A Travel Guide to Sedona Arizona
While I am no expert on Sedona, I've been there about 4 times now and every time I find something new and unique so I thought I'd recap a few things I know, to help you plan your trip.
For all destinations you ever visit, always run a quick Google search "visit X (destination name)" and find the official tourism board's site. For example, when you Google "Visit Sedona" you get the Sedona Visitor Center's site which is at visitsedona.com.
The website is very enticing, and has all the official resources you may need, including a travel advisory in this current state of Covid. Masks are mandated in Sedona. I am writing this post on September 2nd 2020 and from my understanding from the last time I was there, masks have been mandated since end of June. Bring your masks kids, they're required.
Masks on ladies and gentlemen.
During this most recent trip, we stayed at Amara Resort and Spa, as part of a 2 night press stay. *Disclaimer: A press stay does not change my opinion or review of the hotel, the destination or any activities within the hotel. My thoughts are honest and my own, regardless of a comped stay.
The hotel has a restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ice can be brought to your room (no ice machines for guests to fill their own) so just give the front desk team a ring and they'll have it up for you in a jiffy. There is a pool, outdoor sitting area which is perfect for a night cap, and there is an additional bonus with this property. A creekside. Prime photo opps.
Location. Location. Location.
This hotel is a 5 minute walk to the main part of downtown. Some may say this is the touristy part, but you're a tourist so don't let that dissuade you. We spent one afternoon right in the downtown area sipping wine, grabbing snacks (jerky, souvenirs) and then grabbing a quick snack before we got ready for the evening. It's a prime location if you won't want to have to drive too far, which (we'll get to that later) but you definitely want to be close to the majority of where you'll be spending your time.
...is kind of a pain in the ass. Hear me out. You will need a car (we had a rental with us which we drove up from Tucson) because there is limited transportation in Sedona. If you sign up for a tour, they will provide transport but if you go on your own hikes, want to catch sunrise in a canyon, hit up a brunch spot on the opposite side of town, etc. it will be tough. One evening we decided neither of us was going to drive to our dinner location, and Uber was readily available since we were in the downtown area. However as we wrapped up dinner, there were no Ubers or Lyfts around so we had to ask the restaurant staff who gave us a local businesses' information. iRide. Sedona is a place where taxis and traditional transport can still exist because not a lot of Uber or Lyft drivers in all honesty, so you may get stuck somewhere for an hour or so due to lack of transportation.
We rented our car from Enterprise in Tucson (Oro Valley location specifically) and it cost me about $122 for 3 full days. I picked the car up on Monday night and returned it on Thursday night, which gave us 3 days.
Food & drink
Many locals recommended Art of Wine, which is located in a small plaza. It's a really cute spot, with great service but we arrived as they were closing up for the day (Covid hours are a bit different) but the liquor laws have been a bit more relaxed due to the pandemic. We got our wine in plastic cups and sat outside to a gorgeous view of the mountains as the sun set. 10/10
That evening (after the wine) we had a reservation at The Vault Uptown, which was a highly rated place (one we wanted to go to on my last trip but it had no openings.) Even on a Tuesday night it was totally booked. Great selection of wine, only 1 or 2 IPAs on draft but not everyone likes a hoppy beer like I do. I ordered the steak (delicious) and Ashley had a salad which she loved. We had a good time, and the restaurant had great vibes, friendly staff and delicious food so it was fab overall.
The next day we ate breakfast and lunch at the hotel's restaurant, Salt Rock Kitchen, which was delicious. Our server was the same for both meals (we left after breakfast to capture some content + lounge by the pool) but it was definitely a really nice spot with delicious food. The portions were a good size, which was nice since sometimes the portions in Sedona restaurants can be a bit too much. After we had lunch, we got dressed for a little shopping and sightseeing in downtown. I saw a sign on the street about a wine tasting and lured Ashley into the spot. We enjoyed an hour or more at Winery 1912. The bartender was fab, the spot had an amazing direct view of epic mountains which we enjoyed as the sun started to go down.
After exploring a bit more in the downtown (I needed to get some local jerky) we got ready for a fancy dinner out at Dahl and Di Luca. We were excited for this dinner out, since we knew we wanted Italian but I was excited for a nice glass of wine and to really be wined and dined. It's been a minute since either of us had been to a nice establishment.
When it comes to traveling to Sedona, what questions do you have that I can potentially answer? It's a beautiful destination and definitely a more low-key outdoorsy one (if you're into that sort of thing of course) but there's plenty to see and do for all.