A Travel Price Comparison for Arizona Flagstaff vs. Sedona for Hiking, Couples, Food, and Families

Should you visit Flagstaff or Sedona?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Flagstaff and Sedona can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.


Flagstaff is a active, adventurous , and picturesque city. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the hiking, shopping, and museums.


Sedona is a scenic, striking, and desert town. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and hiking.

Flagstaff and Sedona: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty

Is there more to do in Flagstaff or Sedona?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Sedona. Although Flagstaff and Sedona are both popular with visitors, Sedona has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Sedona is more popular for its resorts, historical sights, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty, while Flagstaff is known for its hiking. Flagstaff is popular for its nearby craters and volcanic caves as well as its location along the historic Route 66. Sedona is popular for its stargazing, desert setting, and yoga retreats. It is also home to Red Rock Crossing Park.

How is Flagstaff different from Sedona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Sedona and Flagstaff. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Flagstaff or Sedona?


For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Flagstaff or Sedona.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Flagstaff. Lowell Observatory is a highlight for many visitors, especially those who are fascinated by space. There's also the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Pioneer Museum, and Fort Tuthill Military History Museum.

Sedona is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. The Sedona Heritage Museum offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the area. There are also many galleries around town.

Is the Food Better in Flagstaff or Sedona? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?


Both Flagstaff and Sedona offer a number of excellent restaurants to choose from.

Dining out in Flagstaff is an experience not to be missed. The food scene is diverse and growing. There's a focus on local recipes and ingredients. You'll also find many casual and family-friendly restaurants. American cuisine is common, but you'll also find burritos, Indian curries, and frittatas.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Sedona. It's grown into a foodie destination with local restaurants that pride themselves on using local ingredients. Mexican food is common but you'll also find cafes, classic American food, and other international options.

Is Flagstaff or Sedona Better for Nightlife?


Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Flagstaff and Sedona.

Flagstaff has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. You'll find a range of bars and cocktail lounges around town that come to life in the evening hours.

If you're looking for night time activities Sedona has a few options to choose from. There are bars, live music venues, and even a casino in town. Breweries are popular and there are also upscale wine bars.

Is Flagstaff or Sedona Better for Resorts?


Sedona is well known for its resorts. However, Flagstaff is not a resort destination.

In Sedona, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. Upscale resorts with spas, pools, and other amenities offer the perfect backdrop for a desert vacation.

Flagstaff is not a resort destination.

Is Flagstaff or Sedona Better for its Old Town?


Sedona is a town with good options for its historic old town charm. However, Flagstaff does not have a historic old town.

Sedona offers a nice historic old town area. Traditional architecture and historic charm give downtown Sedona a lot of character.

Flagstaff does not have a historic old town.

Is Flagstaff or Sedona Better for Hiking?


Flagstaff is an unbeatable place for hiking. Also, Sedona is not as popular, but is still a nice town for the nearby hiking options.

People visit Flagstaff specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. Nearby you'll find world class hikes through surreal landscapes and diverse environments. The area is filled with desert landscapes and varied rock formations that are best explored on foot. Trails range in length and skill level, but whatever your ability, the hiking in the area is among the best.

Sedona is a popular spot for hiking. It's red rock cliffs offer the perfect setting for dramatic hikes and breathtaking views. The colors are most impressive at sunrise and sunset and some of the most famous landmarks include Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon.

Is the Shopping Better in Flagstaff or Sedona?


Sedona is a must-visit destination for its shopping areas. Also, Flagstaff is still popular, but not quite as popular for shopping.

Sedona is a world class destination for shoppers. It's filled with local artisan shops and art galleries that highlight the region's beauty. Head to Uptown Sedona for some of the best boutiques. You should also check out the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, the Sedona Art Center, and Hozho Distinctive Shops and Galleries.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Flagstaff. Located along historic Route 66, you'll find many shops that capture the city's history, particularly in the Southside Historic District. The town also has farmer's markets as well as shopping centers and large malls.

Is Flagstaff or Sedona Better for Families?


Both Flagstaff and Sedona are excellent to visit with kids.

Flagstaff is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. The city is filled with outdoor activities for kids like ropes courses and adventure parks. Kids will also enjoy climbing around the Lava River Cave, visiting Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, or hiking through the many diverse landscapes in the area. There are also museums that educate visitors on the city's history as well as Lowell Observatory, which will intrigue all the space enthusiasts among us.

Sedona is a very family-friendly destination. There are impressive parks and fun outdoor activities for the whole family. Head to Slide Rock State Park where your kids can enjoy a natural waterslide. There's also the Out of Africa Wildlife Zoo as well as a canyon railroad.

Is Flagstaff or Sedona Better for Couples?


Sedona is a must-visit destination for couples. Also, Flagstaff is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Sedona is a great town for couples, as it has plenty to offer. Stargazing in the evening or picnicking in a park during the day. There are countless romantic activities that couples can enjoy. The area is filled with striking natural beauty that is at its best during sunset. Couples will also enjoy fine dining and a variety of outdoor activities.

Flagstaff is a nice destination for couples. Hiking and outdoor adventure sports make this city a good destination for couples who enjoy active living. There are many parks that you can visit as well as hiking trails and unique natural settings.

Is Flagstaff or Sedona Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


Flagstaff is great for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Sedona is not as popular, but is still a nice town for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Flagstaff. There are campgrounds nearby as well as tons of nature parks and countless hiking trails in the area.

Sedona is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. You'll find campgrounds, RV parks, and motels in the area, but no real hostels.

Is Flagstaff or Sedona Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?


You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Flagstaff and Sedona.

Public transit is generally limited in Flagstaff. The Mountain Line offers eight routes through town.

Public transit is mostly limited in Sedona. Verde Shuttle offers shuttle routes through town.

Is Flagstaff or Sedona a more walkable city?


Flagstaff and Sedona both are good when exploring on foot.

Flagstaff is a somewhat walkable city. The downtown is compact and walkable, but you'll really want to have a car to explore the nearby hiking trails and natural areas.

Sedona is somewhat walkable. If you stay in Uptown Sedona, then the area is walkable, but if you're planning to stay further away then you'll need to have a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Flagstaff Worth Visiting? and Is Sedona Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Sedona or Flagstaff?

How long in Flagstaff or Sedona?

In either Flagstaff or Sedona, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Sedona than Flagstaff because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Flagstaff, and 3-5 days is enough time in Sedona.

Families should spend more time in Sedona than Flagstaff. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Sedona, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Sedona than Flagstaff. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Sedona that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Flagstaff than Sedona if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Flagstaff.

  • How many days in Flagstaff or Sedona? Ideal Length of Stay
    Flagstaff 2-4 
    Sedona 3-5

One day in Flagstaff or Sedona?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Flagstaff. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Even though Sedona is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Flagstaff or Sedona?

Flagstaff is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Sedona is a small town where visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Flagstaff or Sedona?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Flagstaff. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Sedona is a small town with plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this town makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Most people head to the area for the shopping. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer.

A week in Flagstaff or Sedona?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the adventurous destination of Flagstaff. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Sedona is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage.

Which place is cheaper, Sedona or Flagstaff?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Flagstaff is $166, while the average daily cost in Sedona is $165. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Flagstaff and Sedona in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Flagstaff $86
    Sedona $93
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Flagstaff $172
    Sedona $186
Compare Hotels in Flagstaff and Sedona

Looking for a hotel in Flagstaff or Sedona? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Flagstaff

Hotels in Sedona

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Flagstaff Hotel Prices and Sedona Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Flagstaff $37
    Sedona $40

Is it cheaper to fly into Flagstaff or Sedona?

Prices for flights to both Sedona and Flagstaff change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Flagstaff $55
    Sedona $48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sedona

For Sedona, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Sedona/Flagstaff: Grand Canyon Day Trip with Dinner & Sunset: $241
  • Cooking class and candlelit dinner with a view: $251

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Flagstaff $28
    Sedona $19

Tours and Activities in Flagstaff

Here are a few actual costs in Flagstaff for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Hours Private E-Bike Tours In Northern Arizona: $75
  • All-day Grand Canyon • Indian Ruins • Volcano • Christian Tour: $199
  • Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Day Tour from Flagstaff: $299
  • Antelope Slot Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Day Tour from Flagstaff: $285
  • Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park Tour with Lunch & Pickup: $245
  • Comprehensive Grand Canyon Tour from Flagstaff w/Lunch: $208
  • Downtown Flagstaff Haunted History Tour: $28
  • Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course-Adult Course: $65
  • Flagstaff Ghosts Tour By Us Ghost Adventures: $30
  • Flagstaff Segway Tour: $129
  • Flagstaff, AZ: Murder Mystery Detective Experience: $15
  • Adults-Only Haunted Walking Tour: $35

Typical Entertainment Prices in Sedona

For Sedona, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:

  • Red Rock Fantasy Light Show (for 2)

Tours and Activities in Sedona

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sedona.

  • Arizona Audio Tour Guide in Sedona: $8.99
  • Self-Guided Driving Tour with GPS Audio Guide App: $8.99
  • Sedona & Red Rock State Park Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Sedona & Red Rock State Park: Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $15
  • Jerome Scavenger Hunt Walking Tour and Game: $25
  • Grand Canyon & Self-Guided Driving Tour Bundle: $25
  • From Boynton Canyon Trolley Tour: $25
  • Jerome Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Out of Africa Wildlife Park Admission Ticket: $43
  • The Best Private Vortex and City Tour of Sedona: $50
  • Hi-Points Tour in Luxury Van: $50
  • Wild Wild West Tour of Jerome: $60

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Flagstaff $29
    Sedona $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Flagstaff

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Flagstaff:

  • Spirits With The Spirits, Haunted Pub Crawl Of Downtown Flagstaff: $50
  • Haunted Pub Crawl with Guide: $50

Sample the Local Flavors in Sedona

Also in Sedona, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bliss Sedona’s Most Luxurious Wine Tour with Lunch Included: $115
  • All inclusive Sedona Join in Wine Tour 200+ 5 star reviews!: $179
  • Private Wine Tour in Sedona, Arizona: $295

When comparing the travel costs between Flagstaff and Sedona, we can see that Flagstaff is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Flagstaff Expensive? and Is Sedona Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Flagstaff or Sedona?

Flagstaff has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Sedona. When comparing the sizes of Flagstaff and Sedona, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.