I know, I know…24 hours is not NEARLY enough time in Sedona, Arizona.  Those of you who have spent time in this magical place are probably crying over your coffee (or booze, whatever).  For that, I apologize in advance.  After spending such a short amount of time there, I KNOW 24 hours doesn’t do this place justice.  However, one of the best things about Sedona is that it IS possible to see quite a bit of this town in only 24 hours.  It’s not ideal, but it’s doable.

So, if you’re like me and only have time for a quick trip to Sedona, Arizona, read on for my 24 hour itinerary for this spiritual, beautiful, soul-quenching town!

Lodging

There are a plethora of places to stay in Sedona.  Take your pick from upscale lodges to spiritual retreat centers to unique Airbnbs and everything in between.  I, personally, chose to stay at an Airbnb about 10 minutes outside of town.  Although somewhat difficult to find (the address entered in the Airbnb app was actually the neighbor’s address, which resulted in an awkward door knock at 11:00 at night), it was definitely a dream oasis.

Sedona, Arizona - Lodging

The grounds were a beautifully kept garden full of flowers, cacti, and gorgeous landscaping.  My “room” was a small shed-turned-guesthouse, equipped with a bed, heater, closet, and spiritual photos.  Next to my room was the bath house, which was originally a greenhouse.  The glass roof and walls and the abundant plants made it the perfect place to soak in the large claw foot tub as the sun rose.  The outdoor shower would have been the perfect intimate adventure, had it not been freezing cold 😉  The toilet area was an actual outhouse…no running water, no electricity, no plumbing.  It was such a unique and interesting escape.

Sedona, Arizona - Lodging

Hiking

The options for hiking in Sedona, Arizona are basically endless.  I researched for hours about hikes that I could do within such a short amount of time.  In reality, I could’ve researched for days, but let’s be honest, I’m not that serious about it.

The two hikes I chose to do were Fay Canyon in the morning and Cathedral Rock at sunset.

Fay Canyon is an incredible, relatively short hike that combines trails for beginners with trails for experts.  The views from each are amazing, so even if you’re not strong enough to scale the rock wall to the more difficult trails, have no fear.  I chose to scramble up the rock wall and continued on into the lesser-traveled areas for a quieter, more intimate environment.  It was totally worth it.

Sedona, Arizona - Hiking

Fay Canyon Trail

 

Cathedral Rock is another beautiful hiking area with tons of trails and paths that lead you either to the rock itself or to beautiful viewing areas of the rock.  I chose not to hike directly to the rock because, being the photographer I am, I wanted to photograph it during sunset.  I got there early, so I perched up on a rock and enjoyed a book while waiting for the perfect lighting conditions.  #worthit

Cathedral Rock

 

Meditating

Sedona is known as one of the most spiritual, natural energy-filled areas of the U.S.  So, it only makes sense that you (attempt to) get into the spiritual mindset while there.  Visiting healers, crystal shops, and spiritual retreat centers are common practices for visitors to Sedona, Arizona.  Because I didn’t have that kind of time, I chose to find a quiet spot during one of my hikes and took some time to clear my mind while soaking up the sun and the sound of the forest.

Sedona, Arizona - Meditation

It was wonderful.

Driving

You could spend SO. MUCH. TIME. driving through Sedona.  There are roads everywhere that lead to epic views and cool locations.  I did a bit of roaming in my short time there, but my favorite driving route was along 89A, the main road that runs through Sedona.  If you follow that road out of town, you’ll come across epic valley views before hitting the infamous 89A switchbacks.  This is a section of road where you wind and wind and wind some more as you make your way up the mountain.

Sedona, Arizona - 89A Switchbacks

A couple of the 89A switchbacks

Once at the top of the mountain, you can stop at a view point that overlooks the valley of Sedona.  The views are so dope.  There are also concessions, bathrooms, and locals selling souvenirs there.  Grab your camera and a few dollars and spend some time there for a touristy, definitely inauthentic, but super beautiful experience.

Eating & Drinking

Eat all the things.  One of my favorite restaurants was Chocolatree, an organic, unique, foodie oasis along the main drag.  Read all about my experience at this amazing place here.  I seriously wish I could live there.  Not in Sedona, but at the Chocolatree restaurant itself.  (Although, I’d definitely be down for living in Sedona, too.)

Of course, you can’t miss out on the local acai bowls.  They’re the perfect breakfast/snack/anytime pick me up.

Sedona, Arizona - Eating

Don’t forget to drink all the local beers, as well.  My favorite was the Oak Creek Amber Ale, which is brewed by Oak Creek Brewery in Sedona.

Artsy-ing

I got lucky and stumbled upon a local art market, which was set up in a random parking lot along the main road.  I spent an hour or so walking off my buzz from the local beer tasting while checking out art, crystals, and many random and confusing things.  It was great and weird and interesting and I loved it.

Wishful Thinking

If I had more than 24 hours in Sedona, Arizona, here are some of the things I DEFINITELY would have done:

Have you been to Sedona, Arizona?  What is your favorite thing to do there?

Like it?  Pin it!

About Erica Kay

Manini girl Erica is our professional photographer, travel curator, and adventure designer. When she isn't busy working on Manini stuff, she's running two photography companies, petting her pup, eating her way around the world with her fiancé, or hanging with friends and family.

Join the discussion 24 Comments

  • Suzanne says:

    Sedona looks like a dream destination for hipsters and hippies at heart. I would definitely want to spend more than 24 hours there! The hiking looks really good!

  • Tracy says:

    Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen was my favorite place to eat in Sedona. A healthy gluten free pasta restaurant with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. I had an amazing zucchini and yellow squash noodles with ginger, turmeric, garlic and cabbages. Elote was a very close second for me. My meal was a depth of flavors!!!! Pisa Lisa had the best pizza I have ever eaten!!!! There was no up-charge for a gluten free crust either. Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park was a very spiritual place that a lot of tourists miss! I would also recommend a Stargazing Tour. A tad pricey but worth every penny. A guided tour of the vortex rocks was a highlight for me. Sitting on a fossilized spine while meditating at a height I never thought I could get too is truly hard to encapsulate with words! One recommendation I have for all travelers using Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO is always cross reference the lodging you are interested in against the other sites. We had a few issues in our rental house. Airbnb had great reviews for our rental. Upon checking the other sites we realized our house had issues dating back year. One of those issues being no working smoke detectors. I too would live in Sedona the beauty, energy and numerous healthy eating options aligns with my spirit!!

    • maniniexp says:

      Sorry to hear about the Airbnb situation! I’ve never had a bad experience with them, and hopefully won’t have to deal with that. I’ll definitely check out those restaurants and the vortex next time. I really wanted to do the vortex this time, but I just couldn’t fit it in.

  • That was a wonderful experience! Your Airbnb accommodation is the best. I love the outdoor shower. I want to have that kind of shower in my backyard too. You took some really nice photos.
    I read your post about Chocolatree. I wish I can pack my bags and go there now. I love the vibe. It’s like a place where there is no hate. I like the delicious foods that you ate.
    There are so many things to do Sedona. I’d check out Chocolatree’s website. Maybe they some stuff that I can buy online.

    • maniniexp says:

      I think you can purchase things online, actually! I loved the outdoor shower, too. I wish it was warm enough to enjoy it while I was there haha!

  • Judy says:

    oh WOW. what an incredible 24 hours!! Didn’t know about it being energy filled and it seems like a perfect place I’d want to definitely spend the whole day just hiking and exploring. And for those incredible photography shots too, why not indeed. You’re giving me so many road trip vibes with the shot of that road. Really incredible. I’m definitely putting Arizona on my road trip US map.

  • Halie says:

    Beautiful pictures!!! My friend is doing her honeymoon in Sedona, I will definitely pass this on to her.
    globalhales.com

  • It looks like one of those places you could actually stay for weeks! So beautiful and quiet!

    Telma @ Blank Canvas Voyage

  • Gabby says:

    wow Sedona looks amazing – I would love to go there on a weekend away to relax. Never knew that Arizona had this to offer.. it is officially on my list!

  • C-Ludik says:

    I love Sedona :-). The town is recognized as a highly spiritual location, and its “spiritual vortices” (regenerative natural energy centers) have an international reputation ! The best-known “spiritual vortices” are the easily accessible Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Boynton Canyon and Mesa Airport. When I was there, I tried a traditional meal at the Cowboy Club where the menu includes cactus fries and rattlesnake sausage. Dishes are served in a Western atmosphere, straight out of a cowboy movie ! I really enjoyed my stay at Sedona !!

  • Alice Chen says:

    I went hiking here a couple years ago with my family, and it’s just so beautiful! I love your photos!

  • Henry says:

    Nice photos…I didn’t realize that Sedona had pine forests around it. I’d always just assumed it was cactus and rocks. Thanks for sharing!

  • Your Airbnb sounds like a perfect escape in Sedona. I would have also read a book waiting for the perfect photographing conditions. Those Acai bowls look super delicious and I would love to try one out soon.

  • I love your photo of Castle Rock with the reflection in the water! I’ve never been to Sedona but I think I would love it because I love the outdoors, beautiful scenery, and hiking. The red rocks are absolutely gorgeous. What a great place to meditate too!

  • Oh, a walk down memory lane 🙂 🙂 I had such an amazing time in Sedona and so wanna go back! We did the Airport Loop trail which was great but so hot omg! Love your photos!

  • Lieurene says:

    This is so cool! I’ve been to Arizona but not Sedona yet. It looks like a perfect place to just get out and meditate! I didn’t even know there were many hiking trails. I am planning a road trip to Utah for a friend’s wedding. Maybe I can stop by Sedona on the way back.

  • Reshma says:

    According to me, 24 hours is too less for any place for that matter. But you just have covered so many places, especially activities from hiking to meditating including eating! Just reading this made me feel like wanting to go on a road trip. Loved your gorgeous pictures 🙂

Leave a Reply

Subscribe for More Goodies!

Join our mailing list to stay in the know about trips, blog posts, and happenings at The Manini Experience!

High five! You're subscribed!