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A Perfect Long Weekend With Friends (Complete Itinerary)


Planning a trip to Sedona, Arizona? Here’s our day-to-day itinerary with lodging, restaurants, and hikes.

My high school friends and I have gotten together once a year, every year, for the last 25 years (2020 was the only year that derailed us).

Mostly we meet at each other’s houses, going for walks, eating out, and reconnecting.

This year we spent a dreamy weekend in Sedona, where our Winter blahs were melted away by the Arizona sun.

A few important points about our itinerary:

  • We traveled to Sedona in late-January, when the average monthly temperature is 31-56 degrees F. It was generally cold in the mornings, then warmed up throughout the day. Here are average monthly temperatures in Sedona.
  • We are not partiers. We did not seek out bars or trendy places. So if you’re looking for that, you won’t find it here!
  • We were not on tight budgets. We splurged on a spacious Airbnb that was walkable to shops and restaurants as a treat for our 50th birthdays.
  • We are not hardcore hikers. We wore sneakers or hiking shoes and chose hikes that were easy or moderate.
  • Our Airbnb came with a Red Rocks Pass, which must be displayed in the windshield of your vehicle at certain trails. Here’s where you can buy a Red Rocks Pass.

I hope this gives you some ideas–or at least inspires you to visit this beautiful place too!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: How to See 7 Utah & Arizona National Parks in 6 Days

Our Sedona Itinerary

DAY 1

  • Arrive at Phoenix Airport mid-day, pick up rental car, and drive to Sedona.
  • LUNCH: Stop along the way at Wildflower Bread Company
  • Arrive at Airbnb: We splurged on this four-bedroom, three-bathroom Airbnb house that has a large kitchen and living room, hot tub, and spacious deck with an amazing view. We loved that it was within walking distance of restaurants and shops. Check out the view from the kitchen window!
  • Talk a walk around town and order take-out at Elote Cafe. Tables book up months in advance, so make a reservation as soon as you can (or, if you wait too long like we did, stop by and order take-away).
  • Get groceries at local Safeway (2300 W Hwy 89A): There’s also a nearby Whole Foods and some local foods markets.
  • Pick up take-out at Elote Cafe and eat at home inside or out on the deck.

SATURDAY

  • Stop at Chapel of the Holy Cross on the way back. This spot gets busy, but we happened to find a parking spot. We walked up to the chapel, peeked inside, and enjoyed the stunning views.
  • Stop at Son Silver West for fun souvenirs: This quirky place is like an art gallery and gift-shop in one.
  • LUNCH: Pump House Station. We ate big, delicious salads on the screened-in front porch.
  • Walk over to Cream & Cake Couture for treats. 
  • Return to the house to soak in the hot tub and read on the deck. Here’s the view from our deck (and my mismatched socks!).
  • Do part of the Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive (AZ 89A). This is a beautiful drive, but does have some switchbacks, so it’s not for nervous drivers. We drove about 30 minutes to a scenic overlook then drove back (be sure to arrive at the overlook before 4pm, when it closes!).
  • Eat Elote Cafe leftovers for dinner with homemade guacamole + chips

SUNDAY

  • BREAKFAST: Eat at Airbnb
  • HIKE: Cathedral Rock ($10 parking fee). The hike up Cathedral Rock is stunning but difficult. So we opted to walk along the creek below. This is the view of Cathedral Rock from the parking lot and picnic site. You can enter the lower trail from there.
  • LUNCH: Sit on the patio at 89 Agave Cantina (they’ve got heaters). Get a load of the amazing enchiladas with a side of rice and beans!
  • Shop downtown
  • Hike Brin’s Mesa (access from Jordan Road trailhead). This was my favorite hike of the weekend. There are a couple of overlooks with beautiful views. Stop, sit, and enjoy the silence!
  • DINNER: Hideaway House. We ate the Kat’s Way pizza and Fall Harvest Salad outside on the deck, which feels like you’re having dinner in a treehouse. Look at our amazing view! (It was chilly but we had heaters on either side of our table.)
  • Return to the house and soak in the hot tub and gaze at the amazing, star-filled sky.

DAY 4: MONDAY

  • Breakfast in Airbnb, using whatever groceries are left.
  • Say goodbye to Sedona and leave for the Phoenix airport!

What to pack for a trip to Sedona

I stuffed a lot into these packing cubes. They feature a “compression zipper”, so you save even more space. If you’re flying, here’s my favorite incredibly lightweight suitcase you can either check or carry on.

  • Hat (baseball or wide-brimmed for sun, warm winter hat for cool mornings)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking shoes/boots or tennis shoes with sturdy soles and good socks
  • Comfortable pants for hiking (shorts if warm weather)
  • Good socks for hiking
  • Long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts (layering is key)
  • Puffer coat or vest if visiting during colder months
  • Sweatshirt or fleece jacket
  • Bathing suit (for the hot tub!)
  • Day pack
  • Sunscreen (stick for face, spray/cream for body)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Reusable water bottle

Groceries we bought for a weekend in Sedona

Because we treated ourselves to a lot of lunches and dinners out, we didn’t need many groceries, and the Airbnb was stocked with some basics like sugar. We bought our groceries at the local Safeway. There is also a Whole Foods, plus other local markets, in town.

  • Bagels + cream cheese
  • Oatmeal
  • Peanut butter packets
  • Eggs
  • Crackers
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Clementines
  • Avocados + limes to make my simple guacamole
  • Locally made tortilla chips
  • Coffee + creamer
  • Granola bars
  • Potato chips
  • Bottled water for hikes (two of us remembered to pack reusable bottles, two of us didn’t!)
  • Orange juice
  • Beer

Want to see more of Arizona?

Check out my post How to See 7 Utah & Arizona National Parks in 6 Days for details on our family trip. Our stops included parks in Arizona including Monument Valley, Lake Powell, and the Grand Canyon.





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