Sedona Arizona Travel Guide – Reviews and Recommendations

Sedona, Arizona attracts nature lovers, geology enthusiasts, adventure seekers, foodies, art lovers, mystics, and curious travelers from around the world.  Located in the center of Arizona, Sedona is 100 miles North of Phoenix and a popular road trip for Valley residents. Usually a 2 hour drive between Phoenix and Sedona, allow extra time for holidays and weekend travel.

The iconic mountains of Sedona are formed from layers of sandstone in various shades of bright, bold red.  Many people believe that the red rocks of Sedona are an Energy Vortex of healing properties.  These power centers are a huge draw for New Age Enthusiasts.  There is much debate and discussion around the magical properties of the area, but most visitors will agree that the red rocks are stunning!


Sedona is a hiker’s paradise!  There are so many great hiking trails in and around Sedona.  Large brown trail signs can be found along State Route 89A, 179, and Interstate-17 (I-17) highways.  There is usually ample parking, as well as this excellent resource for finding the perfect hiking trail to match your fitness level and scenery.  Many of these hiking trails are suitable for Mountain bikes, too.  I discover a new hiking trail every time that I visit!

There are nearby creeks and lakes for fishing, swimming, picnics, and camping.  As part of the conservation efforts, some areas around Oak Creek require the Red Rock Pass, be sure to check here for prices and locations.

Many Tourist Attractions can be reserved ahead of time, or head over to the main shopping plaza(s) on State Route 89A for shopping and to reserve tours and activities such as:

  • Art Galleries
  • Balloon rides
  • Horse rides
  • Jeep Tours
  • Music and Film Festivals
  • Psychic readings and mystic/spiritual advisers

Looking for great views?  Drive along State Route 89A.  The highway runs from Prescott Valley through Sedona up to Flagstaff and is the prettiest scenic route in the entire state of Arizona!

Places to Eat

Coffee Pot Café – budget friendly, good service, great food (try the breakfast burritos or one of their 101 omelets).  The southwestern chic décor is worth the stop along 89A.  A very popular place, so expect a short wait.  Explore the attached gift shop for unique souvenirs!

Indian Gardens Cafe back patio

Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market – Excellent coffee and Deli sandwiches!  Fresh, healthy menu options for breakfast and lunch.  Great for gluten-free and food allergy options.  Breakfast and lunch menu is delicious, plus a mini market.  Located on 89A (where else?) just 4 miles North of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon.

Oxaxca Mexican – my favorite restaurant in town!  Excellent margaritas, amazing views from the patio, and the BEST Mexican food in town.  Great burritos and fajitas for a good price.  Every meal is delicious.

Cowboy Club

Cowboy Club – Highly recommend for dinner offering elk chops, buffalo, and other exotic western meats alongside chicken and steak options.  Silver Saddle is the “fine dining” room at Cowboy Club serving the same menu in a less noisy environment.  Silver Saddle is perfect for romantic date night, while the main dining room of Cowboy Club is a little more lively.  Hamburgers are only available in the main Cowboy Club dining, not in Silver Saddle section.

Fudge and more shopping along 89A

New Restaurants open every time I visit.  Check Trip Advisor for current recommendations, and follow your nose to some great grub.  We really wanted to try Barking Frog Grille, but it opens late on Sundays and we were too hungry to wait.

Hotel Accommodations

Where to Stay – there are plenty of great accommodations in Sedona and Oak Creak area.  Here are my top two recommendations.

L’Auberge Resort

L’Auberge Luxury Resort is located on Oak Creek, slightly downhill from the Sedona shops along 89A.  A favorite activity is to feed the ducks, they come to the creek at the base of the resort every morning for breakfast.  The resort offers plenty of quiet places to relax and enjoy nature.  An excellent choice for honeymoon or a stress-free getaway.  Read my full review here.

Marriott Courtyard in Sedona

Marriott Courtyard (Opened October 2016) is located on the Southwest edge of Sedona along State Route 89A.  This newly opened property offers great views of the red rocks and plenty of open spaces.  Only a 5-10 minute drive North on 89A for restaurants, hiking, shopping and more activites in Sedona.  My Sister and I stayed at the newly opened Marriott Courtyard for our December visit.   We enjoyed the heated pool, hot tub, firepit, and all of the perfect views of the red rocks surrounding the resort-like property.  It is an excellent option for visitors looking for a more affordable getaway, and a more secluded experience.

Be cautious of some less expensive hotel/motels, often calling themselves a “resort”.  A few years ago, I booked a girls’ getaway in a “reasonably priced” Sedona cabin located on Oak Creek boasting Fireplaces, Cabins, Jacuzzi.  It turned out to be an overpriced trailer!  There was no jacuzzi, the office staff told us after check-in that jacuzzi brand bathtubs (room for one) were available in some of the rooms, not as a “resort amenity”.  Everyone in our group had a good attitude about the place, but I was furious at the exaggerations and outright lies!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive any special treatment from any of the companies or brands listed in this article.  I write honest opinions and share things and places that I love.

Nearby activities and attractions:

27 thoughts on “Sedona Arizona Travel Guide – Reviews and Recommendations”

  1. Great recommendations! We are planning a day trip to Sedona in early December. We haven’t been in several years, but it is close to family who we will be visiting for Thanksgiving. I will definitely keep Oxaxca Mexican in mind. It sounds delicious!

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  3. Sedona looks gorgeous! Here in the opposite side of the world, Arizona is always assumed as a desert with too much dry heat! A couple of my friends who visited Arizona on work also said the same thing! I just googled for Sedona after reading your post! Its such an eye opener!!! Sedona is a less explored area for travelers & tourists I guess!

  4. I’ve heard abut Arizona a lot, but unfortunately never got a chance to visit it. I am sure it is a beautiful place to visit, and your blog only reassures that. Love your pictures, the place looks very laid back — perfect for a relaxing holiday i’m sure.

  5. Great informative post. Almost went to Arizona for my masters, but yeah it looks lovely and very barren but beautiful nonetheless. Wouldn’t mind going there and just do nothing except for the occasional hike. Very laid back and perfect for a relaxing holiday i’m sure.

  6. Specific recommendations on where to eat, stop for coffee and where to stay are always so practical, given the mind-boggling choices available on the web. Did you get these recommendations from someone, or did you just get lucky?

    1. I have traveled to Sedona, and all over Arizona, over the last 40 years gathering this information first hand. These are my recommendations based on decades of experiences.

  7. When visiting Sedona in the nearer future, I would say, your article already makes it easier to have an idea of what and what not to do. I love to be anywhere close to my favorite Mexican burritos. Thanks for the post, quite informative!

  8. It looks nice place and you wrote many tips about it, especially for places to eat! Instead of you I put more pictures about landscape area and nature stuff, thanks for sharing 😀

  9. We’re thinking of heading down to Zona next year in our RV. Will definitely be heading to Sedona now thanks to your blog!

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