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Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Arizona’s only modern art museum is a great place to learn about art, architecture and design, and for visitors to enjoy a hands-on experience.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) promises so much more than just admiring beautiful objects on walls. The aim of this fairly new centre is to encourage visitors to engage with and think about art, and for the art itself to be relevant to modern life and experiences. For this reason, the collections change regularly, and the museum runs programmes of workshops to encourage creative expression and to make art accessible to all.

Founded in 1999, the museum took over a former cinema building in Scottsdale, revamping it into a modern, airy space with a minimalist feel, where the art takes centre stage. The museum exclusively displays art, design and architecture from 1950 onwards, and features many local artists, as well as bigger national and internationally renowned names.

SMoCA has five main galleries where the excellent lighting draws your eye to the displays. Wander around the sculpture garden outside, or join a guided tour for an insight into the museum’s pieces. One of the most inspiring permanent exhibits is James Turrell’s “Knight Rise”. Spend some time sitting here, looking up through the small opening in the roof to appreciate the subtle changes in the light in the sky. On Fridays and Saturdays, head to the SMoCA Lounge, where art comes alive with musicians and writers sharing their work in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is closed on Mondays. Entrance is free for children aged 15 and under, and on Thursdays it’s free for everyone, although the ticket price is not expensive anyway. It takes about half an hour to drive here from downtown Phoenix and parking is available.


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Lodging Near Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

See all 3,184 properties near Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Estimated price for 1 night/2 adults

Hotel Valley Ho

Hotel Valley Ho

6850 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ
    4.5 out of 5.0
     
     

    Located in South Scottsdale, this luxury resort is within a 15-minute walk of Old Town, Scottsdale Fashion Square, and Scottsdale Waterfront. Desert Botanical ...

    Hotel Valley HoAU$155

    21 Jul - 22 Jul

    The Saguaro Scottsdale

    The Saguaro Scottsdale

    4000 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ
      4.0 out of 5.0
       
       

      Located in South Scottsdale, this spa resort is within a 10-minute walk of Old Town and Scottsdale Stadium. Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Waterfront ...

      The Saguaro ScottsdaleAU$177

      27 Jul - 28 Jul

      3 Palms

      3 Palms

      7707 E McDowell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
        3.5 out of 5.0
         
         

        Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Big Surf, Desert Botanical Garden, and Scottsdale Stadium. Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical ...

        3 PalmsAU$77

        30 Jul - 31 Jul

        HYATT house Scottsdale/Old Town

        HYATT house Scottsdale/Old Town

        4245 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ
          3.0 out of 5.0
           
           

          Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old Town and Scottsdale Waterfront. Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Stadium are ...

          HYATT house Scottsdale/Old TownAU$142

          12 Aug - 13 Aug

          Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Scottsdale - Old Town

          Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Scottsdale - Old Town

          3131 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ
            2.5 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old Town, Scottsdale Stadium, and Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center. Scottsdale ...

            Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Scottsdale - Old TownAU$143

            28 Jul - 29 Jul

            Hyatt Place Scottsdale/Old Town

            Hyatt Place Scottsdale/Old Town

            7300 E 3rd Ave, Scottsdale, AZ
              3.0 out of 5.0
               
               

              Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old Town and Scottsdale Waterfront. Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Stadium are ...

              Hyatt Place Scottsdale/Old TownAU$145

              27 Jul - 28 Jul

              Comfort Suites Old Town Scottsdale

              Comfort Suites Old Town Scottsdale

              3275 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ
                2.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 

                Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old Town and Scottsdale Stadium. Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Waterfront are ...

                Comfort Suites Old Town ScottsdaleAU$86

                26 Jul - 27 Jul

                Howard Johnson by Wyndham Scottsdale Old Town

                Howard Johnson by Wyndham Scottsdale Old Town

                7110 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
                  2.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old Town and Scottsdale Waterfront. Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Stadium are ...

                  Howard Johnson by Wyndham Scottsdale Old TownAU$103

                  20 Jul - 21 Jul