Sedona is renowned for its red rock canyons, stunning geological formations that tower over the small city (home to 10,000 residents), just begging to be explored. Also famous for its alleged spiritual energy centers called “vortexes”, Sedona is one of the most New Agey places I’ve been, with shops selling enormous crystals for several hundred dollars, places to get your chakras squeaky clean, and wheatgrass shots galore.
Along with this hippie vibe comes, of course, veg-friendly restaurants and bars. Of the places my husband and I stopped along our road trip around Arizona, Sedona was by far the best stop for great vegan food. If you’re stopping here soon, here are my recommendations of what to see, eat, and do in and around Sedona, Arizona.
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Table of Contents
Pssst…. looking for other ideas of things to do in Sedona? We have a few other posts about Sedona:
- The Birthing Cave: Sedona, Arizona’s Most Unique Hike
- 8 Incredible Hikes in Sedona for All Skill Levels
How to Get to Sedona
Sedona is located about two hours north of Phoenix and about the mid-way point to the Grand Canyon. Unless you live in the southwest, you will likely need to fly into the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (for the best flight deals, I swear by searching on Skyscanner) and rent a car (I usually compare prices for rental cars on a couple of sites, like Expedia, Hotels.com, and Kayak).
Where to Stay in Sedona
Sedona is a town that sees far more tourists per year than actual residents, so luckily, there’s tons of accommodations for you to rest your weary head after a long day of hiking those gorgeous red rocks. If you like being within walking distance to shops and restaurants, you may want to look for accommodations in Uptown Sedona, near the galleries and crystal shops of Tlaquepaque (discussed in the Things to Do in Sedona section) and the Shops at Piñon Pointe. Otherwise, though, Sedona is more about relaxing in beauty and tranquility rather than checking out local hot spots, so I’d recommend prioritizing finding good vibes and good views over anything else.
For budget accommodations:
- I am an Airbnb devotee and have been for years and years. While we’re traveling, Justin and I rarely spend much time in our room and so for an affordable and comfortable place to sleep for a night, Airbnb is our #1 go to.
- Matterhorn Inn: Set on a hillside in Uptown Sedona, this budget-friendly option offers balconies overlooking red rock canyons and a pool and hot tub to boot (Rooms start at $129 per night).
- Desert Quail Inn: This hotel is clean, comfortable, and has a tranquil location away from the hustle and bustle of Sedona, perfect for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts (rooms start at $100).
For mid-range accommodations:
- Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa: Located in West Sedona, this boutique hotel provides upgraded features like rain showers and an observation deck with a heated pool. I’m also a lady who loves to indulge every now and again in spa treatments and the swanky on-site spa, in combination with Sedona’s tangible “bougie hippie” vibes, will have you booking a stone therapy treatment STAT (rooms start at $199).
- The Inn Above Oak Creek: Nestled in a peaceful grove of trees and, yet, mere steps from shops and restaurants, this homey inn is the perfect place to relax for the night, with its in-room gas fireplaces and whirlpools (rooms start at $200).
For ultra-luxe accommodations:
- L’Auberge de Sedona: If money is no object, I’d definitely consider staying at this manicured resort (it has a French name, after all!), with morning yoga sessions, an on-site wine bar, and spectacular views (rooms start at $599 per night).
- Amara Resort and Spa: Yet another schmancy Uptown Sedona resort offering hot stone massages, nightly stargazing sessions with s’mores, and private balconies with dazzling views of red rock canyons (rooms start at $350 per night).
Vegan Eats in Sedona
Creekside Coffee – 251 AZ-179, Sedona, AZ 86336
In the morning, we headed to Creekside Coffee. While we only grabbed coffee there, there is several yummy sounding breakfast options, like avocado toast and almond butter-banana toast. The coffee was rich and strong (with almond and soy milk for creamer), but the real draw here, is the patio. The red rock canyon walls twist and curve as far as the eye can see and Creekside has fully embraced it, with literal theater seats where you can sit, sip your coffee, and just drink in the view.
Chocolatree – 1595 West Hwy 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336
We headed to Chocolatree, a healthy chocolate store (what? They make those?) that also has an outdoor cafe, complete with wind chimes and random silks hanging from a tree so that you can do aerial yoga, if the desire so strikes you.
Focusing on dishes with organic fruits and veggies, our breakfast included a waffle topped with fresh fruit (and lots of maple syrup); a “Go Green” smoothie, an impossibly fresh and creamy drink of almond milk, spirulina, quantum greens, and kale; and a superfood porridge, a thick, satisfying concoction made from chia seeds, goji berries, cacoa nibs, and almond milk. Eating a light, healthy breakfast in the sun-dappled courtyard was an absolutely lovely way to kick off the morning. Make sure you get some chocolates before you go- while many of the chocolates are sweetened by honey (and thus off-limits for some), there are a few options sweetened with maple and other sugar alternatives. Dessert for breakfast, why not?
Other Places I would have liked to try but didn’t have time for:
- Secret Garden Cafe– A casual eatery offering a few vegan options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including a delicious-sounding tofu scramble dish (which I’m a sucker for)
Lunch and Dinner Options
Oak Creek Brewing Company– 2050 Yavapai Dr, Sedona, AZ 86336
Upon our arrival in Sedona, the first thing we did was grab a beer at Oak Creek Brewing Company, which, for such a small facility, had about ten or so great beers on tap (my King Crimson red ale was a nutty, hoppy delight) and an excellent place to people watch and chat with your fellow beer lovers. The bartender was super friendly and regaled us with tales of the weekly drum circle the brewery has hosted for the past twenty plus years (every Tuesday at 8 pm, if that’s your jam!).
The brewery location sells vegan tamales (which are amazing), handmade by the local restaurant Tamaliza (note: if breweries aren’t your thing, Tamaliza has its own standalone restaurant at 1155 W State Rt 89A, Sedona, Arizona). Breweries are one of the best locations to get a good feel for the town and Oak Creek did just that- a little bit hippie, a little bit rustic, with a penchant for a good beer, good food, and good people.
Other Places I would have liked to try but didn’t have time for:
- Dellepiane (671 State Rte 179 Ste E1, Sedona, AZ)– Offers outdoor seating with gorgeous views, tasty Impossible burgers, and yucca fries- what’s not to love?
- Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen (1855 Arizona 89A, Sedona, Arizona, USA)- Italian restaurant with an entire vegan menu, with dishes like margherita pizza and chik’n picatta
- Sedona Beer Company (465 Jordan Road, Sedona, Arizona 86336)- Local brewery with over a dozen beers on draft and a Beyond burger option
Things to Do in Sedona
Sunrise on the Sugarloaf Loop Trail
I woke up around 5 am to do a solo sunrise hike on the Sugarloaf Loop Trail, which happened to be about a 5 minute walk from our Airbnb. On my walk to the trail, I stumbled upon a javelina, a type of pig-like creature native to Sedona’s desert (as an aside, as someone with shockingly bad vision, it is really disarming to see a random, fairly large creature just meandering about in the road towards you); while the javelina I encountered seemed pretty chill, they apparently can become rather aggressive (especially with smaller animals like dogs), so if you happen upon one, I’d be a friendly observer from afar.
Having survived my javelina encounter, I walked on to the Sugarloaf trail, an easy 1.8 mile hike with a mild incline and stunning, 360 views of the red rocks. Quietly watching the sunlight spill over the canyon walls and illuminate the rock formations around you is an otherworldly experience; definitely worth the 5 am wake-up call.
Hiking the Fay Canyon Trail
Justin had hurt his neck the preceding day, so while the famous Devil’s Bridge and Cathedral Rock trails were originally on the itinerary, we chose to go on the much tamer Fay Canyon trail, a 2.2 mile out and back trail. This would be a great hike for people of all ages and abilities; we saw a group of elder hikers, as well as families with strollers.
The trail is mostly shaded (absolutely perfect for a blazingly hot day), with peeks here and there of red canyon walls towering over you. The real treat, though, is at the end; you’ll scramble up some steep, craggy rocks and are rewarded with unparalleled panoramic vista views.
Note that none of the trails we went on had water at the trail head, so be sure to fill up your water bottle or camel pack prior to heading out.
Buy Some Artisan Goods and Get Your Aura Read at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
We headed on over to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village (336 AZ-179, Sedona, AZ 86336), a gorgeous outdoor mall modeled after a traditional Mexican village, packed with art galleries and wine bars. The mall also offers several New Age shops selling singing bowls and aura photography services.
Due to the aforementioned “vortexes”, Sedona REALLY embraces the New Age culture. While that stuff is usually not really my jam, I would have loved to try some yoga at one of the spots- there are several tour companies, such as Vortex Yoga Hiking, that combines a hike to a vortex and an hour-long yoga class. Combining two of my favorite things in a completely stunning surrounding? Vortex or not, count me in.
Wine Country in Sedona
On our way back to Phoenix to head to the airport home, we also made a stop at Javelena Leap Winery (1565 N Page Springs Rd, Cornville, AZ 86325). Lovingly crafted by a couple of cool guys who decided to open a winery on the side of a mountain overlooking Sedona, I was amazed by the varietals this winery produces in the dry Arizona climate.
Coming from Missouri (home to sickeningly sweet wines), Javelina Leap featured robust and dry reds (their cabarnet sauvignon was a standout), as well as a few sweeter whites. While you’re here, pick up a tasting flight (only $12 for 4 wines) or buy a bottle of wine and sit at one of the picnic tables outside, taking in the vineyards snaking up the side of the gorgeous mountains.
Sedona was the last stop on our epic Southwest road trip, a stunning finale to our tour of some of Arizona’s most beautiful landscapes. Have you ever visited Sedona and have any recommendations to do, eat, and see? If so, let me know in the comments below!