The Itinerary is my series of travel guides on where to stay, eat, drink, go, sweat, and chill. For this edition, discover the stunning scenery and mystical energy of Sedona.
Sedona is often considered one of America’s most beautiful places since it is surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. The dramatic landscapes of this Arizona desert town come to life in rich shades of red. Nestled within steep canyon walls, sandstone buttes, and pine forests offer the perfect place to unplug from the outside world and connect with yourself (or partner).
Whether you are a nature lover or a pleasure seeker, there is so much to see and do in Sedona. You can explore the jaw dropping rock formations by hiking, biking, or driving to the many scenic overlooks. Get your adrenaline rush on a off-roading excursion. Discover the history and local art of the area. Dine at great restaurants. Indulge is some self-care. Seriously, there is something for everyone here.
Beyond its many available activities, Sedona has a reputation for its powerful positive energy. It is the perfect place for those who looking for personal and spiritual enrichment. Even if you aren’t spiritual, once you experience Sedona, it is hard to deny its unique mystical quality. Open your mind and soak up the serene vibes.
Keep reading for tips on planning a trip to Sedona
What to Know Before You Go to Sedona
When to Visit Sedona
Sedona can be enjoyed all year round, but deciding when to visit depends on your priorities and interests. In order to find the right time to go, I recommend you consider your ideal weather conditions, preferred outdoor activities, and budget for accommodations.
The most popular time to visit Sedona is from March to May and September to November.
These spring and fall seasons bring warm but comfortable temperatures, averaging between low 80°F and mid 60°F. For those who enjoy hot temperatures, the summer season is nice as well since the average high temperature is in the 90°F. Winter time can be very special if you like to cozy up inside watching the snow fall on the red rocks. Whatever you choose, make sure you bring clothing appropriate for the weather, especially as the temperatures in the desert change greatly from day to night.
When it comes to crowds, spring through summer is the busiest. Winter is best for avoiding tourists and offers better value on accommodations, even though the weather is chiller. For me personally, the fall is the most ideal time to visit with lighter crowds and still great weather.
There are 3 options for getting to Sedona. First, you can fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and then drive 2 hours into Sedona. This is far from a boring drive, but a good road trip playlist wouldn’t hurt while watching the landscape change as you get closer to Sedona. Second, you can fly into Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) and drive 45 minutes into Sedona. Third, you can fly into Sedona Airport (SDX), however your options are either to fly private/charter a plane, as there are no commercial airlines that go in or out of that airport.
A car is definitely needed to get to and around Sedona. Rent a car that can handle rougher terrain, especially if you plan to drive to a few of the popular scenic outlooks. I strongly recommend using Google Maps to download a map of Sedona on your phone because there are many cell signal dead spots, especially in the canyons. Be prepared by always having offline access to a map.
Compared to NYC, Sedona is less expensive, but it is far from the least expensive place in Arizona. However, despite Sedona’s expensive restaurants and hotel rooms, it is possible to visit Sedona on a budget. Opt for free outdoor activities like hiking or sightseeing to minimize your daily spend.
Find out where to stay, eat, drink, go, sweat, and chill in Sedona, Arizona.
Where to Stay in Sedona
There is no place quite like the Enchantment Resort. Nestled in Boynton Canyon, enjoy breathtaking views of the red rocks in every direction. This hotel is unique in every way. The Enchantment Resort seamlessly combines beauty, luxury, and great service. The hotel offers many activities, such as meditation walks, creative photography, juicing classes, croquet and tennis.
If you want to relax, there are plenty of places to do just that at Enchantment Resort. The main pool is perfectly situated with spectacular views of the red rocks and the Boynton Canyon Vortex. Enjoy a delicious cocktail while taking in the gorgeous vistas. However, if you want an even more tranquil pool experience (without the kids), head over to the adult pool at Enchantment’s sister property, Mii amo. It is equipped with saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, outdoor and an indoor pool. You’ll be feeling zen vibes in no time.
Though it is an onsite sister property to Enchantment Resort, Mii amo provides a completely different experience. This is a world-renowned destination spa that is all about catering to your unique needs. For those who want to completely de-stress and enjoy relaxation at its finest, book a 3, 4, or 7-night package, which includes meals and 2 spa services per day. There are a variety of spa options from traditional treatments to those focused on mindfulness. Mii amo is perfect for those looking for a indulgent self-care trip amidst a stunning natural setting.
Where to Eat in Sedona
If you are planning a hike, be sure to make a stop at Local Juicery afterwards. This cafe’s menu has an excellent selection of smoothies, juices, breakfast bowls, raw desserts, and tonics. The ingredients are incredibly fresh and order upgrades such as reishi and chaga mushroom, bee pollen, and ashwagandha are available! No matter your diet, the staff is very helpful and can customize any order to your preference. This is definitely a must in Sedona!
Wildflower Bread Company
If you come to Sedona, you must eat at Wildflower Bread Company. Do not be deterred by the cafeteria-style ordering, the food is very delicious and generous with a lot of healthy options. The restaurant even has a patio so you can enjoy your meal with a beautiful view of the nearby red rocks. During my most recent trip, I had lunch everyday at Wildflower. A plus that it’s in the heart of the Sedona shopping district.
I am not typically a fan of tapas style restaurants, since I leave still feeling hungry and with a lot less money in my pocket! But Mariposa changed that. This Latin-inspired grill is a true Sedona gem. Enter the butterfly designed doors and you will be met with a delicious aroma coming from the kitchen. The service are exceptional and the food is generous. Beyond the food, the views from the restaurant’s terrace are incredible.
Interdependence Natural Foods
If you are staying in Sedona for more than a weekend, you might want to stop by a grocery store for some provisions. But don’t go to just any supermarket, head over to Interdependence Natural Foods. This organic market is far from the usual. The products are carefully selected with many unique health food items you can’t find anywhere else! If you have any questions about any health products, the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful in find what is right for you.
Where to Drink in Sedona
I must admit, when I’m in Sedona I refrain from doing much drinking. Something about the environment makes me feel like my most healthy self.
I do love a glass of wine or a tasty cocktail from time to time, even though science says all alcohol is bad for you. If you are in the mood for a spirit accompanied with a beautiful view, View 180 is perfect. Located in the Enchantment Resort (reservations are necessary for those not staying onsite), View 180 offers truly delicious and generous cocktails that makes it hard to only drink one.
Where to Go in Sedona
There are plenty of things to do around Sedona, it is practically an endless outdoor adventure.
Go for a hike
There is so many trails to hike in Sedona. Make sure to take your camera to photograph these truly unique rock formations! A few trails that are a must for hiking are Devil’s Bridge, Boynton Canyon, and Cathedral Rock. Make sure to research the trails before going on your hike (some are much harder than others)!
Want to go for a refreshing dip during those hot Sedona days? Definitely head out to Slide Rock! It’s one of America’s top 10 swimming holes and is the perfect activity as the water is quite cold. This is a great option if you are planning to swim, slide down from the rocks or take a couple of jumps off a low lying cliff.
Visit a vortex
Not sure what a vortex is? It is an area thought to be swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration. There are quite a few in Sedona, but if you stay at Enchantment Resort, you can easily experience the Boynton Canyon Vortex.
Where to Sweat in Sedona
Fitness at Enchantment Resort and Mii amo
Beyond sweating it out on one of Sedona’s many hiking trails, you can also get a good workout in right at your hotel! If you reserve your stay at either the Enchantment Resort or Mii amo, you will have access to a wide variety of complimentary fitness classes and activities. During my stay I tried a barre conditioning class, and it was hard. However, since the class size was so small, I received a lot of personal attention and adjustments.
Where to Chill in Sedona
Mii amo Wellness Spa
Mii amo is considered the #1 Destination Spa in the US for a reason. This tranquil spa embodies the peaceful and zen Sedona landscape with beautifully designed southwestern aesthetics. The spa offers a wide variety of therapies and treatments, including those that are focused on meditation and mindfulness. Though the spa services are pricey, they are excellent. The therapists are not only friendly and attentive, but also very skilled and ready to tailor treatments to your specific needs. You walk out of a treatment feeling all the relaxed vibes.
As you can see, there is so much to do and see in Sedona. It is one of the most beautiful places in the US and is well worth a visit!