enjoying a visit from friends in Sedona

I found 5 really cool small towns near Sedona, AZ that would make a great day trip. As a digital nomad, I am lucky enough to travel across this great nation of ours. I spent the entire month of March in Oak Creek Village, right outside of Sedona. I loved this location because the traffic was not as bad as uptown and West Sedona. March is a very popular month to visit Sedona. 

Staying in Sedona for a month afforded me the opportunity to make several day trips within 50 miles of Sedona. I love this area of the country because of the beauty of the red rocks and the small towns that are full of so much history. 

If you are visiting Sedona and want to venture a few miles to see some other lovely small towns, I have made a list of the coolest small towns near Sedona that you will want to visit!

Flagstaff is a cool small town near Sedona

Flagstaff, AZ is 27 miles north of Sedona on 89A. The drive itself is worth the trip as it is stunning. As you drive into Flagstaff, right in front of you is a spectacular view of Mt Humphreys (which is the tallest mountain and former volcano in Arizona). The airport in Flagstaff is the closest to Sedona and it is regional, so it’s very easy to navigate.

Although Flagstaff is not super small, it does have a quaint downtown area that will make you feel like you’re in a small town. It is located along the historic Route 66 and has unique stores and restaurants where you can easily spend a few hours poking around.  

If you have time to hike, check out the Lava Flow Trail. It is only about 1 mile and will afford you some really unique views of an ancient lava flow. Take in Sunset Crater Volcano while you’re out that direction, it’s a super interesting view of the destruction rendered by an ancient volcano. 

If you want to learn a little more about Flagstaff history check out the Museum of Northern Arizona. This museum was founded by a zoologist and an artist, so you know it’s interesting. They highlight the Southwest Native American cultures in a way that makes this definitely worth a visit. 

Places to Eat:

The Toasted Owl Cafe with lots of gluten-free options.

Coco’s Bakery Restaurant has gluten-free pancakes which are light and delish! And anytime I can get gluten-free pancakes I’m totally in!

Cool Small Town in Arizona and close to Sedona

Jerome is near Sedona and one of the coolest towns I have ever visited.
fun things to see in Jerome AZ

Jerome, AZ is a cool small town near Sedona

A friend of mine who lives in Sedona mentioned that I might want to check out this small town near Sedona! This small town sits on top of Cleopatra Hill (mountain!). Jerome, AZ is an old mining town full of ghost stories and quirky shops and people. They do love their ghosts in this little town, as evidenced by every shop display. Before you head into town, check out the Jerome State Historic Park to learn about the mining history and the reason for all the ghosts! From the State Park, you will have a perfect view of the town. 

From the museum head into town and find a parking spot (wear comfy shoes because you will do a bit of walking uphill!) Take in the view from town, across the valley. It will take your breath away.

Pop into Firefly Gallery for some incredible local art to take home and remind you of your adventures. They have functional and decorative items for your home to help you bring the outdoors in!

Check out the Wishing Outhouse in the ruins of the old Barlett hotel. This unique wishing well consists of a vintage outhouse in the basement of the ruins. Travelers throw their coins in and if they hit the toilet, their wish comes true (we didn’t hit the toilet). The cool thing is that the city collects these coins and the money goes to help fund the restoration of historic buildings. 

Do NOT miss the Liberty theater & gifts. The gift shop itself has some hilarious t-shirts that you will love reading! Then head upstairs to check out the haunted theater full of skeletons, old movie paraphernalia, and other quirky stuff you have to see! They also show a movie about the town that is about 15 min long and you will get a kick out of the 1970s cinematography.

Places to eat in Jerome:

Haunted Hamburger – the views are magic and the wait time correlates with that. The food is great with gluten-friendly options by removing bread from your burger or try one of their salads. The staff is friendly and the food is delish. 

Mine Cafe – if you’re looking for a cozy place for breakfast, check out this place where you will meet locals and tourists alike. The food is great!

Scottsdale Arizona is very close to the Phoenix airport.
My niece enjoying Old Town Arizona

Scottsdale, AZ

If you flew into Phoenix airport then checking out Scottsdale is a must. Check out Old Town and the Arts District for some history and fun shops to poke around in. Old town is a wonderful little area full of history, shops and restaurants. Take a few hours to hang out in Scottsdale.

If you are a nature lover then head a couple of minutes out of town to visit McDowell Sonoran Preserve. There are a ton of trails within the 30,000 acres to check out at the forefront of the Sonoran Desert. 

Places to Eat: 

Gluten-Free Creations Bakery for amazing gluten-free donuts not to mention a deli where you can get a gluten-free sandwich for breakfast or lunch. Have I mentioned how much I love finding gluten-free treats! So excited to find this place while in Scottsdale, AZ.

Prescott, AZ

Prescott is famous because it is home to Arizona’s most prized museums along with gorgeous art galleries and of course, golf! Alas, I’m not a golfer, so spending time at other attractions was more my speed. 

Check out these places when you’re visiting the small town of Prescott, AZ near Sedona

Courthouse Square is in the center of town and it’s a great place to learn a bit of history and take some cool pics. Right on Courthouse Square is where you will find fun shops, restaurants, and bars to explore while you’re in town. The oldest bar in Arizona is located in Prescott. Check out Palace Restaurant and Saloon. 

If you like hiking check out Thumb Butte hike. It’s an easy 2.4 miles and affords lovely views. And for more outdoor views head out to Watson Lake for beautiful scenery and interesting rock formations.

Whiskey Row is popular for its rousing nightlife, but it’s a fun part of town, so be sure to check out a couple of local saloons. 

Gluten-Free places to eat in Prescott

The Local has amazing gluten-free pancakes

Lemoncello Pizzeria has amazing gluten-free pizza options which I love. They even have gluten-free gnocchi which is absolutely delicious!

Wineries Near Sedona

Javelina Leap Arizona
Voted the best winery in America by Martha Stewart
DA Ranch winery
Oak Creek Winery

If you are in Sedona and you like wine, I highly suggest heading to Verde Valley to check out the wineries. It is about a 25-minute drive outside of Sedona, so a tour is your best bet to stay safe and meet new friends! The wineries I recommend checking out are 

DA Ranch – This is a beautiful property complete with a log cabin. There is water running from a local underwater spring and a pond with seating all around. You can even bring a picnic and enjoy their wine with your own picnic. 

Page Springs is located on the spring so you can sip your own sitting near the water. Their charcuterie box is large and easily fed 3 us. It also came with gluten-free crackers, which I appreciated. 

Javelina Leap is a fun winery where you can order flights at the bar and take them to a picnic table in the shade. We went back to this winery a couple of times. 

Oak Creek has several charcuterie boards to choose from as well as several flight options. We went for the white flight. 

Alcantara Vineyards is located in Cottonwood, so it’s a bit more of a drive but it was gorgeous! It has a chapel on the grounds which is endorsed by Martha Stewart, so you know it’s lovely! This was our last winery of the day so I don’t really remember how good the wine was but I do know that it is just gorgeous and we met some lovely folks while we were there. 

The Wrap Up: If you are a digital nomad and spending time in Sedona, take some day trips to some really cool small towns near Sedona.