I remember my first ever visit to Sedona, Arizona. It seems just like it was yesterday. It was in the middle of summer and I was living in Mesa, Arizona those days. I was hot and wanted to get away! Some friends told me and my partner about Sedona. Since it was only a couple of hours away so, 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 were not quite sure what to do first. We called some friends for advice and they suggested that we must have journey on the Sedona Trolley to get the best introduction to Sedona. So that’s where we started our tour. Now that I have been here for almost a decade, here are my best recommendations for your first visit to Sedona.
The Sedona Trolley offers two fully-narrated tours. When we found out we could take both of them for only $22 and we opted for both. I highly suggest taking both tours. First, we took the Sedona Highlight Tour that covered mostly the south side of Sedona. This tour stops for about 20 minutes at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, an architectural delight built into the red rocks. We enjoyed an awesome photography session from that stop. The tour also takes you through the Gallery District and Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. The second tour, The Seven Canyons Scenic Tour, visits the West Sedona area and before you know it you are seeing some of the most beautiful scenery and superb scenes of Boynton and Long Canyon. All along the way, the guides offered great information on Sedona and many tips on how to get the most from your vacation time. By the time we were done, we knew exactly where in Sedona we wanted to go and what activities we were going to do.
Visit the Airport Mesa – 235 Air Terminal Drive
You definitely want to make the trip up to the airport Mesa for some of the best overall panoramic views in Sedona. The sunset there is exceptional because of the way the lights and colors bounce off the red rocks.
Hike Bell Rock Pathway
Hike Bell Rock Pathway is an awesome medium level hike that provides great views of the red rocks and excellent photography 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.
ATV or Jeep Tours into the Red Rocks
You have a lot of options 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 wild west of Sedona. That was a kick! I had never driven an ATV before but after they gave me some quick tips and training and I was ready to go. If you do not want to do your own driving I would suggest any of these jeep tour companies to go with:
- Pink JeepTours
- Red Rock Jeep Tours
- A Day in the West
There are other Jeep Tour companies that I have not tried yet. However, you don’t worry at all; you won’t pick the wrong one as all of them are superbly awesome!
Visit the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park
Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park is located at 2650 Pueblo Drive in West Sedona. We took a walk to visit that awesome and spiritual place. It is really awesome – an amazingly peaceful place for prayer and meditation. The Amitabha Stupa is open every day from dawn until dusk. Remember that 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 keep me going back. If you are a nature lover and love to visit most exciting and beautiful places then I would personally recommend you to visit Sedona, Arizona.
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 adventure to explore the Gorgeous World. You will not regret once you get here. You will find your own favorites that encompass your interests once you are on the way.