Start Planning Now to Visit Sedona During the Holiday Season

While the holidays may seem far away, now is the perfect time to start making travel plans in order to avoid last-minute stress. In stunning Sedona, the holiday season is one of the most magical times of year, with mild weather, festive displays, and fewer crowds than you may find during the fall or spring. If you’re planning a visit, here are some of the best things to do in Sedona around this time of year:

Enjoy the natural beauty

Sedona is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, and the late fall and winter months are among the best times of year to head outdoors. With plenty of sunshine and daytime high temperatures typically in the 60s, the weather is comfortable for hiking, biking, or exploring the scenery with one of the area’s famous jeep tours. If winter weather moves in, you may get to see the majestic sight of the red rocks dusted in snow!

Shop for unique holiday gifts

In addition to its profound natural beauty, Sedona is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous art galleries and boutiques offering a vast selection of one-of-a-kind items. From artwork of virtually any medium to beautiful clothing and jewelry to decorative pieces handcrafted by local artisans, Sedona is the perfect place to shop for meaningful holiday gifts for everyone on your list. Wondering where to start? Be sure to visit Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, located just steps from El Portal! With over 50 boutiques and art galleries, as well as an array of restaurants and cafés, Tlaquepaque offers a unique shopping experience amidst cobblestone walkways and vine-covered walls that have been designed to mirror a traditional Mexican village.

Enjoy the festivities

As the holidays approach, Sedona transforms into a uniquely Southwestern winter wonderland with plenty of festive decorations and events around the city. This year, can’t-miss events will include:

  • Verde Canyon Railroad’s “The Magical Christmas Journey,” an all-original storybook holiday journey to the North Pole and back, featuring an elaborate miniature Christmas village, festive lights, holiday treats, a live Bald Eagle and much more. From November 24 through December 8, join Santa in boarding the train from Clarkdale and enjoying this magical one-hour, round-trip voyage.
  • A performance of “An Irish Christmas” on Saturday, December 9 at the Sedona Performing Arts Center. Featuring favorite carols and Irish dancing, the event will showcase classic Irish holiday traditions.
  • The Festival of Lights at Tlaquepaque. One of Sedona’s most popular holiday events is the lighting of thousands of luminarias at Tlaquepaque. On December 9, visit the enchanting village for free cider, lively musical entertainment, and of course, an appearance by Santa!

If you’re thinking of experiencing the magic of the holiday season in beautiful Sedona, El Portal provides the perfect base in the heart of it all. In addition to our luxury boutique hotel, we are pleased to offer vacation rental homes for guests seeking to maximize space and privacy. For instance, our latest property, Terrapin Station, is a pet-friendly, ADA-compliant 1930s bungalow with a modern kitchen, fully enclosed backyard, and wonderful outdoor fireplace. To book your stay at El Portal or one of our vacation rentals, visit!