6 Impressive Museums in Scottsdale
Chances are, you might be traveling to Arizona to enjoy the warm weather and year-round sunshine. However, it’s unlikely you’ll spend every moment outside, which is why it’s great to have some fun indoor activities planned when it’s time to escape the hot afternoon sun.
Visiting one of the many museums in Scottsdale, AZ, is the perfect way to cool off during your Scottsdale vacation. From contemporary art museums, history museums dating back to the early 1900s, and globally recognized landmarks and museums, Scottsdale has something to offer everyone—no matter what your interests are.
Don’t miss the chance to check out these six phenomenal museums in Scottsdale and Phoenix during your trip to Arizona!
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is one of Scottsdale’s most popular art museums located in Downtown Scottsdale. They are dedicated to displaying modern art, architecture, and design. The museum features a collection of rotating art galleries and interesting exhibitions from around the world.
The Scottsdale Arts organization owns the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. This organization also owns the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and hosts the Scottsdale Art festival each year. They also host programs, activities, and workshops to further art education in the community.
The art galleries at the SMoCA are free for all children 18 and younger, encouraging kids to stretch their imaginations and appreciate the importance of art. This art museum also offers free admission to all ages every Thursday.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), located in Scottsdale, AZ, is the largest museum of its kind globally, featuring over 4,300 musical instruments. During their visit, guests can learn about, see, and play instruments from all around the globe. The MIM also displays instruments that belonged to musical icons, like Carlos Santana, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash.
The MIM hosts nearly 200 live performances each year in their 300-seat theatre. You can see who is performing next on their website.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is a Smithsonian Affiliate destination located in Old Town Scottsdale committed to engaging, educating, and informing guests about the culture and history of the American West.
Western Spirit has tons of interesting exhibits that feature Native American and Western art and historical artifacts, from pottery, clothing, paintings, and more. Western Spirit is one of the best museums in Scottdale, Arizona, to explore the southwest’s past, present, and future.
Scottsdale Historical Museum
The Scottsdale Historical Museum is located in Old Town Scottsdale and is owned by the Scottsdale Historical Society. This Scottsdale museum has a unique history that dates back to the late 1800s.
The museum is located inside the Little Red Schoolhouse, the first school built in Scottsdale in 1896. In the 1900s, the schoolhouse was used for school, church services, a polling place, the Farm Improvement Society, and Red Cross bandage rolling during World War II.
In the 1960s, the city had plans to tear the schoolhouse down to build a shopping mall, so the Scottsdale Historical Society was formed to save the building. In 1991, the museum opened, featuring photography, displays, and the historic classroom as it would have looked in the early 1900s.
Now, visitors of the museum can tour the schoolhouse and learn about the history of Scottsdale, Arizona. The museum also features personal artifacts from Scottsdale’s founder, Winfred Scott, and his wife, Helen.
Founded in 1929, The Heard Museum is one of the oldest museums in Arizona. It’s located in Downtown Phoenix and recognized around the world for its fantastic exhibits, galleries, programs, and festivals featuring Native American art, culture, and history.
The Heard Museum is home to an impressive collection of art from Native American tribes across the United States, but specifically in the southwest.
From rotating galleries like the Navajo Weaving showcase to permanent monuments like the American Indian Veterans National Memorial, visitors will gain a whole new perspective on Native American history through the dozens of galleries on display at one of the most iconic museums in Scottsdale.
Plus, the Heard Museum offers free admission on the first Friday of each month from 6 PM – 10 PM!
Taliesin West is a UNESCO World Heritage site and National Historic Landmark. This architectural masterpiece was built by the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and his apprentices in the 1930s.
Today, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is dedicated to preserving Frank Lloyd Wright’s two homes and studios and educating others about architecture through tours, exhibits, performances, galleries, programs, and more.
Guests can choose to take either an in-depth guided tour of the museum or opt for one of the self-guided public tours to see the stunning indoor and outdoor spaces at Taliesin West.
Stay Near the Best Museums in Scottsdale with Stay With Style Scottsdale
From art museums and history museums to musical galleries and architectural masterpieces, there’s so much to see, do, and discover at the best museums in Scottsdale! If you love art, you should definitely check out the ArtFest of Scottsdale.
To squeeze in as many amazing museums as you can during your trip to Scottsdale, stay at a comfortable, luxurious vacation rental in the heart of the city. Our homes are equipped with fantastic amenities, comfortable furniture, and spacious backyards to accommodate you and your family during your visit.
Explore our beautiful vacation rentals to find the perfect fit for your vacation, and when you’re ready, contact our friendly team to book your stay!