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7 Best Things to Do in Sedona During Winter

Author 10-30-2020

There’s so much to do in Sedona even during the winter time. With much milder temperatures and even a chance of snow, Sedona offers the true definition of a Winter Wonderland. With snow-capped mountains and blankets of pure white littering the area, it’s a testament that Sedona true beauty never goes away, even during the colder months.

Find vacation rentals with hot tubs for the ultimate winter experience in Sedona.

1) Take a Helicopter Tour of Sedona

Helicopter landing in Sedona, Arizona

Whether the weather is cold, or whether the weather is hot, a Helicopter Tour is always a good idea when you’re in Sedona. Aerial views and stunning vistas across the Sonoran Desert are hard to be missed when traveling by helicopter. Sedona Air Tours offers one of the best experiences when looking for the perfect helicopter flight and guide. They offer two-hour tours that will leave you with the visions of a snow globe Sedona printed in your mind for years and years.

Keep in mind to book in advance at least a week ahead with Sedona Air Tours. That way you’re guaranteed the beautiful memory of hovering above one of the nation’s most breath-taking areas.

2) Enjoy Sedona’s Slow Season

Bell Rock covered in snow in Sedona

When people think of Sedona, they often think of hiking and being stuck out in the Arizona desert heat. They think of being hot, sweaty and looking for any type of relief. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, especially during the winter. Sedona definitely has a slow season where there are a lot less visitors running around Sedona. During the slow season you’ll be able to experience more, while being cool and laid-back, and possibly even experience a famous Sedona snowstorm. If you’re in town during December you’ll even be able to experience many of the holiday festivities that take place around the area.

Prices and rates for Sedona vacation rentals are usually a lot lower during the winter months than they are during the summer time when accommodations in Sedona are in high demand.

Local’s tip: Hiking is also a good idea during the slow season, as there are a lot less people on the trails leaving more time for you to get that perfect photo for your Instagram. Check out our favorite hiking trails in Sedona.

3) Ride the Verde Canyon Railroad Christmas Train

Verde Valley Railroad Christmas train

Just next door in Clarkdale, Arizona is the forever-chugging Verde Canyon Railroad. During the year they offer many excursions up and through the Verde Valley by Train. During the Winter time things get a little different, as your trip is transported through the Verde Valley up all the way to the North Pole to visit Santa and his Christmas village.

If you have kids, the Railroad Christmas Train is one of the best excursions you can take. Mr. and Mrs. Claus hop aboard to read holiday stories to the young ones while passing out candy canes while Christmas Carolers are also onboard singing some of your favorite Christmas tunes. All of this and more is happening while surrounded by the beautiful red rocks of Arizona. This is a can’t miss activity if you’re in Sedona during December. Reservations are strongly encouraged; this event is very popular and is often a highlight of many locals holiday traditions.

Visit the Verde Canyon Railroad website for tickets and more information.

4) Check Out the Festival of Lights

Another fun festival tradition in Sedona takes place at Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village. Every year thousands and thousands of luminaries are lit and lined along the pathways of this quirky shopping center in honor of cancer survivors. You can bring your own, decorate them at home and then bring them, or they can be purchased at the event to be lit during that time.

This tradition started almost 50 years ago and has continued annually since. With visits from Santa, live music, and other activities catered to families this event is a can’t miss if you are in Sedona during the holiday season. Walking through the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village is almost like a Christmas dream with lights towering above and below you. You will feel the true meaning of the holidays in full affect during this event.

Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village has been a landmark in Sedona since the 1970s, they are the true “Art and Soul“ of Sedona. This event provides free shuttles from surrounding areas so that parking is not a difficult venture. This event is very popular so expect to be surrounded by many like-minded individuals who love the holidays just as much as you.

5) Book a Yoga Class

Woman doing yoga on the red rocks of Sedona

Sedona is revered as one of the most spiritual places in the Southwest. It’s a no brainer to book a yoga class no matter the time of year, but it’s even better to book during the winter for a good workout to warm up your blood. With many yoga studios around the area it won’t be hard to find a place that suits you best.

From beginner classes, to more experienced classes, to even classes that put you in different spaces, like hot yoga. When practicing hot yoga, the rooms are cranked up to a warm temperature so you can sweat out all those impurities. There are even yoga classes that are offered outdoors on the red rocks. Truly be one with nature as you cobra up from the ground to view the beautiful surrounding vistas that Sedona have to offer, all while breaking a sweat and keeping warm.

6) Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot air balloons over Sedona

Hot Air Balloon rides are always a good idea when exploring a new area, especially in a place as breathtaking as Sedona. Even without sitting in a balloon high above the ground, it’s easy to lose track of time as you marvel at the natural beauty of Sedona’s red rock formations. But all of that scenery is amplified once you hop in the basket of a hot air balloon and float closer to the dormant red giants that stand watch over Sedona.

Going on a hot air balloon ride is the perfect winter activity, as you’ll be snuggled up with your loved ones in the basket below a nice inferno of fire keeping your balloon afloat. It’s a great romantic way to get warm and to experience Sedona from a new perspective. Make sure that you book your hot air balloon ride experience well in advance, during the winter time Hot Air Balloon rides can be very popular.

7) Go For a Winter Winery Tour

Sedona winery vineyards

Nothing warms you up quite as well like a nice glass of wine. Surprisingly, in Sedona there are many vineyards that surround the area making the Verde Valley grand for wine tours.
When first planning the ultimate wine tour, do you research and figure out where exactly you’d like to go. There are many smaller cities surrounding Sedona that offer amazing views and delicious, tasty wines. Some tours can last a few hours, while others can last a majority of the day. Find what suits you best so that you can have the ultimate wine tour experience in Arizona.

Additionally, in the Winter, the majority of vineyards have outdoor seating with fires, space heaters and warm blankets available, making it the perfect trip with you and your gal pals, a nice romantic evening with your partner, or even just a fun solo trip. There’s not really any wrong choices for things to do in Sedona, everything always turns into a memorable experience.