What Not to Do in Sedona

One of the most beautiful places in America, Sedona, Arizona is often the first choice to visit for a vacation or for fulfilling the dream of relocating or purchasing a second home. It seems that every Sedona visitor comes armed with a list from friends or family that recites the things you must do if you ever visit Sedona. Like beauty, Sedona “must do’s” are in the eye of the beholder, and the DO’S are numerous and have been well covered. As much as we love this destination (and we really do!) we thought we’d offer some DON’TS to keep in mind:

Don’t bother to pack dressy clothes unless you are attending a Sedona wedding. There is almost no place you can go in Sedona that requires attire any fancier than your “nice jeans” and a shirt with sleeves. If you feel you must get a bit gussied up, perhaps for dinner at L'Auberge, ladies might want to don a top and skirt, and gentlemen will be properly attired in a sport coat with an open-collared shirt (no neckties!)

Don’t book your hotel or bed and breakfast based solely on the views from the accommodations. There are views everywhere you go in Sedona, and we promise your vacation album will include dozens of picturesque photo-ops beyond the boundaries of your guest room balcony.

Don’t think that you must stay longer than 5 nights per trip to Sedona; even a 4-night stay is a stretch. The average length of stay in Sedona is about 2.5 nights, and most visitors come back a second, third, or twentieth time. Learn from all the visitors who have come before you: there are over a hundred things to do in Sedona and the Verde Valley, but you need not do them all in one trip.

Don’t be afraid to “bookend” your Sedona visit; book a stay in Sedona for 1 or 2 nights on either side of a driving tour of the Grand Canyon / Grand Circle vacation. Spend a couple nights at the South Rim, and even up to the national parks of southern Utah, but return to Sedona for a restorative stay before heading home. Some lodging owners even offer discounts for this kind of bookend itinerary.

Don’t try to go without renting a car or hiring your own independent transportation. Shuttles to Sedona from Phoenix and vice versa are a great way to get up and back, but Sedona is a city that’s spread across 18 square miles with little to no public transportation options. You will miss out on 80% of the beauty of the area if you relegate yourself to just the Uptown Sedona scene that’s accessible on foot, for example. You don’t want to miss the chance to see West Sedona, Boynton Canyon, Red Rock State Park, the Village of Oak Creek or Oak Creek Canyon, do you? No, you don’t, so trust us and rent a car upon arrival at the airport or as soon as you arrive in Sedona.

Don’t try to take a regular rental car onto back country roads and Jeep tour trails. They’ll probably be challenged to make the Sedona hills or they may become damaged; damage to these rental vehicles can be pricey and are the sole responsibility of the renter. If your plan is to take a car off road, speak to a Jeep or vehicle rental company that specializes in this kind of rental. Talk to your hotel’s concierge or innkeeper to find a reputable company, look the vehicle over carefully before you rent to make certain the vehicle is in good repair and able to handle the trek, and listen to the rental company’s advice on how to drive on steeply graded, loose gravel trails.

Don’t wait until the last day of your stay to take the Sedona Trolley or a Sedona Jeep tour. These two classic Sedona tours are available from excellent, reputable and knowledgeable providers and will instantly help you understand the lay of the land in Sedona. The trolley tours allow you to hop-on, hop-off along the trolley route, taking in the area’s shopping, dining and photography opportunities at your own pace. Jeep tours will get you to some of the best photography spots, many on the sides of mountains not accessible by any other means, and you’re also likely to get an excellent education on the area’s ancient people, sites, mythology, geography, animals and plant life.

One final thing to absolutely avoid: Do not illegally park in a handicap parking space in Sedona! Not even for a quick trip to a store or to the bank and never at a hotel. The Sedona Police must issue a ticket for this violation of state and federal law and they most certainly will. A total waste of money and act of disrespect for those who have a legal right to the spots; just don’t do it.


1. El Portal Sedona

"Top 10 Hotels in the Southwest" Condé Nast Travelers Magazine - El Portal Sedona Hotel is a premier Sedona hotel located in the heart of t...  More
  • (800) 313-0017
  • 95 Portal Ln
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $179.00 - $399.00

2. Sedona Real Inn & Suites

Charm and comfort await you at the Sedona Reãl Inn & Suites. With a country inn atmosphere, and bed and breakfast feel, each of the 42 trad...  More
  • (928) 282-1414
  • 95 Arroyo Pinon Dr
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $129.00 - $189.00

3. Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge

Garland's Oak Creek Lodge is a unique, historic and acclaimed American-plan Lodge cradled in Oak Creek Canyon. Open March 29 thru November 1...  More
  • (928) 282-3343
  • 8067 N State Rte 89A
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $255.00 - $305.00

4. Arizona Outdoor Adventures

Drive our ATVs on a guided 40 mile off-road adventure through the West Sedona Valley. Bring your camera - you'll be awestruck by the 800...  More
  • (928) 282-8540
  • 1185 West Highway 89A
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $130.00 - $142.00

5. Best Western PLUS Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas

The Best Western PLUS Arroyo Roble Hotel and Creekside Villas is located in Uptown Sedona, providing near-Grand Canyon accommodations within...  More
  • (928) 282-4001
  • 400 N. State Rte. 89A
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $199.00 - $429.00

6. Butterfly Garden Inn

The Butterfly Garden Inn, formerly Don Hoel’s cabins, is the perfect destination for individuals, families, and retreat groups who want to...  More
  • (928) 203-7633
  • 9440 N State Rte 89A
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $165.00 - $215.00

7. Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village

Your unforgettable Sedona experience must include spending time at internationally renowned Tlaquepaque (pronounced Tla-keh-pah-keh), Sedona...  More
  • (928) 282-4838
  • 336 Highway 179
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336

8. Canyon Villa Bed & Breakfast Inn Of Sedona

Enjoy bedside views of the Red Rocks of Sedona by Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Sedona bed and breakfast fare includes full gourmet breakf...  More
  • (800) 453-1166
  • 40 Canyon Cir Dr
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86351
  • $189.00 - $349.00

9. Best Western PLUS Inn Of Sedona

Save on your accommodations by booking the one of our money-saving vacation packages. Packages include one night’s lodging with Free Delux...  More
  • (928) 282-3072
  • 1200 W Hwy 89A
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $149.00 - $185.00

10. Pink Jeep Tours

Since 1958, Pink Jeep Tours has been providing the most talked about off-road adventures in the Southwest. Our award-winning excursions are ...  More
  • (928) 282-5000
  • 204 West Highway 89A
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $45.00 - $125.00

11. Red Rock Treks Sedona Hiking & Tours

Journey with us to the most unforgettably beautiful landscapes in all of Arizona. Red Rock Treks offers private hiking, scenic, and vorte...  More

  • (928) 707-9477
  • Sedona
  • AZ 86336, US

12. Out Of Africa Wildlife Park

Come see Tiger Splash show at 1:15 every day. Watch Bengal tigers in natural play as they "hunt" their caretakers. Open Daily 9:30 a.m.-5:00...  More
  • (928) 567-2840
  • 3505 Highway 260
  • Camp Verde, AZ
  • 86322
  • $14.95 - $29.95

13. Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa

This chic Sedona, AZ hotel and spa is located in the urban setting of West Sedona and features 77-appointed guest rooms including four Andal...  More
  • (928) 203-4111
  • 2250 W Hwy 89A
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $189.00 - $299.00

14. Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters

World's Largest and Most Experienced Helicopter Sightseeing Company! Daily multilingual tours of Grand Canyon departing from Sedona, Scottsd...  More
  • (702) 736-7243
  • Sedona Airport
  • Sedona, AZ
  • $169.00 - $344.00

15. Hilton Sedona At Bell Rock

The Hilton Sedona Resort offers 219 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites. Sedona, AZ hotel guestroom choices includes a Deluxe Guest ...  More
  • (928) 284-4040
  • 90 Ridge Trail Dr
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86351
  • $169.00 - $479.00

16. Alejandro Gutierrez / RL Sotheby’s Int’l Realty

Purchase your dream home with Alejandro. It’s all about service, experience and professionalism. More than nine years in real estate pl...  More

  • (928) 821-8552
  • 20 Roadrunner Dr
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336

17. Sky Ranch Lodge

Enjoy our Sedona views extending up to 75 miles in all directions. Sedona sunrises and sunsets fill the skies daily with breathtaking color....  More
  • (928) 282-6400
  • 1105 Airport Rd
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $110.00 - $259.00

18. Briar Patch Inn

The Briar Patch Inn features 19 cabins situated on 9 lush acres in Oak Creek Canyon, just 3 miles north of Sedona. Each individual cabin is...  More
  • (928) 282-2342
  • 3190 N State Rte 89A
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $219.00 - $395.00

19. A Spa For You Sedona Day Spa

A Spa for You, Sedona’s premiere Boutique Day Spa offers completely individualized signature spa treatments, massage, body wraps and tradi...  More
  • (928) 282-3895
  • 30 Kayenta Court #1
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $60.00 - $290.00

20. Rose Tree Inn

"The best kept secret in Sedona..." is the Rose Tree Inn. Quaint, quiet, cozy and conveniently located near Uptown Sedona's shopping and din...  More
  • (928) 282-2065
  • 376 Cedar Street
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $109.00 - $149.00

21. Junipine Resort

Junipine Resort is the perfect location for small business meetings or a family vacation. Our secluded creekside setting is the perfect retr...  More
  • (928) 282-3375
  • 8352 N State Rte 89A
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $122.00 - $419.00

22. Adobe Grand Villas

Luxurious AAA 4 Diamond Sedona, Arizona bed and breakfast with 850 + sq ft villas, red rock views, two fireplaces, jetted tub, walk in showe...  More
  • (928) 203-7616
  • 35 Hozoni Dr
  • Sedona, AZ
  • 86336
  • $399.00 - $699.00


These are the essential things you MUST do to get the most out of your day trip.
Plan Your Day Trip Here »


Getting to Sedona is the first step. Driving is the most popular and practical way to get here.
Get Driving Directions from Nearby Cities »


Our Sedona Event Calendar is full of festivals, workshops, art fairs, concerts and classes. Browse or add your event.
See the Event Calendar »


Traveling with your pet? Sedona has a variety of accommodations for you and the pooch. After settling in your hotel, a nice hike and a swim in the creek are definitely in order. See Pet-Friendly Sedona »