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The enchanting desert town of Sedona is situated in the middle of Arizona, USA. And while it isn’t quite as hyped as Phoenix or Tucson, its vibrant community and sheer natural beauty are severely underrated. This isn’t your average small town! Nestled within dramatic canyons and deep-red rock formations, Sedona offers a truly transformative getaway.
Nature lovers, leisure seekers, and creative spirits will have more than enough to do with 3 days in Sedona. If you can manage it, 5 days in Sedona is even better! But those aiming to accomplish their Sedona 3 day itinerary over a long weekend can check plenty off the list. It’s enough time to explore the charming downtown streets, enjoy some incredible views, and embark on a hike or nearby wine tour.
It’s no exaggeration that for its modest size, Sedona packs a punch. From outdoor activities to luxurious spas and a rich arts scene, this destination can satisfy families, couples, and solo travelers alike. Those coming from the west coast will find 3 days in Sedona enough time to do a little bit of everything. Hikers will benefit from the refreshing low season of winter, while pool loungers and wine drinkers will enjoy the comfortable spring weather.
If you’re struggling to craft the perfect Sedona 3 day itinerary, this post is for you. Wondering what to see with three days in Sedona, what time of year to come, where to stay, and what to pack? We’ve got you covered. Dive in to discover the best things to do with 3 days in Sedona.
What to See with Three Days in Sedona
Explore Downtown & Tlaquepaque Village
The town of Sedona is deeply creative, with a thriving arts and culture scene. This alone could fill up your entire Sedona 3-day itinerary. Its spirited heartbeat can be felt in Downtown Sedona, locally dubbed Uptown Sedona or Main Street District. If you only have three days, Downtown is where you should head first.
Stroll its wide sidewalks lined with locally owned shops, cafes (Black Cow!), eateries, and art galleries set against the breathtaking panoramic landscapes. There are interesting sculptures to look at too. If you time it right, you might catch one of the fun free events happening downtown, like pop-up art shows and concerts.
Also in Uptown is one of Sedona’s most popular and creative spots: the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village. This is far from your average shopping mall. Designed to replicate a quaint Mexican Village, Tlaquepaque is a self-contained cultural mecca. Enter under its stone archways draped with green vines, and wander its cobblestoned paths. Various artisan workshops, art galleries, and gift shops are clustered around its fountained courtyard. This is the place to pick up a one-of-a-kind Southwestern or Indigenous art piece or souvenir.
Go on a Breathtaking Hike
Hiking is hands-down one of the best things to do in Sedona. The area is brimming with epic canyon trails featuring jaw-dropping viewpoints, magnificent rock formations, and a rich red color that gives the town an otherworldly energy.
There are over 200 trails here, but with only three days in Sedona, you’ll have to be somewhat choosy based on what natural features and difficulty level you’re looking for. Here are a handful of beautiful Sedona day hikes for all levels that feature breathtaking vistas and iconic rock formations.
- Cathedral Rock. This moderate 1.2-mile hike is a quick but satisfying challenge. It involves a rock scramble up Cathedral Rock, a massive and magnificent sandstone formation. The reward is definitely in the panoramic views from the top. Pro tip: Cathedral Rock offers the perfect front-row seat to watch a spectacular desert sunset.
- Devil’s Bridge Trail. This easy-to-moderate trail is roughly 4 miles in total. It’s mostly flat, ending with a set of steep stairs leading to the bridge. The Devil’s Bridge rock formation is one of Sedona’s most popular photo op spots. So be prepared for mid-day crowds and lines for that magic photo! It’s worth it.
- Bell Rock Pathway. This moderate 1-mile pathway is essentially a scramble up the incredible Bell Rock landmark. You can go up as far as you like (except the very top). Each level will reward you with inspiring views like Courthouse Butte.
- Secret Birthing Cave. It is not to secret anymore, but who wouldn’t want an easy hike with awesome views? This 2-mile, relatively flat hike will bring you to the hidden-away Birthing Cave. You have the option to climb up into the cave for beautiful panoramas from its mouth.
Enjoy a Spa or Wellness Experience
In Sedona, looking for some R&R or personal healing? You’ve come to the right place. Besides being a hiker’s paradise, Sedona is also known as a spa resort and wellness destination! From traditional luxury spas and resorts to yoga retreats and alternative spiritual centers, transformative healing is huge for the Sedona community.
For a couple of hours of no-frills spa treatments, check out go-tos like A Spa for You. You can enjoy services like hot stones, deep tissue, and Japanese facial massages. There are also unique spiritual spas that combine alternative and traditional practices. Go on a Sedona-famous vortex hike and yoga, or enjoy spa healing that incorporates meditation at Inner Journeys.
Go on a Winery Tour & Tasting
An often overlooked aspect of Sedona is that it’s the perfect home base for a wine tour. The best wineries in Sedona are situated at the heart of the Verde Valley. Over 20 wineries and vineyards are within close driving distance of the town, making up what’s known as the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
Fall and spring are ideal for a winery tour and tasting. The magic of the Verde Valley Wine Trail is in the beautifully curated outdoor patios offering sweeping desert views. This is a little tougher to enjoy in extreme heat or frosty temps.
Just 20 minutes by car is Oak Creek Vineyards in Cornville, which has a relaxing atmosphere where you can enjoy custom wine flights and aperitifs on the scenic outdoor patio. Try the cheese and jam spread or the artichoke dip, and take home a couple of bottles.
Another fan-favorite is Page Spring Cellars also in Cornville, with its lush garden canopy that transports you to a Tuscan dream. In addition to wine, check out their bistro and tasting room. Or utilize their yoga and massage offerings to kill two birds with one stone! I tried just about everything on their bistro menu and it was delicious. Their wine was my favorite of the trip!
Take a Scenic Day Trip
Sedona is perfectly situated in Arizona for numerous day trips, all with beautiful scenery around every bend. If you love day trips or scenic drives, your three days in Sedona will be jam-packed with epic adventures. The region is saturated with scenic highways and national parks within driving distance. Here are a few excellent choices:
- Flagstaff via Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road. This 15-mile stretch of scenic road through Oak Creek Canyon is the most scenic drive from Sedona to Flagstaff. Snap a photo of Midgley Bridge and Oak Creek, or pull off for a picnic at Slide Rock State Park. Flagstaff is close enough to spend a few leisurely hours.
- The Grand Canyon via Scenic Highway 180. The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most incredible places, and its South Rim is only 2.5 hours by car. You’ll ride along Oak Creek Canyon road, pass Flagstaff, and spend most of the journey on Scenic Highway 180, passing magical Pinon pine forests and mountain landscapes.
- Red Rock Scenic Byway. This stunning 13-mile drive is a destination in itself. For those wanting the best overall views of brilliant red sandstone rock formations, you’ll be in awe as you drive along State Route 179, stopping at scenic lookouts along the way.
Embark on an Adventure Tour
Leisure seekers and adventure travelers alike find their stride in Sedona. You’ve got the best of both worlds here, which is great if you want to try a little of everything with your Sedona 3-day itinerary. Those looking for an adrenaline rush have plenty of options in Sedona. Jeep tours that take you to hard-to-reach places in the desert without lifting a finger are in full supply. Venture out into Soldier’s Pass on a Red Rock Jeep Tour, or head into the rocky backcountry in style on a Pink Jeep Tour.
There are dozens of other tour companies offering epic adventures. You can go on an energy vortex tour to connect with the spirit world or a river rafting tour with Sedona Adventure Tours. If you prefer to see the Verde Valley from above, you can even take a helicopter tour over breathtaking canyons with companies like Guidance Air.
With only three days in Sedona, you’ll easily want more time to explore the scenic community, dive into its spiritual center and stroll the streets filled with local shops, good eats, and hidden gems. Check out this 5 days in Sedona Itinerary, which can be easily altered for more or less time. I love visiting Sedona in winter when crowds are fewer and prices are cheaper, but I’ve also been in Spring (with the best weather) and Summer (with fewer crowds but the hottest of temps) and enjoy visiting Sedona no matter the time of year. Sedona is a fantastic destination for all personalities and types of travelers. I hope you enjoy your time in Sedona as much as I enjoy mine!
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