Downtown Sedona is on the historic 89A featuring the gorgeous Oak Creek Canyon and a plethora of places to explore.
Sedona draws in millions of visitors every year, and while you may feel tempted to skip it because of the crowds, don’t. There’s just too much to do there!
Spend Some Time in Sedona, Arizona
Spending time in downtown Sedona and the surrounding area is a must for anyone visiting the Southwest. Known for its red rock vistas, spiritual vortexes, wide-open spaces, and many shopping and dining experiences, Sedona is a tourist destination in high demand.
Even the cowboys knew it long ago when western flicks were popular. There were around 100 movies filmed here, starting in the late 1920s, with its heyday being in the 40s and 50s. Today, you can explore this history throughout downtown, along with historic buildings alongside palatial views of the surrounding natural red rocks.
Sedona is also known for its futuristic spiritual healing areas known as vortexes. And, of course, you’ll come across various shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and more—all with art around every corner, from locally crafted benches to sculptures to statues and murals.
Of course, nothing competes with the natural art of Oak Creek Canyon and the red rocks that gave Sedona its original draw. And downtown Sedona has all of the above.
7 Ways to Spend Your Time in Downtown Sedona
Wandering around downtown Sedona is a treat. You’ll find courtyards and plazas dotted throughout, housing cozy restaurants, art galleries, shops, and more. You can explore on foot or hop on a trolley ride. You can go back in time with the history here or head into the future with an aura reading and photography session.
Create your own adventure in downtown Sedona with these ideas.
#1. Hop on a Trolley Ride
Starting in downtown Sedona, you can choose from one of two 55-minute tours or combine both tours to get the full experience of this gorgeous Arizona town. One tour will take you into Tlaquepaque’s Art District and further out of town to explore Sedona’s red rock views, along with a stop at Chapel of the Holy Cross.
Another tour takes you into West Sedona, where you’ll see Thunder Mountain and Chimney Rock. You’ll also experience red rock views here while traveling into Fay Canyon.
And if you want to see it all, combine the two tours for an authentic experience of Sedona. Pricing starts around $24.00 for adults.
#2. Visit the Sedona Heritage Museum
This historic site was once the Jordan Family Homestead, one of Sedona’s pioneer families. Now, it’s a place to learn about Sedona’s rich heritage. The Sedona Heritage Museum consists of traveling exhibits and mainstays. It also houses a collection of vintage vehicles and rooms set up reminiscent of the Old West.
You’ll get a hint of Sedona’s movie era throughout downtown Sedona. When touring the last sole building, the Telegraph office, you’ll also get a little taste of Hollywood. Pricing starts at $7.00 for adults.
Pro Tip: Take a hike on one of these 7 Best Sedona Hiking Trails.
#3. Take a Class at the Sedona Arts Center
Artists flock here, surrounded by the stunning red rock vistas that define Sedona. Artist or not, you can be when visiting the Sedona Arts Center.
Local artists have their work highlighted here, and you’ll also find traveling exhibitions focusing on culture, art, festivals, music, and more.
The Sedona Arts Center also offers workshops and classes for all ages and levels for all art mediums, including ceramics, painting, drawing, and more. When visiting the Sedona Arts Center in downtown Sedona, you’ll walk away feeling like an artist.
#4. Get Your Aura Photographed
The aura is an energy field that surrounds all matter. It reportedly extends up to and beyond six inches from the body in a colorful array. Aura photography sessions can capture these colors. The colors can then offer insight into your mood and well-being.
Sedona is known for its spiritual dedications with psychic readings, crystal sessions, and aura and photography sessions. With several places throughout downtown Sedona offering all of the above, getting your aura photographed is nothing out of the ordinary here. You’ll also get a full analysis of what your aura says about you. If you’re looking to embrace your spiritual side, Sedona is the place to do so.
#5. Grab a Bite to Eat
The culinary scene in downtown Sedona is not one to miss. Whether you want fine dining or a quick bite to eat, you’ll find a lot of local, chef-inspired choices here. The ranches nearby provide fresh beef. Oak Creek provides fresh trout. And there’s ample locally grown fruit, herbs, and produce to please any palate.
From restaurants with umbrella-covered patios allowing for people-watching fun to exquisite candlelit tables meant to create a romantic getaway, Sedona has it all. You’ll find wineries, breweries, coffee shops, candy stores, sandwich bistros, bakeries, and almost anything to match your current craving.
Oh, and you can’t forget the farmers market during the summer. Start with homemade breakfast burritos and fresh coffee as you wander through the stalls of vibrantly colored fruits and veggies. End your day with ice cream while perusing the many handcrafted goods.
#6. Check Out the “Hands Through History” Plaques
You can’t visit downtown Sedona without walking along Uptown and the “Hands Through History” plaques. While enjoying the views, you’ll learn about Sedona’s western film history. Each plaque is embedded in red rock concrete with handprints or bootprints and commemorates people and movies that created Sedona’s piece of movie magic.
This commemorative program started with six original stars, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Cooper, SueAne Langdon, Bob Bradshaw, Dwight Brooks, and A.C. Lyles, with more added over the years. And although movie stars came to Sedona to work, the beauty, even then, was never lost on them.
Questioned about sightseeing while working, SueAne Langdon told Arizona’s Little Hollywood, “It was mostly just work, work, work – but where we worked was sight-seeable. Where is there a place that’s not sight-seeable here?”
History and beauty go hand and hand in Sedona.
Pro Tip: Need more entertainment for your trip in Sedona? Check out these 9 Best Things To Do in Sedona, Arizona.
#7. Go Shopping
With its magnificent beauty, spiritual healings, and historical beginnings, downtown Sedona’s shopping scene is like no other. You’ll find typical tourist stores that offer all the t-shirts, coffee cups, and magnets you’ll expect. However, you’ll also find crystals, movie posters, locally crafted art, and so much more.
Each shop is unique with its own characteristics. Some quirky, others elegant. Some with high-end wares, others full of antiques. Toys shops, clothing shops, thrift shops, crystal and rock shops, spiritual readings, hobby shops, and so much more. The shopping in downtown Sedona has something for every taste, every style, every age.
So, don’t forget your wallet when visiting…or maybe you should.
Enjoy Downtown Sedona
Downtown Sedona doesn’t need vortexes or auras or magical crystals to make it magical. Its many shops, dining options, sculptures, and courtyards make it quite magical all on its own. However, it sure doesn’t hurt that Sedona is surrounded by natural red rock beauty and spiritual vibes. It’s the combination of man-made perfectly matching up with Mother Nature that gives Sedona all the magic it needs.
What are your must see spots in Sedona? Drop a comment below!
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: