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Arizona Road Trip: What to Do and See in Sedona

Off on an ad-van-ture? Road trips are really a way to reconnect with yourself, and there’s no better way to travel. You get to choose your own company, enjoy the little things on the way, and the best part is you can make frequent stops to the bathroom. Arizona is a pretty exciting place, but if you’re looking to explore Sedona, the best way to do that is a road trip. New to Sedona? Don’t worry, we got you covered! Here’s a complete guide to a Sedona road trip:

Where Are You Traveling From?

First things first, we need to establish where you’re driving from. Phoenix to Sedona takes approximately two hours. Driving from Phoenix will get you there quicker. Similarly, if you’re going from anywhere a few hours from Arizona, we recommend driving to Scottsdale or even flying to Scottsdale if you’re a bit too far. Scottsdale is only a stone’s throw from Sedona, so you can book a car there and continue making that trip. Plus, while in Scottsdale, you can take a day to golf or check out some high-end boutiques. If you’re coming from anywhere that’s going to take more than 8 hours, try to book a flight or a train to Phoenix or Scottsdale instead; it’ll save you the time and effort!

Choosing A Car

Another important thing before you set off is choosing a good car. We recommend renting a good ol’ camper van because it’s comfortable, has loads of space, and gives you a place to rest after a long drive. If you’re not in the mood for a camper, you could always rely on a Ford Escape, Dolly Steamboat, or the Ford Expedition.

Visit the Cathedral Rock

The Cathedral Rock is a gorgeous red rock formation and is a 10 minutes drive from Sedona. Heading over to the Cathedral Red Rock first thing on the trip is a must, because you get to explore and marvel at the natural geological formation and could even join in on a few hiking and trailing tours that occur daily. Drive to the Cathedral Rock Trail and take an adventurous walk or book a biking tour. The Red Rock State Park is quite near, so you can park your camper there while you have some fun.

Take A Bite At the Red Rock Cafe

Only 4.5 miles from the Red Rock State Park, the Red Rock Cafe serves some un-burger-lievably good burgers. 

Head to the Chapel of the Holy Cross

This Chapel is nestled between dramatic rocks and is only a few minutes from Cathedral Rock. The Chapel is a Roman Catholic one that offers stunning views and is also handicap accessible. 

Swim At Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon is like a smaller Grand Canyon but with cool waters to swim and relax in. This scenic excursion is nothing short of breath-taking, especially in Autumn when it gets unbelievably mystical. 

Sunset At Sedona Airport Overlook

“Why should we visit the airport if we’re driving?”. We know that this may raise some eyebrows, but once you visit the Sedona Airport Overlook and witness the other-worldly sunset, all your worries will wash away. Sedona Airport Overlook actually offers an unforgiving view of sunsets, with the prettiest hues of pink, purple, and orange you’ll ever see.

Takeout From Mesa Grill Sedona

Trust us; you’ll want to get takeaway from Mesa Grill, a Southwestern restaurant with seasonal food and even vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. If you’re not in the mood for takeout, then stay at the restaurant but don’t miss out on the amazing food.

Stargaze in Sedona

Sedona offers various tours for stargazing, which you can take or simply hang back in your car. One of the few rare places in the world where the stars shine brighter than man-made lights, Sedona will give you the romantic evening your partner, and you have been looking for.


There are literally lots to choose from when it comes to accommodation; you can book a room at the hotel near the airport or visit a few popular destinations, like the Sedona Summit Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, or The Ridge. If you want to feel closer to nature, you could camp out from your RV or camper at night. Don’t worry, it’s completely safe!

Drive to Grand Canyon

Even if you’re in Sedona, you cannot miss the Grand Canyon. Luckily, the Grand Canyon is only 2-3 hours away from Sedona, so you can set off early in the morning after breakfast from your camper and reach the Grand Canyon before noon. The Grand Canyon National Park is arguably going to be the best place during your road trip since there is a lot to do.

Get A Guide From the Visitor Center

First things first, get a guide about the Grand Canyon from the visitors’ center. It’ll help you steer (pun intended) without getting lost.

Go Horseback on the Bright Angel Trail Hike

The Bright Angel Trail is one of the few trails near the Grand Canyon which allows mules and horses, so if you’re feeling a bit tired from driving, then horseback at the Bright Angel Trail will be perfect for you. 

Take the Shuttle

When you’re done hiking (or if you choose not to hike), take the shuttle, which takes tourists along the Canyon’s rim, giving a breath-taking tour and stopping on several vantage points. 

Replenish At the Bright Angel Lodge

The tour will leave you starving, so you can stop at the Bright Angel Lodge, where juicy steaks and scrumptious meals will refuel you right up.

Drive Back and Stay A Night At the Grand Canyon Village

The Grand Canyon Village is worth the stay; you can find easy accommodation with places to park your camper, so there’s really not much for you to do but relax.

These are only a very few of the things you can do while taking a road trip, but hopefully, this little itinerary can help you take a trip that is exhilarating, lovely, and memorable. Tons of tourists take road trips to Sedona, so you won’t have to worry about managing a rental; there are loads of petrol pumps and refueling stations and plenty of parking spaces, even at the trails. 

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