Seven Favorite Museums in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Visual Art

smoca summer opening.jpg
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
International Museum Day is right around the corner and a handful of museums in Phoenix have big plans. But the designated day has less to do with parties and deals and more to do with awareness -- there are dozens of museums in the metro Phoenix area that host artwork by locally and internationally acclaimed artists in countless forms of media from all decades.

Here are seven of our favorite museums in town that are perfect for an inspiring day off, a first date, a quiet evening, a stop during First Friday, or a Mother's Day experience -- you don't need an excuse. Get out there.

7. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
SMoCA's long been a place to see and be seen -- and with good reason. The museum is home to solo and group exhibitions by local and international artists in the contemporary realm, including photographer Kiki Smith, architects Annie Han + Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studios, installation artist Rivane Neuenschwander, and local artist Jon Haddock (to name a few), who have shown their work within the last year. Be sure to check out the killer gift shop, special events in the radiating red lounge, and the view inside James Turrell's Knight Rise.

Musical Instrument Museum
6. Musical Instrument Museum
Get your musical fill on two floors of instruments and exhibitions from every country in the world at the Musical Instrument Museum. Home to more than 15,000 instruments and artifacts found in each of the geographic and cultural regions they're played, The MIM is an easy place to lose track of time and geek out on the sounds of a Chinese paigu, a Balinese gamelan, and an African sanza.

5. Phoenix Airport Museum
There's no admission to the museum at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. You just have to find a place to park (and avoid the temptation to go on vacation). The Airport Museum's collection can be found throughout the display areas of terminals 2, 3, and 4, and changing exhibitions have featured artwork by Ted DeGrazia, William Legoullon, Hector Ruiz, and Ellen Wagener. Sure, some of the displays are purely travel advertisements, but we're willing to pay the small price in exchange for free (and 24-hour access) to seriously great art.

Location Info


Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

7374 E. Second St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: General

Musical Instrument Museum

4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Phoenix Airport Museum

3400 Sky Harbor Blvd., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Heard Museum

2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

ASU Art Museum

51 E. 10th St., Tempe, AZ

Category: General

Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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