Arizona is replete with fascinating museums dedicated to preserving the heritage, history, and future of our sunny desert state. While there are many museums in Arizona (even more when you account for the ones attached to our various state parks), we’ve compiled a short list of our favorites here in the valley. Read on to find out which Arizona museums will best pique your interests during your stay!
The Phoenix Art Museum
The largest art museum in the Southwestern United States, the exhibitions here showcase a comprehensive collection of art from the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Latin America, in styles ranging from contemporary to classic, as well as fashion and design pieces. Another fun section of the museum is the sculpture garden, as well as the interactive exhibits for children.
The Musical Instrument Museum
This unique institution makes its home in North Phoenix and holds over 6,500 instruments collected from all over the world—from around two hundred countries and territories, in fact. Serving as visual and audio documentation of these instruments, the exhibits here allow visitors to observe and listen to the instruments being played in their original context. The iconic instruments of famous musicians such as Carlos Santana, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Taylor Swift are also housed here.
Arizona Science Center
Dedicated to promoting education and engaging curiosity in science, the Arizona Science Center has over three hundred and fifty permanent hands-on exhibits geared toward visitors of all ages, ranging in subject from Arizona’s environment to the body to information technology and alternate energy sources.
The Heard Museum
Located in Phoenix, the mission of this museum is to educate people about and preserve the history of Native American people in the Southwest. Considered a “living” museum, the exhibits here come from both artifacts and contemporary Native American art.
Arizona Museum of Natural History
This Mesa museum has a three-story indoor waterfall, a recreation of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, and an authentic territorial jail, as well as exhibits dedicated to prehistoric hunters and gatherers, desert cultures of the American Southwest and Mexico, a Hohokam village replica, and dinosaur fossils.
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