I remember my first visit to Sedona, Arizona like it was yesterday. It was in the middle of summer and I was living in Mesa, Arizona. I was hot and needed to get away! Some friends told me and my partner about Sedona and since it was only a couple of hours away we grabbed a few things and headed to the cooler high ground. We were blown away by the red rock formations and the crystal clear blue sky, but we weren’t quite sure what to do first. We called some friends for advice and they suggested that we hop on the Sedona Trolley to get the best introduction to Sedona. So that’s where we started. Now that I have been here for a while, here are my best recommendations for your first visit to Sedona.
Things to do your first time in Sedona
Red Rock Magic Trolley tours are an easy and fun way to see a whole lot of Sedona. They are a great introduction to the beauty, culture, and sights of this breathtaking and magical town. Sedona’s Magic Trolley tours run 7 days a week. Reservations are highly recommended, but you can board the Magic Trolley at the Uptown Sedona location or any of several resort locations in town. Tours last from 55 to 85 minutes. Click on over to the Magic Trolley schedule for more details, or better yet, you can make your reservation by phone at 928.821.6706.
Visit the Airport Mesa
You definitely want to make the trip up to the airport Mesa for some of the best overall panoramic views in Sedona, and the sunset there is exceptional because of the way the lights and colors bounce off the red rocks. If you happen to go around meal time, the Sedona Airport Restaurant serves a delightful walnut crusted cob salad.
This is an awesome medium level hike that provides great views of the red rocks and excellent photo opportunities. All along the pathway you will be treated to great scenery. You do not have to hike the whole path to get to outstanding red rock views. Just make sure to wear comfortable clothes and bring water. Once you are on this pathway you may want to hike farther than you thought.
Take and ATV or Jeep Tour into the Red Rocks.
You have a lot of choices when it comes to tours into the red rocks. Our personal favorite was the ATV tour by Arizona Outdoor Adventures. We got to drive their ATV while they guided us through the wilderness west of Sedona. That was a kick! I never drove an ATV before but after they gave me some quick training I was ready to go. If you do not want to do your own driving I would suggest any of these jeep tour companies: A Day in the West, Pink JeepTours, and Red Rock Jeep Tours. There are other Jeep Tour companies that I have not tried yet, don’t worry you won’t pick the wrong one, they are all good!
Visit the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park
We also took a walk up to the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park located at 2650 Pueblo Drive in West Sedona. It is amazing there – a wonderfully peaceful place for prayer and meditation. The Amitabha Stupa is open every day from dawn until dusk and your visit is free of charge. This was one of my favorite places in Sedona. The beautiful scenery, energy and overall good feeling of the area keeps me going back.
I could go on and on about all the attractions and tours to take, but I believe this is a good start for your first visit to Sedona. Once you get here you will find your own favorites that encompass your interests.