Living in Sedona, Arizona: The Definitive Guide aims to highlight some of the many reasons why people are choosing to live in the area. When USA Weekend comprised a list of The Most Beautiful Places to Live, Sedona was considered the 1st choice. After looking out over the stunning red sandstone formations it’s not hard to see why.
Located in the heart of Arizona, Sedona is surrounded by National Forest Wilderness. It is at an elevation of 4,500 feet in Arizona’s high desert.
This guide will go over a number of different aspects of life in Sedona such as best neighborhoods, restaurants, education system, and amenities. If you are considering a move to Sedona, you will want to keep reading!
Chapter 1: Where is Sedona?
Right in the middle of Arizona, Sedona is based at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon, in the northern Verde Valley Region.
Sedona is approximately 45 minutes south of Flagstaff, Arizona and roughly 2 hours north of Phoenix.
Chapter 2: General Overview
The city of Sedona offers some of the best views in the country to its residents. Along with many other reasons, a comfortable climate, beautiful homes and a strong sense of community are just some of the things people are coming to Sedona for.
Why do people move to Sedona, Arizona?
Being considered the most beautiful place to live is reason enough for many to want to plant some roots in Sedona.
The breathtaking views of the Red Rock Formations and Sonoran Desert have residents enjoying hiking, biking, and sightseeing. And with comfortable temperatures for all seasons, the area is an outdoor oasis all year long.
A growing economy and thriving tourism industry have seen an increase in job opportunities throughout the area.
The city is also heavily invested in the community, putting on a number of events and festivals for residents during the year.
What are Sedona’s origins?
Sedona, Arizona has a rich history with human presence in the area dating all the way back to 11500-9000 BC. Native American tribes have lived throughout the area intermediately for many years.
The first Anglo-American settlers, John J. Thompson, arrived in the area in 1876. Early settlers of Sedona were mainly farmers and ranchers.
In 1902, when the first post office was established, there were only 55 residents in Sedona.
In 1950, Sedona was developed as a tourist destination, vacation spot and retirement town with most of the construction done in the area between 1980 and 1990.
Chapter 3: Business and Jobs
Sedona relies heavily on the tourism industry to support the economy. Approximately 10,000 jobs and more than 1 billion dollars is attributed to tourists.
Roughly 20% of the Sedona workforce is in the Accommodation/Food and Arts/Entertainment sectors.
Visitor related activity generates a large amount, 77% to be exact, of the sales tax collection for the city.
Some other industries in the Sedona are Educational/Healthcare/Social Assistance, making up for 21%, Professional/Scientific/Management at 15% and Construction and Retail Trade, both at approximately 10%.
What can you expect to be paid in Sedona?
Though many factors play a major role in salaries, such as education and experience, the average income for workers in Sedona is $38,202.00.
That being said if you are part of a double income household, you would be averaging close to $80,000.00 per year.
Popular jobs in the city of Sedona include Restaurant Managers, Hotel Managers, which pay anywhere between $52,000 to over $80,000 per year. According to payscale.com some of the major employers in the city are Pink Jeep Tours, with an average salary of $61,500, Enchantment Resorts, with an average salary of $64,265 and Hilton Worldwide, with an average salary of $60,000.
With job opportunities in various sectors and industries available, your next dream career could be waiting for you in Sedona. Check out postings and ads online!
Chapter 4: Education
The city of Sedona knows that education is a top priority for its residents. Well rated schools with caring and invested teachers are what parents can expect to find in Sedona.
In this chapter, we will review educational options from kindergarten to post-secondary.
What schools are in Sedona?
The city of Sedona is served by the accredited Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District.
Alternative Education options:
For families interested in alternative education options, there are a number of options in Sedona.
Running River School is a private elementary school inspired by the Waldorf education philosophy. They are currently servicing students from 1st through 7th grade.
Red Rock Academy has founded the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District and provides online education for students in high school.
Verde Valley High School which is an International Boarding School which offers boarding and day school for grades 9-12.
Sedona is home to the Sedona campus of nearby Yavapai College.
This center offers the College’s culinary programs along with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institution and the Community Education for the Verde Valley.
Chapter 5: Where to live in Sedona?
Sedona is full of great neighborhoods and communities all with their own benefits and amenities.
Some of the best neighborhoods in Sedona:
The neighborhood of Highland Estates is a premier, gated residential community located off of Mundy Drive.
Highland Estates began its development in the late 1980’s and continued to grow for years after. The area is home to 65 lots.
An invested and engaged homeowners association manages the neighborhood and organizes community events such as the annual Highland Estates Potluck.
Homes in Highland Estates average a list price of $947,000.
The gated community of Les Spring is host to 106 hillside homes that were specifically designed as to blend into the surrounding landscape.
These luxurious homes are earth-toned and provide minimal obstruction to the sought after and breathtaking views.
The area is managed by a homeowners association which takes care of amenities in the neighborhood such as a community pool, fitness area, and clubhouse.
Homes are valued anywhere between $600,000 to over 1 million depending on size, lot and features.
Situated in the beautiful West Sedona, Casa Contenta is a luxury gated community which offers unparalleled views of Red Rock.
The area has 99 homes while reserving 75% of the community for open space and common areas.
Close to shopping, parks and trails the neighborhood is one of the most desirable locations in Sedona.
With all that Casa Contenta has to offer, a thriving homeowners association, pool, full time landscapers and access to amenities, homes in the area average 1 million and up.
Seven Canyons is set on the outskirts of Sedona and is a gated community full of amenities and friendly neighbors.
Located on a pristine golf course designed by golf legend Tom Weiskopf, Seven Canyons is a luxurious and exclusive neighborhood.
Access to the golf course, pool and clubhouse are just some of the reasons so many residents are flocking to Seven Canyons.
Homes in the Seven Canyons neighborhood are designed with every need in mind and begin at 1.4 million.
Chapter 6: Transportation:
This chapter will take a look at ways to get around Sedona and neighboring cities as well as what larger cities are in the area.
The public transportation in Sedona is provided by the Verde Lynx.
There is 1 public bus that travels between Sedona and Cottonwood.
The Verde Lynx runs 7 days a week and currently has 10 stops in Sedona between West Sedona, Uptown, Hillside and Poco Diablo and 2 stops in Cottonwood.
The bus is very reasonably priced, being only $2.00 per ride and $1.00 for trips within Sedona.
Sedona is located just 29 miles south of Flagstaff, Arizona and the trip would take roughly 49 minutes via the AZ-89A North.
The large city of Phoenix is set 117 miles south of Sedona, which is roughly 1 hour and 55 minutes down the I-17 southbound.
If your travel requires a flight, the nearest commercial airport is the Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport. The trip is approximately 2 hours as the airport lies 119 miles from Sedona.
Chapter 7: Restaurants
The city of Sedona is filled with dining options for all tastes and preferences. Due to its high volume of tourists, the dining scene has become a staple for Sedona.
Some of the best restaurants in Sedona:
Creekside American Bistro: located near Oak Creek, Creekside Amerian Bistro offers more than just an amazing menu, they also offer stunning views. Their eclectic menu and extensive drink list can be enjoyed in the cozy dining room or on one of two patios.
Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante: set in a warm and inviting villa, Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante serves homemade Italian dishes along with an impressive wine list. Fresh ingredients and classic cooking has visitors and locals alike raving about Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante.
Outlaw Grille: A low-key atmosphere, Outlaw Grille, is the perfect burger joint. Enjoy a step back in time with their old west, cowboy decor. Serving hefty burgers and classic American BBQ, Outlaw Grille, meals can be enjoyed on their partially covered patio.
Javelina Cantina: If you are in the mood for some hot and tasty mexican food then you will want to hit up Javelina Cantina. A modern twist on traditional mexican fare complemented by stunning views of Red Rock.
Chapter 8: What to do in Sedona
In addition to the dining scene in Sedona, the city is full of activities and events held throughout the year.
Annual Events in Sedona:
Sedona International Film Festival – this annual, eight day event is a celebration of film. With notable industry professionals attending, the festival is a highlight for many in Sedona.
Sedona Arts Festival – held at the Red Rock High School campus, the Sedona Arts Festival showcases over 100 artists. Along with food, music and kidzone, the Arts Festival has something for everyone.
Sedona Winefest – A perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy some amazing local wines. The Sedona Winefest is held at the Posse Grounds Park which offers beautiful views of the Red Rock Formations.
Pumpkin Splash – A unique event, the Pumpkin Splash, is pumpkin picking with a twist. The Sedona community pool is filled with pumpkins as residents dive in and make their choice. Along with games and activities, this annual event is a community favorite.
Sedona Festival of Lights – Welcome in the holiday season at the annual Sedona Festival of Lights. This event is full of activities, live music and warm apple cider. A yearly tradition that ushers in the holidays.
Outdoor Activities in Sedona:
Sedona is surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest land, offering some of the best views in the world. With plenty of activities and sightseeing options available, visitors and residents will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the scenery.
From hiking to biking, horseback riding to ATVing, there are numerous ways to venture around the endless trails and parks in Sedona. There are a handful of guided tours and excursions available through different companies in Sedona.
Grab your fishing gear and head to Oak Creek for the day. One of Arizona’s most beautiful trout creeks, Oak Creek offers superior fishing with a view!
Sedona is home to some of the most beautiful golf courses in the country. With panoramic views and pristine greens, golfing in Sedona is an elevated experience. Enjoy a round at Seven Canyons, Oakcreek Country Club, Canyon Mesa Country Club or Sedona Golf Resort for a game you won’t soon forget.
Art and Culture:
With artist being inspired by the views and scenery, it is not hard to understand why Sedona is home to over 80 art galleries.
Dotted throughout the town, there is work for artists known around the world.
Check out Gallery Row, which is a cluster of galleries along route 179. You will also find galleries in Uptown, West Sedona and Hillside amount other locations.
Does Sedona have what you are looking for? Could this slice of heaven in the desert be your next home?
We hope this guide gave you a glimpse into all Sedona, Arizona has to offer!