Free Things to Do in Sedona

Things to Do — By P. Escarcega on July 30, 2011 at 4:53 am

With lavish resorts and some of the best restaurants in Arizona, Sedona can feel a little out of reach for those of us packing thin wallets. But thankfully, at least in Sedona, the best things in life really are free. Whether you’re staying at a five-star resort or the budget motel at the edge of town, it only takes a short step outside your door to remember why you came. The red sandstone cliffs and spires of Arizona’s famous red rock country are readily accessible to anyone willing to take the time to enjoy them, making Sedona the perfect place to enjoy a low-key trip full of fun (and free) things to do.

Sedona is certainly not the least expensive town in Arizona, but you don't need money to bask in the amazing red rock views. Photo:


Take one of Sedona’s famously scenic drives. Regardless of your travel budget, one of the best things to do during your visit to Sedona is take a long leisurely drive on one of Sedona’s famously scenic drives. By far the most popular and picturesque town is Oak Creek Canyon scenic drive between Flagstaff and Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon. Get your camera out as you descend along the switchbacks of Highway 89A to Oak Creek Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon’s much smaller, but no less beautiful, cousin. There are plenty of picnic areas, swimming holes, hiking trails, and scenic overlooks to help you pause and take in the natural beauty of this area.

Enjoy the free nightly show. Sedona is one of the top stargazing destinations in the Southwest. Strict ordinances on local light pollution mean that the night sky over the city is the perfect place to hunt for constellations, watch for shooting stars, or take a peek into neighboring galaxies. So pack up your trusty telescope, or simply look up and enjoy.

Get a taste of artsy Sedona with a stroll through Tlaquepaque and the Hozho Shopping District. Who says you need money to go shopping? From fancy Western duds to long hippie dresses to Southwestern art and jewelry, Sedona is the perfect place to window shop to your heart’s delight. Poke around the boutiques and soak in the Southwestern ambiance at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, a rambling, fanciful shopping destination patterned after Mexico’s storied arts & crafts town. With free live music and whimsical statuary, you don’t have to spend a dime to witness Sedona’s reputation for high-end, locally-made art, gifts, and jewelry. The Hozho Shopping District on State Route 179 in Uptown Sedona is the perfect place to wander through world-class galleries, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and fun folk art shops.

Take a hike. It doesn’t take much more than a walk outdoors to enjoy Sedona. Arizona’s red rock wonderland is easy on the wallet for nature-lovers ready to strap on a pair of hiking boots and get their fill of amazing views. Try the Broken Arrow Trail off Highway 179, not the quietest trail in Sedona, but certainly one of the prettiest, taking you over red slick rock, across juniper forests, and along the base of several red rock cliffs.

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