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If you are looking for an inexpensive places to stay and eat, here are a few suggestions:
Sky Ranch Lodge (888-708-6400) is located near the airport and the restaurant, and Cedars Resort (800-874-2072) located at the “Y” near the down town district. Both locations have been very reasonable in price, without forfeiting safe clean rooms with the necessities that you might need.
Many of the locals eat at these two restaurants: the Coffee Pot Restaurant and the Airport Restaurant (closed for renovation until the 2011 season, as of Sep 1, 2010). Both have very good meals at fair prices with good service and are enjoyable places. The Coffee Pot is located more towards the west side of town – definitely not in the main old town tourist area, but is very easy to get to from most anywhere in town. The Airport Restaurant you will need to drive up the road to the top where you can enjoy the view overlooking Sedona and the red rocks. The small airport and restaurant are located on top of Table Top Mountain (small mountain) with a wonderful view overlooking the area.
Hotels as you know are many in the area, from the bottom of the scale to the top. Each one offers special items that make it more attractive then some of the others. It all depends on what you want to pay and what services you want. The two names above are wonderful affordable places to stay while staying on a budget yet not giving up safe, clean, comfortable lodging.
Stop by the Chamber of Commerce Visitors' Center in Uptown Sedona (that's the area first reached when you come out of Oak Creek Canyon). There, ask for the Superpass booklet. It's about $11 at the start of the tourist season and down to $8 by late August. In it, you will find two-fers or 10% off most restaurants, discounts on most jeep/helicopter/trolley tours, and even discounts for golf. Discounts are also included for Subway and other "fast food" restaurants. And if you don't have a room yet, check out the hotel and motel discounts in the Superpass.
With the Superpass, you can play the nine-hole course at Canyon Mesa Golf course in the Village of Oak Creek for $28.50 -- for two people -- with a golf cart!
If you're a tennis player, head toward Sedona's park on Posse Grounds Road. Two - free - courts are located behind the maintenance building and above the baseball fields. Ignore the "official vehicles" sign and you'll find a couple of public spots right next to the courts.
If you've researched the location of the many vortex's, your $5 Red Rock hiking pass is good for a number of other hiking spots in the area ... don't throw it away until you're done for the day.
Sedona also has three thrift stores where you might pick up a local's discards. Twice As Nice on Highway 89A has excellent quality clothing, and Silver Linings in Uptown even offers 10% off your entire purchase with the Superpass.The Goodwill store is located next to the Basha's grocery store.
If you plan your time in Sedona for the Labor Day weekend, plan on spending cooler nights along 89A in Uptown for the Moonlight Madness. Lots of street vendors and live, local entertainers.
And if there at other times, set a goal for yourself to find the various brightly painted javelinas in the village.
Finally, if you're in the habit of using "big box stores" to stay on the budget, you won't find any in Sedona. The closest ones are about 20 miles away in Cottonwood. Then again, if you're heading for the "wickedest town in the West" - Jerome - then you could catch one of the big stores on your way home.
Cedars Resort: http://sedonacedarsresort.com/
Sky Ranch Lodge: http://www.skyranchlodge.com/