September 30, 2023

Vacation Ideas for Sedona, Arizona

8 min read
Vacation Ideas for Sedona, Arizona

Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of city life, a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway is a nice break from the chaos — especially to an area that is so unique. Tucked between the Grand Canyon and Phoenix are the majestic red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. The flight from Newark to Sedona is only about 5.5 hours, and people travel here to experience everything from adventurous hikes to energy-healing vortexes. While a car isn’t a must for this trip, it’s highly encouraged to be able to see all of the great places Sedona has to offer — plus, it’s only a 2-hour drive to the Grand Canyon for those who are looking for an Arizona road trip. From where to stay, where to eat, and what to do, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about this trip out west. Keep reading for a complete list to plan your Sedona getaway.

Vacation Ideas for Sedona, Arizona

Places to Stay

Amara Resort + Spa | 100 Amara Lane

amara sedona

This resort not only has all the luxuries you could desire at the spa (think massages, body scrubs, facial experiences, and more), but it’s also located in the best location. Right off the main street in Upper Sedona, you’ll be steps away from great dining and shopping (if you can ever leave the resort). There is also SaltRock Southwest Kitchen on the property to enjoy a craft margarita for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?). Rooms can get a bit pricey, but check the website for any offers they may have while you are visiting.

Airbnb | Various locations

There are a few neighborhoods to stay in within Sedona city limits and just around the area. Staying closer to Upper Sedona puts you near the shopping and restaurants. It can also be fun to stay closer to the trail heads to make for easy hiking access. One great Airbnb, the Chapel Area Sanctuary, is located just beneath the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This studio apartment for up to 4 people has a nice backyard with amazing views of Cathedral Rock. There is definitely a rental perfect for any size group.

Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock | 90 Ridge Trail Drive

The pool and views alone are enough to convince anyone to stay at this Hilton. It’s near other attractions and overlooks the iconic Bell Rock in the heart of Sedona. For those looking for an active getaway, there are tennis and golf amenities right on site. From early Spring to late Fall, the cafe is open — serving meals and snacks by the pool. There is also another restaurant on the property that sources ingredients locally. Rooms come with either a patio, balcony, or a seating area.

Poco Diablo Resort | 1752 State Route 179

Located just off the main road, this resort is in the middle of everything. It’s a quick drive to great dining and shopping, and it’s also a stone’s throw from some of the best hiking trails Sedona has to offer. There is a spa, as well as on-site dining. Poco Diablo Resort also has a year-round heated pool and sundeck.

Tavern Hotel | 904 North Main Street, Cottonwood 

While not technically within city limits, Cottonwood is a quick drive to Sedona. It has an adorable main street with some great restaurants, breweries, and tasting rooms. The best part is that this town is off the beaten path so it won’t be overrun with tourists. The Tavern Hotel is one of a few places to stay in town and was originally built in 1925 as a grocery store right in the middle of Old Cottonwood. What’s great is that the stay includes breakfast coupons for a few options.

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Places to Eat

Coffee Pot Restaurant | 2050 West State Route 89A

coffee pot sedona

This restaurant is the classic NJ diner experience but with Sedona flair. A local favorite, this place prides itself on being the home of the menu with 101 omelet choices. Literally, any combination of meat, veggies, and cheese is possible (but no substitutions). As soon as diners sit down, there is a cup of joe that gets poured and a full pot left on each table. This place is definitely one to come hungry and leave happy. It’s a great place to come after a morning hike to refuel.

Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits | 241 North State Route 89A

cowboy club sedona

This place has a history dating back to 1946 when it served stars like Joan Crawford and Elvis Presley. It was under a different name then, but today, Cowboy Club Grille & Spirits is just as popular. Make sure to try the cactus fries with prickly pear dipping sauce, because it’s a unique dish to the area. This restaurant is right near the main shopping area, and we recommend popping in for a quick lunch or dinner while in the area.

The Hudson | 671 State Route 179, Suite D

hudson sedona

This is one of the best-hidden gems in Sedona when it comes to food. The views are amazing, but the menu is even better if you can believe it. The cocktail list has some fun AZ takes on classic cocktails (make sure to try the AZ mule) and the menu has a lot of great options. A Hoboken Girl favorite is the Southwest Chicken pasta because it’s such a unique mix of flavors within one pasta dish. It doesn’t matter if you sit inside or out because the windows give you the best views at every turn.

Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill | 700 State Route 89A

Ask any local or Sedona-lover and they will all agree that Mariposa is a must-visit location. From the moment guests walk through the front door made of crystal, they are transported to a fine dining experience. There isn’t a bad thing to order on the menu, and let’s be honest, you’ll probably spend most of the time gazing out at the breathtaking red rock views.

Picnic | Various Locations

This may not be a seated dining option, but it might be a bit more memorable. Locals always recommend stopping by the local Whole Foods or a quick stop and heading to one of the trail heads for a little picnic. There are plenty of places in Coconino National Forest, but locals also love the Baldwin Trail Trailhead at the base of Cathedral Rock. It’s by the water and has some great vantage points.

Things to Do

Elevated Sedona Wine + Brew Tours | Personalized Pick-Up

Sedona and the nearby Verde Valley are quickly becoming a booming wine region. JB and the whole team are so welcoming and knowledgeable not only about the surrounding area but also about the wine itself. Whether it’s a romantic day with your partner or a wild bachelorette party, there is a personalized tour for you. Packages include pick-up, drop-off, lunch, snacks, and, of course, a few tastings as well. Ask for Tal, because he was great and had so many wonderful stories to share as we were traveling around the area.

Hike | Various Locations

cathedral rock sedona

Hiking while in Sedona is a must. There are relatively easy walking loops like the 3.5-mile trail on Airport Mesa, to more challenging adventures like Cathedral Rock Trail. This trail specifically is a short 1.2-mile round-trip hike that has some rock scrambling parts. As long as adventurers stay on the trail and keep focused on the goal, the views from Cathedral Rock are truly amazing. It’s a good hike to do early in the morning for sunrise to beat the crowds.

One note is that parking can be difficult at the trail heads, so make sure to check ahead if it’s open and if there is a shuttle to where you want to go.

Grand Canyon Day Trip

There is so much to do in the immediate area around Sedona, but the Grand Canyon is just too close not to put on the list. Just a two-hour drive away lies this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as the most spectacular gorge in the world, each hike and lookout point here doesn’t disappoint. Drive yourself or even take a tour from Sedona up north for the day.

Jerome, AZ

clinkscale sedona

In under an hour’s drive from Sedona lies what was once known as the wickedest town in the West. Though it used to be a bustling mining town, it now is a tourist destination for humans and ghouls alike. Come walk around and visit the stores and restaurants. The Clinkscale is a converted hardware store turned restaurant with a delicious roasted turkey french dip. Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room also is located here (try the tasting flight because it’s too hard to pick a favorite).

Pink Jeep Tour | 204 North State Route 89A

pink jeep tour sedona

Perhaps one of the most famous activities in Sedona (besides hiking the red rocks) is the pink jeep tour. There are many different tours to choose from that range from mild to bumpy and rugged. They have options in and around Sedona as well as farther locations including the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon. Pick a tour here first because these range from 2 hours to 11 hours depending on where you go, so you’ll want to plan your days accordingly.

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Where to Shop

Ninibah | 336 State Route 179 a106

Nanibah sedona

Specializing in Native American jewelry and art, this place has a fantastic array of goods. The team behind the counter is great and so knowledgeable about the area and what they are selling. There is a small section of the store devoted to sand art made by Navajo artists that is a must-see when visiting.

Spiritstone Gems Market | 259 State Route 89A

There is such unique jewelry and artwork in Sedona. So many shops have beautiful crystals and delicate jewelry pieces for any occasion. Spiritstone Gems Market has a nice mix of pieces from local artists and other options for all price points. This place also has an impressive collection of crystals of all sizes.

Tlaquepaque Arts + Shopping Village | 336 State Route 179

Tlaquepaque village sedona

This is an entire village created to remind visitors of old Mexico. Developed by visionary Abe Miller, it became a destination for visitors to meander the areas while shopping and dining. Stepping foot here makes you feel like you’re in another world. Ninibah and many other galleries and artisan shops house the most beautiful pieces from near and far. Make sure to come early, especially on the weekends, because parking can be difficult.

The Sedona Fudge Company | 257 North State Route 89A

fudge sedona

Filled with fudge, cookies, and desserts galore, this is a one-stop shop for any sweet tooth. The storefront is small, but it’s open to the baking kitchen, so visitors can see the delicious treats from start to finish. Hoboken Girl recommends trying the pretzel wands (aka pretzel rods covered in chocolate and caramel).

Cheers | 201 North State Route 89A

This store has a few sister locations along the main drag, and they all sell nice shirts and other souvenirs to remember your time in Sedona. Sedona Outdoors and Western Trading Post are all part of the same company and sell similar items. Sedona Outdoors also sells outdoor adventure items including hiking sticks and Camelbak products.

Sedona is such a special, one-of-a-kind place, and you really can’t go wrong with anything you do.

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Vacation Ideas for Sedona, Arizona

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