The Ultimate Sedona Travel Guide to Winter and Spring
Sedona has consistently grown over the years into the bustling travel destination that we know and love today. With a plethora of different natural attractions that can keep people busy for the entire vacation and then some, it makes for an ideal travel destination for anybody that enjoys getting outside and hitting the trails or visiting the lakes. The outdoor attractions don’t end there, either, as Sedona is also home to some of the most gorgeous rock dwellings you’ll ever see, remarkably well preserved and built right into the mountain.
The town itself is nothing to laugh at, either, as Sedona has a constantly growing arts community that brings unique culture to the area. Art galleries and artisanal stores are all over the area, and you’re bound to be able to find something that strikes your fancy, and if not for you then something that’s the perfect gift for a friend or family member.
Not to be outdone, the culinary scene in the town is incredible, with some highly exclusive restaurants that are reservation only, and during some of the busier months there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to make it in. Speaking of which months are busier than others, let’s cover what you can expect during your spring or winter visit in a quick Sedona travel guide.
Sedona Winter Visitors
Winter is one of the slower seasons in Sedona. Though you don’t have to worry about any inclement weather the majority of the time, it can get pretty cold out there, which deters some people from making the trip out. Generally speaking, as long as you pack an extra layer or two, you’ll be perfectly comfortable during your stay in Sedona, and all of the outdoor attractions stay open, so you’ll be able to get out and explore to your heart’s content.
Always keep in mind one of the best fringe benefits of travelling during off season, and that’s the fact that you might just be able to secure better rates and avoiding all of the crowds is an added benefit as well.
Sample the Local Craft Beers and Wines
Sure, you can do this any time of year, but when you want to stay indoors and keep warm, this is one of the best ways to do it. Sedona and the nearby towns are home to a plethora of craft breweries and wineries, many of which source their ingredients from local sources.
When it comes to craft beer, you’ll also have the benefit of most of the breweries also being restaurants, which makes them the perfect spots to spend an afternoon or evening while you sample some gourmet pub food.
Wineries in the area are part of a quickly growing industry, with the temperature and altitude of the area growing grapes that are uniquely refined by the fermentation process in the Arizona red rocks. If you aren’t sure which ones you want to sample, there’s also the option to go out on a wine tour with one of the local companies. They have pretty in-depth knowledge of the wine country in Sedona and can take you to the best wineries while giving you style recommendations based on your tastes.
Hop Aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad
This four-hour round trip is a great way to stay inside while still getting to see all of the scenery. The Verde Canyon Railroad is a historic attraction in the area, and the ride will take you through Verde Canyon and some of the picturesque Sedona wilderness. Viewing cars will give you panoramic views of the area, so be sure to bring along your camera to get that perfect picture, and since you’re going during Winter, you might just get to see some of the snowcapped trees along the railways.
Take a Jeep Tour
If you’d like to get out there and see the landscape, but you’d prefer not to stand out in the cold for too long, consider taking one of the pink Jeep tours in the area. The vehicles are equipped to navigate some very difficult terrain and will bring you up to scenic vistas at elevations of around 2000 feet, and also some low views down in the beautiful Ponderosa pine forests.
Rejuvenate Yourself with a Spa Visit
Sedona is home to quite a few different spas, and what better way to shake off the Winter cold than by visiting a high-quality spa for a few hours or a day of rest and relaxation.
Though it could be argued that the best time of year to visit Jerome is right around Halloween because of the town’s haunted nature, the cool Sedona Winter weather also matches the old mining town really well. Many of the best attractions in Jerome can be done indoors, so if you’re looking to escape the colder weather, you’ll have some heated interiors to keep you warm.
Be sure to visit the haunted hotel in town, as well as going on a ghost tour, or even a ghost hunting tour if that’s your kind of thing. Superstition runs deep in the town, so get immersed in the spirit of it and see why it keeps people coming back every year.
Sedona Spring Visitors
Spring is one of the two peak seasons. In Sedona, autumn and spring both tend to bring in equally large crowds, since the shoulder seasons bring strikingly similar weather in this part of the country. Since humidity and storms are a non-issue for the vast majority of the year, sometimes it can be hard to tell the seasons apart, and in the best possible way, too. This is absolutely one of the best times for you to get out there and hit every trail imaginable, go for a lakeside picnic, mountain bike, and so much more.
Hit All of the Trails
There is a grand total of more than 200 trails over the 400-mile area around Sedona, giving you near limitless options for spots to hit. You could find a new trail for every hike on every visit, and it’s unlikely that you’d ever hit them all unless you’re a local or a very dedicated traveler.
One of the best parts is the massive variety of difficulty that you’ll be able to find while you’re in town, because even trails of the same designation can be wildly different depending on terrain and incline. There are easy trails that run for miles on gentle, flat terrain that make for a perfect experience for families or inexperienced hikers, and there are also expert trails that will test the limits of your skills with steep climbs and dangerous terrain. It’s highly recommended that you find or look up a trail guide or a Sedona visitors guide while you’re in the area, because there’s just too many to cover in a single article.
Much like the hiking trails, mountain biking comes with its own variety of challenges. Pack up all of your gear and pick your poison. You can go for a casual ride on an easy loop or push yourself to the max on trails with jumps, steep climbs, and wall rides aplenty. Make sure to stay safe if you’re riding on the more difficult trails, as some of the falls can be pretty treacherous.
Go Kayaking on the Verde River
Take a break from the desert scenery by heading over to the Verde River, with its lush vegetation lining the riverbanks and gorgeous views from the rapids. Nearby willow trees provide plenty of shade for paddlers, and different sections of the river come with their own challenges. Be mindful of where you’re at if you have beginners in your group, because the rapids can get rough every now and then and you don’t want any unexpected flips.
Play as Many Rounds of Golf as You Want
The Sedona area is home to several award-winning golf courses, so golf aficionados travelling through the area should take the chance to test their game while they’re here. In addition to the challenges of the green, you’ll also have the scenic Red Rocks as your backdrop when you golf at the Sedona Golf Resort. That’s just one of your many options, but wherever you decide to go, just make sure you schedule your tee time so you can have your preferred time slot.
Activities for Both Seasons
Due to the temperate nature of Sedona, you’ll find that most of the attractions are equally accessible during every month, but that doesn’t mean certain months don’t come with their own advantages. For all of the things that don’t fit in one spot or another, you’ll find them listed here.
Taking a Day Trip up to the Grand Canyon
Strikingly different between the two seasons, making a visit to the Grand Canyon is an absolute must at least once in your life if you’re already staying this close. If you can make the 2.5-hour drive, you’ll thank yourself later, because one of the natural wonders of the world is right at your fingertips and has miles upon miles of scenic vistas to enjoy.
What’s even better about it is that, if you manage to make multiple trips out, you definitely owe it to yourself to make a winter visit as one of them. Though it’s difficult to plan around something as unpredictable as the weather, making it out to see the canyon after a fresh snowfall gives you the beautifully unique view of the snow dusted wonder. Bundle up and walk along some of the guided pathways throughout the park, and don’t be worried about any treacherous terrain either, because protective guard rails are there to keep you safe.
Making the Sedona spring visit to the canyon will give you much the opposite view, though it’s still an equally breathtaking sight. Without the snow covering the area, you’ll get to see the natural color of the terrain, including the foliage down in the canyon that dots everything with splashes of color. Overall, just don’t miss out on this opportunity.
Visit Tlaquepaque Plaza
Another prime travel destination in Sedona, Tlaquepaque is a plaza for the arts that’s loaded up with shops that sell gorgeous, handmade artworks, and also art galleries for your viewing pleasure. If you’re a patron or fan of the arts, this is definitely a must-see destination.
There are also a few great restaurants in the plaza that you’ll want to experience. For a more casual experience, there’s a local brewery on site, and for a formal experience you’ll also find a French inspired four-star restaurant that’s guaranteed to impress.
You should also be mindful of the events they have going on in the plaza. Since many of the people in Sedona love getting in the holiday spirit for all seasons, there’s bound to be some kind of event happening that you’ll be able to make an afternoon or day out of.
On the first Friday of every month, the town comes alive with all of the local artists taking to the streets and galleries to showcase their crafts live. You’ll get the chance to chat with the artists in person, and many of the locations will have drinks and food available to keep the party going. At most galleries, you might find your new favorite artist, but on First Fridays you might just get to meet them too.
Your Seasonal Sedona Vacation Is Waiting for You
No matter what season you find yourself in the area during, you’ll never lack for anything to do. Nearly limitless options for fine dining, all of the gorgeous hiking trails you could ask for, and all of the entertainment in the nearby towns to boot are ready and waiting to make this a vacation to remember.
When you’re shopping around for your vacation home, I Love Sedona is here to help. We have a large portfolio of vacation rentals in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so no matter what size group you bring with you, you’re sure to find the perfect fit. Our team of agents has firsthand knowledge of our listings, and they’d love to hear what you’re looking for so they can set you up with the right home. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you with your perfect Sedona vacation.