Where to Stay in Sedona 2023 – 4 Best areas

Where to stay in Sedona, Arizona? In this blog post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Sedona as a tourist, with family, for couples, and on a budget, as well as the best hotels in Sedona for all budget travelers.

Sedona is a mystique and intrigue city of Arizona, located only an hour and half from Phoenix. It is known for its unique natural beauty with its picturesque mountains and red rock formations such as Cathedral Rock, Boynton Canyon, and Bell Rock.

Sedona is known as a haven for spiritual well-being and a deeply spiritual destination. You can try to feel the energy of the vortex, watch breathtaking sunsets, rock climb, and mountain bike.

Where to stay in Sedona first time?

The best areas to stay in Sedona for tourists and first-timers are Uptown and West Sedona but you can also find a hotel at Village of Oak Creek, Cottonwood because they have some great range of accommodations to choose from.

The best area to stay in Sedona depends on your preferences and what you want to experience during your visit. Consider your desired level of activity, proximity to amenities, and the type of atmosphere you seek to find the most suitable area for your stay.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Uptown
💎 Best luxury hotel:L’Auberge De Sedona
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Amara Resort & Spa
💰 Best budget hotel:Sedona Uptown Suites

Overviews of the best areas to stay in Sedona for tourists

Here is an overview of recommended areas to stay in Sedona for tourists:

Best areas in Sedona for first-time tourists Why should you stay in this area?
Uptown best overall area for first-timers because it is the heart of the town and a popular choice for visitors. It offers a vibrant atmosphere with a variety of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Uptown is best for travelers who want easy access to amenities, dining options, and a lively ambiance. It is also a convenient base for exploring nearby hiking trails and attractions.
West Sedonais a more residential and budget-friendly area located a few miles from Uptown. It provides a quieter and more serene environment while still offering easy access to amenities and stunning views. West Sedona is suitable for those seeking a peaceful retreat, and a more laid-back atmosphere. It is also close to several hiking trails and the famous Red Rock State Park.
Village of Oak Creekis located about 6 miles south of Uptown Sedona and is surrounded by beautiful red rock formations. It offers a range of accommodations and amenities while maintaining a more relaxed and less crowded vibe compared to Uptown. This area is ideal for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those who want to enjoy the tranquility of the Sedona landscape.
CottonwoodWhile not directly in Sedona, Cottonwood is a nearby town located about 20 miles southwest of Sedona. It offers a more affordable option for accommodation and serves as a good base for exploring the Sedona area. Cottonwood has a charming historic district, wineries, and a range of shops and restaurants. It is suitable for budget-conscious travelers or those looking to experience a different side of the region.

Map of the best areas and neighborhoods in Sedona:

4 Best areas to stay in Sedona are:

1. Uptown

Uptown is the best overall area to stay in Sedona for the first time tourists due to its variety of accommodations, restaurants, traditional pubs, art galleries, and souvenir stores. The neighborhood is also highly walkable and provides some of the best views of the red rocks.

Uptown is located on the western side of Sedona, from the intersection of the Arizona 89a and 179 highways, heads up north towards Oak Creek Canyon. It is the tourist hub and downtown area of the city, so it can be crowded and busy during the high session.

Sedona Main Street is a popular pedestrian street to check out. It is lined with cafes, gift shops, boutiques, and Bronze plaques. It offers stunning views of the Red Rock Hills.

There are fabulous restaurants such as the SaltRock Southwest Kitchen, Cowboy Club at the Silver Saddle specialized in high-desert cuisine, Elote Café, The Art of Wine, Cress on Oak Creek, as well as many other  restaurants and nightlife with many bars, pubs, and live music.

The Uptown neighborhood is a great place for shopping. You can find shopping centers such as the Hillside Sedona Shopping Center, Sinagua Plaza and Canyon Portal, and The Matterhorn Shoppes.

Another must-see in the Uptown area is The Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, which has been the city’s landmark since 1970. Modeled after a traditional Mexican village, it has 50 galleries, outdoor dining, restaurants, and shops.

You can buy souvenirs, t-shirts, arts and crafts, as well as  tarot reading, healing crystals, vortex information and aura readings because it is known as a spiritual destination. You can consider getting your aura photographed here.

Uptown is the city’s tourist center, making it a great place to book a tour including Trolley tours, Hydros Adventure Tours, and Jeep Tours along the trails of Sedona Red Rocks. There are plenty of tours for rock climbing, hiking, rafting, and canyoneering.

Uptown is home to numerous cultural attractions. You can visit the Sedona Heritage Museum on the grounds of Jordan Historical Park, to learn more about the history of the city, its cowboys,  pioneer families, film-making, and the orchard industry. 

There is also the Sedona Arts Center, where you can find art galleries of local artists. It is the heartbeat of the community’ arts where you can take a workshop or a class for ceramics, painting, and drawing.

The Uptown provides great trails for outdoor activities. The Brins Mesa trails is a moderate hiking trail with breathtaking red rock views. You can check the 3 miles Jim Thompson Trail  with  stunning views of Steamboat Rock, as well as Munds Wagon Trail, The Fin and Ship Rock.

Uptown Sedona has a central location, offering easy access to popular attractions like Cathedral Rock Trailhead, Boynton Canyon, Devils Bridge, Airport Mesa Sunset. They are also located within a short drive by car from Uptown.

Uptown Sedona is one of the safest places to stay in Sedona because it is the tourist center of the city, always populated by tourists. But as in travel to any tourist destinations, always practice the sense and be aware of the surroundings.

Uptown has many festivals and parades throughout the year like the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the July’s National Day of the Cowboy, the October’s Art Night’s Main Street, and  Moonlight Madness Street Fair.

Uptown has a wide range of accommodation options ranging from luxury to budget hotels. But as it is a popular tourist area, the price of a hotel can be more expensive than Wes Sedona, but it is well worth it staying in the heart of the action.

Best places to stay in Sedona in Uptown:

2. West Sedona

West Sedona is one of the best areas to stay in Sedona because it is located only a few kms from Uptown Sedona and it offers more of a local atmosphere and cheaper accommodations.

West Sedona is conveniently located in close proximity to AZ-89a highway, as well as easy access to the Capitol Butte (Thunder Mountain) and Airport Mesa area.

West Sedona is known for its hiking trail, beautiful park, cozy cafes, hipster bars, and delicious local restaurants. West Sedona has it all from many hiking trails to its popular sunset viewing spots.

You must see the Red Rock State Park, a 286 acre nature preserve that has a visitor center. The trails are easy and great for families hiking. It has a morning guided walk with a naturalist showing visitors the science behind the rock formations and spotting some local wildlife. If you love birds, you can take a Guided Bird Walks at Red Rock.

Another great outdoor destination for spiritual seekers is the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park,  a spiritual destination for people of all faiths, located at the base of Thunder Mountain.The 36-foot stupa is the place for prayer, meditation and to have a quiet place to reflect in a beautiful setting. 

There is also Sedona Airport Overlook, providing stunning views of Capitol Butte and Thunder Mountain without hiking. 

You can also visit the 78.63 acres Posse Grounds Park, Sedona’s first park. It has many sports facilities for tennis, volleyball, skating, and outdoor performance venues, as well as a beautiful red rock backdrop.

Another popular place is the Red Rock Crossing or Crescent Moon Ranch, located below the towering Cathedral Rock, one of the most photographed scenes in the southwest.

Hikers will love staying and exploring West Sedora. There are many outstanding trails in and around the West Sedona neighborhood.

First trail is the Boynton Canyon, a Red Rock Country’s scenic box canyon, a short and easy trail, ideal for families, leading to a viewpoint and vortex. It starts from Enchantment Resort, looking for Kachina Woman red rock formation, and Native American ruins.

The second trail for hikers is the Devil’s Bridge. It is Sedona’s largest natural sandstone arch, it is a popular hike for both casual and outdoors enthusiasts. There are several trails to reach Devil’s Bridge Trailhead including Dry Creek Road, Chuck Wagon Trail, or the Mescal Trail.

The third place to hike is the Bear Mountain Trail. A 2.5 miles one way path, steep in places, more ideal for advanced hikers. But at its summit, you can see the view of  a big area of  red rocks, canyons, cliffs, and buttes. The Bear Mountain Trail shares the parking lot with Doe Mountain Trail.

The fourth place for hiking is the Soldier Pass Arches, which leads to some beautiful arches where you can climb into a cave-like chamber. You can also visit Devil’s Kitchen and Seven Sacred Pools along the way.

The fifth trail is the easy Sugarloaf Loop Trail, which leads close to Thunder Mountain and enjoys some great views of the Coffee Pot – iconic red rock.

Other popular treks are the Airport Mesa Trails & Vortex starting from the north end of the Airport Mesa, and the Thunder Mountain Trailhead. 

In addition to the parks and hiking, you can visit the Sedona Community Farmers Market, where you can enjoy local fresh vegetables and fruits and great food.

Activities such as West Jeep Tours & Horse Riding are also popular fun day activities, or wine lovers can visit the Elevated Sedona Wine Tour for a  fun filled elevated wine tasting experience.

West Sedona is home to some great restaurants. You can check out Mesa Grill on top of Airport Road for beautiful views of red rocks and sunset, and delicious food.

About accommodation, according to booking.com West Sedona has a wide choice of mid-range hotels, inns, resorts, and villas. Accommodations in West Sedona tend to be slightly cheaper than in Uptown because it is more of a local residential area compared to tourist Uptown Sedona. 

Best places to stay in West Sedona:

3. Village of Oak Creek

Village of Oak Creek is located only a short drive from Uptown Sedona, on 179 highway, also known as the Red Rock Scenic Byway. It is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, nestled at the base of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. 

The Village of Oak Creek is a laid-back community that is known for its exceptional hiking and world-famous Sedona vortexes, as well as golf courses, restaurants, coffee bistros.

The Village of Oak Creek is the location to some of the top hiking trails in Sedona and home to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, one of the city’s most famous attractions.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is built into the red rocks and offers stunning views of the Sedona. It was built in 1956 and took 18 months to finish. 

Some of the attractions in Village of Oak Creek include the Canyon Mesa Country Club, Sedona Golf Resort, and Oak Creek Country Club for golfers.

For culture activities, take a look at the Oak Creek Arts & Crafts Shows, Emerson Theater, and the Red Rock Ranger District Visitor Center to learn more about the area’s many scenic wonders.

Village of Oak Creek is also one of the best places to stay in Sedona for hikers because it is home to numerous outstanding trails. The Bell Rock Pathway is an east hike, starting from the Little Horse Trailhead and finishing at Bell Rock Trailhead.

One of the city’s most iconic red rock formations is Courthouse Butte and the Cathedral Rock, the town’s  most-photographed red rock, great for hiking and watching the sunset.

For more hiking, check out the Jacks Canyon Trailhead, Ridge Trail, and Woods Canyon. In addition to these famous trails, Village of Oak Creek is a great place to  do stargazing.

The Village of Oak Creek has a selection of casual restaurants, pubs,and bars. You can take an AZ Wine Crawler tour, check out the Decanter Tasting Room, and visit the ShadowRock Tap + Table at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock.

The Village of Oak Creek is located a little bit far from popular sites such as Boynton Canyon, Soldier Pass, Devils Bridge. Accommodation here is cheaper than in Uptown. It is one of the best places to stay in Sedona for hikers, budget travelers, families, and campers.

Best places to stay in Village of Oak Creek:

4. Cottonwood

Cottonwood is a small town nestled in the Verde Valley, on the bank of Verde River, between Sedona and Phoenix. It is known as one of the three wine regions in Arizona with the Verde Valley wine trail and vineyards.

You can go hiking at the Dead Horse Ranch State Park, which is situated close to the main Street of Cottonwood. The park has numerous trails taking you through forest, river, and lagoons. The park has cabins and camping options if you want to stay overnight.

Another attraction of Cottonwood is the Historic Old Town Cottonwood with its history dating back to the early 1900s when it was a mining and smelter industry center of the area. 

The Old Town has many cafés, restaurants, tasting rooms, antique stores, a rock shop, and art galleries. You can take a look at the Pillsbury Wine Company Tasting Room, and Pizzeria Bocce Patio Bar.

Wine lovers will love Cottonwood because there are many wineries to explore such as Merkins Vineyards Osteria and Tasting Room, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards Tasting Room, Burning Tree Cellars, and Tantrum Wines.

In addition to the incredible wineries, Cottonwood is home to some of the fantastic restaurants. Popular places are Crema Craft Kitchen & Bar, Merkin Osteria, and Pizzeria Bocce.

You can also visit the Hippie Emporium, making you feel the vibe of the 60s and 70s. You can learn the history of the town  and Clarkdale and Jerome towns nearby by visiting the Clemenceau Heritage Museum.

Cottonwood provides a range of mid-range and budget accommodations including inns, motels, air bnb, and guest houses.

Best places to stay in Cottonwood:

Where to stay in Sedona with family?

The best areas to stay in Sedona with family are Uptown Sedona, West Sedona, Village of Oak Creek, and Oak Creek Canyon. These areas offer their own unique advantages, so consider factors such as proximity to attractions and available amenities when making your decision.

Where are the best places to stay in Sedona for couples?

The best areas to stay in Sedona for couples are Uptown Sedona, West Sedona, and Village of Oak Creek. If you prefer a lively atmosphere with easy access to amenities, Uptown Sedona might be the best fit. For a quieter and more serene experience, West Sedona or the Village of Oak Creek could be the ideal choices.

Where should I stay in Sedona for the first time?

Uptown Sedona is the best area to stay in Sedona for first-timers because it is the tourist hub of the city. If you stay here you will be surrounded by all tourist amenities such as restaurants, bars, and shops. You will also have easy access to the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

What are the best areas to stay in Sedona?

Uptown, West Sedona, Village of Oak Creek, Cottonwood are some of the best areas to stay in Sedona, Arizona because they are the most popular neighborhoods in the city with some great range of tourist amenities and attractions for tourists.

How many days do you need in Sedona?

I recommend planning to spend at least 2-3 days in Sedona to explore its red rock formations, hiking trails, spiritual sites, and art galleries.

Is it better to stay in Uptown or West Sedona?

The choice between staying in Uptown or West Sedona depends on personal preferences. Uptown is a more touristy and central location with shops and restaurants, while West Sedona is a more local and residential location with more serene surroundings with access to hiking trails. 

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Overall, in my opinion, Uptown Sedona is the best overall area to stay in Sedona, Arizona for the first time because it is the tourist center, providing easy access to restaurants, bars, shops, and tourist attractions. Hopefully, after reading this post, you will find where to stay in Sedona for your next visit.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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