12 Free Things to Do in Sedona

Sedona, Arizona is known for its red rock formations, mystic landscape, and stunning natural beauty. It is also an expensive tourist destination with high-priced hotels, spas, and outdoor activities. However, if you’re on a tight budget or just looking for some free things to do in Sedona, you’re in luck.

free things to do in sedona

Sedona has plenty of free attractions, hiking trails, scenic drives, and cultural sites that won’t cost you a dime. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top 12 free things to do in Sedona that will give you a taste of its beauty and magic without breaking the bank.

Scenic Strolls Through Nature

One of the best ways to experience Sedona’s natural wonders is by taking a scenic stroll. The city has an abundance of trails and paths that are free to access and offer stunning views of its trademark red rocks.

Red Rock Scenic Byway

The Red Rock Scenic Byway, also known as State Route 179, is a must-do free activity in Sedona. This 7.5-mile stretch provides breathtaking views of Sedona’s famous red rock formations, including the Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. Pullouts along the highway allow visitors to stop, take photographs, and just take in the awe-inspiring scenery.

Bell Rock Pathway

Another free gem in Sedona is the Bell Rock Pathway. This moderate trail of approximately 3.6 miles round trip takes you close to Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte, two of the most notable formations in the area. The trail is well-maintained, suitable for all skill levels, and offers unforgettable views, especially at sunrise or sunset.

Explore Local Art Galleries and Museums

Sedona is home to numerous art galleries showcasing works by local artists inspired by the city’s natural beauty. You can spend hours browsing through these galleries for free and admiring the unique pieces on display. Some must-visit options include Sedona Arts Center, Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, and Exposures International Gallery of Fine Art.

free things to do in sedona without hiking

If you’re interested in history and culture, check out the Sedona Heritage Museum or the Sedona Cultural Park. Both offer free admission and provide insights into the city’s rich history and indigenous culture.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is an architectural wonder built into the red rocks of Sedona. Not only is it a beautiful sight to behold, but it also offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. You can visit this spiritual site for free and spend some time admiring its unique design and peaceful atmosphere.

Historic Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village

Located just outside of Sedona, the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village is a charming outdoor shopping mall with an array of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. It’s free to wander around and explore the beautiful courtyards adorned with fountains, sculptures, and colorful gardens. You can also catch live music performances and cultural events here on certain days.

Stargazing at Sedona City Sky Park

Sedona City Sky Park is a designated dark sky park, making it an ideal spot for stargazing. On clear nights, you can see thousands of stars without any light pollution. You can pack a blanket and some snacks, find a comfortable spot, and spend the night gazing up at the stars for free.

Picnic at Slide Rock State Park

Pack a picnic lunch and head to Slide Rock State Park for a fun and free day out. This popular park is known for its natural water slides, swimming holes, and scenic picnic spots surrounded by towering cliffs and lush greenery. It’s the perfect place to relax and cool off on a hot summer day.

free things to do in sedona arizona

Sedona First Friday Art Walk

If you happen to be in Sedona on the first Friday of the month, don’t miss out on the Sedona First Friday Art Walk. This free event showcases local art galleries, shops, and restaurants with special exhibitions, live music, and refreshments. It’s a great opportunity to meet local artists, learn about their creative process, and purchase unique pieces to take home.

Bell Rock Vortex

Sedona is known for its energy vortexes, which are believed to be powerful spots of concentrated spiritual energy. One of the most famous vortexes is located at Bell Rock, where visitors can hike and meditate for free. Even if you’re not a believer, the stunning views and peaceful atmosphere make for a worthwhile experience.

Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Drive

Hop in your car and take a scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon, one of the most picturesque routes in all of Arizona. This 14-mile stretch offers breathtaking views of towering red rock formations, lush forests, and winding roads. There are also plenty of pull-off spots to take photos and soak in the natural beauty of Sedona.

Watch the Sunset at Airport Mesa

For a romantic and budget-friendly activity, head to Airport Mesa for a breathtaking sunset view. This iconic spot offers panoramic views of the entire city, making it the perfect backdrop for a memorable evening. You can also enjoy stargazing here on clear nights. 

best free things to do in sedona

Sedona Farmers Market

Lastly, don’t miss out on the Sedona Farmers Market, held every Sunday morning at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. Admission is free, and you can sample local produce, purchase unique souvenirs and enjoy live music. It’s a great way to experience the local culture and support small businesses.

Immersing in Cultural Events

Sedona’s cultural richness extends beyond the city’s breathtaking landscapes and fine arts scene, with various free festivals and gatherings that celebrate the local culture throughout the year.

Sedona International Film Festival

Although the Sedona International Film Festival does have ticketed events, there are also numerous free events included in the program. These include free outdoor screenings, filmmaker meet and greets, and panel discussions. It’s an excellent opportunity to engage with the local film community.

Sedona Plein Air Festival

The Sedona Plein Air Festival is an annual event where artists set up their easels outdoors and paint Sedona’s stunning landscapes. Visitors can watch these artists at work for free, learn about the plein air painting technique and appreciate the creative process.

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Sedona’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration is a vibrant and colorful event that honors Mexican cultural heritage. The festivities include traditional Mexican music, dance performances, and food, all free of charge.

Sedona Arts Festival

While the main event requires a ticket, the Sedona Arts Festival hosts several free satellite events, including artist demonstrations and children’s art activities. It’s a fantastic way to immerse in the local arts scene and interact with the community.

Sedona Yoga Festival

The Sedona Yoga Festival is a spiritually enriching event that occasionally offers free community yoga classes in open spaces. It’s an ideal occasion to engage with Sedona’s wellness community and practice yoga amidst the city’s natural beauty.

Final Thought

Sedona is a treasure trove of experiences that caters to every visitor’s tastes and interests. From the captivating natural landscapes to the vibrant arts and cultural scenes, there is an abundance of free activities to enjoy. Whether it’s stargazing under the clear night skies, engaging with local artists, or immersing oneself in spiritual wellness, Sedona offers a myriad of opportunities to explore, learn, and relax. Despite its reputation as a luxury destination, you can certainly experience the magic of Sedona without spending a dime. So, get out there and enjoy all the wonders this beautiful city has to offer!

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