Things to do in Sedona Arizona

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If you’d like ideas on things to do in Sedona Arizona, I’d love to share with you what our family did last week on our adventure! With 300 hiking trails in 19 square miles, it’s the perfect family vacation spot!

Things to do in Sedona Arizona

I’ve known for months that I wanted to have a family travel adventure over the Christmas holiday break, but wasn’t quite sure where. Last year we went to Taos, New Mexico and played in the snow, and that was amazing, but didn’t necessarily want to do snow again.  I found killer flights from Austin to Phoenix back in October, so I jumped on those, with plans to drive up to Sedona, less than 2 hours north.

We drove a Toyota Highlander while in town, I always feel extra fancy in an SUV! What is it about them that I feel cooler?  If I had 2 kids, I’d totally go for this car, but it was a bit squished for the 6 of us. It did have individual seat warmers, which was amazing, a rear view video, which was so nice, and it even beeped when my husband (who mostly drives) veered into the other lane, LOVE that for cross country trips and drowsiness that happens.

Family in Toyota Highlander

Sedona as a whole is just breathtaking to look around from the moment you drive in. So much beautiful red rock (my favorite, if you remember our Bryce Canyon trip last year) and I can see why it’s a popular destination spot. I LOVE hiking, and there were just so many options, I will just need to go back. I’m grateful my kids enjoying hiking and discovering, though I do admit I wondered if any rattlesnakes were lurking, but I never saw any. It was a gorgeous 60ish degrees (we left Austin in the 20s) the first week in January, which was PERFECTION! The sun was shining, and I couldn’t have asked for better weather days.

Things to do in Sedona Arizona

Unlike most trips, I did next to ZERO research on “what to do in Sedona” before I got there. I had a few friends that had gone, but just decided to drive up to the information center on the way into town and ask a few questions. Since my husband is still hobbling a bit from his October knee surgery, I knew we couldn’t go too rugged. If I can just suggest THREE places to go, this is what I would do:

  • Cathedral Rock
  • Devil’s Bridge
  • Bell Rock

gynmastics picture

what to do in Sedona AZ

My phone case that I get asked about literally EVERY SINGLE DAY when I’m out and about. I wear it around my neck/shoulder most of the time like this when I’m without my purse.

hiking in sedona

We got our boys these Camelbak water packs for Christmas, they love them.


Things to do in Sedona Arizona

Each were different scenery (though my kids felt they were similar) with such different vistas and viewpoints, with easy climbs. Though for all three, my husband hike the majority with us, but when it got to a steeper incline, he chose the safe size and stayed behind. If we were to have been there in the summer, I would add two more stops:

  • Slide Rock (too chilly to slide in the water)
  • Oak Creek Canyon

Other noteworthy stops we didn’t make:

  • Snoopy Rock
  • Chapel of the Holy Cross

We really contemplated Oak Creek Canyon hike because we heard from several people that it was amazing and I read online somewhere that its the “top 10 hikes in America” which was interesting, but it is very heavily wooded (unlike the other 3 hikes we took in Sedona with red rocks) and with it being winter, figured the trees were more bare. I did hear it was “easy” and crossed streams a bunch which is always fun, but when we were going to explore on the last day with a little time, my kids asked to sleep in, instead…ha! They had had enough hiking in the 3 previous days. Since I figured the trees were bare, would have had to pay for a day pass for just a little time, we skipped it.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our hiking adventures:Cathedral Rock in Sedona

My boys and I went to the top of Cathedral rock, while my husband and girls played below.

family hiking pictures

Here is Devils Bridge. I watched, my boys and youngest daughter went across. The light was horrible to show, so this is a bad photoshop merge of pictures to see the background and the below bridge.

Devils Bridge Sedona

The sun was shining on the mountain behind, this is what it looked like, that bridge made me so nervous just watching! {I saw a couple after this trying to take a selfie, and I yelled across that I’d take some and text it to them so ask for their digits. That was fun!

Devils Bridge

Red Rock ATV

For more things to do in Sedona Arizona, we also rented a 6 seater ATV. It was FUN, but bumpy, and the company had us go for a 2 hour ride around before getting to a hiking spot, which I would have preferred to just go to the hiking spot. If you want to rent (and your fam doesn’t mind the bumps) I highly recommend Red Rock ATV, they were great to work with, and didn’t charge extra when we were 30 min. late (I called to let them know ahead of time). I had seen a lot about the Jeep Tours, and I looked into that, but thought it would be more fun to go off on our own adventure, but if I could do it again, I’d do the Jeep tour, because I like history and storytelling.

ATV rental

{Did you notice the funny in the above picture? I didn’t feel like messing with it in photoshop for 2 hours! You get the idea…}

Since my husband has been eating AIP Paleo the last 8 weeks, I was delighted to find the Paleo Kitchen, which knew enough about AIP to know his restrictions, so we had a nice meal out. Otherwise, we enjoyed home cooked meals at the home rental we found on HomeAway, which was AMAZING! (To read more about how to book a home and why we love them, head to this post: Vacation Home Rental with HomeAway

Where to stay in Sedona AZ

We LOVED this home, and highly recommend it. It was up in the canyon (almost to Oak Creek) and had so many cute amenities, not to mention thoughtful touches by the owners.

picture putting together puzzles

Cute house rental in Sedona

House Rental

It may be staged (below) but I still love this pic with my kids.

hiking Sedona Arizona

I’ll close with one of my favorite views when we are out on any adventure. Just walking behind my family, thinking about our blessings, enjoying each others company, time away, just makes me smile all over my body.

Bell Rock in Sedona

Hope you enjoy our ideas on things to do in Sedona Arizona, let me know if you go and what you loved!

Disclosure: I partnered with Toyota for this post, but all opinions are my own.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing these little outings. Our boys are getting older and I can’t wait to try some of these!

  2. Pictures are a workmanship that almost everyone values and starting late is a heavenly decision to pick up money. Most by far just coolly get the photos, however some of them should be the best picture takers. They require their photos to be understood by all watchers.

  3. i love this post and the images in this are awesome

  4. Great photos, looks like a fun trip.

  5. It looks beautiful and exotic. I’m sure you had fun. I would be delighted to visit Arizona.

  6. I love Sedona. It’s so beautiful, and the hiking is amazing. We’ve done Slide Rock and Oak Canyon.

  7. Much obliged to you such a great amount for having the uplifting thought of running a blog. I am really regarded to have been had my blog entry be a piece of it and I have likewise bookmarked it for all the more further.

  8. This is one of the best travel guide that has been created by Kristen Duke, a famous photographer. I like the way it is written and it will surely help the travelers to learn and explore about the places they should visit if they haven’t visited so far.

  9. Since I figured the trees were bare, would have had to pay for a day pass for just a little time, we skipped it. <3

  10. I always wonder what to do when we are free. But this Blog provide me Great Ideas for my upcoming Trip

  11. I have seen your passion of adventure and it is full of joyful. I am also very passionate about photography or take an extra course for professional portrait photography want to visit that place and capture the best shot of this location.

  12. Travelling with my dear ones is my hobby. It is the most valuable gift I can give to my family. We can share our happy and sadness with our family through travelling. Find your own time for it. It is only asset in our life.

  13. Sedona is one of the best vacation spot, I like to travel whole around the world with my dear ones. I am so passionate with travelling. It is the only colorful experience in our life.

  14. Se-dona is good tourist spot and this vacation we plan to visit this place. I love travelling and it is my passion where I wish to travel the whole world and explore different features

  15. WOw simply amazing! Looks like you have an awesome family trip to Sedona.Looks like a perfect place for hikers! Hey Kristen, II and my hubby are going there sure!

  16. Thanks for sharing.I found a lot of interesting information here. A really good post, very thankful and hopeful that you will write many more posts like this one.

  17. Susan Larson says:

    WOW! Nice trip. Where did you stay? We’re planning to take a Spring Break trip.
    Please help me figure out where best to stay in Sedona???