Home of the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Saguaro National Park, Arizona is one of the best states of all in terms of stunning natural scenery and outdoor recreation. It’s a place where you almost feel like you’ve been transported to another planet, with the state being replete with awe-inspiring landscapes, unique rock formations, and extraordinary natural areas.
Each and every year, millions of outdoor enthusiasts head to Arizona to visit the state’s national parks, forests, and canyons. Many visitors to Arizona fly or travel into the state capital of Phoenix. Well known for its near-endless sunshine and high temperatures, Phoenix is part of the 'Valley of the Sun' area and is home to some great attractions like Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden, as well as world class golf courses and excellent bars, restaurants, and live entertainment venues.
Phoenix is also a nice place to base oneself for exploration of the rest of the Grand Canyon State. You can arrange and plan out a lot of different day trips from Phoenix to key locations like the Grand Canyon itself, the Sonoran Desert National Monument, Tonto National Forest, Coconino National Forest, and more. One of the best places to choose for your Phoenix day trip is Sedona.
All About Sedona
A desert town not too far from the city of Flagstaff, Sedona is regarded as one of the key gateways to the Grand Canyon, being only a couple of hours away from the South Rim. Sedona is surrounded by amazing scenery including unique red rock buttes, canyons, and forests.
The town itself is also home to a thriving art community, with many creative people being drawn to Sedona and inspired by its scenic beauty. Some of the top landmarks to check out in and around Sedona include the Chapel of the Holy Cross, the Airport Mesa, and the Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village.
Getting to Sedona from Phoenix
Phoenix is about 115 miles away from Sedona. The journey between these two cities isn’t too long, but it can still take a couple of hours in a car or even longer in a tour bus, so you’ll need to be prepared for quite a long day. A top tip for your Sedona day trip is to plan the whole thing out carefully in advance and leave early in the morning in order to get a full day at your destination.
Getting to Sedona from Phoenix by Car
There aren't any direct train or bus connections between Phoenix and Sedona, so you'll need to either drive or sign up for an organized tour. Taking a car is a good option, as it gives you a lot of freedom for the day and lets you decide when you'd like to set off and if you want to make any stops en route.
You can drive to Sedona from Phoenix in about two hours on average, and the drive is a very simple one. All you need to do is follow I-17 N and then turn off when you see signs for Sedona. It’s a scenic drive through the forest, so any passengers might want to have their cameras ready to snap some photos along the way.
Getting to Sedona from Phoenix on a Tour
If you’d rather not make the road trip to Sedona, you can choose to sign up for an organized tour straight from Phoenix. A few different tour groups and companies offer these kinds of experiences, and some will often include additional activities or stops, while others might even stop at Sedona and then continue on to the Grand Canyon.
The prices will vary for bus tours to Sedona from Phoenix, so you can look around and compare the different tour operators to get the best deal for you. In terms of time, the bus will be a little slower than a car on average, but the tours tend to start bright and early in the morning, so give you lots of time to enjoy Sedona.
Important Information and Things to Do in Sedona
- Best Time to Visit - All of Arizona is known for being dry and hot for large parts of the year, and the same can be said of Sedona. The weather gets really hot and sunny in the summer months, and can actually be quite unbearable for some people and even dangerous for the skin and body, with many people struggling from dehydration. This is why the best time to visit Sedona is in the spring. From March to May, the temperatures will be warm but not too intense and the local vegetation will be in full bloom, adding life and vibrancy to the landscapes. Fall is another good time to visit for hikes and outdoor recreation.
- Things to Do in Sedona - One of the interesting things about Sedona is the variety of activities you can enjoy in and around this part of Arizona. The town is best associated with outdoor activities like hiking and climbing, and there are some great canyons and natural spaces to explore nearby. However, if you prefer to stay in the city, you can also do some shopping, check out the local artworks and galleries, and enjoy some excellent food as well. You can book cycling tours, sign up for wine tasting experiences, play golf, enjoy family-friendly treks, and much more.