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

Should you visit Phoenix 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 Phoenix 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.

Phoenix

Phoenix is a desert, laid back, and sprawling city. Visitors also love the hiking, shopping, and museums.

Sedona

Sedona is a striking, desert, and dramatic town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the nightlife, food, and hiking.

Phoenix and Sedona: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for shopping
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • 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 Phoenix or Sedona?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Sedona. Although Phoenix and Sedona are both popular with visitors, Sedona has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Sedona is more touristy than Phoenix and is known for its stargazing, desert setting, and yoga retreats. It is also home to Red Rock Crossing Park. Phoenix is popular for its desert landscapes, high number of golf courses, and year round warm weather.

How is Phoenix different from Sedona?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Phoenix
Sedona

You'll find a number of good museums and attractions in both Sedona and Phoenix.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Phoenix. You'll find art, science, and cultural museums around town. Favorites include the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, S'edav Va'aki Museum, and the Arizona Science 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 Phoenix or Sedona? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Phoenix
Sedona

Sedona is a great town for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Sedona has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. 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.

Phoenix offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. There are many mom-and-pop shops around town that serve everything from casual meals to quality steaks. There's also a huge selection of Mexican restaurants, as well as other international options such as sushi, dim sum, and Italian.

Is Phoenix or Sedona Better for Nightlife?

Phoenix
Sedona

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find good options in both Phoenix and Sedona.

If you're looking for night time activities Phoenix has a few options to choose from. The best nightlife scene is found in downtown and central Phoenix. There are bars, restaurants, and venues where you can catch a show. North Phoenix also has grown into a popular evening spot with cocktail bars and pubs.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Sedona. There are bars, live music venues, and even a casino in town. Breweries are popular and there are also upscale wine bars.

Is Phoenix or Sedona Better for Resorts?

Phoenix
Sedona

Sedona is a great town for its luxury resorts. However, Phoenix 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.

Phoenix is not a resort destination.


Is Phoenix or Sedona Better for its Old Town?

Phoenix
Sedona

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

Sedona has an old town worth visiting. Traditional architecture and historic charm give downtown Sedona a lot of character.

Phoenix does not have a historic old town.

Is Phoenix or Sedona Better for Hiking?

Phoenix
Sedona

Sedona is a great town for hiking. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Sedona for the hiking trails. 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.

Phoenix offers some nice hiking trails. You don't have to head far out of town for impressive hiking opportunities. You'll find trails that range from easy to challenging, and many pass through other-worldly landscapes. You'll find popular trails in Usery Mountain Regional Park, Papago Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, South Mountain Park and many others.

Is the Shopping Better in Phoenix or Sedona?

Phoenix
Sedona

Sedona is an unbeatable place for its shopping areas. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for shopping.

Many people travel to Sedona specifically to go shopping. 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.

Phoenix is a great destination for shopping. There are plenty of shopping centers, outlets, and malls where you'll find the standard chain stores. You'll also find farmer's markets around town.


Is Phoenix or Sedona Better for Families?

Phoenix
Sedona

Sedona is a great town for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Sedona. 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.

Phoenix is a family-friendly place to visit. Kids will love the Phoenix Zoo, the Arizona Science Center, the SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, and the Bearizona Wildlife Park. There's also a number of parks and gardens as well as a children's museum and several other interactive museums for kids.

Is Phoenix or Sedona Better for Couples?

Phoenix
Sedona

Sedona is an unbeatable place for couples. Also, Phoenix is not as popular, but is still a nice city 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.

Phoenix is a nice destination for couples. There are many parks and gardens in town as well as beautiful hikes and outdoor activities that couples will enjoy. In the evening, there's theater, shows, and many romantic restaurants.

Is Phoenix or Sedona Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Phoenix
Sedona

Sedona is a town with good options for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Phoenix is not known for backpackers.

Sedona is a good town to visit for backpackers. You'll find campgrounds, RV parks, and motels in the area, but no real hostels.

Phoenix is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There is a hostel or two around town for budget travelers.


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

Phoenix
Sedona

Phoenix and Sedona both offer decent public transit to get you around.

Public transit is mostly limited in Phoenix. There's a bus and light rail system, but you really need your own vehicle to get around.

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

Is Phoenix or Sedona a more walkable city?

Phoenix
Sedona

Sedona is a town with good options for its ease of walking around. However, Phoenix is not known for its walkability.

Sedona is a somewhat walkable town. 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.

Phoenix is generally not very walkable. It's a sprawling city and the only real area that's walkable is the downtown.

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

Should I spend more time in Sedona or Phoenix?

How long in Phoenix or Sedona?

In either Phoenix or Sedona, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Sedona than Phoenix because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Phoenix, and 3-5 days is enough time in Sedona.

Families should spend more time in Sedona than Phoenix. 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 Phoenix. 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 Sedona than Phoenix 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 Sedona.


  • How many days in Phoenix or Sedona? Ideal Length of Stay
    Phoenix 1-3 
    Sedona 3-5

One day in Phoenix or Sedona?

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Phoenix. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

Sedona is a small town with plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. One reason most visitors come is for the shopping. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.


A weekend in Phoenix or Sedona?

Phoenix is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Sedona might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the shopping. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Phoenix or Sedona?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Phoenix. 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 great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Sedona has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Phoenix or Sedona?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the laid back destination of Phoenix. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Sedona. Since Sedona is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. One reason most visitors come is for the shopping. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Anchorage, The Best 2-Week Tours from San Francisco, The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Sedona or Phoenix?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phoenix is $238, 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 Phoenix and Sedona in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phoenix $144
    Sedona $93
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phoenix $288
    Sedona $186
Compare Hotels in Phoenix and Sedona

Looking for a hotel in Phoenix 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 Phoenix


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: Phoenix Hotel Prices and Sedona Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phoenix $39
    Sedona $40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix

Also for Phoenix, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Sky Harbor Airport Private Transfer: $195
  • Private Transfer from Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van: $149
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury Van: $149
  • Phoenix International Airport (PHX) - Private transfer From/to Hotels: $118
  • Phoenix Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $117
  • Arrival Private Transfer Phoenix Airport PHX to Phoenix City : $116
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Private Transfer from Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Private Transfer from Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Departure Private Transfer: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Departure Private Transfer Phoenix City to Phoenix Airport PHX : $109
  • One-Way Transfer Sky Harbor Airport to Phoenix: $104

Is it cheaper to fly into Phoenix or Sedona?

Prices for flights to both Sedona and Phoenix 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Phoenix $52
    Sedona $48
Typical Food Prices in Phoenix

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Phoenix:


  • Nice Lunch (for 2)
    $36
  • Indian Food Dinner (for 2)
    $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phoenix

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

  • Old Town Scottsdale Food Tour: $92
  • Scottsdale Waterfront Food Tour: $95
  • Quiche Lorraine French Cooking Class in Scottsdale: $129

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sedona

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

  • Cooking class and candlelit dinner with a view: $251

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phoenix $40
    Sedona $19

Tours and Activities in Phoenix

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

  • Sonoran Desert 1/2 Mountain Bike tour beginner to advanced Pace: $160
  • Sonoran Desert Stunning Sunset Private Mountain bike tour. Group: $189
  • 1.5 Hour Stretch Limo Golf Cart Tour, Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $89
  • 2 Hour Scottsdale Segway Tours - Ultimate Old Town Exploration: $79
  • 2 Hour Segway Tour - Sunsets, Segways & City Lights: $89
  • 2-Hour Arizona Desert Guided E-Bike Tour: $135
  • 3 Cities & Nature Tour. Shop, Art, History, Food. Scottsdale, Phoenix, & Tempe.: $168
  • 3 Hour Guided TomCar ATV Tour in Sonoran Desert: $219
  • 3 Hour Sonoran Desert Private Guided Mountain Bike Tour: $135
  • Adventure Yoga Experience on Camelback Mountain: $75
  • Amazing 2-Hour Guided Hiking Adventure in Phoenix, Arizona: $125
  • Apache Trail Tour and Lake Cruise: From Phoenix / Scottsdale: $225

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)
    $10

Tours and Activities in Sedona

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

  • Sedona Healing Experience for Women: $299
  • 1-Hour Jeep Tour in Camp Verde: $120
  • 179 Sedona EBike Tour Cathedral Rock, Chapel & Heritage Museum: $140
  • 20 mile Helicopter Tour in See Everything around Sedona!: $186
  • Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park Sedona, Arizona Experience: $300
  • Antelope Canyon X and Horseshoe Bend Tour from Sedona & Flagstaff: $285
  • Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Small-Group Tour from Sedona or Flagstaff: $285
  • Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Tour from Sedona: $285
  • Arizona Audio Tour Guide in Sedona: $8.99
  • Arizona Ghost Adventure: $150
  • Best Sightseeing tour in Sedona Vortex and THE CITY VIP : $164
  • Best UFO Tour of Sedona: $110

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phoenix $17
    Sedona $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Phoenix

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

  • Scottsdale Bar Hunt: Scorching Scottsdale Bar Crawl: $12
  • Pedal Bar Crawl of Old Town Scottsdale: $55
  • Stretch Limo Party Cart - Custom Bar Crawls, Wine Tastings, Night Clubs & More: $155
  • Custom Arizona Brewery / Vineyard Tour: $245

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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Phoenix and Sedona, we can see that Phoenix is more expensive. And not only is Sedona much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Sedona would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Sedona and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Phoenix would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Phoenix than you might in Sedona.

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


Which is Bigger, Phoenix or Sedona?

Phoenix has a larger population, and is about 130 times larger than the population of Sedona. When comparing the sizes of Phoenix 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.