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The Ultimate Guide to Sedona, Arizona: Your Complete Travel and Adventure Guide

Updated: Apr 27


Sedona, Arizona is a beautiful city located 2 hours north of Pheonix and 45 minutes south of Flagstaff. Known for its stunning red rock formations and serene landscapes, Sedona makes for a perfect weekend getaway. In addition to the breathtaking red rocks, the city is also surrounded by the Coconino National Forest offering visitors many hiking trails to choose from. The city also offers different festivals throughout the year like the Sedona Hummingbird Festival held every July and the Red Rocks Music Festival held from September to October.


When to visit:


March-May: Average temperatures are in the mid-60s to low 80s and the flowers are in full bloom! With perfect weather expect higher room rates and larger crowds. There are also quite a few festivals happening in March like the Sedona Yoga Festival and the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, so room availability might be limited.

June - August: Average temperatures are in the high 90s and this is the start of the rainy season so pack an umbrella. There are also fewer crowds so hotel prices are more reasonable.

September- November- Fall is an extremely popular time to visit Sedona. The weather is perfect in the low 70s- high 80s making for amazing hiking weather. If you plan to visit in the fall, aim to go in November for fewer crowds and higher hotel room availability.

December- February- Average temperatures reach the mid-50s but if you are looking for snow, only expect a light dusting as the average snowfall is around 3 ½ inches annually.


Travel Tip: When I visited Sedona, I went around mid-June. The weather was perfect in the 80s, we had beautiful sunny days and the hotel prices were reasonable.


Getting there:

The best way to get to Sedona is to fly into a nearby airport and rent a car and drive the rest of the way. When I traveled to Sedona, I took a flight from San Diego to Phoenix, rented a car, and drove the rest of the way. The drive was very easy!

Although there is a free shuttle that will take visitors to the most popular trails, I also recommend a rental car to get around the city.


Drive distance from nearby airports:

Las Vegas- Sedona: 4 hrs 30 min

Tucson - Sedona : 3 hr 30 min


Where to stay:


Sedona is a city with many relaxing accommodations from Bed and Breakfasts to luxury resorts to budget-friendly rooms. Here are a few places to check out!


www.innatthundermountain.com

Located near Thunder Mountain and Red Chimney Rock this beautiful Bed and Breakfast is perfect for your relaxing getaway in Sedona. Each room has a private bathroom, fireplaces, comfy beds, and views of the red rocks. They also provide a delicious made-from-scratch breakfast that is included in the price of the room. In addition, they also provide concierge service to help you make the most of your stay in Sedona!


This beautiful Marriot Hotel is located near all of Sedona’s best hiking trails! The hotel offers many amenities such as rooms with views of the Red Rocks and a complimentary shuttle that transport guests within three miles of the hotel to local restaurants and shops. There is a daily parking fee of $25.00 and charging stations for eclectic cars.


Things to do:


Explore Red Rock State Park: Visit this stunning park to hike its scenic trails and enjoy breathtaking views of the red rock formations. The park also offers guided nature walks and educational programs. When you go, try hiking Eagles Nest Trail!

  1. Eagles Nest Trail

    1. Length: 2.8 miles, Loop

    2. Elevation gain: 341 ft

    3. Level: Moderate

Visit Slide Rock State Park: Beat the heat by visiting this unique park, known for its natural water slide formed by Oak Creek. You can slide down the smooth rocks and swim in the refreshing pools. The park also has picnic areas and hiking trails.


Enjoy a relaxing spa day: Pamper yourself in one of Sedona's world-class spas. Indulge in massages, facials, and holistic treatments while surrounded by the city's natural beauty.


Take a Helicopter Tour: If you are feeling adventurous soar above Sedona's red rock landscape in a helicopter for a breathtaking and serene experience. Enjoy panoramic views and capture memorable photos.

Visit Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village: Explore this charming shopping area filled with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. It's a great place to find unique souvenirs, and local artwork, and enjoy a meal or coffee.

Stargazing: Sedona's dark skies make it an excellent destination for stargazing. Join a guided stargazing tour or find a scenic spot to observe the night sky, marveling at the countless stars and the Milky Way

Take a Hike: Sedona has numerous hiking trails for all skill levels. The city of Sedona has a free shuttle that operates year-round, Thursday to Sunday that will transport visitors to popular hiking trails.

Here are a few popular trails located in Coconino National Forest that are worth checking out:

Coconino National Forest: Devil's Bridge Trail

  1. Cathedral Rock Trail

    1. Length: 1.2 miles, out & back

    2. Elevation gain: 741 ft

    3. Level: Hard

  2. Devil's Bridge Trail

    1. Length: 3.9 miles, out & back

    2. Elevation gain: 521 ft

    3. Level: Moderate

  3. Soldier Pass Trail

    1. Length: 4.5 miles, out & back

    2. Elevation gain: 839 ft

    3. Level: Moderate

Go on an ATV adventure tour: Explore Sedona’s beautiful desert landscapes on an ATV-guided tour! This is a great tour for all ages! Tip: You will get pretty dusty while on this tour, so if you have sensitivities, it might be best to avoid this tour.

ATV Tour Sedona, AZ

Drive the Red Rock Scenic Byway: The Red Rock Scenic Byway is located in the Coconino National Forest and stretches for approximately 7.5 miles along State Route 179. The byway is renowned for its stunning red rock formations, which are characteristic of the Sedona area. The towering red cliffs, unique rock formations, and vibrant desert landscapes create a picturesque and awe-inspiring backdrop along the entire route. Along the byway, there are designated scenic pullouts where you can stop to admire the views, take photos, and soak in the natural beauty of the surroundings.



Where to eat:


Local Juicery $$: This local Juicery offers a variety of cold-pressed juices made from locally sourced, organic ingredients. They also serve smoothies, waffles, breakfast bowls, and specialty toasts like avocado toast.


The Hudson $$$: Situated in the heart of Sedona, the Hudson offers a diverse menu that combines American and Southwestern influences. The focus is on using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients to create flavorful and innovative dishes. Some popular dishes include the Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad, Hudson Burger, Smoked Salmon BLT, Pork Verde Tacos, and Chicken and Biscuits. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.


Dellepiane $$$: This Argentinean restaurant serves delicious farm-to-table plates like Argentinian steaks, empanadas, and burgers. Popular dishes include the El Paso burger and their empanada flight.


Safety:


Overall Sedona is a very safe city and we felt safe during our visit. As with any city, it is always best practice to use wisdom when traveling and be aware of your surroundings.


Budget:


When setting a budget for your trip to Sedona, consider the time of year you want to visit, as the hotel rates will be higher during peak seasons. Hotel prices can vary from $200- $400/night. If you plan to spend most of your time outdoors, then many of the activities will be free. If you want to go on an ATV tour expect to spend $250- $300 for a 2-seater. The cost of food in Sedona is about $15-$25/ person/meal.


Wap up:


I hope this Sedona guide is a helpful resource and inspires you to visit Sedona! If you are planning to visit Sedona and want assistance planning your trip or have questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on this post!


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