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.
Wow your stay looks incredible! I want to visit Sedona some day!
Sedona is high on my travel wish list, and this trip looked so fun! I’m definitely pinning this for later.
I love Sedona! I was supposed to be there this spring, but we all know what happened to our travel plans 🙁 This makes me so excited to reschedule!
I haven’t visit Sedona this summer, but I’ve done a few mini getaways during the pandemic as . Mask have been required everywhere I’ve been, so I’m glad you made that clear! Lol I will definitely have to add Sedona to my list of places to getaway in the near future. Great review!
I’ve always wanted to go to Sedona! These photos are making me want to book a trip now!
Sedona is on top of my lists for places to go for a long weekend. Totally bookmarking this post for all the tips and spots to visit!
oh I want to go!!! these photos are so pretty and it sounds like so much fun!
xo Laura Leigh
I am dying to get out to Sedona! Hopefully at the top of my list once it is safe to travel again. Thanks for sharing your guide!
xx rebecca // thecrystalpress.com/blog
Sounds so lovely! Will need to make my way there if I ever find myself in the Southwest! xoxo, Sarah
Take me with you! I’m dying for a fun getaway like this!
Sedona looks absolutely beautiful!! I can’t believe I’ve never been to Arizona but definitely saving this for later!
Arizona is on my list. I haven’t been that far west yet. But it seems like a great place to visit.
Sedona is on my list!! We went to Arizona for the first time last year (Phoenix/Scottsdale) and I fell in love! I want to a longer trip next time and do Sedona and Flagstaff as well!
This was such a great, in-depth guide to Sedona. It’s not somewhere I had considered visiting in the past, but you may have just changed my mind. It sounds like a lot of fun, pretty relaxing, and I don’t mind the lack of transportation as long as I can rent a vehicle for the time I’m there. Also, loving the photos!!
Sedona has been on my list! It doesn’t look like it but I’m definitely an outdoorsy kind of girl lol! I bet there are some gorgeous hikes around there!
Sedona was one of my favorite destinations. Loved the beauty and the FOOOD! Also, your hotel sounds amazing! Would definitely like to visit next time.