Explore Phoenix-Scottsdale

Must-See Museums in Phoenix

Though it is tempting to lounge outside and soak up some of the sun's rays in sunny Phoenix (with SPF, of course!), while you're here, there are also plenty of places where you can soak up some culture. Whether you prefer art, automobiles, science, history or are searching for somewhere to take the kids, the metro Phoenix area has many destinations. In fact, some of the largest museums in the Southwest are located right here in town.

It doesn't matter whether you are a view-works-from-afar type or prefer hands-on, interactive exhibits, there is a locale for every preference. 


Phoenix Art Museum

The largest visual arts museum in the Southwest contains a vast collection of art ranging from 19th-century European works to 21st-century contemporary masterpieces.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)

Modern art, architecture and design works are showcased in a building redesigned by Arizona-based architect Will Bruder. Flagstaff-based artist James Turrell contributed an open-topped sitting space called “Knight Rise” to the museum’s south end. Free Th; closed M.

Heard Museum

This respected institution began in 1929 with a private collection of American Indian art, and continues to grow. Curated, themed, static and interactive exhibits feature icons, implements, lore, lifestyles and artistic expression from primitive through contemporary.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West ‒ This Smithsonian Affiliate museum and 2017 “Best Western Museum” in the nation (True West magazine) features regularly changing exhibits of Western art, Old West artifacts and historic Native American objects, on loan from some of the world’s foremost collectors and institutio

Children's Museum of Phoenix

A zany steel climbing apparatus is the first attraction beyond admission, and yields views of lots of other cool stuff (like a foam noodle forest) on upper floors. Tactile, noisy and imaginative activities abound.

i.d.e.a. Museum

Multimedia projects and exhibits engage children and get them thinking about their families, friends, interests and futures. Reinvented from the former Arizona Museum for Youth, with a new name that stands for imagination, design, experience and art. Closed M.

River of Time Museum

A review of the activities of early Verde River Valley explorers, trappers, prospectors, ranchers and homemakers and Fort McDowell armed forces. Limited hours change seasonally.