Nestled in the heart of the American Southwest, Sedona, Arizona is truly one of the prettiest cities we have ever visited. Life there seems to move at a slower pace, and the city offers great places to relax, shop, and eat. Sedona is a dark sky community, which means there is an ordinance against light pollution. On clear nights, the Milky Way can be seen arching across the sky from horizon to horizon! By day, the red rock scenery is enchanting, and the weather is usually great.
- Perfect for a couples getaway.
- Perfect for a long weekend or extended stay.
- Perfect as a hub for several national parks and other attractions.
- When to go: Anytime. We like October.
Sedona is located approximately:
275 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada — 117 miles from Phoenix, Arizona — 350 miles from Albuquerque, New Mexico
This trip starts from the closest major airport city: Phoenix, Arizona. Drive time between Phoenix and Sedona: 2 hours.
*Recommended hotels in Phoenix: Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn. Also, there are many choices for camping in and around Phoenix.
Phoenix attractions include: a zoo, an aquarium, water parks, museums, hiking trails, golf courses, among others. Click here for more information: Visit Phoenix. But for now we’re anxious to get on the road to Sedona, so let’s go!
⇒From Phoenix, take I-17 north toward Sedona. Bonus stop: Montezuma Castle National Monument. See ancient dwellings tucked high into the side of a mountain. Here’s a link: Montezuma Castle National Monument.
⇒Continue on I-17 north to Highway 179 north to Sedona.
Destination: Sedona, Arizona
*Recommended hotels in Sedona: Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona – 1200 AZ-89A. Here’s a link: Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona, or Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express.
*Recommended restaurant in Sedona: Oak Creek Brewery and Grill – d201 336, AZ-17. Here’s a link: Oak Creek Brewery and Grill.
Here’s a tour, featuring our favorite things to do in Sedona:
1. Hop on a trolley. Take a tour of the city and get some great information about the area. Travel tip: do this first to familiarize yourself with the city.
2. Shop. Tlaquepaque (Tuh-lockee-pockee) is the can’t-miss venue. Here’s a link: Tlaquepaque. We also recommend walking downtown Sedona. There are many shops worthy of a look.
Travel Tip: don’t be fooled by time share vendors who offer free tickets for tours or offer something else free for attending their program. These folks can be be pretty sly and are paid to be very persistent.
3. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross – 780 Chapel Rd. Gorgeous church with spectacular views.
4. Red Rock State Park. If there really is something to that vortexes thing people talk about in Sedona, then this place might just have it! We experienced peaceful calm – an almost spiritual feeling – at this park. Hike one or all of the trails, or find solitude along the banks of Oak Creek. This park is an excellent picnic destination.
5. Take a Pink Jeep tour. This tour company, known for their signature pink jeeps, can arrange a variety of off-roading adventures, hiking tours, and trips to the Grand Canyon, among others. We highly recommend the Grand Canyon tour. Here’s a link to their website: Pink Adventure Tours.
6. Oak Creek Canyon. Scenic 14 mile drive between Sedona and Flagstaff. This is a slow road because of the corkscrew twists and turns, but the scenery will take your breath away!
7. Slide Rock State Park. Beautiful park in Oak Creek Canyon featuring a natural rock water slide. Go to play in the water, go to hike, or go for the scenery in this historic park.
8. Gaze at the stars. There are several astronomy tours available in Sedona, and the state parks host them periodically, too. Learn about the constellations and take a peek into space through their telescopes. We recommend Sedona Star Gazing – Evening Sky Tours. Here’s a link: Evening Sky Tours.
9. Watch the sun set. We love a great sunset (or sunrise), and Airport Mesa is the place to be in Sedona just before the sun goes down. Here’s the one were lucky enough to catch.
10. Take a side trip:
- Grand Canyon National Park is 2 hours north of Sedona via Flagstaff.
- Petrified Forest National Park is 2.5 hours northeast of Sedona via Flagstaff.
- Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Page, Arizona and Lake Powell are 2.75 hours north of Sedona via US Highway 89.
- Tuzigoot National Monument is 30 minutes southwest of Sedona.
- Walnut Canyon National Monument is 45 minutes northeast of Sedona via Flagstaff.
- Saguaro National Park is 3.5 hours southwest of Sedona via Phoenix and Tucson.
That was a whirlwind tour, but we sincerely hope that we have inspired your wanderlust. While we can’t guarantee anything, we are pretty sure that you will love Sedona as much as we did. Please leave us a comment below. We would love to hear about your favorite road trips. Until next time…
Travel save, travel smart, and we will see you down the road!
Mike and Kellye
As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.