A Sedona Honeymoon Guide for Outdoorsy Couples

Rugged adventure and luxe accommodations await in Sedona.
Red Rock country mountains in Sedona, Arizona
Photo: Paul B. Moore | Shutterstock
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
Beth Ann Mayer
Beth Ann Mayer - The Knot Contributor.
Beth Ann Mayer
The Knot Contributor
  • Beth Ann writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, including venues, honeymoons and planning advice.
  • Beth Ann is a lifestyle freelance writer, with bylines on healthline.com and parents.com.
  • Prior to freelancing, Beth Ann was a writer and editor for Long Island Pulse Magazine.
Updated Apr 23, 2024
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A Sedona honeymoon is an ideal domestic getaway for outdoorsy couples. The stunning red rock vistas alone make the Arizona desert one of the top nature-driven honeymoon destinations in the US. There are many opportunities for exploration too. Couples can walk along the formations, go horseback riding, or take it all in via a hot air balloon ride.

Sedona offers so much more than its gorgeous and rugged landscape. The Southwest town boasts its fair share of Arizona honeymoon resorts with spa services and hot tubs perfect for relaxing after planning a wedding. And the unique vacation rentals offer opportunities for stargazing and roasting s'mores over firepits before retreating to a cozy bed with high-end linens.

Couples can easily fly into either Phoenix or Flagstaff, though it's most convenient to fly into Sedona. From New York City, it's a five-hour non-stop flight, and an even shorter trip from San Francisco (two hours) or Dallas (three hours). Here's why a romantic getaway to Sedona might be one of the best decisions you make as newlyweds.

Sedona Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

Hot air ballooning in Sedona
Photo: Andrea Costa Photography | Getty

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Sedona

    Early spring is the best time to visit Sedona. Temperatures typically range from 65 to 85 degrees, making the arid climate pleasant and welcoming. It's also an ideal time of year to partake in activities, including a four-wheel-drive tour, bike ride or hot air balloon ride over the town.

    Best weather: March to May.
    Festival highlights: The Sedona International Film Festival in February attracts filmmakers and enthusiasts from around the world. In the fall, the Sedona Arts Festival showcases art from across the country, making it a great time to explore local creativity and culture. There are also several spiritual and wellness festivals throughout the year that reflect Sedona's reputation as a place for rejuvenation and spiritual connection.

    Sedona Honeymoon Planning Tips

    Quite simply, a honeymoon in Sedona gives newlyweds a chance to enjoy a whole new world—especially for outdoorsy couples. The red rock formations are a stark departure from anything else in the US. Plus, Sedona is accessible from many places across the country, making the destination ideal for people with less time off to travel. The locale is perfect for a romantic weekend getaway or a minimoon. Sedona is also a good home base for road trip honeymoons to other parts of Arizona. Phoenix, Scottsdale and the Grand Canyon are two-hour drives, and Flagstaff is less than one hour away.

    Sedona buzzes with excitement in the fall and winter months. The arid region draws snowbirds from across the country as they descend upon the desert with hopes to escape the cold. It's also a popular spot for destination weddings, so anticipate crowds during these months. Though Sedona is beautiful, you can see most of the top attractions in a short period. If you're looking to honeymoon for more than a week, consider hitting other areas in Arizona or the Southwest, such as Las Vegas.

    Entry requirements: You won't need your passport, but don't forget to bring an ID along with you.
    Location: Sedona is located in northern Arizona, about 100 miles north of Phoenix and 30 miles south of Flagstaff. It is situated within the Coconino National Forest, known for its red rock formations and lush vegetation.
    Currency: USD.
    Flight time to Destination: Flight times to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the nearest major airport, are about 1.5 hours from Los Angeles, 2.5 hours from Dallas, and about 5 hours from New York.
    Getting around: Renting a car is highly recommended as it provides the flexibility to explore the region thoroughly, from remote hiking trails to local vineyards. Sedona also offers shuttle services, taxis and tours for specific attractions.

    Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to help you with your itinerary. You can find travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Sedona honeymoon tips and reviews.

    Best Sedona Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    When planning your honeymoon in Sedona, consider booking accommodations and activities well in advance, especially if your visit coincides with peak tourist seasons or local festivals. To get the best bang for your buck, keep an eye out for honeymoon packages that include things like special tours, spa treatments or romantic dinners.

    A Luxury Swimming pool
    Photo: Allison J. Hahn | Shutterstock

    L'Auberge de Sedona

    Set on the banks of Oak Creek, a stay at L'Auberge de Sedona epitomizes romance. The lush, 11-acre grounds are manicured to perfection. The cottages offer a particularly intimate experience and include private balconies and fireplaces. Though couples will likely spend much of their time exploring off-site, the resort has plenty to do without leaving the grounds. Stargazing sessions, free yoga classes and a swimming pool are all within walking distance from rooms and cottages. The resort's restaurant, Cress on Oak Creek, is hailed as one of the region's top spots to eat for its foraged-to-table menu.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Enchantment Resort

    A sprawling 70-acre spot in Boynton Canyon, Enchantment Resort provides an upscale experience with a Southwest twist. The guest rooms are light and airy, with white walls and large windows that allow natural light to pour in. Exposed wooden beams and furnishings add a rustic-chic touch. The resort can arrange guided hiking and mountain biking tours. After an adventure, couples can unwind at Mii Amo Spa, where massages, facials and astrology readings connect the mind, body and spirit.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Amara Resort and Spa

    When it comes to resorts in Sedona that are close to the airport, Amara Resort and Spa is a great spot. It gives couples a chance to drop their bags and start exploring while also providing a space to unwind from wedding planning and jet lag. The tree-lodge-style ambiance includes plenty of exposed wood and a saltwater infinity pool lined with cabanas overlooking the area's gorgeous landscape. The Eat, Stay, Love package includes a spa gift card, sparkling wine and chocolate.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    A Sunset Chateau

    Nestled on a hilltop in West Sedona, A Sunset Chateau is a 25-room bed and breakfast. With patios for lounging and enjoying red-rock vistas, serenity-inducing hammocks and a calming pond, the property is intimate and ideal for a honeymoon. Two artists run the bed and breakfast, and the guest rooms prove it. Beautifully decorated rooms with unique portraits, murals and paintings provide inspiration. A made-to-order breakfast each morning is another added perk.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Castle Hot Springs

    For couples in search of a truly remote destination in Arizona, this award-winning, luxury destination is set against the Bradshaw mountains. Two hours from Sedona and within 50-miles of Phoenix, Castle Hot Springs offers its own geothermal hot springs and farm-to-table options at its Harvest Restaurant. It's the ideal layover destination (unless you wind up falling in love with the property and staying longer).

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for something with extra character or that's more intimate, consider booking a vacation rental. Websites like Airbnb and VRBO can help you find cozy cabins with firepits or chic apartments. You can browse reviews to see what previous guests have to say about the accommodations and connect with hosts to get all the information you need before booking.

    Sedona Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    From hot air balloon rides and private jeep tours to wine tastings at local vineyards, there are plenty of adventurous and romantic things to do on a Sedona honeymoon. Here are our top recommendations.

    Caravan of Pink Jeep Tours vehicles on Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona
    Photo: Alexey Stiop | Shutterstock

    Visit Tlaquepaque Arts Shopping Village

    Step underneath the arch to Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village's, and you'll feel like you're walking through a traditional Mexican village lined with vine-covered stucco walls. But continue meandering along the cobblestone walkways and browse the booths, and you'll know you're in a place unique to Sedona. The outdoor market is full of one-of-a-kind finds, from Native American art to handcrafted jewelry and Southwestern-style home décor.

    Hop on a Jeep Tour

    Adventurous couples can go off-the-beaten-path—literally. Sedona offers numerous opportunities for honeymooners to go off-roading on tours so they can get an up-close look at the rugged, crimson-colored terrain. Pink Jeep Tours is ideal for couples who don't mind making a scene while enjoying the scenery. Hop in a bubblegum pink Jeep Wrangler, and take in panoramic vistas as a driver expertly chauffeurs you through dirt roads and trails (like Broken Arrow). Other companies give guests a chance to jump out of the vehicle and onto a horse.

    Explore Oak Creek Canyon

    Sometimes referred to as the "smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon," this 16-mile gorge is not to be overlooked. Oak Creek Canyon is between Sedona and Flagstaff. Couples can hike the trails and peer down to see streams and waterfalls between the rock formations. While in the area, it's worth grabbing breakfast or lunch at Indian Gardens Cafe & Market. The eatery, built in 1947, serves approachable dishes like avocado toast and roasted pork sandwiches made to fuel your hike.

    Enjoy Verde Valley

    Situated between stunning buttes and cliffs, Verde Valley is a low-key desert wine trail. Couples can savor the views as they sip vinos produced by more than two dozen wineries in Sedona and the surrounding areas. Winery 1912, located in Sedona, is known for its gorgeous views, intimate vibes and friendly service. Just outside Sedona, Jerome Winery's tasting room features Southwest decor like sand-filled glassware and portraits of the area. Previous guests love the knowledgeable and friendly staff. Chauffeured tours allow you to enjoy your day out guilt-free.

    Take in Nature at Red Rock State Park

    Set on 286 acres, Red Rock State Park has otherworldly scenery and makes for a beautiful hiking spot. Beyond the hills of crimson-colored rocks, couples will see green meadows with native vegetation and the banks of Oak Creek. Wildlife, like deer, lizards, birds and otters, call the gorgeous park home. Guided nature and bird walks are also available.

    Hike Cathedral Rock

    Cathedral Rock is the most iconic of all the formations in Sedona. The towering natural sandstone butte has graced many postcards and is known for being a particularly romantic spot to watch the sunset. The hike is steep—more than 700 feet in elevation—and couples will want to wear sturdy hiking shoes. But it's worth it for the views.

    Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

    Newlyweds can elevate their first vacation by daring to see Sedona from above. Many of the hot air balloon rides happen in the morning, giving couples the opportunity to genuinely start their day on a high note while seeing the sunrise over the red rock formations. Sedona Hot Air Balloon Rides serves a champagne brunch, so you can toast to the day and years ahead. Red Rock Balloons takes travelers over areas like Boynton Canyon and provides a champagne toast upon landing.

    Pro tip: Add Sedona honeymoon experiences to your gift registry so that loved ones can give you one of these memorable couples activities. Make sure to post a few photos to your wedding website—this way all of your guests (including those without social media accounts) will be able to see what you're up to.

    What to Pack for a Sedona Honeymoon

    The Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village in Sedona, Arizona
    Photo: Fotoluminate LLC | Shutterstock

    Sedona's mild year-round temperatures call for light layers. T-shirts, lightweight athleisure, linens and polo shirts should cover you for rugged outdoor and more upscale indoor adventures. Make sure your packing checklist includes a few sweatshirts and cardigans to throw on if it's chilly. Shorts, long pants for hiking and nice denim or slacks will all come in handy. Hiking boots and sneakers made for walking are perfect for day trips.

    Clean up for nice dinners at your honeymoon resort with collared shirts, pretty dresses, dress pants and fancier footwear like heels, flats or men's dress shoes. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat in your honeymoon luggage to protect you from the Sedona sun, and water bottles are a necessity to keep you hydrated in the desert.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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