SEDONA, ARIZONA TRAVEL GUIDE
I have a lot of favorite places in Arizona, but that was before I visited Sedona. I can’t believe it took me so long to get here. It’s definitely a diamond in the desert. There is so much to see and do- we could’ve easily spent a week or more. I feel like there is something for everyone- burger shacks to fine dining, rugged hiking to spas, wild camping to luxurious resorts. Personally, I felt a great connection to nature here, and was intrigued by the new age presence- lots of shops selling crystals, vegetarian restaurants, meditation classes, and psychic readers and healers. Here’s a list of some of my top picks in Sedona, as well as a little mix of some fav places within driving distance.
GETTING THERE AND GETTING AROUND:
There is a regional airport in Sedona, but most visitors fly into Phoenix and make the easy 2 hour drive. We rented a car at the airport and navigated north to Sedona. There are also Ubers and Lyfts available and a public bus system.
WHERE TO STAY:
Sedona is a relatively small city of just over 10,000 people. There are two main areas- Uptown Sedona, and West Sedona. Uptown Sedona seems to be a bit more geared towards tourists, while West Sedona seems to be a bit more residential. Both have ample lodging options and restaurants. It would be possible to walk from one part of town to another, but with all the beautiful places to hike on the outskirts of town, I would skip walking in town and instead drive as needed. It’s really easy to figure out the lay of the land in Sedona. There are only really two main drags running through town, and pretty much all the dining/shopping/touring options can be found right there.
There are endless options from AirBnBs, to upscale resorts, to boutique hotels, to chains. These are a couple of the places I’ve stayed:
Sky Rock Inn – Boutique Hotel with gorgeous appointed rooms, all featuring outdoor space overlooking the red rocks, and wonderful on-site dining and bar options.
Sedona Summit (booked through AirBnB) – We were so pleased with our one bedroom condo rental. We had a full kitchen, a luxurious two-room bathroom, a deck, and two seperate sleeping areas. The resort itself was also incredible- 4 pools, 6 hot tubs, walking paths, a helpful concierge, and daily classes and activities, which we definitely took advantage of. Sedona Summit is just on the edge of West Sedona, so having a car here would be a must, but it was an easy minute or two into the heart of West Sedona, and probably about 5-10 minutes to Uptown.
WHERE TO EAT:
L’Auberge de Sedona – This was the most special meal of our entire trip. L’Auberge has a beautiful dining room and creekside patio. Make reservations and definitely request the patio- don’t worry if it’s chilly- there is a heat lamp for every table. We made our reservations for a bit before sunset so we could wander and take in the scenery before dinner. They offered a pre fixe menu (which included vegetarian and pescarian options) of three or four courses. My mom (my travel companion!) ordered cocktails, but I opted for server’s choice wine pairings with each course. Everything was delectable and I can’t recommend this place highly enough. Not to mention the service and atmosphere was top-notch as well.
The Cowboy Club – We dined here for the highly recommended cactus fries with prickly pear dipping sauce. Totally worth the visit! The rest of the food was delicious as well, particularly the fish tacos.
Chocola Tree – For all you hippies at heart! This kind of place is right up my alley! A huge menu of healthy, organic, vegetarian and vegan offerings. My mom loved it too! There is a huge outdoor patio that unfortuantely wasn’t open when we were there, but that looked like a fun place to dine. We were so stuffed that we didn’t have room for dessert, but we took one to go. We ended up eating it later and were seriously blown away by the plant based deliciousness.
El Rincon – This Mexican eatery is located inside Tlaquepaque Village. It’s a fun spot for lunch and margs. We ate on the patio. The food was great and definitely try the guac – we discovered their secret was sour cream for an extra creamy taste. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Coffee Pot Restaurant – Well known for their 101 omelettes. This is an inexpensive, popular place for a classic American breakfast. We waited extra long to sit on the outdoors, and it was worth it. Lots of choices to please anyone. Simple, but great food!
Breakfast at Casa Sedona | Brunch at Red Rock Cafe (try their 3 lb cinnamon roll and $0.99 mimosas on weekends!) | Enchantment | Mariposa | Elote | The Hudson | Get nourished at Local Juicery
WHERE TO DRINK:
HIKES & THINGS TO DO:
Hike Cathedral Rock
Visit a day spa! I had a hot stone massage at New Day and it was fantastic and the facilities were beautiful!
Visit one of the many breweries or wineries
Find your inner hippie by trying one of the many available yoga, meditation, sound bath, or crystal healing classes
Take a Pink Jeep Tour – this was one of our favorite activities! Highly recommended!
Visit Slide Rock Park
Shop at Tlaquepaque Village
Take a self-guided driving tour
Catch sunset (or sunrise!) at Airport Mesa
Visit a vortex!
DAY TRIPS AND/OR WHERE TO GO NEXT:
Visit Cottonwood – 17mi from Sedona. Great little town with lots of wineries!
Visit the Grand Canyon – 117mi from Sedona. I mean, need I say more?!
Visit Page – 162mi from Sedona. Page is a drive, but oh-so-worth it! Upper & Lower Antelope Canyons are spectacular slot canyons tucked away on Navajo land. You must purchase a permit and use a tour guide. I recommend Ken’s Tours. If you’re visiting both canyons, save your permit documentation, as you only need to purchase one per day. The the canyons are 4 miles apart, and tours operate from completely different locations and facilities. Upper Canyon requires a vehicle shuttle out to the start; you can walk from where you park your car and meet your guide to the start of Lower. If you only have time for one canyon, I recommend Lower, as it always seems less crowded (I’ve been to both multiple times), and for all of you photographers out there, there is more natural light.