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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.


Lodging Near Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

See all 4,689 properties near Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
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$176

    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$147

      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$211

        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$102

          Motel 6 Scottsdale

          Motel 6 Scottsdale

          6848 E Camelblack Rd, Building B, Scottsdale, AZ
            2.0 out of 5.0
             
             

            Located in South Scottsdale, this motel is steps away from Scottsdale Fashion Square and Old Town. Scottsdale Waterfront and Scottsdale Stadium are also within ...

            Motel 6 ScottsdaleAU$88

            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$172

              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. Desert Botanical Garden and Scottsdale Stadium are ...

                Howard Johnson by Wyndham Scottsdale Old TownAU$119

                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$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.