Cheap Things To Do in Arizona: Make the Most of Your Journey within a Budget

Arizona upholds ethereal beauty and extreme adventures in front of the world. One of the 7th wonders of the world, Grand Canyon National Park, is here, making the state called the Grand Canyon State. People all over the world visit Arizona to experience exquisite beauty along with daring adventures.

It is often considered one of the most costly places to visit. You usually have to pay more than regular when you are in Arizona. For example, you have to pay a handsome amount if you’re visiting the Grand Canyon National Park or taking a helicopter tour over it. You also have to spend a lot when visiting other famous sites here. 

To make it easier for you and to have your anticipated Arizona trip within your budget, we were here representing all the cheap and fun things you may do in Arizona and make your Arizona memories everlasting!

Outdoor Activities in Arizona

Outdoor Activities in Arizona

Arizona showcases its breathtaking beauty through the majesty of its Grand Canyon, the vibrant red rocks of Sedona, the turquoise waters of Havasu Falls, the Sonoran desert, and many more heavenly natural assets. Its captivating landscapes indeed offer nature lovers and adventure seekers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The most popular things in Arizona are sightseeing or physical outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, or kayaking. With Arizona’s scenic beauty and ever growing adventures, you will undoubtedly have some of your best memories here. We have made a list of the places where you can have it all in your price range.

Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain is famous for hiking and rock climbing. The Echo Canyon Trail and Cholla Trail are designated hiking trails to reach the mountain peak. The Praying Monk is a red sandstone rock formation notable for rock climbing. Even though the path is somewhat pebbled, it is worth a visit for its panoramic vistas.

Papago Park

Papago Park is a desert area with mountains. It offers a wide range of activities. From hiking, you can go for picnics, bicycling, exploring the fire museum, sightseeing, and whatnot! The most popular trail here is known as the Hole-in-the-Rock Trail. 

The place has a unique geological appeal and conserves various typical desert plants, a Desert Botanical garden, Phoenix Zoo, small lakes, and Hunt’s tomb. And you will get all these in a reasonable price range. Thus, it can easily make it into your list.

South Mountain Park and Preserve

It is the largest municipal park in the United States. If you are a city person searching for a day out in the green, this is your best choice. Being one of the largest urban parks in the country, it provides you with a variety of flora and fauna. The notable flora and fauna here are elephant trees and chuckwalla. It is an excellent spot for hikers. 

With over 50 miles of trails, you can enjoy majestic desert vistas, encounter diverse wildlife, and explore ancient petroglyphs. The Hidden Valley Trail and the National Trail are popular choices for hiking in the midst of South Mountain Park.

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon stands near Page, Arizona. It has both upper and lower sections. The upper area, Navajo Upper Antelope Canyon, is a slot canyon. It has six different picture-like slot canyons. The lower section is amid  Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, with a popular hiking trail leading to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. 

The canyon is most anticipated for its breathtaking light beams and swirling sandstone walls. Add it to your bucket list if you are into exploring and sightseeing.


An array of red sandstone formations is what makes Sedona stand out from the rest. Sunrises and sunsets illuminate the formations in bright red and orange, making the surroundings surreal. The Cathedral Rock of Sedona is a natural sandstone butte near and one of the most-photographed sights in Arizona. 

Apart from that, a natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek, Slide Rock State Park is also one of Sedona’s wonders. This city offers you umpteenth opportunities for hiking, sightseeing, scenic drives, and mind-blowing views. 

Discounts or admission-free state park visiting possibilities

Several options exist for an admission-free or discounted-price visit to state parks on certain days and occasions. For a budget-friendly journey, look for these offers.

While these utterly depend on the day and occasion, we have made a short list of discounted rates to make it easier for you.

State Park Anniversary Days

Many state parks announce special deals and admission-free visits on their anniversary or other commemorative days. You can check the websites or contact the visitor center of irrespective parks to know about their discounts.

New Year’s Day 

You may get a discount on the first day of the year. It is to encourage people to kick start their year with nature and refreshments.

Off-season Discounts

Try to select off-seasons to plan your trips. You’ll get a discount on starting from admission fees to almost everything.

Veterans Day

Many state parks offer free admission on Veterans Day in honor of veterans and active-duty military personnel. It is to appreciate them for their service and allow them to enjoy. You can utilize this to save money, too. 

Environmental Programs

Many organizations take the initiative of guided hikes, nature walks, or wildlife presentations in popular natural sites. These programs provide educational appeals for visitors regardless of all ages and are often free of charge. 

Historic and Cultural Sites in Arizona

Historic and Cultural Sites in Arizona

Arizona is a state enriched in history and culture. It resembles a fascinating glimpse into the past and present simultaneously. Their ancient traditions, art, and craftsmanship showcase their heritage and exceptional taste in art and are celebrated through events, museums, and cultural centers. You can explore Montezuma Castle National Monument or Heard Museum in Phoenix to experience native arts. 

If something else is a better fit for you, there’s more in Arizona, such as a walk into the cowboy days in Towns like Tombstone and Bisbee.

Tucson showcases Arizona’s Spanish colonial roots through its vibrant downtown, missions, architecture, cuisine, and traditions like the Tucson International Mariachi Conference. 

Arizona’s cultural diversity is further glorified by its modern cities. Phoenix and Scottsdale offer world-class museums and a fusion of foods from the entire world. 

So, Whether you are exploring ancient Native American ruins or experiencing the up-to-date, exuberant cultures of its cities, you’ll find every single thing enticing here.

Arizona Capitol Museum (Phoenix)

The museum’s focal point focuses on Arizona’s evolution from Territory to State. It offers free admission and provides Arizona’s political history and government uplifting through the years. You can learn about the legislature and discover the rich art and architecture of the Capitol building itself. 

Heard Museum (Phoenix)

By being one of the Phoenix’s Point of Pride, Heard Museum primes on American Indian art. It is a nonprofit organization. Although you must pay general admission, the museum offers free admission on certain days or events, making it accessible to a broader audience. Savor yourself in the exhibits and interactive displays featuring American Indian and contemporary arts.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson)

With a zoo, an aquarium, a botanical garden, a natural history museum, a publisher, and an art gallery, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum features everything of your liking! It is one of the most visited destinations in Arizona. Although it is not free, you can have it all at a bare minimum. The Natural History Museum preserves the diversity of flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. It is two miles of walking paths on the desert landscape. So get a perfect shoe and be ready to explore this top-notch beauty!

Pueblo Grande Museum (Phoenix)

Pueblo Grande Museum is now called S’edav Va’aki Museum; with reasonable admission fees, you may explore the archaeological sites and artifacts and learn about the Hohokam’s daily lives. It is a perfect match if you are into history and ancient people’s dwellings.

ASU Art Museum (Tempe)

Arizona State University operates the Arizona State University Art Museum. This Art Museum has 12,000 arts/crafts in its collection. It primarily focuses on contemporary art, art from Arizona, and Latino arts. To be more precise, Latino American contemporary arts. The museum is admission-free and also a classy platform for emerging artists. So it might be a holy grail for you if you are an art enthusiast!

All these outstanding museums are either free of cost or of a meager price. To visit pricer museums, you can check their special offers on certain days and occasions. You can also plan your trip during the off-season to get a discount.

Many of Arizona’s museums have a privilege for students and senior citizens with fees. Ensure you know the information on those to get your budget voyage.

Festivals and Events in Arizona

Festivals and Events in Arizona

Arizona represents a community of diverse cultures and traditions. The state celebrates its diversity through year-round festivals and events. These activities give immense pleasure to the natives and visitors and further work as a bridge between diverse cultures. Here are a few examples:

Arizona Taco Festival (Scottsdale)

The festival is a popular annual event to celebrate everything taco-related! Have a variety of delicious tacos from local vendors, enjoy live music and contests, and indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of this culinary celebration with a minimal entry fee!

Scottsdale ArtWalk (Scottsdale)

A weekly event occurs every Thursday evening in the city’s arts district. This is a community-based event free of cost. If you are an art enthusiast, you can explore numerous galleries, art spaces, and a wide range of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and many more. You can also meet local artists, talk about the arts, and artistically do literally everything!

Arizona Asian Festival (Phoenix)

This is an annual festival that celebrates the cultures of Asia through music, dance, art, and cuisine. You can enjoy a little piece of Asia amid Arizona here through various food, music, and arts!

Native American Powwows

Many tribes in Arizona host powwows throughout the year. It showcases vibrant gatherings, traditional dances, music, and arts and crafts of natives. These events provide a vast opportunity to learn about Native American cultures and have ultimate fun together.

Phoenix Festival of the Arts (Phoenix)

It is a three-day event of the local arts community. You can enjoy live music, dance performances, art installations, browse through many art vendors, participate in workshops, and whatnot!

While most festivals are entry-free, events like The Arizona Renaissance Festival may charge you a lot. To experience these, check out seniors, students, and military personnel discounts, Promo Codes and Coupons, Off-Peak Days, and special occasions. 

These events provide opportunities to explore Arizona’s culture in distinct ways. The overall experience of attending festivals will meet your ultimate budget and surely give you an outstanding trip experience. So make sure you hop right into the celebrations and create a lifetime memory in Arizona!

Savor Local Cuisine in Arizona

Savor Local Cuisine in Arizona

Foods in Arizona can be expensive. Although your costs may vary based on the location, type of cuisine, and total dining experience, some affordable and delicious options include food trucks, local markets, and neighborhoods.

Many restaurants will offer you happy hour specials, early bird dining, or special deals, where you can find discounted prices on drinks, appetizers, or even full meals. So, use these amenities best while enjoying delicious dining without breaking the bank!

Final Thoughts

From exploring the outdoors to experiencing local cuisine, numerous options are open to you to make the most of your trip cost-effectively. There are plenty of fun and affordable activities to enjoy in Arizona. So, do not waste any more time and embark on your adventure. And before you head out, recall that the best experiences often come from the simplest pleasures.

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