Those who associate Arizona with deserts, Phoenix, and the Grand Canyon will marvel at the different and unique scenery of Sedona with its iconic red rock mountains and thick green forests. Sedona is in the heart of the desert southwest, but the small central Arizona town is more of a place for artists and wellness spas than it is for cowboys and rattlesnakes.
Sedona offers its visitors a highly walkable downtown, loaded with galleries, restaurants, and incredible views, but the town offers much more than relaxation, mindfulness, and shopping. Sedona is a spectacular four-season recreation area with hundreds of miles of trails for bicycling, hiking, and wandering around in peaceful seclusion. Let’s walk the streets of Sedona and learn more about this wholly unique American destination.
Sedona Tour – Pink Jeep is the most memorable way to see the magnificent views of Sedona. The tour starts with a scenic drive on Route 89A through Oak Creek Canyon and then up the Mogollon Rim, where you will get spectacular views of the red rocks from 2,000 feet up. Your professional driver guides you through the beautiful scenery to reach Cliff Springs Park for an adventurous off-road excursion that includes breathtaking views and photo opportunities.
Sedona is a destination where you’ll find an abundance of natural beauty, incredible shopping opportunities and delicious restaurants. This full-day tour takes you to all the best spots in Sedona. You’ll see the iconic red rocks that give Sedona its name, learn about local history, visit shops and enjoy lunch at a scenic spot with amazing views.
Sedona Stargazing Tour – Enjoy a guided tour through the Arizona night sky to spot planets, galaxies and distant stars. After an introduction to stargazing from your professional astronomer guide, you will spend 2 hours exploring the universe with a high-powered laser pointer and telescopes. The tour is held at sundown in Oak Creek Arizona, offering views of the Milky Way galaxy, star clusters and even Andromeda Galaxy.
TLDR; Our Favorite Accommodations in Sedona
Areas to Choose Within Sedona
Every neighborhood in Sedona is beautiful and offers its visitors gorgeous views, safe, walkable streets, and luxurious stays in some of the best resorts, hotels, and vacation homes in the state. From the shopper-friendly Uptown to the adventurous canyon area, travelers of all mindsets will find a welcoming place to enjoy in Sedona.
Experience the history of Sedona in the area of Tlaquepaque, or find your golf game in the southern part of the Village of Oak Creek. Bring the family to The Red Rock Loop or the Chapel area to find a place to stay with an outdoor pool. Find a luxury place to stay in the northern area Village of Oak Creek, or pursue a budget-friendly destination in West Sedona.
- Best area for first-timers/tourists – Uptown Sedona
- Best area for budget travelers – West Sedona
- Best area for luxury travelers – Village of Oak Creek (North)
- Best area for safety – Chapel
- Best area for families – The Red Rock Loop
- Best area for adventures – The Canyon of Oak Creek
- Best area for culture/history – Tlaquepaque
- Best area for golfing and resorts – Village of Oak Creek (South)
Where to Stay in Sedona, Arizona
1. Uptown Sedona/Downtown: The Best Area for First-Timers/Tourists
If you visit just one neighborhood in Sedona and don’t have a lot of time to spare, you’ll want to walk the streets of Uptown Sedona, which is essentially the downtown area with its loads of shops, galleries, and eateries. It’s one of the best places to stay in Sedona for first-timers.
Free parking is plentiful, which is helpful in Sedona where it’s best to have your own transportation. There is a free shuttle service from a pair of park-and-ride lots that helps you get to the trailheads in the area, but exploring most of Uptown Sedona still requires having your own transportation.
Uptown Sedona is an excellent place to view the art culture that permeates the area, and your time in the area should include a stop at the Sedona Heritage Museum, which is on the north side of Uptown Sedona. You might take some time to visit the Sedona Arts Center, too, which is right on Route 89A, the primary road through Uptown Sedona, where you’ll find most of the shopping and restaurants. Uptown Sedona is probably where to stay Sedona first time because it’s easy to find examples of everything that makes Sedona unique.
Uptown Sedona is also where you’ll find a lot of the cute, local tourist shops for buys like t-shirts, gemstones, and the absolutely delicious Sedona Fudge Company. It’s where to stay in Sedona if you love fun tourist knick-knacks.
Get some fudge after you park and enjoy the mouthwatering chocolate while you explore the shops and marvel at the views. Walk along the outside edges of Uptown for the best views. There are several places to sit down and relax while looking at the hills of Red Rock State Park in Uptown Sedona.
- Visit the Sedona Arts Center
- Explore the Sedona Heritage Museum
- Get chocolate at The Sedona Fudge Company
- Stroll Down Gallery Row
- Take a Workshop Class at the Sedona Arts Center
- Eat Lunch with a View at the Vault Uptown
- Take the Trolley Ride Through Sedona
- Read the “Hands Through History” Signs
Where to stay near Uptown Sedona/Downtown
See Related: Best Sedona Tours: Top Excursions for Exploring
2. West Sedona: The Best Area for Budget Travelers
After you’ve had your fill of the tourist-friendly area of Uptown Sedona, find a relaxing yet adventurous place to stay in West Sedona. Some of Sedona’s properties are quite luxurious and pricey, but West Sedona is where to stay in Sedona on a budget. Not only is the neighborhood very earthy and friendly, but it’s also near some beautiful places for outdoor strolls, like the Airport Mesa Overlook.
West Sedona is great for travelers who don’t mind the humble accommodations of chain hotels and aren’t very demanding when it comes to eating. It’s definitely the best place to stay in Sedona if you’re interested in things to do more than places to stay.
Amusingly, the McDonald’s in West Sedona has teal arches rather than the classic “golden” arches because local residents didn’t want the McDonald’s sign to clash with the surrounding scenery. It’s where to stay in Sedona for a very undemanding vacation.
West Sedona is a great jumping-off point if you’re interested in hiking trails, and you’ll want to time your hike to Sedona Airport Overlook with the sunset for one of the best sunset views in Sedona. If you need some hiking gear before you head out for your walk, visit Canyon Outfitters for climbing and canyoneering gear. Don’t forget your camera as you hike through the wilds that surround West Sedona, as you’ll find some of the most iconic red rocks in the region in this area.
- Walk the mesmerizing slopes of Airport Mesa
- Explore the Sedona Artist Market & Gallery
- Spend a sunset at the Airport Mesa Overlook
- See the Buddhist enclave at Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park
- Visit the Fay Canyon Overlook
- Play some pickleball at the Posse Grounds Park
- Take pictures of Cathedral Rock from Red Rock Crossing
- Hike the Boynton Canyon Trail
- Eat Lunch at Judi’s Restaurant and Lounge
- Hike the local-favorite trails of Old Post and Carroll Canyon
Where to stay near West Sedona
3. Village of Oak Creek (North): The Best Area for Luxury Travelers
Sedona is rather spread out geographically, and to reach the Oak Creek area, you’ll need to drive south from Uptown, but it’s where to stay in Sedona for the most peace and quiet. The northern part of the Village has some beautiful places to stay, and you’ll travel along the gorgeous Red Rock Scenic Byway to reach the village. Like West Sedona, the Village has some wonderful trails for hikers who prefer easy hiking trails.
The Bell Rock Pathway is a fairly easy hike and offers wide-open views of the surrounding wilderness. The trail is named for Bell Rock, which you’ll see as you start your hike. The trail begins at the Little Horse Trailhead and finishes at Bell Rock Trailhead for a distance of about 3 1/2 miles one way.
Getting to Bell Rock requires a bit of effort but it’s not particularly difficult. You can also hike to Bell Rock if you’re staying in the Chapel area, which is north of the Village.
The Village offers its visitors several delicious places to eat, so once you’re done walking around the trails, you’ll have your pick of restaurants that vary from comfort foods like pizza to burgers to Japanese food at Minami Japanese Restaurant. Many of the eateries in the Village offer amazing views, too, so try to stop by a restaurant at lunchtime for the best view while you eat. Try the ShadowRock Tap + Table after dark for their s’mores and wine.
- Hike the beginner-friendly Bell Rock Pathway
- Have a picnic lunch at the Grasshopper Point Picnic Area
- Shop at the Oak Creek Factory Outlets
- Get the best burgers in Sedona at Butterfly Burger
- See a show at the Sedona Dream Theatre
- Eat s’mores and drink wine after sunset at the ShadowRock Tap + Table
Where to stay near Village of Oak Creek (North)
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Sedona with Kids
4. Village of Oak Creek (South): The Best Area for Golfing & Resorts
If you want the best resorts and golfing in the area, the southern portion of Oak Creek Village is where you’ll want to find your accommodations. The southern part of the village is home to a handful of the best golf resorts and country clubs in the region, so staying at one of the resorts or a vacation home in the area with their private patios is an excellent idea if you’re bringing your golf clubs with you. The Village of Oak Creek is definitely home to the best hotels in Sedona.
While you stay in the southern part of the Village, you might want to try a wine tour along the Verde Valley Wine Trail when you’re not experiencing some of the resort activities. The area is also home to art galleries for your dose of culture, as well as the Red Rock Visitor Center to the south. You’ll want to stop at the visitor center at the start of your stay for timely information about Sedona’s activities, sights, and venues.
When you’re not looking for luxury activities like lounging by the outdoor pool or golfing, the area offers nearby hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty. There’s Jacks Canyon Trailhead to the east, Woods Canyon Trailhead to the south, and Transept Trailhead to the northwest. No matter when you visit Sedona, any of these trails is a beautiful sight for an afternoon hike, stroll, or walk.
- Get some information at the Red Rock Visitor Center
- Shop for local art at Van Loenen’s Galleries
- Enjoy the beautiful grounds at the Canyon Mesa Country Club
- Find great wines on a Sedona Vineyard Tour
- Play a round at the Sedona Golf Resort
- Visit the Oakcreek Country Club
- Take a tour with Southwest Outside Adventures
Where to stay near Village of Oak Creek (South)
5. Oak Creek Canyon: The Best Area for Adventures
You can’t drive a mile in Sedona without passing a trailhead or some amazing natural wonder, but if you’re particularly keen on experiencing the peace and solitude of the outdoors, try an adventurous stay in the canyon area. One of the first things you’ll notice when driving into the canyon area is the change in the scenery as the forest starts to take over the stoic red rocks.
The canyon is home to the largest group of Ponderosa Pines in the world and is located within the Coconino National Forest and managed by the National Park Service. Although the area is on Park Service land, there are some private homes in the area, many of which offer vacation stays with excellent views and peaceful environments. There aren’t a lot of Sedona hotels in the area, but you can certainly make due in the vacation homes, many of which have an outdoor pool or hot tub.
Even if you’re not lucky enough to score one of the vacation rentals at the canyon, you have the opportunity to go camping at the Manzanita Campground, which is definitely the best campground in the area and an excellent place for family camping or a peaceful, rustic retreat with your significant other. It’s also a great, peaceful stop before you continue your journey north into Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.
- Try the easy 1.3-mile Creek Trail
- Go Swimming at Grasshopper Point
- Take the Creek Scenic Drive
- Camp overnight at the Manzanita Campground
- Go fishing for trout in the creek
- Hike the beautiful 6.5-mile West Fork Trailhead
Where to stay near Oak Creek Canyon
See Related: Sedona Itinerary: How to Spend 1-5 Days
6. Red Rock Loop: The Best Area for Families
The Red Rock Loop is an excellent place to stay for families because it offers many outdoor activities in simple and easy-to-access formats. The Red Rock Loop area is also where to stay in Sedona with kids because of the family-friendly hotels and resorts with spacious rooms and more thanone outdoor swimming pool.
The Schuerman Mountain trail is a great walk for able-bodied kids and teens and reaches a mesa with some spectacular views. Make sure to bring some good hiking shoes and some water if you’re visiting Sedona in the summer for its hiking trails.
You can also take an easy ride along the Red Rock Loop, which starts and ends at Arizona route 89A, southwest of Uptown and West Sedona. You’ll find several scenic pull-offs and overlooks for taking photographs, as well as opportunities for getting out of the car and expending some energy with the kids. Visiting Red Rock State Park is an excellent way to experience the outdoors with children without having to pack too much for a difficult, remote hike.
After you’ve had your fill of the outdoors, the southwest area of Sedona offers some delicious places for food, but you’ll need to travel a little to the northeast to find most of the food. Excellent breakfast stops include Sedona Crepes and Local Juicery. Gerardo’s Italian Kitchen is perfect for pizza with the kids.
- Take photographs at the Lover’s Knoll Scenic Overlook
- Hike the family-friendly Baldwin Trail
- Visit Red Rock State Park
- Get a delicious breakfast at Local Juicery
- Get beach access from the Cathedral Rock Trail
- Let the dogs run and play at the Sedona Wetlands Preserve
- Take an iconic photograph at the Two Trees Observation Area
Where to stay near Red Rock Loop
7. Chapel: The Best Area for Safety
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is one of the most notable and well-known sights in Sedona, and the neighborhood around the iconic church is named for the striking, modern edifice. The chapel was built right into the rocks in the 1950s and is held into the mountain by a giant 90-foot cross.
The chapel property doesn’t have a lot of parking, but it shouldn’t take more than about 20 minutes to explore the grounds and take pictures. The Chapel area is the best area to stay in Sedona if you’re seeking a spiritual retreat.
The Chapel area is one of the most peaceful and safe places to stay in Sedona, with its gated communities and quiet vacation homes. There are a handful of religious venues in the area, but you can tour these places without belonging to a particular religion. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a beautiful place to bring your camera, as well as to spend some peaceful minutes near the trails that fan out from the neighborhood.
The Chapel area is a great place to stay when you want easy access to the Uptown area but don’t want to deal with tourists and busy places. You’ll find places to eat on the northern edge of the neighborhood, including Mole Sedona and Mesa Grill Sedona, but if you decide to stay in a vacation home in Chapel, you can use one of the local grocery stores to make meals in the kitchen at your home away from home.
- Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross
- Hike the Mystic Trail for beautiful mountain views
- Eat some of the best Mexican food in Sedona at Mole Sedona
- Attend a service at the temple of the Jewish Community of Sedona
- Take a jeep tour along the High on the Hog Trail
- Get lunch at the Mesa Grill Sedona for great views and food
Where to stay near Chapel
See Related: Best Things to do in Arizona & Places to Visit
8. Tlaquepaque: The Best Area for Culture/History
Tlaquepaque is a city in Jalisco, Mexico, but it’s also an arts and shopping village in Sedona and one of the most amazing places to learn about the culture and history of the area, as well as to stroll around at twilight with all the cozy paths and streets. Tlaquepaque is surrounded by some excellent places to stay and the best coffee place in the area, the Before & After Java Café.
You can spend quite a lot of time exploring Tlaquepaque, and it’s even worth a few visits during your stay since there are loads of restaurants and places for snacking and shopping. You’ll find plenty of places to take pictures at Tlaquepaque, and El Rincon Mexican Restaurante has some wonderful ambiance for dinner, as well as delicious food.
The streets around Tlaquepaque are pretty walkable, and it’s one of the best areas to stay in Sedona because it’s conveniently and has a central location to all the other neighborhoods in Sedona. Whether you want to go mountain bike riding in the hills around Sedona or you’re interested in strolling along the streets for urban, cultural activities, you can accomplish everything when you stay near Tlaquepaque.
- Explore Tlaquepaque after dark or during any festive holiday
- Get coffee at the Before & After Java Café
- Climb the 7-mile Munds Wagon Trail Hike
- Visit the Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art
- Hike the easy Marg’s Draw Trail for a lesser-hiked trail
- Get dinner and drinks at the Pump House Station
Where to stay near Tlaquepaque
What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Sedona the first time?
Every neighborhood in Sedona offers travelers unique benefits, but Uptown is probably the best place to stay for your first time visiting Sedona as it has more things to do per square mile than anywhere else in the area. Almost anywhere in Sedona is easy to get around, offers lots of free parking, and is very tourist-friendly.
What is the best month to visit Sedona?
Sedona is beautiful every month, but the pleasantest weather occurs from March until May when temperatures warm up a little from the winter but aren’t at a scorching level. Flowers bloom in the spring, and it’s the ideal time for outdoor adventures in Sedona.
If you visit Sedona in the summer, bring your sunscreen. If you visit in the winter, bring a heavy jacket.
How many days is enough for Sedona?
If your visit to Sedona is part of an Arizona road trip, try to spend at least two nights in the desert enclave. If time permits, three days should give you enough time to sample each of the entertainments the area has to offer, from hiking trails and mountain biking to shopping, resorts, and wellness visits. You could spend up to a week in Sedona if you wanted to explore just about everything the area had to offer.
What do I need to know before visiting hiking trails in Sedona?
Sedona and the surrounding wilderness are remote, so it’s important to stay on the path when exploring hiking trails around Sedona. On your hike, take a small pack with essentials like a flashlight, extra batteries, and sunscreen.
Bring water purification tablets if you plan to hike several miles into the wilderness. Some trails are particularly remote, so pay attention to the weather when departing.
What is so special about Sedona?
The spectacular views is one of the most memorable facets of visiting Sedona. It’s no wonder that the area lures artists and those interested in wellness and personal growth. The availability of outdoor activities is also why Sedona attracts all sorts of adventurers and nature lovers.