Phoenix Day Trip: Sedona

Two hours from Phoenix is some of the most beautiful scenery in the state – scenery that people come to visit from all over the world. The Phoenix area is lucky enough to be a short 2-hour ride away from Sedona; a quick hop on I-17, and red rock and cooler temperatures await.

Sedona weather in May and June is about 10 degrees cooler than in Phoenix, making it a great getaway. Morning temperatures can still dip into the 50’s, creating an ideal climate for a morning hike or stroll through town.

Three activities that most visitors love about Sedona are the hiking, the art galleries, and the plethora of good-to-great restaurants. We’ve narrowed down some of the many choices for your one-day or weekend getaway to just a few of the best.

Sedona Arizona

Sedona Hikes

The Red Rock State Park is 20 minutes down Highway 89A, but it seems like hours away from civilization. Not only are there plenty of red rocks, but you can enjoy the relaxing Oak Creek and the accompanying shade trees. Red Rock State Park is a 286-acre nature preserve and environmental education center located just 5 miles west of Sedona off Highway 89A. Trails range in distance from .4 to 1.75 miles long. A favorite for kids: the Smoke Trail, a half-mile tree-lined stroll along the Oak Creek, with several wooden bridges to cross. The visitor’s center is a welcome respite, with a small museum, gift shop and a place to get drinks if you didn’t bring your own. The park also has several guided nature walks, bird walks, and moonlight hikes.

Sedona Art Galleries

With over 300 artists currently living in Sedona, there are no shortage of art galleries displaying their work. The majority are centered in a small area called "Uptown," which is around the intersection of Highway 89A and Highway 179, sometimes called "The Y." Park your car and stroll through the clusters of galleries sprinkled between shops and restaurants.

One of the well-known art centers is Tlaquepaque, a collection of shops, galleries and restaurants named for a suburb in Guadalajara, Mexico. With its beautiful Mexican architecture, fountains and landscaping, it’s easy to forget about shopping altogether. Still, the 18 galleries beckon, with a lively array of art pieces from music boxes, to bronze statues.

Sedona Cuisine

It’s hard to go wrong in Sedona when it comes to fine food. Restaurants with all sorts of cuisine and atmosphere abound, from Asian, to Italian, to Mexican. Here are a few suggestions:

One of the better fine restaurants in Sedona is "Dahl & Di Luca," a "Ristorante Italiano," with a beautiful atmosphere and a slew of “best of” awards.

Mexican food restaurant "Oaxaca" is an affordable, family-friendly place, with panoramic views and a central location in Uptown.

If you’re visiting Tlaquepaque, stop by the Oak Creek Brewery for a taste of their award-winning beers brewed on-site, and some wood-fired pizza or other American Grill items.

If you are staying overnight, consider breakfast at New York Bagels (1650 W Highway 89). They feature mouth watering bagels, and equally as-good pastries.

Purchasing a Summer Getaway Sedona is the perfect weekend getaway to escape the Phoenix heat, prompting many to buy a second home in Sedona or nearby.

Getting to Sedona

Sedona is a 2-hour drive north of Phoenix. From I-17 take Exit 298 onto AZ 179 and drive 15 miles to Sedona.