Last updated August 28, 2023
Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Sonoran Desert, Sedona is a captivating destination that promises an unforgettable escape. Known for its stunning sandstone formations, spiritual energy vortexes and a vibrant arts scene, this southwestern gem offers a myriad of experiences.
Sedona is also one of the best spa and outdoors destinations in North America, and possibly even the world! A weekend trip here is a must for all wellness and hiking enthusiasts.
With swoon-worthy destination properties, over-the-top luxury spas, incredible hiking trails for all abilities and a wonderful culinary scene, you could easily stay in Sedona for a whole week, let alone a long weekend.
The Perfect Arizona Itinerary—Three-Days in Sedona
In this Arizona itinerary — the Sedona edition — find the best things to do (including the best hikes) as well as where to stay so you can plan the best possible wellness-focused weekend getaway.
Before You Go — Sedona Edition
- Sedona can be quite chilly in the winter and very hot in the summer so your itinerary might be affected by the time of year you visit. Generally the best time to visit Sedona is in the spring or the fall months when it’s not too cold yet not very hot either.
- If you visit in the warmer months (which this Arizona itinerary focuses on), I suggest hiking early in the morning or later in the afternoon and heading to a spa during the hottest hours of the day.
- Parking is available at each of the hike trailheads but it is limited. Thus another reason to head out early in the morning.
Day 1: Devil’s Bridge Hike, Spa Afternoon, Horseback Riding
Start your first day in Sedona with a sunrise hike to the popular spot Devil’s Bridge. It’s one of the best places to watch the sunrise in Sedona. This iconic trail leads hikers through stunning desert landscapes, towering sandstone cliffs and cacti-dotted terrain. The highlight of the hike is the natural sandstone arch known as Devil’s Bridge, an awe-inspiring geological marvel.
While it’s a popular trail, it’s still a must in Sedona. The trail is also short which makes it suitable for all levels even though there’s a bit of a rocky staircase toward the end.
Head back to your hotel for an afternoon of relaxation and pampering. If you’re staying at one of Sedona’s most beautiful properties (see where to stay below), then you’ll want to make the most of the spa.
Book yourself a treatment and spend the afternoon relaxing and in connection with the stunning landscape around you.
Finish your day with a horseback riding excursion that allows you to immerse yourself in the enchanting landscapes of this desert oasis. You’ll be able to access the winding pathways and ancient trails and see the red landscape from a very different perspective. For horseback riding tours make sure to enquire at your hotel.
Day 2: Hot Air Balloon Rise, Spa, Cathedral Rock Hike
There’s nothing quite like starting your morning with adventure. And a hot air balloon ride is one of the best experiences you can have in Sedona. The view of the vibrant landscapes at sunrise or sunset is nothing short of jaw-dropping; while the colors of the desert and the unique shadows cast over the landscape is something that’s so particular to Sedona and a must do on your Arizona itinerary.
Take it easy for the rest of the afternoon, indulge in another treatment at your award-winning resort spa and make the most of Sedona’s fantastic gastronomy. If you don’t have a spa at your hotel, make sure to book a relaxing day spa treatment at Mii Amo, one of the premiere spas in Sedona.
A few hours before sunset, lace up your hiking boots and head to Cathedral Rock for a fantastic sunset hike. The Cathedral Rock Hike is one of Sedona’s most enchanting natural landmarks.
You’ll take a moderate ascent through the rugged desert landscape, navigate through the narrow gaps and boulders until you reach the top. There, a truly stunning view awaits—a cathedral-like amphitheater of rock with the most spectacular red rock desert views beyond.
The Cathedral Rock hike is quite a rocky hike and can be quite slippery so you’ll need good hiking boots for this one. It can also be quite cold and windy at the top so if you’re sticking around to watch the sunset, don’t forget to bring some layers. Oh, and bring a headlamp as you might be heading back down in the dark.
Day 3: Self-Care, Energy Vortexes and Stargazing
There’s something about the unique landscape and desert energy in Sedona that makes you want to come back to yourself. Make the most of it by starting your day with you. A great way to do this is through meditation and yoga first thing in the morning.
Most of the best luxury wellness-focused resorts in Sedona will have opportunities for yoga and meditation practice in the morning but as they differ by resort, it’s best to enquire at reception.
Spend the last afternoon either doing another hike or, if you prefer something a little less active, discovering all of Sedona’s unique energy vortexes.
Sedona is renowned for its mystical energy vortexes, captivating visitors with an otherworldly aura that transcends the physical realm. Believed by some to be centers of heightened spiritual and cosmic energy, these vortexes are said to offer a profound sense of healing, meditation, and self-discovery.
You’ll be able to tour the energy vortexes surrounded by beautiful landscapes and experience the powerful energy of the sites and whether you’re a believer in them or not- they do make extremely peaceful spots for meditation and self-reflection.
Finish the day and your trip with a stargazing experience that you won’t forget in a while. Arizona’s clear skies make the perfect place for stargazing where you’ll be able to learn more about the stars, planets and be able to get a better look at the night’s sky. Many resorts offer stargazing tours with great local guides. If they don’t, then they can surely recommend one.
Where to Stay in Sedona
An Arizona itinerary for Sedona is not complete without a nod to these four wellness-focused resorts.
A wonderfully serene and intimate setting for a luxury spa retreat nestled in Uptown Sedona. With a modern and stylish vibe, it’s easy to transform your energy in their serene desert surroundings.
L’Auberge provides a beautiful space for your escape to Sedona through encouraging meaningful experiences, while also indulging in nature, culture and self-care. Make sure not to miss their sublime L’Apothecary Spa.
Surrounded by red rock canyons, Enchantment is one of the best accommodation options in Sedona. The spa here is excellent with a number of rejuvenating treatments inspired by Native American traditions. There’s also world-class dining, a golf course and many outdoor activities that can be organized by the concierge.
4. Mii Amo
One of the best luxury destination spas in Sedona, you are staying right among the red rocks of Boynton Canyon. It’s the perfect place to relax and find connection with yourself and the landscape.
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