Sedona, Arizona is definitely one of those small towns that have an enormous amount of character. If it wasn’t your specific destination, you may never even know it’s there, as there is only one exit on the interstate notifying you of its presence. That being said, if you have never been to Sedona, then you need to pay attention and put this magical city on your travel list! Check out the video from our time exploring Arizona on my YouTube Channel!
Where is Sedona?
If you haven’t checked out my post on the Ultimate Arizona Road Trip Itinerary yet, you should! It will tell you that Sedona is about 2 hours to the North of Phoenix through some beautiful red rocked countryside. If you can, time your flight into Phoenix so you can catch some daylight and the sun setting during your drive to Sedona. There are plenty of places to stop and take photos of the view along the drive as well.
What to pack for Sedona
Depending on the time of year you are visiting Sedona, you may be able to experience 50-degree temperature changes from morning to mid-day. During the winter months (November-February), the temperature doesn’t vary as much with lows in the mid-30s and highs in the upper-60s. In the summer mornings can start out in the upper 40s, and the temperature can reach 100+ by mid-afternoon. My suggestion is to bring clothes that are easily layered and a hat to keep the intense sun off your face. Mid-July through mid-August is Monsoon season, so be prepared to get wet if you’re visiting during this time of the year. The monsoons also bring some amazing lightning shows over the mesas.
Where to stay in Sedona
There are a few hotels that stand out in Sedona, and two, in particular, came highly recommended before our trip. Airbnb also has some great properties in the area, some within walking distance of the hiking trails. Use TripAdvisor to search and book your hotels for Sedona!
L’Auberge de Sedona
We stayed at L’Auberge de Sedona during our week there. It is located right in the center of Uptown Sedona and is walking distance to Main Street, which is full of shops and restaurants. L’Auberge has two of Sedona’s best restaurants on property and about 80 rooms and cottages all coming with stunning views of the red rocks or Oak Creek.
We stayed in one of the Vista cottages, which lived up to its name and had the best view on the property. The cottage was a good size and had both an indoor and outdoor shower. The minibar snacks were all on the healthier/organic side of things which was great because when we arrived at about 10 PM, we were starving!
The two restaurants are called Etch and Cress on Oak Creek, and I can’t say enough good things about them. Breakfast is served daily at Cress on Oak Creek. Portions everywhere we ate in Sedona were huge, but at Cress, they were on another level!
The other highly recommended hotel in Sedona is the Enchantment Resort. Enchantment is slightly outside Sedona, but its secluded property is gorgeous. Amenities include a golf course, spa, four restaurants and a beautiful pool area. You honestly wouldn’t have any need to leave the property if you stay at the Enchantment resort.
Where to eat in Sedona
I could honestly write a 1000 word post just on the amazing food we ate in Sedona, but a complete guide to this remarkable city wouldn’t be complete without some suggestions for dining in Sedona.
Etch and Cress at L’auberge
As I mentioned above the two restaurants at L’auberge are phenomenal. Our last night in Sedona we ate at Etch, which has a 3 or 4-course prix fixe menu for dinner and holy cow… It was good! You choose two appetizers and a main course. I went with Fois Gras, Rabbit Porchetta, and the signature dish the Filet Mignon. While Mallory went lighter with soup, salad, and one of her favorites, Coq au Vin. Every bite was delicious, and our plates were cleaned!
Although we were unable to try it, Elote Cafe came highly recommended from some of the residents we spoke to. Elote seats diners in waves, so to make it in the first wave, you need to be in line by around 4. During the week we were there 4 PM is when the monsoons came in almost like clockwork, so we chose other restaurants where we didn’t have to wait outside.
ChocolaTree Organic Eatery
Another spot that came highly recommended is ChocolaTree Organic Eatery. This vegan restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and if the weather cooperates a beautiful garden to eat your meal in.
There are a few more places that you must try during your stay in Sedona, Arizona including Indian Gardens, Paleo Brio, and Mariposa. Check back soon for a full post on the best places to eat in Sedona!
What to do in Sedona
Now that we covered the important stuff, where to stay in Sedona and where to eat in Sedona we can talk about all of the activities there are in Sedona!
Pink Jeep Tours
Perhaps the most well-known activity in Sedona is the Pink Jeep Tours. Take a pink Jeep off-road to ancient Native American ruins, learn about the mystical powers Sedona’s vortexes hold, or just take a scenic drive through the canyons to get those coveted red rock photos. With plenty of time and duration options, there will be a Pink Jeep tour that fits your schedule. Tours start at $60 per adult and can be booked on their website.
Visting one of the vortexes
Sedona is commonly known as a healing destination due to the powerful electromagnetic vortexes in the area. There are seven vortex sites around Sedona, and Native Americans believe the vortexes aid in spiritual transformation. There is no denying there is a different energy in Sedona; you can even see it in the trees that grow in spirals instead of straight up!
Hiking and Slide Rock
Probably the most common activity for visitors in Sedona is hiking. Going out spending time on the land and taking in all of the glorious, natural beauty the area has to offer. You can walk right out to hiking trails at many of the hotels, but there are a few trails that provide particularly stunning views. Boynton Canyon, Bell Rock, and Cathedral Rock have trails with some out of this world views.
Slide Rock State Park offers both hiking and swimming! If you’re feeling adventurous, then you can slide down the natural slide in the riverbed!
Why you should visit Sedona, Arizona
Whether you spend a week there, or just a long weekend, Sedona, Arizona is without a doubt a magical place. You will leave with a greater appreciation for the natural beauty, and maybe be spiritually awakened due to the powerful vortex energy. We had a fantastic time in Sedona, and it is one of those places you will definitely want to visit again.