Things to Do in Sedona This Weekend – 15 Must-Try Activities
Miles of unspoiled desert, rugged monolith, and butte formations, plus towering Saguaro cacti come together to make Red Rock Country unlike any other place on Earth. In Sedona, visitors can experience a sacred union of both nature and mysticism.
While luxury Sedona spa treatments and rounds of golf can quickly add up, there’s no reason your Grand Canyon State getaway needs to cost a fortune. Follow along to discover the 15 best free things to do in Sedona.
From art gallery adventures to awe-inspiring vistas afforded by the city’s numerous hiking trails, intrepid explorers of all ages and interests will find heaps of free things to do in Sedona Arizona.
Embrace inner peace with a vortex meditation at Cathedral Rock or savor the vivid hues of the sunset from the hood of your car at Airport Mesa Overlook.
Ready to visit Sedona without spending a cent? Read on!
Before you get a head start on all of the free things to do in Sedona this weekend you’ll need to lock down some lodgings. While we haven’t managed a way to score gratis suites, you can rest easy knowing you are guaranteed our lowest rates online.
Sleep in cozy adobe-style lodgings or treat yourself to Western-inspired spa services at a stylish Sedona resort. From exploring red rock formations to scenic drives through Oak Creek Canyon, our wide array of Sedona Hotels deliver it all.
Free Things to Do in Sedona
Tlaquepaque Arts Shopping Village
While we can’t guarantee you won’t be tempted to spend a few bucks on the beautiful wares at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, a stop at this famous Sedona shopping locale is well worth the trip. Located on the banks of Oak Creek, Tlaquepaque has been authentically fashioned after a traditional Mexican village and features a plethora of Southwestern artisanal goods, art, and decor.
Wander through rows of blown glass creations, Southwestern paintings, Native American textile weavings, and more. Come not only to window shop but to appreciate the center’s stucco walls, cobble-stoned walkways, and resplendent arched entryways.
Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park
Achieve inner tranquility, or at least work on your ‘OM’ when you swing by the tree and prayer flag-lined paths of Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. Part park, part spiritual oasis, this stunning outdoor mecca has been deemed holy and features over 12 serene acres. Wander through the tranquil gardens designed to encourage contemplative thought, meditation, and inner peace.
Designed as a sacred place for people of all faiths, Stupa is open every day and always free. Take a moment to complete the path to the Stupa, the 36-foot-tall Buddhist structure. Or, admire the authentic Native American medicine wheel and the mahogany statue of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Sedona Arts Center
Looking to scratch that creative itch before you break in those hiking boots? Prime yourself for a day of art gallery browsing when you head on over to the Sedona Arts Center. The Center’s Fine Art Gallery showcases the largest selection in Sedona of artwork by local artists and features an ever-changing array of paintings, jewelry, and keepsakes.
In addition to appreciating ceramic works or admiring the desert landscape through the medium of oil paint the gallery also hosts a number of local gatherings including Celebrate Sedona! This community event combines music, food, regional artistry, and more for a bi-monthly celebration of the best of Sedona.
Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross
A seamless blend of architecture and nature, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is widely considered a can’t miss Sedona attraction. Completed in 1956, the chapel is a mesmerizing mix of religion, sculpture, and art.
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Originally commissioned by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, the building actually draws inspiration from the Empire State Building. Come here and marvel at the constructs of faith and jutting Red Rocks, or align your visit with adoration, confession, or mass.
Red Rock Scenic Byway SR 179
Beep Beep! If you’re already feeling the burn in your quads post Devil’s Bridge Trail give those legs a rest with a scenic drive. Buckle up, and maybe enlist a snap happy friend so you can properly document all 7.5 scenic miles of the Red Rock Scenic Byway.
A simple detour off Interstate 17, the Byway is one of the best places to glimpse Sedona’s famous red rocks up close. Revel in the sweeping scenery on both sides of the road, and impress your friends when you inform them that these iconic rocks get their spectacular color from rich deposits of iron oxide.
Think hiking is just for mountain men and women? Think again! In Sedona, trailheads* are as plentiful as cacti, and you can easily find routes for all abilities and ages.
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Pack up that trail mix, slap on some sunscreen, and prepare to be wowed by the craggy rock formations, lookouts, and desolate desert beauty:
- Bell Rock Loop – a moderate trail that clocks out at 1 -1.5 miles depending on your route, avid hikers will recognize Bell Rock’s famous dome-like silhouette. Witness this staggering formation, desert shrubbery, and more.
- Cathedral Rock – one of the most photographed sights in Sedona, this natural sandstone butte can be reached by completing an ascending rock climb.
- Devil’s Bridge Trail – Ready to feel on top of the world? Experience the jaw-dropping of Devil’s Bridge when you hike this ever-popular Sedona Trail. The almost 4-mile trip is ideal for most hikers and also features off-road driving.
- Bear Mountain Trail – non-stop elevation gain plus movie-worthy views make this sometimes arduous hike well worth the sweat. Soak in panoramic sights of the Red Canyon overlook and a view of the San Francisco Peaks.
*While many trails are free to access you may need to pay for parking or a small entrance fee.
Meditate at a Vortex
Cleanse your energy and connect to the divine power and intuition of Mother Earth when you stop by a Sedona vortex. These swirling centers of energy are epicenters of healing, introspection, meditation, and deep thought.
Particular areas in Sedona are considered ‘alive’ and contain different types of energy frequencies. Many people congregate at vortexes such as:
- Cathedral Rock
- Airport Mesa
- Boynton Canyon
- And Bell Rock
To practice yoga, meditate, or refresh their energies.
See a Sunset at Airport Mesa
Explosions of orange, purple, and red. Surprise your special someone (or head out for a solo date) when you plan for a picnic and sunset at Airport Mesa. Cost friendly* and stunningly beautiful, you can scope out the skies changing colors through a number of trails or by parking at the Airport Mesa Overlook.
*There is a small fee for parking at the overlook.
Oak Creek Canyon
Switchbacks, rock formations, and chasms make the Oak Creek Canyon scenic drive a feast for the eyes. However, this stretch along State Route 89A also offers stops. You’ll see landmarks like Slide Rock State Park and West Fork Trail.
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Once you’ve made your way through the numerous switchbacks the road winds down into the Canyon. Bring along a swimsuit as there are plenty of swimming holes in which to splash around. Or areas to sprawl out for a sun-soaked picnic.
Almost ethereal in its stark beauty, it’s no wonder that everyone from hikers to spiritual practitioners flock to Sedona.
While it’s all too easy to fall under the enchantment of the Copper State, sometimes a Sedona vacation can come with a steep price tag.
Thankfully there are tons of things to do in Sedona for free! Follow your inner bliss when you pay a visit to Buddha at the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. Or, enjoy an evening of art, revelry, and food truck offerings when you party with Celebrate Sedona.
Rejuvenate with a vortex meditation at Bell Rock, or scramble up rock faces on the Bear Mountain Trail.
Whether you are angling for enlightenment or just a hit of adrenaline from your hike’s elevation gain, Red Rock Country’s never-ending allure will never disappoint.
Tell us, Have You Been to Sedona Arizona?
What would you add to our list? Leave a comment below!