How to Get a Taste of Sedona in One Day

A Taste of Sedona in One Day

With its backdrop of red sandstone formations everywhere you turn and an artsy/new age feel, there is no place quite like Sedona!  We got a taste of this vibrant city of just over 10,000 residents in northern Arizona desert on the last day of our week-long road trip in South-Western U.S.   We could not have picked a more suitable ending for our journey!

Here is how to experience Sedona in just a day while also unwinding at the end of your week-long Utah-Arizona road trip.

How to Get a Taste of Sedona in One Day


Good to Know. Sedona enjoys a milder climate than its Southern Arizona neighbors, but it still a desert – so plan (dress and hydrate) accordingly.  We have visited in the beginning of July (temperatures in the low 90-s) and planned our hikes for early in the day and pool time for the afternoon.


Getting to Sedona was a big part of our Sedona experience.  The prior leg of our trip was in Grand Canyon, so we approached the city from the North, making our way through the winding pine forests, creeks, and dramatic elevations.  On our way out of the city (South) towards Phoenix Airport the following day, we were passing by the Red Rock State Park and treated to a different but even more dramatic scenery of magnificent red rock formations.

How to Get a Taste of Sedona in One Day
Red Rock State Park as seen from our car windows


Sedona has a unique collection of artisan stores and art galleries that could be found in clusters uptown, along the 179 corridor and in the Village of Oak Creak.  Our hotel (see note on lodging below) was located within a walking distance from the Tlaquepaque Arts and Craft Village, a stylish replica of Mexican village of the same name.  We walked around this cozy compound, peeking into the many interesting shops and admiring its Spanish-style architecture. Tlaquepaque hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year (Cinco de Mayo, Fiesta del Tlaquepaque, Festival of Trees, Festival of Lights to name a few).  For more on Sedona shopping scene, check out Visit Sedona website.

How to Get a Taste of Sedona in One Day
Tlaquepaque Mexican village. Sedona


How to Get a Taste of Sedona in One Day
Colorful jewelry on display in Sedona’s many quirky shops



With over a hundred trails for hiking and mountain biking throughout Sedona’s outback, you will be sure to find one to your liking and abilities.  We chose Marg’s Draw hiking trail which we accessed right off our hotel.  It is less than 3 miles round trip on a relatively leveled path.  It is an in town trail so there are residences on the trail ends, but in the middle you feel like you are “far away from it all”.

How to Get a Taste of Sedona in One Day
Marg’s Draw hike. Sedona


How to Get a Taste of Sedona in One Day
Taking it easy on our Sedona hike


Taking in the views while relaxing in a hot spa is a very Sedona thing to do.  We were able to do it without leaving our hotel.  If your hotel does not come with a spa, be sure to visit one for a couple of hours with a day pass.


The cultures of the pleural fluid are negative
Arabella Hotel Sedona.


We tasted (and enjoyed!) contemporary Mexican flavors in an award-winning Elote restaurant located in Arabella Hotel Sedona.  It was the best Mexican food we ever had, but beware of the typical 1.5 hour wait to get in (no reservations accepted).


A Note on Lodging.  We have chosen Arabella Hotel Sedona because it was budget-friendly (Sedona hotels tend to be expensive!) and because it offered everything we planned to do in our one day in Sedona – either right on the property or within a walking distance (we were guests of the property, for current prices, check out this link)

After a week-long road-trip, we were happy to leave our rental car alone for 24 hours.  We walked to the Tlaquepaque Arts and Craft Village, got on a hiking trail right off the property, sampled Mexican cuisine and relaxed in the outdoor pools and hot tubs (yes, I love myself a hot tub even in a desert!).   Arabella hotel complex is composed of several 2-story buildings with outside entrances and balconies.  The hotel is dog-friendly (may be even too dog-friendly for my taste so ask for the buildings with no dogs if you don’t want to bump into a four-legged neighbors’ dog next door.  Normally, I prefer an inside room entrance, but in Sedona, the indoor-outdoor set up feels just right.

How to Get a Taste of Sedona in One Day
Arabella Hotel Sedona

More of Sedona experiences.

We managed to spend an entire day in Sedona without using our car, but if you would like to go on a self-drive, check out this link.  Another ultimate Sedona experience is going on a jeep tour and Pink Jeep Tour is the most famous (they can even take you on a day trip to the Grand Canyon).  Slide Rock State Park in Oak Creek Canyon is where locals cool off during hot and dry Arizona summers.


The post may contain affiliated links to hotel booking sites.  Clicking and booking through these links will not cost you any extra.





12 thoughts on “A Taste of Sedona in One Day”

  1. Hi there! Thank you for staying with us at the Arabella Hotel Sedona! It sounds like you had plenty of fun during your short stay with us. I’m glad you were able to try Elote Café. Chef Jeff Smedstad is currently a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef:Southwest award. We get many guests who stay at our hotel just to try Elote’s food.

    We are very dog-friendly at the Arabella. We have dog treats in the lobby for our canine guests, a fenced-in dog park on the property, and Marg’s Draw is a dog-friendly trail. We even have a hotel dog named Bella. But, we understand that not all guests are as dog-crazy as we are. If you stay with us again, please let us know that you’d like your room to be away from our canine guests. Our Trailhead rooms on the second floor are as far from pet guests as you can get, and have some of the best views at the hotel.

    And last but not least, please let your readers know that they can get the best room deals by booking directly with us, either on our website or by calling us. When guests book through online travel agencies (like or, we have to pay a commission. We can offer much better deals when you book directly. 🙂

    We hope you’ll visit us again soon!

    1. Glad to know you are dog-friendly! My dog and I will be road-tripping throughout the SouthWest this fall and planning to spend around a week in Sedona. I’ve pinned this post so I can remember as the time gets closer!

      I love Sedona – only spent one night there on a whirlwind trip and can’t wait to return!

  2. Sedona really looks and sounds lovely. I’ve long wanted to visit purely because of that amazing red rock! Thanks for all the tips for visiting, hopefully we’ll get there one day soon.

  3. Sedona looks really beautiful! This is a part of the world I have never been to but I am very attracted by this kind of scenery and it looks like a place both us and our kids would enjoy. You are giving me some good ideas for a future family trip!

  4. I love Sedona! I used to live in Phoenix so it was such a great summer getaway. The red rock is just gorgeous and I loved all the boutique shops. It’s been awhile so really need to get back. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  5. We love hiking in Sedona. We go there quite often because my sister lives in Phoenix, so almost every time we visit we end up in Sedona. I’ve seen in all seasons and it’s always gorgeous. There is so much to see and do there. Thank you for joining #TheWeeklyPostcard this weekend.

  6. We love this post! Especially Rob – he’s an Arizona expat, and drones on endlessly about how gorgeous Sedona is and how cool it is… 😉 We haven’t stayed at Arabella, but that pool (and it’s backdrop!) look SO inviting. We may find ourselves splashing about there! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  7. Sedona really looks like a nice place to visit. I would definitely do it one day, and of course with my favourite bike 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *