Written by: Jaii Fredregill
Destination: Sedona, AZ
Visited: November 2017
Located in Northern Arizona, Sedona is known for its picturesque red sandstone, quirky art community, and countless day spas, but these are just a few of the things you can see and do here. Sedona and the surrounding area offer enough activities to keep just about anyone busy for one day or one month.
Here is a short list of what there is to do around these parts.
A Red Rock balloon launching at sunrise.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Early risers may enjoy this activity the most, as balloons are set afloat around dawn to avoid extremes in weather that can prevent them from inflating properly. An average ride is between 3-4 hours. Red Rock Balloon Adventures and Northern Light Balloon Expeditions are two of the major operators.
Red Rock Balloon Adventures
Current Rates: Adults $225 /Children under 12-yrs old and over 48” tall - $195
Northern Light Balloon Expedition
Current Rates: $225 per person
The entrance to Red Rock State Park is easily found by following Red Rock Loop Road.
Red Rock State Park
Hiking the trails of this beautiful red sand forest is a fantastic way to spend a few hours of your day. Just beyond the trees, catch a glimpse of the light changing on red rock formations throughout the day.
A good family activity, with educational films and exhibits on at the Visitors Center.
To say the staff here is friendly is an understatement. Nature lovers welcome.
Hours of operation and guided group tour times vary, so be sure to consult the website for the most up to date information. Tour information can be found under the “Things To Do/Events” section. https://azstateparks.com/red-rock/
Reservations are highly encouraged as parts of the park are open to only ten visitors at a time.
Palatki Heritage Site and Sister Site Honanki Heritage Site
Explore cave dwellings here belonging to the Sinagua people of the Ancient Pueblo Peoples and learn about their lives and history. The pictographs and petroglyphs found at the Palatki site are one of the more intriguing points of interest, especially those that pre-date the dwellings themselves, which were the largest in the area from AD 1100-1400.
Reservations: (928) 282-3854, between 9:30am-3:00pm daily. For more information on fees and hours click here to visit the USDA Forest Service website.
One of many antique shops in Cottonwood, AZ.
Antique Shopping in Cottonwood
I’m not much of a collector of things. In fact, minimizing my material burdens through regular charitable donations is one of my favorite times of the year. That said, I love to stroll through a shop full of peculiar and oddball items. Are you into rhinestones? How about antique tin signs? Creepy baby dolls your thing? Well, look no further. If it’s antique, hard to find or just plain weird, there’s a decent chance you will find it in Cottonwood, AZ.
Verde Valley Olive Oil Traders, 1002 N Main St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326
Located just 25-mins SW of Sedona, Cottonwood offers some excellent options for meals, drinks, and shopping, including olive oil tasting. How often do you get to do that Cottonwood also offers less expensive lodging options than Sedona for those who are traveling on a budget or just prefer the quaint small town vibe in Cottonwood to the now booming Sedona scene.
Romero’s Panaderia, 304 N 15th St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326
I’m including this little gem because it’s just so good and affordable. The cookies and empanadas are a perfect snack to take on a hike. If you’re going for a full-blown picnic, be sure to take along some pulled pork sandwiches.
Javelina Leap Vineyard, Winery & Bistro
Wine Tasting in Cornville, AZ
Sunshine and wine make for a pretty good day. I am by no means an expert or a sommelier, but I love wine, and I love fun, so I’m typically down with wine tasting. I visited three wineries while passing through Cornville, AZ. We started with lunch at Page Springs, which had great food and delicious white wine options for a warm November afternoon. Ask your server for suggestions; these people know their stuff.
Autumn colors spread through the vineyards.
Javelina Leap was our last stop and had my favorite reds by far. In fact, I flew all the way to CA with some packed away in my suitcase to share with my host in San Francisco.
Javelina Leap Vineyard, Winery & Bistro
1565 N Page Springs Rd, Cornville, AZ 86325
Page Springs Cellars
1500 N Page Springs Rd, Cornville, AZ 86325
Oak Creek Vineyards & Winery
1555 N Page Springs Rd, Cornville, AZ 86325
Randall's Restaurant, 891 S Main St, Cottonwood, AZ 86326
Breakfast at Randall's Restaurant
For those looking for a ridiculously delicious diner breakfast, I recommend Randall's Restaurant. Be sure to come hungry and bring friends. Try the biscuits and gravy.
Celebrating everything from film to hummingbirds, Sedona loves a festival. Follow the link below for the upcoming dates of what's coming up in Sedona.
There are several companies providing tours of Sedona. Many will provide transportation from your hotel with private tours. Pink Adventure Tours are probably the most established tour company, best known for their tours of Sedona and the Grand Canyon.
From Phoenix, Sedona is a 90-minute drive. From Flagstaff, it is about 1-hour. The most scenic route being Oak Creek Canyon via Hwy 89A, but drive carefully. This drive is one windy adventure, and the roads can be narrow at times.