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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.


Guide to Exploring around Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art


Lodging Near Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

See all 3,850 properties near Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
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 Waterfront is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) away.

    The Saguaro ScottsdaleAU$169

    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$250

      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 Stadium is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away.

        Hyatt Place Scottsdale/Old TownAU$191

        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 and Scottsdale Waterfront. Desert Botanical Garden and Scottsdale Stadium ...

          Hotel Valley HoAU$288

          Hilton Garden Inn Scottsdale Old Town

          Hilton Garden Inn Scottsdale Old Town

          7324 E Indian School Rd, 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 Stadium is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) away.

            Hilton Garden Inn Scottsdale Old TownAU$210

            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. Desert Botanical Garden and Scottsdale Waterfront are ...

              Comfort Suites Old Town ScottsdaleAU$93

              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$121

                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$167

                  *Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.