20 Romantic Things to Do in Sedona, AZ' featuring a couple walking hand in hand on a red dirt trail with striking red rock formations in the background and the website 'TravelingFranklins.com' at the bottom

Are you looking for the perfect blend of romance and adventure? Then Sedona, AZ is the place to be!

My husband and I visited Arizona for our 3rd wedding anniversary and fell in love with everything about this beautiful state, especially Sedona.

There are so many things to do in Sedona, but as a couple who likes a mix of outdoorsy and relaxation, it can get overwhelming to figure out where to go and what to see.

That’s why I’m giving you 20 romantic things to do in Sedona!

From exhilarating hikes to leisurely wine tastings, there’s something magical and serene about exploring the rugged terrain and red rocks.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an outdoorsy couple or if you’re looking to relax and enjoy the scenery, this post has activities that are perfect for a romantic Sedona getaway.

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Short on Time?

Check out the Verde Canyon Railroad! It’s 4 hours of sightseeing Adventure!

1. Watch the Sunrise at Airport Mesa

We are not usually early risers, but watching a sunrise in a new place is totally worth waking up at 4am. To reach Airport Mesa you’ll want take the scenic Airport Mesa Loop Trail. The trailhead is off Airport Road, just a short drive from downtown Sedona.

It’s the perfect setting for a romantic activity in Sedona. We love to pack a picnic to enjoy while we bask in the beautiful scenery!

But the best part? Since you’re up so early, you can beat the crowds and then you have the rest of the day ahead of you!

The Airport Mesa Loop Trail

  • Trail Length: Approximately 3.5 miles, typically taking around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the loop.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead Location: The trailhead is off Airport Road in Sedona, Arizona. There is a trailhead parking lot.
  • Elevation Gain: Expect a moderate elevation gain of around 200 feet along the trail.
  • Trail Conditions: The trail consists of packed dirt and rocky terrain with uneven surfaces.
The sun rising from behind mountains in a desert landscape in Arizona, casting a warm glow and long shadows across the terrain with sparse vegetation
Watching the sunrise in Arizona

2. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

A hot air balloon ride is the quintessential romantic thing to do in Sedona for couples. It has always been my dream to travel up in a hot air balloon and Arizona has the most stunning landscapes to do it!

If you’re afraid of heights a hot air balloon ride may be a great option because it feels more like flying in an airplane. You can catch a hot air balloon ride in various locations, but you’ll want to book in advance because the tours do fill up quickly.

Hot air balloon rides will give you a bird’s-eye view of the iconic red rock formations and winding canyons. Its truly stunning!

A couple takes a selfie with multiple colorful hot air balloons preparing for takeoff in the desert at sunrise in Arizona, with mountains in the background
It was a little too windy the morning of our hot air balloon ride.

3. Hike to Cathedral Rock

If your idea of a romantic adventure is taking a challenging hike then hiking to Cathedral Rock would be right up your alley!

I would not recommend this hike for beginners because of the rocky terrain and elevation gain, but the Cathedral Rock Trail is less than 2 miles so it may be doable. Cathedral Rock is located just south of the town center and is perfect for views of red rock formations.

We would consider ourselves more beginner hikers so if you’re not up for this one, there are plenty of easier hikes like Oak Creek Trail that give you amazing views of Cathedral Rock from a distance.

Cathedral Rock Trail

  • Trail Length: Approximately 1.5 miles roundtrip, usually taking 1 to 1.5 hours to complete the out-and-back hike.
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous due to steep inclines and rock scrambling sections.
  • Trailhead Location: The trailhead is off Back O’ Beyond Road. There is a designated parking area at the trailhead.
  • Elevation Gain: Expect a significant elevation gain of approximately 600 feet along the trail.
  • Trail Conditions: The trail consists of a combination of packed dirt, loose gravel, and rocky terrain, with some sections requiring rock scrambling and careful navigation.

4. Picnic at Red Rock State Park

Red Rock State Park was our first stop in Sedona after breakfast and is a beautiful and serene oasis with stunning views of red rock formations. The park is located at the base of Cathedral Rock along the banks of Oak Creek.

It was fairly easy to get to by car, we drove from Scottsdale so it was a nice scenic drive.

The visitor’s center is nicely equipped with a small theatre where you can learn about the history of the park and the popular things to do there. The park was founded in 1986 as a way to protect the unique and natural beauty of Sedona and it does exactly that!

We opted for simple hikes that were easy to get to from the visitor center like Eagles Nest Loop and Coyote Ridge Trail.

The magnificent views, towering cliffs, and tranquil waters of Oak Creek make the park a great spot for a picnic. The picnic tables are first come first serve unless reserved previously, so you only need to pack your favorites and go!

A panoramic view of the majestic Cathedral Rock red rock formations in Sedona, Arizona, with lush greenery in the foreground under a clear blue sky
Cathedral Rock at Red Rock State Park

5. Explore Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village

If you need to take a break from the outdoors or simply looking for a fun place to shop and grab a bite then the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village is a great spot!

It’s charming and reminiscent of a traditional Mexican village. The village is adorned with cobblestone walkways, arched entryways, and courtyards. Its quintessentially romantic ambiance makes it the perfect backdrop for a date night in Sedona.

I would recommend getting a taste of Southwestern cuisine, sipping on a cocktail, or grabbing a cup of coffee while also perusing the galleries and boutiques. It’s the perfect way to end a day of hiking and exploring Sedona’s romantic sites!

A man reclines in a lounge chair outdoors, enjoying a glass of red wine with pine trees and a sunny pasture in the background
D.A. Ranch Estate Vineyards

6. Verde Valley Wine Trail

Even if you’re not a wine lover, experiencing Arizona’s wine country along the Verde Valley Wine Trail is a relaxing and romantic activity in Sedona.

The Verde Valley Wine Trail is a collection of wineries, tasting rooms, and vineyards scattered throughout, showcasing the rugged beauty of the region making it the perfect backdrop for a romantic day out in Sedona.

On our outing, we visited two vineyards along the trail:

  • Page Springs Cellars – We had a lovely lunch at their bistro with a table outside on the terrace. We did have to wait around 45 minutes for a table, but we could order a glass or bottle to enjoy while we waited for our table. We met some other really nice couples too!
  • D.A Ranch Estate Vineyards – One of the couples that we met recommended that we skip other wineries and head to D.A. Ranch. We were cautioned that we’d be driving down a dirt road, but it would all be worth it and they were right! There was no restaurant, but they had snacks for purchase and a food truck schedule.

Both vineyards offered live music!

7. Jeep Tour in the high desert

Now if you’re the adventuring couple then a Jeep Tour through the high desert is a great way to explore the terrain while off-roading.

Traveling in a Jeep allows you to venture beyond the beaten track, accessing remote areas and viewpoints. Along the way, you’ll find breathtaking vistas of iconic landmarks such as Cathedral Rock, Thunder Mountain, and Bear Mountain.

Jeep Tours are usually small groups of no more than 10 people so it is still an intimate experience. Just make sure that you dress appropriately and you are ready for an adventure!

A smiling couple takes a selfie with the iconic red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, in the background, under a clear blue sky

8. Helicopter Tour of Sedona

If you weren’t keen on the hot air balloon idea then maybe going on a helicopter tour of Sedona is more your speed?

You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the majestic Cathedral Rock, soar over the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and swoop over Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. You may even spot the famous Snoopy Rock (yes it does look like Snoopy!) before crossing Oak Creek Canyon.

A helicopter tour is a great way to get a unique perspective of Sedona’s natural beauty. It’s perfect for couples looking to experience stunning scenery, historical insights, an exhilarating flight, and an unforgettable adventure!

9. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is perched dramatically on the cliffs of Sedona’s red rocks and is an architectural marvel and definitely a sight to see!

The chapel is open everyday from 9-5pm with prayer and services on Monday, Wednedsay and Friday. There is a giftshop that is closed on Christmas and Easter. There is a parking lot, but its small.

When we travel, it’s all about the views and scenery for us and the Chapel of the Holy Cross is the perfect way to get panaromaic views of Sedona. It’s our idea of romance.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross integrated into the red rock cliffs of Sedona, Arizona, under a clear blue sky.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross

10. Go Horseback Riding

A horseback riding tour is a great way to experience the beauty of Sedona. We don’t usually ride horses, but on a trip, we love to explore a new place on horseback so it’s also good for inexperienced riders.

On a horseback riding tour, you’ll experience scenic vineyards and ride alongside the Verde River and Oak Creek. Keep an eye out for ancient Apache ruins along the way!

Riding on horseback with panoramic mountain views is one of the most romantic things in Sedona even if you’re a beginner. Just be prepared to be sore after the ride but it will subside quickly and is all worth it. It’s one of our favorite ways to discover the beauty of a new place together as a couple!

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11. Take a Scenic Drive on Oak Creek Canyon

Another one of our favorite things to do while traveling? Take a scenic drive!

A scenic drive on Oak Creek Canyon, just north of Sedona is a fun and relaxing activity for couples.

Oak Creek Canyon is one of the most scenic drives in the Southwest. You’ll head north from Sedona on Highway 89A, on the drive you’ll find towering red rock formations and the clear waters of Oak Creek. I would recommend stopping at Oak Creek Vista beforehand to get a view of the canyon before you drive through.

Here are some stops you can make along the way:

  • Oak Creek Vista – scenic overlook before entering the canyon. It’s a great photo op!
  • Grasshopper Point – recreation area for swimming, fishing and picnicking.
  • West Fork Trail – picturesque hiking trail that follow Oak Creek Canyon.
  • Lunch at Indian Gardens – the oldest continuous general store in Sedona and perfect for grabbing lunch!
  • Midgley Bridge – iconic bringde that spans the Oak Creek canyon and a perfect spot to take photos.
The entrance sign to Red Rock State Park, Arizona, with the park's logo and social media handles, set against a backdrop of red rock formations and clear blue skies

12. Visit Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park is nestled within Oak Creek Canyon and just 7 miles north of Sedona, Arizona. It’s another great stop while on your scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon.

Take a break and visit the park’s namesake feature, Slide Rock where you can slide down the smooth sandstone creek bed into the refreshing waters below. It’s a one of a kind experience and so fun!

Bring some supplies for a picnic, go swimming, fish, and check out the apple orchards. There are plenty of places for a picnic like along the creek or by the orchard.

Popular hiking trails are Pendley Homestead Trail, Slide Rock Route, and Clifftop Nature Trail.

Ancient dwelling built into the limestone cliffs at Montezuma Castle National Monument, showcasing the remarkable preservation of Native American architecture against a blue sky with wispy clouds.

13. Montezuma Castle National Monument

The Montezuma Castle National Monument is about 45 miles south of Sedona, Arizona and is worth the trip just to see the ancient cliff dwellings high up in the limestone cliffs.

These dwellings were built by the Sinagua people over 600 years ago and are a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the indigenous peoples of the Southwest.

Of course, the main attraction of the monument is the imposing five-story cliff dwelling known as Montezuma Castle. The Castle is high above the Beaver Creek Valley with about 20 rooms. To get to the Castle there is a short paved trail.

Other must see attractions are the Montezuma Well, Cliff Dwelling Overlook and the Ancient Irrigation Ditch.

14. Kayak on the Verde River

The Verde River stretches approximately 170 miles, making it one of the last free-flowing rivers in the state. Kayaking on the Verde River is a very popular activity and a nice thing to do for the couple looking for an outdoor activity with a balance of adventure and epic scenery.

We’re not super experienced at kayaking, but its a great way to explore the beauty of the Verde River!

There are kayak rental services in nearby towns such as Cottonwood, Clarkdale, and Camp Verde. Many rental companies offer single and tandem kayaks, as well as guided tours and shuttle services for convenient access to different sections of the river.

A deer is seen grazing in the wilderness with a cabin and red rock formations in the distance, surrounded by scrubs and trees
Wildlife spotted in Sedona, AZ

15. Visit Out of Africa Wildlife Park

Out of Africa Wildlife Park is located in Camp Verde and is a must-do for any wildlife-loving couple!

The park will give you close encounters with exotic animals from around the world and spans over 100 acres of natural terrain.

There are guided safari tours through the park, where you’ll have an opportunity to observe and learn about animals such as lions, tigers, giraffes, zebras, and more. This is a place where you can spend the entire day.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park also has interactive experiences and animal encounters like feeding sessions, predator shows, and photo opportunities. It really is a cool experience.

16. Visit the Tuzigoot National Monument

Tuzigoot National Monument is another great stop if you’re heading to the Verde Valley. The monument offers a fascinating glimpse into the ancient history and culture of the Sinagua people.

You’ll visit the Tuzigoot Pueblo, a well-preserved ancient village perched atop a limestone ridge overlooking the Verde River valley. You can explore the Pueblo ruins on a self-guided walking tour.

There are interpretive signs along the trail that give insight into the daily life, architecture, and cultural significance of the Tuzigoot people who called this place home over 1,000 years ago.

The monument’s visitor center has exhibits, artifacts, and presentations with information about the history and archaeology of the area. We think it’s important to understand the cultural significance of the places we visit.

17. Visit Jerome

We love a good mining town! I think it’s because we’re from Florida and don’t have anything like it.

Jerome is a historic mining town in central Arizona about 26 miles southwest of Sedona.

A visit to Jerome is like taking a journey back in time to the days of the Wild West. It was once known as the “Wickedest Town in the West” during the mining boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Head down to Jerome’s historic downtown district and visit the galleries, shops, restaurants, and cafes. You’ll also want to explore Jerome State Historic Park, home to the Douglas Mansion and Mining Museum, and get insight into the town’s rich mining history.

If you like Spooky, I would recommend going on one of the ghost tours that explore Jerome’s haunted history and supernatural legends.

A person walks away from the camera on a dirt trail with vibrant blue skies and distinctive red rock formations in the distance

18. Explore the Palatki Ruins

It important to us that we educate ourselves on the historic and cultural significance of the places that we visit.

The Palatki Ruins are located in the Coconino National Forest about 20 miles northwest of Sedona. These ruins offer a fascinating journey into the ancient past of the cultures that once inhabited the area dating back to over 1,000 years.

You can take a guided tour led by forest service volunteers and learn about the history, archaeology and cultural significance of the site.

On the tour you’ll also discover a variety of petroglyphs and pictographs, including depictions of humans, animals, and geometric designs, offering a glimpse into the artistic and spiritual practices of the ancient inhabitants.

19. Ride Verde Canyon Railroad

We love trains! The Verde Canyon Railroad is a scenic train ride through the Verde Canyon.

The train depot is located in Clarkdale and will put you on a 20 mile journey through some of Arizona’s most breathtaking scenery on the Verde River.

You’ll relax in vintge climate-controlled coaches or open-air viewing cars while listening to commentary about the history, geology, and ecology of the area and insights into the natural and cultural heritage of Verde Canyon.

The train passes through historic tunnels, bridges, and alongside the Verde River. You may even spot bald eagles, herons, and other wildlife along this scenic route.

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20. Sedona Stargazing

Sedona, Arizona is one of the best stargazing spots because of its clear skies and minimal light pollution. What can be more romantic then gazing up at the stars on a clear night in the desert?

Popular stargazing spots in Sedona include the Sedona Airport Overlook, Red Rock State Park and Crescent Moon Ranch where there are designated viewing areas and ranger-led astronomy programs during certain times of the year.

You can expect to see stars, planets, constellations, and even the Milky Way on clear nights. If you’re lucky to have a telescope or binoculars, you may be able to observe distant galaxies, nebulae, and other deep-sky objects which is super exciting!

Ready for your Romantic Sedona Getaway?

Sedona is the perfect place for couples because it brings adventure, romance, relaxation, historic and cultural sites as well as great food and wine! In this guide, we’ve given you everything you need to plan your romantic Sedona getaway.

With activities such as exploring ancient ruins, horseback riding, hot air balloon rides and riding on the railroad you really can’t go wrong in Sedona.

We loved spending our wedding anniversary in Arizona and know that you will love it as much as we did. We can’t wait to go back!

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