If you’ve never visited Sedona, Arizona, you have missed an amazing bucket list trip! Sedona is one of the most beautiful places in the US and offers tons of things to do and see. It’s surrounded by red rock mountains, offers amazing outdoor adventures, features beautiful landscapes, and let’s not forget…the wineries! Whether you are visiting for the first time or you have been on several occasions, you will experience something a little different each time. This is our complete travel itinerary for visiting Sedona, Arizona!
Places To Stay In Sedona, Arizona
Whether you’re looking to stay in Sedona on a budget or find an amazing luxury hotel or resort, the area offers several great places to stay. These are a few of our top choices of lodging when visiting Sedona.
Hotels and Resorts
- Bell Rock Inn (Budget-Friendly): Located in nearby Oak Creek, Arizona, Bell Rock Inn offers several types of room styles including studio, 1 bedroom, and 2 bedroom suites. It is moderately priced and features great amenities like heated pools, hot tubs, an on-site spa, a fitness center, and internet access. The Inn is centrally located, and in close proximity to Bell Rock Trailhead, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and Montezuma Castle National Monument.
- Courtyard By Marriott Sedona (Moderate): Located on State Route 89A, Courtyard Sedona is definitely the place to be if you’re looking to experience everything in Sedona. Featuring many room styles, meeting rooms, and a reception area, there is always something to do here! There is a restaurant on-site, indoor/outdoor pools, and hiking trails right off of the property.
- L’auberge De Sedona (Luxury): Located in Uptown Sedona, L’auberge De Sedona is rated one of the top hotels in the US. They offer several packages including couple getaways, relaxing retreats, and bed and breakfast packages. You can choose to stay in one of their fabulous cottages or in the lodge during your stay. Nearby there are hiking and biking trails, amazing landscapes, shops and boutiques, and amazing places to eat. Don’t miss this amazing vacation of a lifetime at L’auberge De Sedona.
RV Campgrounds and Resorts
Zane Grey RV Village
Located in Camp Verde, Arizona, just 37 miles south of Sedona. Zane Grey RV Village is a beautiful, well-groomed RV campground that offers large RV spaces, and several amenities including a dog run, on-site hiking trails, and a community area with a firepit to play outdoor games with the neighbors. Camp Verde, Arizona, is a quaint historical town that features an amazing downtown, shops, old mines, and the infamous Verde Canyon Railroad.
Verde Valley RV & Camping Resort
Verde Valley RV is located in Cottonwood, Arizona, south of Sedona. The park is included in the Thousand Trails/Encore Membership; however, everyone has the opportunity to stay. The park is quite large and offers both 50 amp and 30 amp RV sites. There are several community areas that include heated pools and hot tubs, internet access, and activities for all. Best of all, Verde Valley RV is within walking distance of Alcantara Vineyard, a popular Sedona winery.
Top Places Visit In Sedona
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is an inspiring place to see. It is a Catholic chapel built on top of the surrounding red rocks and inspired by the construction of the Empire State Building. Local rancher & sculptor, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, saw the vision to complete the chapel in the 1950s.
In 2007, Arizona voted the chapel to be one of the 7th man-made wonders of Arizona and is visited by many tourists every year.
Red Rock State Park was once part of a ranch owned by Jack Frye, the President of the TWA from 1934-1947. It was used as a retreat for him and his wife to get away from his stressful career as president. The park is very family-friendly; providing several easy to difficult hiking, equestrian, and biking trails. Make sure you hike Eagle’s Nest Loop, a well-maintained and defined trail. It had many look-out points with benches to stop and take in the breathtaking views.
The Town of Jerome is a quaint little town in the hills overlooking Verde Valley. It was a copper mining town with a population of over 10,000 in the 1920s, but when the mine closed, it became known as the world’s largest ghost town. Many of the old buildings and homes still stand. Take a walk down Main St. to explore the history of the buildings and visit the shops and boutiques.
Take a train ride through Verde River Canyon on the Verde Canyon Railroad. It’s a 4-hour train ride that provides seated train cars, as well as, outdoor open cars. In first-class, a glass of Champagne is toasted at the beginning of the ride. Enjoy drinks at the cash bar and the small finger food buffet that is served during the ride. Among the cliffs and canyons, keep an eye out for the eagles flying overhead.
Montezuma Castle was discovered in 1860 and was mistakenly named for a famous Aztec emperor. However, explorers later revealed that the dwelling was actually home to the Sinagua people. Montezuma Castle is built on the side of a limestone cliff, 90 feet in the air. There are several floors in the dwelling which has experienced great decay over the years. For this reason, visitors are unable to tour the inside of the castle but can walk the wheelchair accessible trail to view the marvelous creation.
Sedona features many of the best hiking and biking trails in the US! Bell Rock Pathway Trail is one of my favorite trails in Sedona. I found the trail to be fairly easy; however, some areas I would consider moderate. The trail includes several side trails including Bell Rock Loop, Little Horse Trailhead, Courthouse Butte Loop, and much more! Plan to spend some time here, exploring the amazing landscapes and red rocks.
In the Spring, the trail is very popular so be prepared to have a difficult time finding parking. If the parking at Bell Rock is full, there are many other areas along the route to find a spot. The trailhead is managed by the National Forest Service and required a $5.00 fee to visit. If you want to explore several days, they do offer a 7-day pass for $15.00 which is good for all Red Rock County parks (Red Rock State Park is not included in the fee).
Tips For Visiting Sedona
- Sedona is very popular in the Spring and Summer months, so plan accordingly to find lodging and activities.
- Staying within the city limits of Sedona can get a little pricey! If you don’t mind a little drive, try staying on the outskirts of town in nearby Cottonwood, Camp Verde, or Oak Creek.
- Sedona is a very bike-friendly town, featuring a dedicated bike lane throughout the city and even on the Red Rock Scenic Byway. Be sure to read the rules and regulations for E-Bikes. Unfortunately, they are not allowed on any trails in Sedona.
- If you are visiting during the summer, be sure to bring plenty of water, and sunscreen when participating in the many outdoor activities. The temperatures do get quite warm!
How We Rated Our Adventure
From historical chapels and state parks to ghost towns and train rides, there are several places to visit around Sedona. The area features amazing landscapes, shops and boutiques, and activities for the whole family. We thoroughly enjoyed our adventure in Sedona, Arizona, and plan to visit again. I would definitely say Sedona is one of my favorite travel destinations in the US. Just plan to spend a little money while you’re there (and bring a good pair of shoes)!
For more great places to explore in the US, visit these posts: Big Bend National Park and Visiting Tucson.