What to do in Sedona With 1 Day (Stay, Eat, Hike)

On our recent road 12 day road trip through the American Desert Southwest, Teddy and I spent the evening in Sedona after our time in Petrified Forest National Park. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive to Sedona from the park. We had just under a full day in the area so below are what we would recommend doing (and did) if you’re short on time but still want to explore!

Where to Stay:

We stayed at Orchard’s Inn in downtown Sedona on our trip. The location of our room was incredible. We had a little patio that overlooked the red rocks and sat outside there for both sunrise and sunset to enjoy the views. Our room was much larger than we needed but I didn’t mind. It was beautifully decorated and gave such a peaceful vibe. What I especially loved was that we had parking right at the hotel and then could walk just a few steps from the parking lot right onto the main road downtown.

When I was initially narrowing down where to stay, I had both Orchard’s Inn and Sky Rock Inn of Sedona. Both had incredible views, were very well decorated, had great reviews, but we ultimately decided the location for Orchard’s Inn made more sense for us. Either though are a great choice.

Where to Eat:

Snacks – Since we got had a wait for dinner, we went to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and grabbed chocolate covered strawberries. We sat outside on a bench and ate them while waiting for it to be our turn for dinner.

Dinner – Since our hotel was next door to 89 Agave, and when we checked in they gave us a coupon for a free app, we naturally had to go there for dinner. When we were there it was Valentine’s Day so they had a more limited menu for that occasion, but even with less options we still loved our food. Teddy thought the chips and salsa were out of this world, and I really enjoyed my margarita and guacamole the most. I would definitely come back here.

Lunch – The next day after our hike, we were browsing some shops and came across this little place in an alley of shops called Outlaw Grill. It is this little food truck tucked in and covered right across the street from 89 Agave and our hotel. You order at the window, and then they bring the food out to you and there’s a small indoor area to sit and then a few outdoor tables. We were so pleasantly surprised with just how good the food was here. Teddy got the ribs and fries and I got a buffalo chicken salad and we split some boneless wings. Our stop in Sedona was about 4 days into our 12 day trip and this meal was truly one of the top 3 meals of our entire time out west.

Where to Hike:

Hiking in Sedona – one of the most popular things to do in the area. Since this was our first time both being in Sedona together (I had been a few years prior with my cousins), we were pretty open to doing any hike that was a few miles long and had great views. Something to keep in mind about hiking in Sedona is that because of its popularity, and that some trails are shared with both mountain biking and hiking, parking lots fill up very early in the morning. We had heard the Airport loop was a great trail, but with such a small parking lot, we opted to just drive to the top and pay and take in the views and hike elsewhere.

After taking in the views, we ventured down toward Bell Rock to see how the parking situation was. It was packed like we thought it may be, so we decided on a trail across the road instead with plenty of parking called Yavapai Vista. We learned there are quite a few connecting trails right in this area, so rather than only hiking the .5 miles to Yavapai Vista, we decided to “make our own adventure” and every time we got to an intersection, we would choose if which way to go. We ended up hiking about 2 miles in the area and were so impressed by how we had beautiful views of the Sedona red rocks the entire time. There truly were no bad views on the hike.

When we return to Sedona, which we surely will, we plan to do some other trails in the area since we had such a fun time on this one and really love the town and views.

Other Tips for the Area:

  • Most trailheads in the area have a fee, so be prepared to pay at a little kiosk for parking.
  • Bring plenty of water (and snacks) for your hike. It can get very warm in the area, and a good amount of trails aren’t shaded fully so come prepared.
  • There’s also trails that share paths with mountain bikes, so be on the lookout as they can come up on you very quickly.
  • We stopped at Sedona Outdoors where I own my now favorite hat that says “Where next” on it. They have a variety of outdoor clothing and gear so if you forgot something for your trip, check this place out.
  • There’s free parking downtown in Sedona at the public lots. There’s a few different places you can find these lots, just look for the signs.
  • If you want to continue your trip, Flagstaff Arizona is about an hour from town headed North, and the Grand Canyon (our next stop) is about 2 hours away.

3 Comments

  1. Great recommendations, and awesome pictures! I live in Phoenix so visit Sedona several times a year. If you go back, I would highly recommend staying in Oak Creek Canyon (just north of Sedona, we like Forest Houses or Junipine Resort) and hiking West Fork (down into the canyon, beautiful!!) or AB Young (up to the top, challenging but great views). Amitabha Stupa in Sedona is neat and Chocolatree has great homemade chocolates and vegan food

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