Fabulously Free

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Vacations are made for splurging, but why not save a little cash when you can? Here are 10 fabulous things you can enjoy for free in Scottsdale:

 

  • Sonoran Desert Hiking

    Scottsdale offers more than 320 miles of hiking trails, most of which you can access for free. Two local favorites are Pinnacle Peak Park, which features a wide switchback trail and scenic summit views, and Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, which boasts more than 100 miles of shared-use trails in the McDowell Mountain foothills.

  • Thursdays at SMoCA

    Admission to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is free all day every Thursday, as well as Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. SMoCA showcases the contemporary art, architecture and design of our time by creative thinkers from around the world.

  • Native American Cultural Presentations

    Native Trails (Jan. thru April, annually) introduces you to several of Arizona’s Native American tribes through music, dance and storytelling. You also can enjoy free Native American dance performances at 5 p.m. every Friday year-round at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa.

  • Scottsdale ArtWalk

    The galleries of the Scottsdale Arts District stay open late every Thursday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for ArtWalk, a Scottsdale tradition for more than 40 years. Special exhibits, artist receptions and live entertainment create a festive atmosphere for exploring art in a variety of genres by national and international artists.

  • Old Town Farmers’ Market

    Cooking demonstrations, gardening tips and locally made treats are just a few of the treasures you’ll find at the Old Town Farmers’ Market (Saturday mornings, October thru May).

  • Public Art & Historic Scottsdale Walking Tours

    Download the Public Art and Historic Scottsdale walking tours and experience downtown’s highlights at your own pace. Be sure to allow time for all the dining and shopping options you’ll find along the way.

  • Cosanti

    The melodious bronze wind bells of late Italian architect Paolo Soleri are still being crafted at his Scottsdale home and studio, Cosanti. Call ahead for bronze pour times to experience the creative process in action.

  • Summer Concerts

    Live music adds a certain sparkle to Scottsdale summer evenings! You’ll find free concerts by popular local bands at a variety of venues, including Kierland CommonsDesert Ridge Marketplace and Mccormick-Stillman Railroad Park.

  • Scottsdale Trolley

    Park once and explore all of downtown for free on the Scottsdale Trolley. The route runs from Scottsdale Fashion Square in the north to the Arts District and Old Town to the south. It’s a fun and easy way to get around downtown.

  • Fiesta Bowl Museum

    Located at the Scottsdale Waterfront, this museum commemorates some of the greatest moments in Fiesta Bowl history. Highlights include a collection of all 128 FBS team helmets and some of college football’s most prestigious awards, including the Heisman Trophy.