While most hotels today are equipped with a Keurig machine, it’s nice to get out and about and explore small businesses while traveling in a new area. Nothing starts off a vacation better than a great cup of local coffee. Today, you can find fantastic independent shops pretty much anywhere you travel. No need to resort to a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts with so many great local options around. Even better than a top knotch coffeehouse serving great coffee & pastries are the rare few where you can also take in a fabulous view.
The 10 coffee shops below all offer amazing coffee, food, and an unbeatable ambiance. And, most importantly, they are located within close proximity to magnificent natural wonders.
1. Savaya Coffee
- Location: Oro Valley, Arizona (11177 N. Oracle Rd)
- Highlight: Turkish coffee
- Scenic view: Santa Catalina mountains
- Nearby tourist attraction: Catalina State Park
Tucson is no stranger to the specialty coffee scene. The city is loaded with excellent independent coffee shops. One of the best-of-the-best is Savaya, which operates several locations throughout the metro. The best place to enjoy your caffeine fix is at the beautiful Oro Valley location, a suburb surrounded by the gorgeous Santa Catalina mountain range. Take a seat on the beautiful patio and enjoy your drink alongside fabulous mountain scenery. During the spring season, you will be surrounded by gorgeous Palo Verde trees in full bloom with the most gorgeous yellow flowers.
Savaya offers 2 specialty coffees of the day plus a full espresso menu. High quality single origin, organic beans are sourced from around the world and then roasted on-site to bring out the amazing flavors. The 2 drips of the day are always bursting with flavor. The Americano is always perfectly smooth. If you are up for something new try the Turkish coffee. This is one of the most exquisite methods of brewing coffee, although unfortunately, few coffeeshops offer the service. Although Savaya offers few food options, the local pastries they do carry are delicious.
2. Lakeview Coffee
- Location: Scottsdale, Arizona (8300 N. Hayden Rd)
- Highlight: Excellent pour over, organic & fair trade coffee
- Scenic view: Scottsdale Waterfront
- Nearby tourist attraction: McDowell Sonoran Preserve
You would never think that one of the most scenic waterfront coffeehouses would be located in Arizona out of all places. Nevertheless, Lakeview coffee sits on the gorgeous Scottsdale waterfront. The beautiful Scottsdale Greenbelt is one of the best places to jog, bike, or take a leisurely walk in the Phoenix area. There is so much greenery on this trail, from parks to golf courses, that you almost forget you are in the Sonoran Desert. Enjoy a great local cup of coffee and then join in the fun along the 11 mile path.
Lakeview Coffee is an excellent independent coffeehouse with a huge patio overlooking the water. There’s lots of comfy seating outside and plenty of shade. Simply kick back enjoy your drink and a lovely view of water in the middle of the desert. Lakeview serves organic coffee and partners with local bakeries and dairy suppliers. The mocha here is really terrific, one of the best in town. For those into specialty coffee, they do offer pour over. A variety of treats including gluten-free fare is available.
3. Deep Creek Coffee
- Location: Springdale, Utah (932 Zion Park Blvd.)
- Highlight: Organic food & coffee
- Scenic view: Colorful rock formations
- Nearby tourist attraction: Zion National Park
Zion is one of America’s most beautiful national parks. It definitely should be near the top of any nature lovers and photographers national park bucket list. Along with beautiful trails and scenic drives, there is a great little downtown in Springdale, just a few miles outside of the park. The highlight here is a wonderful local coffee shop.
At Deep Creek Coffee, you can enjoy expertly roasted coffee drinks alongside a fabulous view of the colorful rock formations. Take a seat outside and savor your cup of joe along with a breathtaking red rock view. Research shows that coffee may boost your exercise performance, thus enabling you to enjoy more of Zion’s immense beauty. As a bonus they offer ample breakfast fare. Enjoy a breakfast sandwich, bagel, acai bowl, smoothie, or bowl of oatmeal to fuel up pre-hike.
4. Mozart coffee roasters
- Location: Austin, Texas (3825 Lake Austin Blvd)
- Highlight: Wonderful patio
- Scenic view: Ladybird Lake
- Nearby tourist attraction: Ladybird Hike & Bike trail
Austin, Texas is a gorgeous city that it is home to numerous outdoorsy attractions including the most scenic lake in Texas. Ladybird Lake is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. This is the best place in Austin for any type of outdoor recreation. After enjoying the Hike & Bike trail, a scenic 11 mile course around the lake, take a break and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee at Mozart’s. Austin is just as well known for their independent coffee scene as they are for their foodie offerings and craft beer scene.
Mozart’s has long been Austin’s favorite local coffee shop due to the picturesque patio facing the lake. Coffee beans are sourced from around the world and roasted in-house so the brews are always super fresh. Baked goods vary throughout the year. Options range from cannolis, to an elderflower eclair, to a vegan red velvet cupcake. Quiches, empanadas, and sandwiches are also available for anyone who prefers a more savory start to the day.
5. Pink Java Cafe
- Location: Sedona, Arizona (204B N. AZ 89a)
- Highlight: Conveniently centrally located in Uptown Sedona
- Scenic view: Red rock formations
- Nearby tourist attractions: Check out one of these amazing Sedona hikes
Sedona is one of the most beautiful places in the world. With towering ancient red rocks dominating the landscape, it’s no surprise that the city was nicknamed “Red Rock Wonderland.” There are so many fabulous hiking trails to explore here. At one point, the city was basically devoid of any business as there were regulations in place to preserve the beauty of the natural scenery. Unfortunately, today, new businesses seem to sprout up every year. Luckily we still have tons of great hiking trails to explore the great natural vistas.
If you do find yourself seeking a great cup of coffee pre-hike there are several great options. Pink Java Cafe is a local cafe offering delicious coffee and food. You really cannot miss this place as it is located right in the middle of bustling Uptown Sedona, right amidst some of the most jaw dropping red rock views in town. The highlight here is a little patio with an awesome prime view of the red rocks. Really you will want to take in as much of the red rock scenery as possible during your visit, not missing a minute.
6. Indian Gardens
- Location: Sedona, Arizona (3951 N. State Rt 89A)
- Highlight: Amazing food & coffee
- Scenic view: Oak Creek Canyon
- Nearby tourist attraction: Oak Creek Canyon scenic drive
This is another great coffeehouse in the Sedona area. Indian Gardens is located along the 14 mile scenic drive known as Oak Creek Canyon drive. This gorgeous drive travels from the high altitude pine tree forests of Flagstaff, to the brilliant red rock of Sedona. Along the way lie numerous attractions including the gem Indian Gardens. This is the place to stop for breakfast before embarking on any trails in the Sedona area. Although the views are not as drop dead gorgeous as Pink Java, the food, coffee, and ambiance at Indian Gardens are all unparalleled.
If you are seeking a great place to enjoy a healthy delicious breakfast, along with high end coffee and a terrific ambiance, this is the place to do so. The coffee here is amongst the best I’ve ever had anywhere. Beans are roasted in small batches at local sister company, Garland Coffee. The breakfast is also amazing – you will be back again before you leave Sedona. Guaranteed. Do try the Breakfast Burrito or the Grains and Greens bowl.
7. Spill the Beans
- Location: Greenville, South Carolina (531 S. Main St)
- Highlight: Gelato and coffee all in one place!
- Scenic view: Reedy river waterfall
- Nearby tourist attraction: Falls Park
Greenville is the newest hot spot of the South. Popular with foodies and nature lovers, the thriving downtown is bustling with local businesses and pretty parks. Right next to beautiful Falls Parks sits a busy gelato/coffeehouse which is understandably super popular during the touristy summer season. Although the coffee is not quite the best in town, the views surely cannot be matched.
Take you drink outside on the patio during the warmer season and enjoy the views of the beautiful waterfall. Afterwards, try one of the dozen plus refreshing homemade gelato flavors. During the winter months, cozy up with a tasty Americano (or hot cocoa) and enjoy the tranquil setting and quiet wintry views of the park.
8. High Five Coffee Roasters
- Location: Woodfin, North Carolina (2000 Riverside Drive)
- Highlight: Serves highly regarded Counter Culture coffee
- Scenic view: French Broad river
- Nearby tourist attraction: Downtown Asheville, loaded with 100s of unique shops, galleries, and restaurants
Asheville, the foodie hotspot of North Carolina, offers no shortage of interesting options when it comes to the indie coffee scene. High Five is one of the area’s premier coffeehouses, and fortunately, they have 3 convenient locations. The best of the bunch is located about 15 minutes outside of town in tranquil Woodfin, along the French Broad river. It’s worth the drive for the quiet riverside setting. It’s not too often that you get to savor a perfectly brewed cup of coffee while also taking in gorgeous river scenery.
They serve Counter Culture, a renowned North Carolina roaster often rated one of the best in the country. Coffee is only served in to go cups, so bring your own mug if you prefer a proper drinking experience. And, as usual, a tempting selection of fresh pastries is there to entice you as you place your order.
9. Riverpoint Coffee
- Location: Pagosa Springs, Colorado
- Highlight: Conveniently located across the hot springs
- Scenic view: San Juan mountains
- Nearby tourist attraction: Pagosa Hot Springs
Pagosa Springs is a wonderful mountain oasis in secluded Southwestern Colorado. It’s one of my favorite western vacation destinations. Asides from miles and miles of pristine hiking trails, the town is home to the world’s deepest hot springs. After exploring the great outdoors, schedule a massage and soaking session. The warm mineral enriched pools have been used by tourists and locals for decades, and reportedly cure various ailments. You will have access to about 10 pools of varying temperature.
Of course, you will want a nice cup of coffee to get revved up for your outdoor adventures (consider planning a hike to Treasure Falls). Consider stopping by Riverpoint Coffee House for a delicious cup of coffee (they serve coffee from All Good Things, a regional small batch roaster). In addition to regular drip coffee, they offer a number of espresso drinks plus specialty seasonal drinks. Food fare includes quiche, yogurt, assorted pastries, and smoothies. During the summer season, take a seat on the patio and enjoy views of the hot springs and surrounding mountains. The setting really is gorgeous and tranquil.
10. Starbucks Uptown Sedona
- Location: Sedona, Arizona (101 N. State Route 89A)
- Highlight: Amazing patio
- Scenic view: Red rock formations
- Nearby tourist attraction: Check out my list of 29 must do’s in Sedona
While I normally favor independent coffeehouses over chains, this particular Starbucks in Sedona deserves a place on this list for the jaw dropping setting. Enjoy all of the usual favorite Starbucks concoctions like frappuccinos, mochas, and cold brew, only with the addition of stunning views of red rock formations. The patio here offers the most mesmerizing view of some of the most outstanding rock formations in all of Sedona.
Because this Starbucks is located in the center of Uptown Sedona, there is plenty to do and see after you get revved up. Galleries, local restaurants, pink jeep tours, various hiking trails, and the Oak Creek Canyon drive are all within easy access.