The beauty of Arizona isn’t relegated to just the big cities and famous escapes for which we are known. The small towns that make up the landscape lend themselves to creating the greater whole, and Cottonwood is the perfect example. Located just a few miles south of one of our most famous towns—Sedona—it offers not just a quiet bedroom community to retreat to after a day of Sedona adventures, but a place where guests go to have fun playing, shopping, sipping, and exploring. Our Sedona.Org properties are, of course, the biggest draw (in our not so humble opinions!), offering comfort, luxury, and style to all the travelers who reside within, but today we want to talk about the magic of Cottonwood and all you can enjoy in town and the surrounding areas during your Arizona journey of fun. We will take you on a journey that may not be life changing but will touch your soul in ways you never knew you needed, perhaps encouraging you to make a Cottonwood getaway a regular part of your vacation explorations.
Old Town Cottonwood
The history of Cottonwood began as a humble Army outpost, but as visitors and new residents began to realize that the climate and the Verde River that runs through it makes growing crops an easy thing to do, our small town in the shadow of Sedona began to switch to a farming town. Today, it offers a complex blend of old and new, country and city, and of course, loads of charm, and our downtown Cottonwood area offers a glimpse of it all! Looking like a picture on a postcard, the shops, restaurants, and art galleries will bring you joy, and the memories you can make will be enhanced with a selfie taken in front of the Greetings from Cottonwood sign, decorated with old cars, the trees we are named for, and even a cowgirl or two! A midcentury modern sign welcomes visitors to Old Town, an American made car from the 40s introduces travelers to the delights of a local antique store, and a cool metal stallion statue rears happily close to where early horses used to be tied to hitching posts while their owners took care of business in town.
Old Town Red Rooster Café, 901 N Main Street
A taste of the town can be best enjoyed with a breakfast, or lunch, at the Old Town Red Rooster Café, open every day from 7:30 AM to 3 PM, except for Sunday’s when they close at 2 PM. Offering a new twist on all your favorite comfort foods, your best days will start with any of the meals they serve, but this is the Southwest and if you don’t try their Big Ol’ Burrito, you might regret it forever! Choose your meat (we recommend chorizo if you can handle the heat!) and let the talented cooks mix it with cheese, eggs, pico de gallo, and sour cream, tucking all the ingredients into a tortilla, and discover what it means to fall in love!
Cartwheels Gallery, 909 N Main Street
Bring home a touch of the Southwest with a visit to and a purchase from Cartwheels Gallery located in the heart of Old Town. The best local artists create their best works, all of which are on display in Cartwheels, covering the gamut of genres from ceramics to painting, jewelry, and so much more.
Pillsbury Wine Company Tasting Room, 315 S Willard Street
The Verde Valley Cotton area is giving Napa Valley in California a run for its money, and the grapes grown and squeezed here are destined to make their way to the tasting room of the Pillsbury Wine Company! The grapes are grown here in Arizona and the wines they sell will please every palate, so be sure to stop in and buy a couple of bottles to take back to your Sedona.Org Cottonwood sanctuary.
Dead Horse Ranch State Park, 675 Dead Horse Ranch Road
A walk in the park is always appreciated, but it pales in comparison to a kayak ride along the Verde River that runs through our Dead Horse Ranch State Park. It does offer trails, however, that lead guests through some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the nation and is a popular wildlife watching spot. Fishing, camping, hiking, and kayaking are just a few examples of the fun you can have while exploring Dead Horse Ranch State Park. In case you were wondering, the ranch was named when a Minnesota family came looking to buy a ranch and found a dead horse lying next to the road!
Blazin’ M Ranch, 1875 Mabery Ranch Road
For an authentic cowboy experience and the taste of the ranch, a visit to Blazin’ M Ranch is a must! Offering a Western saloon, singing waiters, bull riding, wagon rides, and so many more awesome Western-themed activities, you may want to come back more than once to experience it all. After dinner they provide a Western-themed show with live music that you will never forget. If you are looking at having a destination wedding, Blazin’ M will give guests the perfect way to start your new life together!
Road Trippin’ into the Past
Just 17 miles south of Cottonwood lies the opportunity to see what life would have been like for our ancient Sinagua peoples hundreds of years ago. Montezuma Castle, located in Camp Verde on Montezuma Castle Road (Just follow the signs, it is impossible to miss!) is the site of a series of cliff dwellings that are well preserved and provide a fascinating glimpse into the past. A treelined path leads you towards the cliffs that have been carved out of the cliffs, and trust us: You and your family will love every minute! The visitors center provides more in-depth Cottonwood information than found on the wood placards placed in the ground and a gift center offers an opportunity to buy magnets and more.
Verde Canyon Railroad, 300 N Broadway in Clarkdale
Clarkdale is another one of our small towns offering a big surprise in the form of the Verde Canyon Railroad. This heritage railroad features a renovated vintage train that takes travelers on a four-hour journey through a hundred plus years of history. Stunning in the fall when the leaves are changing and magical in the winter when its Christmas ride takes kiddos and their parents on a whimsical visit to the North Pole, it also offers wine tasting rides that we think will be most enjoyable!
There aren’t enough words to describe the adventures you can have in Sedona, offering vortexes that hum with an energy you will wish you could bottle up and sell, red rock outcroppings with names like Steamboat Rock and Devil’s Bridge, and a plethora of charming shops and galleries you will have to be dragged out of when it is time to eat a delicious meal at the Cowboy Club! Colorful jeep tours will take you to all the most beautiful spots, offering colorful narratives that teach the history of the region.
The Cottonwood Havens of Sedona.Org
Your favorite part of all your Cottonwood adventures may be the minutes, hours, and days spent in our Sedona.Org Cottonwood sanctuaries. Reserve your favorite today!