kat Smith.
Article By: Kat Smith

Notes

After spending your day on the trails, especially if you do both, you’ll be ready for a quiet night in. Enjoy a campfire if you’re hiking, or a late-night dip if your hotel has a pool or hot tub. Otherwise, if you have some energy, enjoy a physic reading or an aura reading, you won't have trouble finding plenty of places that offer these around town!

Day 3

09:00 - 11:00

Pink Jeep Tours

204 N State Rte 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
It’s time to enjoy a 4 wheel drive adventure! There are a few different options for this but the most popular are by far the Pink Jeep Tours. What’s so great about this company is that they offer a wide range of tour options. From 2 hours to 11 hours, there’s something for everyone and every time frame. Personally, I’d opt for the Broken Arrow tour. It’s only 2 hours but incredibly scenic and adventurous. You’ll be able to soak up a lot with limited time. Picture by me, Kat Smith.
Article By: Kat Smith
Price covers: Entry
Prices for Pink Jeep Tours
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 129.00 USD
Kids 116.00 USD Under 10

12:00 - 13:00

Uptown Sedona

Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
Don't miss out strolling through Uptown Sedona. It’s a small area, so you won’t need more than an hour or two, based on how much shopping you’re doing. At the very least, you’ll enjoy window shopping and grabbing a bit to eat. Picture by me, Kat Smith.
Article By: Kat Smith

14:00 - 15:00

Tlaquepaque

Tlaquepaque, Sedona, AZ 86336, USA
For more shopping options, you’ll want to swing by Tlaquepaque. This is Sedona’s arts and crafts village right near Uptown. It’s worth walking around and seeing what souvenirs you can pick up, especially if you enjoy collecting items from local artisans on your travels.
Article By: Kat Smith

Privacy: public

About the author

I'm an adventurous wanderer who packed up and moved abroad 9 years ago. Since then, I've been a teacher, tour guide, yacht stewardess, and a volunteer on 4 different continents. A few years ago, I started my own company, A Way Abroad, to help other women move abroad and live out their dreams around the world. I'm currently back in the US for a few months, trying out vanlife with my husband and rescue dog, Bandido. Although this is home for now, who knows where we'll be next!

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