7 Best Free Things to Do in Sedona
As the saying goes, “the best things in life are free”; and that saying is even more relevant in Sedona. With so much nature and beauty to explore near your Sedona vacation rental, you won’t have to worry about burning a hole in your pocket experiencing it. Whether you’re in Sedona for a short time or in town for an extended stay, be sure to check out our favorite free things to do!
1) Go for a hike
Hiking in Sedona is one of the main attractions in the area. With red rocks towering over you, mild weather, and lots of friendly locals giving you all the best secrets for prime trails. There are many opportunities for hiking in Sedona. With over 200 marked trails spanning across 300 square miles of the Sedona area, there’s always a new trail to discover to create a new adventure.
It doesn’t matter if you’re wanting to mountain bike, hike or even just go out for a short stroll, being outdoors and experiencing the ambience of Sedona is the most priceless experience you can have. And all for the low, low price of free.
Be sure you pack appropriately with broken-in hiking boots or shoes, plenty of water, and any other essential materials you may need to help protect you from the sun and other weather elements.
Some hiking trails do require a permit or pass to hike the marked trails. To learn more, make sure you research the trail you’re interested in visiting, and see if they require a pass. They are usually fairly cheap, ranging in a few dollars.
2) Catch the sunset at Airport Mesa
There’s nothing more breathtaking than a perfectly painted sky as the sun sets in the west. You can visit almost anywhere in Sedona for a beautiful light show as the sun sets behind the red rock formations, revealing a red, orange, and purple evening sky. While we’ve been unable to find a bad location to watch the sun set over Sedona, we certainly do have our favorites. If you’re looking for the sunset of a lifetime, you have to check out the Sedona Vortex at Airport Mesa.
Airport Mesa is a loop trail, which means you start and finish at the same place. This hike is perfect for a pre-sunset walk. You get to experience the red rocks at ‘golden hour’, where the sun reflects off the vibrant colors of the mountains surrounding you.
Airport Mesa is the perfect hike to start off your Sedona trip with. It’s not too difficult but it’s not very easy either, it will allow you to get your bearings and be mentally prepared for the rest of your hiking adventures in Sedona, all while experiencing the true beauty that surrounds you.
For the ultimate experience for the sunset at Airport Mesa, take the hike to the Vortex area where energy is rampant and sit and enjoy. Make sure you stay after the sun disappears so you can see the stars slowly start to light up the evening sky. It’s quite possible that with the energy from the vortex, you’ll be able to experience and feel the Vortex’s aura.
Find Sedona vacation rentals near Airport Mesa!
3) Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is one of Sedona’s most famous landmarks. Built into the surrounding red rocks this chapel fits effortlessly into the Sedona landscape and creates an awe-inspiring view. The Chapel was inspired by a local sculptor by the name of Marguerite Brunswig Staude. Originally, she was planning to build the Chapel in Budapest, Hungary with Frank Lloyd Wright. But, due to the outbreak of World War II the project was canceled, and she decided to move the project to her native area of Sedona. From there she appointed a few more architects and project managers for the Church to be completed in 1956.
Many think that the Chapel of the Holy Cross is another one of the famous projects of Frank Lloyd Wright, but instead it was the brainchild of Marguerite Brunswig Staude. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a fully-functioning church with regular masses and Sunday services, and is open to the public during the week. Visitors are welcome in to say a prayer, explore the grounds and view the beautiful art inside of the church.
Hanging in the massive windows at the front of the altar, sits a large crucifixion sculpture that overlooks the spectacular views of the Sedona landscape. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a perfect free activity to do in Sedona, with a little bit of walking, beautiful art, and breathtaking views to spectate, this is another priceless activity in Sedona.
4) Reflect at Peace Park
Located at the base of Thunder Mountain in Sedona is the Amitabah and Peace Park. Expanding across 14 acres of land, this spiritual and sacred land is the perfect activity to become one with your spiritual side in Sedona.
Sitting on the inside of the many spires of the stupas are an abundance of offerings and gifts left for the spiritual world. These offerings are set up to give to the Buddhas of the past, present, and even the future. These relics on the inside of the stupas are extremely potent in spiritual nature and give off a sense of well-being and spiritual mindfulness when you are in the Amitabah and Peace Park.
This entire park is completely free of charge with no admission fees, but they do accept donations and there are donation boxes scattered throughout the property if you do choose to give. If you feel so inclined, and have reached a spiritual Nirvana please be kind enough to donate to the park so that others may enjoy it as well. If you want to learn more and have a completely immersive experience at the Amitabah and Peace Park, there are tour guides to hire so that you may learn and experience all that the Peace Park has to offer. Otherwise this completely free park, and is another priceless experience in Sedona that you’ll remember for years to come.
5) Road Trip Up the Scenic Byway
Pack up the car and set to explore the beautiful horizons along Highway 89A. This highway stretches approximately 84 miles from Prescott, Arizona to Flagstaff, Arizona.
This stretch of highway is one of Arizona’s best kept secrets. With amazing views from start to finish, no rock will be left unturned as you drive along the road. There are many options to stop along the way for scenic viewing and pictures. There is no reason why you wouldn’t want to experience all the natural beauty of Sedona, and only for the price of filling up your gas tank. Highway 89A has been named one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the continental United States of America. If you find the Sedona is too hot for your taste, this miniature road trip is a perfect way to beat the heat. Nothing beats stunning views in an air-conditioned car for memories that will last a lifetime.
Don’t forget to take this trip during the winter as well, especially after one of Sedona’s famous snow storms. Driving through the red rock mountains with pure, white snow over all the scenery is one of the most breathtaking views any road trip can have. For the ultimate cherry on top of your Highway 89A mini-road-trip, pack a picnic or lunch and set up at one of the many scenic rest stops to take in all of Sedona’s nature and beauty.
6) Explore Sedona’s Main Street
Revered as the central hub of Sedona, the Main Street located in uptown Sedona is a great spot to meander and wander through all the local shops and restaurants. With galleries and storefronts galore, Main Street in Sedona is the perfect place to window shop and waste a few hours soaking up the Sedona sun.
Walking along the main drag of Main Street in Sedona, there are a ton of little shops and tour guide companies that can help you plan the most unforgettable experience in Sedona. We suggest heading to Main Street on your first day in Sedona to get all of your ducks in-a-row for every excursion you decide to take during your time here in Sedona.
Stroll through the many patios and gardens on Main Street and learn a little bit about the history of Sedona as well. Many movies and Western films have been filmed here in the red rock area. It won’t be hard to find a location that was predominantly featured in one of these films.
Even learn a little bit of Sedona history while walking through Uptown by keeping an eye out for plaques that describe many of the historical things that have happened in Sedona. From the origin of the many surrounding orchards, to learning about the different sculptures displayed along the drag, Sedona is full of history and information you can take back home.
7) Go Gallery Hopping
Often recognized for one of the “best cities for art”, Sedona takes the lead in the many galleries that are scattered throughout the area. It’s easy to see why many artists become inspired by the Sedona area, with red rocks and bright vivid colors, unknown rocky shapes forming in the horizon of their own backyard, it’s easy to become inspired and want to put your own visions down on paper or canvas.
The best event that is free in Sedona happens on the first Friday of every month. On that day, Main Street in Uptown Sedona turns into a large outdoor gallery. Here you are able to experience and view all the local galleries and local artists and their work out on the street. Some works are even available for purchase, but the best part is seeing all the different perspectives of Sedona wrapped up in one walk during “First Friday in the Galleries”.
If you’re not visiting us during the first of the month, galleries are still open for viewings. If you’re very interested in visiting, some Galleries may require an appointment for private viewings of art. Others are open to the public and welcome any and all art enthusiasts to come and experience one of the “best cities for art” in America.