6 Summer Things to do in Sedona, Arizona
Our family loves a good road trip. Recently, we did the Southwest loop through Arizona and stopped in Sedona, Arizona for several days. With summer in full swing and temperatures rising, our family made sure to plan several ‘cool’ summer activities in Sedona. There are plenty of fun things to do in Sedona while staying out of the heat!
TOP 6 SUMMER THINGS TO DO IN SEDONA, ARIZONA
1. Morning Hike at Bell Rock
What’s that saying about the early bird getting the worm? Well in Sedona, rising early is rewarded with spectacular sunrises and cool desert trails to explore. The quiet morning makes the perfect backdrop for a hike through the rocks and twisted junipers of Bell Rock.
Bell Rock is one of Sedona’s most picturesque outcroppings. Truly shaped like a bell, this massive rock offers several hike options, from easy to extreme. While hiking the trails at Bell Rock, our family chose to take an easy path. We sauntered leisurely in the morning air while birds sang, lizards darted, and bees got busy. The desert was in bloom, so it was a colorful and interesting walk.
2. Day Trip to a Real Ghost Town
Just an hour away from Sedona, Jerome is one of those real ghost towns you hear about. It is one of those old western towns that conjures up images of dusty bars and tumbleweeds, shoot-outs and sheriffs. Old buildings abound; some renovated, some inhabited and some completely abandoned and barren. Although downtown was mostly deserted, there were a few fun shops and galleries that welcomed guests into their air-conditioned spaces.
Since the kids were intent on seeing real ghosts instead of an old western town, we booked a guided tour at Ghost Town Tours to show us around and give some backstory. After all, Jerome is the largest ghost town in America! Our family decided to go on the Spirit Walk Tour. This experience was an excellent way to learn about this town’s copper mining history and their miners’ untimely deaths.
According to local myths, Jerome ghosts like to regularly make their presence known to the locals and visitors alike. Although we didn’t see any real ghosts, we were spooked walking through a deserted, old high school. We roamed the hallways filled with creepy locker rooms, and the basement had dusty remnants of former professors. Boo!
3. Jeep Tours in the Rocky Canyons
Off-roading is such a blast and a great way to see more of the area! We love our experience touring the canyons and red rocks of Sedona with Pink Jeep Tours. In the back of a large, modified jeep, we sat in shady comfort while going up dirt trails and rocky stream beds. We made our way through the canyon until we reached the top of a gigantic rock, where could get a closer look and take some photos of the scenery.
The terrain is gorgeous, with various strata of rock in colors of deep red, brown and even white to show us layers. Our knowledgeable driver informed us this area was originally the bottom of the ocean. As the waters receded, the rocks were left exposed to the elements. Erosion over the years resulted in canyons and oddly-shaped red rock, which has made Sedona so famous today.
4. Shopping Downtown Sedona
Downtown Sedona is a mix of cool art galleries, crystal shops and a ton of restaurants. The streets offer an interesting stroll and some fun finds to bring home. The kids had a great time in the crystal rock shop, choosing from a large variety of colored rocks for their friends back at home.
From there, we wandered down to the creek to dip our toes before walking over to the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. We wandered through the shops (which reminded us of Santa Fe, New Mexico) and stopped for lunch and cool drinks before heading back to the hotel.
5. Stargazing in the Clear Night Sky
The night sky in Sedona is pitch black because there are few streetlights to drown out the stars. We have been told it is one of the best places to stargaze in the US, and we can say it most definitely is. We booked an “evening sky tour” with Sedona Star Gazing, led by a former NASA engineer. On an open field, we sat with our group in comfortable lawn chairs and snuggled in blankets. We then took turns using an enormous telescope, peering at the sky for light-years into the past.
As our guide introduced us to the night sky, he used a laser pointer to draw our gaze towards the different wonders in the sky. During our two hours together, we saw Saturn and her rings, Jupiter and several of its moons, and so many stars whose names I cannot remember or pronounce. It was a must-see experience that we highly recommend!
6. Swimming at Hilton Sedona’s Pool
Of course the ultimate place to cool off was back at Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock, where we splashed in the pool and enjoyed a sweet, icy drink. Hilton Sedona at Bell Rock is a perfect starting point to explore these summer activities in Sedona and is conveniently located to these attractions.
From hiking at Bell Rock to exploring the terrain on a jeep, there are so many things to do in Sedona. Time to book your trip now and experience it for yourself!
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