You can’t go wrong when deciding where to stay in Sedona, Arizona. Every area of this laid-back, New Age town nestled in the desert is worth exploring!
Where to Stay in Sedona, Arizona in 2022
For decades, Sedona has been a magnet for nature lovers, hippies, New Age romantics, and all other outcasts. This funky town in the Arizona desert near Flagstaff has something for everyone. Today, it’s one of the best places to visit in Arizona.
Sedona was first established in 1876 by farmers, settlers, and ranchers. It remained a sleepy desert town until the 1950s, when people across the United States realized that the area was a beautiful place to visit and retire.
Since then, Sedona sprawled out and became a nationwide destination for tourists and retirees. One of the main draws when visiting Sedona is its natural beauty.
The town is nestled in the desert and surrounded by stunning red rock formations. It’s no coincidence that the rugged landscape around Sedona was used for filming iconic Westerns such as 3:10 to Yuma.
The Grand Canyon is also a short drive away. Nature lovers and hikers from all over the world use Sedona as their base for exploring the stunning landscapes northern Arizona has to offer. However, Sedona’s attractions aren’t limited to the natural world.
The town has become a destination for arts and culture, thanks to its many galleries. In particular, Sedona draws many New Age spiritualists and hippies.
In the 1980s, a psychic named Page Bryant tapped Sedona as an important site of vortexes, or places where spiritual energy reaches its peak. In the ensuing decades, people flocked to Sedona for healing and spiritual growth.
Today, you can find plenty of psychics, New Age classes, and tours of the vortexes. You don’t have to believe in the spiritual power of vortexes, but you can’t deny that something feels special about the Sedona landscape.
Whether you’re searching for gorgeous natural landscapes, a base to explore the rest of Arizona, or a lively insight into the New Age experience, a stay in Sedona is a great getaway.
The 5 Best Parts of Town
- Uptown Sedona: Best for first-time visitors
- West Sedona: Best for budget travelers
- Oak Creek: Best for families
- Bell Rock/Oak Creek Canyon: Best for getting outdoors
- Cottonwood: Best for a rustic vacation
Sedona may be a small desert town, but it is sprawling, meaning that each of its neighborhoods has a distinctive character.
This also means that where you stay can make or break your experience since getting around the city is difficult without spending lots of time in a car. Here is your guide to the parts of town so you can plan the best vacation.
1. Uptown Sedona
Uptown Sedona is where all the action is, so you should definitely stay there if it’s your first time in Sedona. This is the town’s main business district and what passes for a city center.
There are plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and New Age businesses here to keep you occupied. Plus, Uptown Sedona is well connected to the rest of town so you can easily explore what the other neighborhoods have to offer.
The best thing to do in Uptown Sedona is take a day to just walk down Main Street and look around. Stop in one of the many art galleries, pick up some crystals at a New Age shop, or just take in the very relaxed atmosphere.
No place in Sedona is very far away from nature, not even its most bustling downtown area.
Uptown Sedona also makes a great base for exploring the surrounding natural wonders, whether you choose to drive yourself or take one of the organized tours (most tour centers, including the famous Pink Jeep tours, are based in Uptown Sedona).
Finally, Uptown Sedona is the closest you can get in town to nightlife.
While you won’t find pumping clubs and all-night ragers (this is not Ibiza in the desert), you will find plenty of bars and live music to keep you entertained if you have energy for a night on the town after a day on the hiking trail.
Uptown Sedona has plenty of charm and is a good base for exploring the rest of the city, which is why it is a great place to stay if you’re a first-time visitor. However, it’s not that great if you’re a first-time visitor on a budget because most of the hotels in the area tend to be pricey.
Things to Do
- Walk down Sedona’s Main Street and take in the vibes
- Visit the Sedona Arts Centre to see the work of local artists
- Take a day trip into surrounding natural wonders, such as with the Verde Canyon Railroad
- Hike up to Chapel of the Holy Cross to see the rock-hewn church
Where to Eat
- Try amazing Mexican food at 89Agave Cantina
- Sample high desert cuisine at Cowboy Club/The Arizona Room
- Try a local favorite off the beaten path at HP Café, a diner that’s been around for decades
Uptown Sedona Budget Hotels
- La Petite Sedona. La Petite Sedona Motel is one of the few budget accommodations in Uptown. The simple but comfortable hotel has air-conditioned rooms with patios and access to BBQ grills.
- Sedona Uptown Suites. Sedona Uptown Suites is another simple yet comfy motel with a simple desert décor scheme and fully equipped rooms.
Uptown Sedona Mid-Range Hotels
- Matterhorn Inn. The comfortable Matterhorn Inn has gorgeous mountain views, excellent service, a pool, and a business center.
- Whispering Creek Bed & Breakfast. Feel right at home at the Whispering Creek Bed & Breakfast, which has a lovely sun terrace, a lounge for meeting other guests, and breakfast each morning.
Uptown Sedona Luxury Hotels
- L’Auberge De Sedona. L’Auberge De Sedona is the town’s most luxurious hotel. Guests can enjoy stunning grounds, gorgeous rooms with massive tubs, free shuttle service, and more.
- Sedona Views Bed & Breakfast. Don’t let the humble name fool you. The Sedona Views Bed & Breakfast has luxurious amenities including private balconies with hot tubs in the rooms, fireplaces, and gorgeous views of the mountains.
2. West Sedona
Uptown Sedona may get all of the attention, but true cool kids know that West Sedona is where the future of the town is getting built.
This primarily residential neighborhood is experiencing a revival thanks to an influx of hip young people building bars, galleries, and other cultural happenings. The best part? The neighborhood is still very affordable, making it a great choice for budget travelers.
West Sedona is definitely the center of hipster life in town. If you like checking out trendy cafes with the latest brews, trying food from chefs pushing new boundaries in cuisine, or hanging with the locals at dive bars, West Sedona is the neighborhood for you.
West Sedona is also the center of a lot of New Age culture in town. Once you get into the side streets, you can find plenty of crystal shops and spiritual practitioners.
Don’t forget to check out the Tibetan Buddhist stupas or the iconic Sedona McDonalds with its turquoise arches chosen to blend with the town’s spirit. As with Uptown Sedona, West Sedona is a great base to explore the nature around the town.
Check out the hiking trails and state parks that are just a short drive away from town. Spiritualists will be happy to find out that West Sedona is close to Airport Mesa and Boynton Canyon, which are popular destinations for the spiritually minded thanks to their reputation as vortex sites.
West Sedona has a lot to offer, but travelers looking for a more upscale experience will probably have more luck with the comfier hotels of Uptown Sedona (not that West Sedona hotels are shabby at all).
If you know that you’re going to spend most of your time in nature and want a quiet getaway, then this up-and-coming area might not be the best choice as it can get too loud.
Things to Do
- Explore the Sedona Artist Market and take home a unique souvenir from one of the craftspeople
- Reach spiritual peace at Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, a Buddhist shrine that is home to two authentic Tibetan stupas
- Drive to the Sedona Airport Overlook for sunset views more scenic than the name suggests
- Take a day trip to scenic Red Rock State Park
Where to Eat
- Visit the local McDonald’s, the only one in the world with turquoise arches
- Have brunch at the Coffee Pot Restaurant
- Sample delicious Japanese food at The Angel Kitchen & Japanese Market
West Sedona Budget Hotels
- Sugar Loaf Lodge. The comfy Sugar Loaf Lodge, which has a pool, free parking, and air-conditioned rooms, is one of the most affordable hotels in all of Sedona.
- GreenTree Inn Sedona. The GreenTree Inn Sedona is a relaxing getaway in the desert with a pool open all seasons, an on-site bar, and comfy rooms.
West Sedona Mid-Range Hotels
- The Suites at Sedona. The Suites at Sedona is a charming bed & breakfast that has rustic style rooms with modern amenities, including A/C and a fireplace. Plus, get easy access to activities at A Day in the West.
- Alma de Sedona B&B. Alma de Sedona is an inn offering gorgeous rooms with balconies and spa baths, a meditational labyrinth, and a lavish daily breakfast.
West Sedona Luxury Hotels
- Adobe Grand Villas. Guests at Adobe Grand Villas enjoy décor inspired by Southwestern traditions, private balconies, and an in-house chef that prepares breakfast for all and dinner on arrangement. Plus, every room gets fresh-baked bread daily.
- A Sunset Chateau. A Sunset Chateau is one of Sedona’s most luxurious B&Bs, featuring a tennis court, pool, hot tub, and a garden complete with a waterfall for contemplation.
3. Oak Creek
The village of Oak Creek lies just seven miles south of Sedona on Highway 179, a scenic drive that cuts through the landscape and is colloquially known as the Red Rock Scenic Byway.
The village is technically part of the greater Sedona area, but it is separate from the city proper and has its own distinctive, charming character. The more sedate, relaxed pace of life in Oak Creek is perfect for families looking for a quiet getaway.
The biggest attractions around Oak Creek lie in the natural landscape. Just walk outside to see the startling red stone buttes piercing the sky and take the family to any of the hiking trails and parks that are easily accessible from Oak Creek.
Whatever you do, make sure that you go out in Oak Creek at night. The village is a certified “International Dark Sky Place,” meaning that it is a place dedicated to preventing light pollution and preserving the night sky.
Oak Creek is one of the best places to go stargazing in the entire country. Take a blanket, drive out into the country or just go onto your hotel patio, and admire the stars.
Oak Creek has plenty to offer families looking for a relaxing vacation and active travelers just looking for a place to rest their heads after an entire day spent on the trails. However, if you want to check out a more urbane pace of life and enjoy galleries and restaurants, stay somewhere more centrally located.
Things to Do
- Go stargazing at night and enjoy the amazing views
- Take a day trip south to the Red Rock Ranger District
- Enjoy the view from the Yavapai Vista Point
- Hike the famous Ridge Trail
Where to Eat
- Enjoy a meal with a view on the patio at Juniper Bar & Grill at Sedona Golf Resort
- Have delicious Mexican food at Maria’s Restaurant and Cantina
- Grab a quick bite to eat at Oak Creek Espresso
Oak Creek Budget Hotels
- Oak Creek Terrace Resort. The Oak Creek Terrace Resort is a great choice for an affordable getaway with your family thanks to amenities such as air-conditioned rooms and even some rooms with hot tubs and fireplaces.
- Muyawki Inn. The simple, comfortable Muyawki Inn has an outdoor swimming pool, fully equipped rooms, and even the option to rent family rooms.
Oak Creek Mid-Range Hotels
- Adobe Hacienda Bed & Breakfast. Enjoy the local touches at Adobe Hacienda Bed & Breakfast such as the Southwestern art, delicious breakfasts with local specialties, agave nectar smoothies, and mountain views.
- Las Posadas of Sedona. The gorgeous Las Posadas of Sedona offers private suites, access to a pool and hot tub, and excellent concierge service.
Oak Creek Luxury Hotels
- The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort. The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort from Diamond Resorts is surprisingly affordable given the amenities, including an on-site golf course, fitness center, and rooms complete with private balconies.
- The Penrose Bed & Breakfast. The Penrose is one of the few luxury accommodations in Oak Creek, offering balconies with views, free breakfast and round-the-clock drinks and fruit.
4. Bell Rock/Oak Creek Canyon
All neighborhoods in Sedona have easy access to trailheads and opportunities to get out in the great outdoors. However, Bell Rock and Oak Creek Canyon are two parts of town that have the best access to nature.
Bell Rock, a stretch of land in between Uptown Sedona and Oak Creek, is an area that surrounds the gorgeous Bell Rock, a distinctive red rock butte. Climbing to the top gives you great views of Sedona and the surrounding areas.
Besides Bell Rock, staying in this area gives you access to plenty of other rock formations and hiking trails. If you’re a passionate rock climber, then Bell Rock is the area for you. Oak Creek Canyon is just on the other side of Sedona from Bell Rock, a short drive away to the north towards Flagstaff.
The area is predominantly rural, centered around the gorgeous Oak Creek Canyon gorge, the Grand Canyon’s smaller (and less crowded) cousin. Oak Creek Canyon is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a getaway in nature.
This area is also home to thriving indigenous communities. Learn about the culture of the Hopi, Navajo, and other peoples who call the Southwest home at the markets, visitor centers, and art galleries.
The combined area of Bell Rock and Oak Creek Canyon has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the United States. However, these areas don’t have much in the way of creature comforts. If you don’t like hiking or getting out into nature, you probably won’t enjoy spending time here.
Things to Do
- Visit Hoel’s Indian Shop near Oak Creek Canyon to shop for work by local indigenous artisans
- Climb to the top of Bell Rock and enjoy some of the breathtaking vistas
- Go rock climbing at Cathedral Rock
- Go swimming in Oak Creek at Grasshopper Point
Where to Eat
- Try delicious vegetarian craft food at Indian Gardens Café & Market
- Enjoy Southwestern specialties at The Table at Junipine
- Grab a quick bite before you conquer the mountain at Red Rock Café
Bell Rock/Oak Creek Canyon Budget Hotels
- Desert Quail Inn Sedona at Bell Rock. The affordable yet comfy Desert Quail Inn has comfy, spacious rooms, laundry, and free parking.
- Red Agave Resort. The surprisingly affordable Red Agave Resort features amazing amenities such as outdoor pools, jacuzzis, and easy access to outdoor activities.
Bell Rock/Oak Creek Canyon Mid-Range Hotels
- Arabella Hotel Sedona. The comfortable Arabella Hotel Sedona features well-equipped rooms, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub to relax after hitting the trails all day.
- Junipine Resort. The Junipine Resort is one of the best resorts in the Oak Creek Canyon area. Guests rave about its on-site restaurant, rustic rooms with wraparound terraces, and great service, including free firewood!
Bell Rock/Oak Creek Canyon Luxury Hotels
- Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. The Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock has amazing amenities for the whole family, including a golf course and spa for adults and organized activities for all ages.
- Canyon Villa Bed & Breakfast Inn of Sedona. The luxurious Canyon Villa pampers its guests with a heated pool, breakfast from a professional chef, and even a library.
If you want to get even more in touch with the desert, then check out Cottonwood and the areas around it. Cottonwood is a small city located in between Sedona and Phoenix.
It’s a great base to explore both cities as well as the surrounding natural wonders. This doesn’t mean that Cottonwood itself doesn’t have plenty to offer. Originally founded as a mining town, Cottonwood offers many traces of the Old West that aren’t as visible in Sedona itself.
Some of the historical sites predate European settlements here and show off the amazing architecture and work that local Native American groups created. Cottonwood is also a great base for exploring the great outdoors.
Visitors love hiking the many trails in the state parks around the town. Cottonwood is also a starting point for a trail of a different kind — the Verde Valley wine-tasting trail.
Cottonwood is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a laid-back vacation and something different. However, this town is pretty small and quiet, so if you like luxury hotels or bustling nightlife, stay in Sedona proper.
Things to Do
- Get a feel for the Old Town by walking the Jail Trail, which starts at the old Cottonwood Jail and winds along the river
- Enjoy a kitschy Western experience at The Blazin’ M Ranch
- Visit Tuzigoot National Monument, a hundreds-year-old hilltop pueblo built by the Sinagua
- Taste local wines from the Verde Valley wineries
Where to Eat
- Enjoy crispy pies at Pizzeria Bocce in Old Town
- Take a sweet escape from the desert heat at Paradise Point Café
- Try affordable Mexican specialties at Verde Lea Market Deli and Grill
Cottonwood Budget Hotels
- Iron Horse Inn. The no-frills Iron Horse Inn has comfy, equipped rooms in a great location for exploring town.
- Lux Verde Hotel. The astonishingly affordable Lux Verde Hotel is a comfortable desert oasis with gorgeous décor and a seasonal pool and hot tub.
Cottonwood Mid-Range Hotels
- SpringHill Suites by Marriott Cottonwood. The comfortable SpringHill Suites offers free breakfast, a sun terrace, and a pool for ultimate relaxation.
- Pines Inn & Suites. The lovely Pines Inn & Suites has a seasonal outdoor pool and comfy, air-conditioned rooms, and even an on-site gift shop.
Cottonwood Luxury Hotels
- Highlands Resort at Verde Ridge. The Highlands Resort at Verde Ridge is one of the most luxurious hotels in the Verde Valley with comfy rooms, a spa, a pool, and even a playground for the kids.
- The Tavern Hotel. The Tavern Hotel, Cottonwood’s swankiest hotel has rooms with flat-screen TVs, an on-site restaurant, and bar, all in a gorgeous rustic-inspired setting.
Where Should You Stay in Sedona, Arizona?
Sedona is a great vacation destination in the Southwest. Whether you choose to experience the town’s New Age town by staying in Uptown or West Sedona or get closer to nature in one of the more remote neighborhoods, it will be a vacation to remember!