Phoenix has invested heavily in the arts, from restoring the city's oldest venues to building modern cultural centres and facilities. Downtown Phoenix in particular is a hotspot for emerging artists, independent theatre, and small galleries. With its own opera, ballet, and symphony orchestra, Phoenix has firmly planted its flag on the American artistic map.

    Old stagecoaches, American Indian petroglyphs, desert concerts under the sunset – Phoenix is also filled with cultural experiences new, old and ancient. Book a Phoenix hotel and unearth its riches with this guide to the 14 great cultural things to do in Phoenix.


    Cowboy fun at Wild Horse Pass

    Put those cowboy boots on and mosey on down the dusty streets of this Wild West theme town to see trick-roping, gunfights and stagecoach rides. Saturday night enjoy hayrides, live music and a sun-down cookout.

    Location: 5700 W. North Loop Road, Chandler, AZ 85226, USA


    Exploring the Apache wickie-up at Heard Museum

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    • History

    Spend a day marvelling at Indian art, pottery and jewellery at the Heard. See how Apaches once lived in a wickie-up, a tepee-like structure made of branches, twigs and hide.

    Location: 2301 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9.30 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 602-252-8840


    photo by Visitor7 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Little rooms at the Phoenix Art Museum

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    • History

    Wander among the labyrinth of galleries filled with a collection that includes Spanish colonial furnishings, religious art and the works of artists as various Frida Kahlo and Auguste Rodin. Imagine a fantastic voyage at the Thorne Miniature Collection, with tiny rooms only one foot wide.

    Location: 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

    Open: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday from 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 602-257-1880


    photo by Visitor7 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Tea and live jazz at Historic Heritage Square

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    • Couples
    • History

    Get a glimpse of Wild West Phoenix when exploring the late 19th- and early 20th- century structures at Historic Heritage Square, Phoenix’s original settlement site. Then head to the Teeter House for afternoon tea or stay a little later for live jazz and cocktails.

    Location: 115 N 6th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

    Phone: +1 602-262-5071


    photo by Visitor7 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Counting monkeys at the Phoenix Zoo

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    • Couples

    No seals or polar bears at this warm weather zoo. See baboons frolic about in the impressive African savannah exhibit or watch giant Galapagos tortoises bask in the sun.

    Location: 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA

    Open: Hours vary by season, but usually daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 602-286-3800


    photo by pelican (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Ancient petroglyphs at Deer Valley Rock Art Center

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    The Deer Valley Rock Art Center preserves Indian petroglyphs, some dating back 5,000 years. See the ancient rock drawings close-up, a top 10 culture thing to do in Phoenix.

    Location: 3711 W Deer Valley Rd, Glendale, AZ 85308, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm

    Phone: +1 623-582-8007


    photo by Todd Van Hoosear (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Touring Taliesin West

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    Architecture buffs marvel at Frank Lloyd Wright’s windowless, open-walled desert camp. A behind-the-scenes tour includes morning tea with Wright associates and ample time to explore and snap photos.

    Location: 12621 Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 6 pm. Reservations are strongly recommended.

    Phone: +1 480-860-2700


    photo by Dale Cruse (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Animatronic dinosaurs at Arizona Museum of Natural History

    • Families

    Southwest artefacts like old jail cells, a walk-through gold mine and a model of an Indian village are some of the highlights of a visit here. Kids are mesmerized by the animatronic dinosaurs prowling the indoor cliffs and rushing waterfalls.

    Location: 53 N Macdonald, Mesa, AZ 85201, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 480-644-2230


    photo by Marine 69-71 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Concerts in the Desert

    Come sit among the cacti and wildflowers and listen to everything from blues to country at Music in Garden, held at the Desert Botanical Garden. With concerts starting at dusk, the sunset dipping behind the red mountains serves as a dramatic backdrop.

    Location: 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 8 am to 10 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 8 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 480-941-1225


    photo by edwardhblake (CC BY 2.0) modified


    The Wild West at Wells Fargo History Museum

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    Time-travel back to the 1800s through the exhibits and memorabilia at this celebration of Wild West culture. See the real Wild West in period photographs, ogle the gold nuggets and imagine riding an original Wells Fargo stagecoach.

    Location: 145 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA

    Open: Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, closed on Saturdays and Sundays

    Phone: +1 602-378-1852


    photo by Billy Hathorn (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    The Phoenix Theatre

    The Phoenix Theatre has launched the careers of many big stars over the years, and having been established since the 1920s, it's one of the oldest theatre groups in the west. Their latest home is an impressive glass-fronted building with a large atrium and modern performance spaces, where you'll find accessible, audience-pleasing shows like musicals and rollicking comedies.

    Location: 1825 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

    Phone: +1 602-254-2151


    photo by Visitor7 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Orpheum Theatre

    Dating back almost a century, the Orpheum Theatre was once host to vaudeville acts and has since been restored to create a spectacular backdrop for musicals, dance, and other live performances. Outside you'll find elegant Art Deco features, and inside the auditorium are desert landscape murals, making it the perfect venue for the Phoenix Opera who host their limited and exclusive shows at this theatre.

    Location: 203 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA

    Phone: +1 602-262-6225


    photo by Tom noll (CC0 1.0) modified


    Burton Barr Central Library

    • Families
    • History

    With its eye-catching, grid-like façade, Burton Barr Central Library looks rather retro-futuristic, and when you’re inside you can look out over the sprawling desert landscape of Phoenix. Set over several floors, it’s a treasure trove of reading material and also has a great children’s section as well as exhibits on Arizona’s history.

    Location: 1221 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

    Open: Monday, Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday-Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 602-262-4636


    photo by Visitor7 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Rosson House Museum

    • History

    Although Phoenix is known for its modern architecture, there are also charming older buildings to explore, with roots in the Victorian and Civil War eras. The Rosson House Museum is a grand example of Queen Anne architecture. It dates back to 1895, with exhibits showing what life was like for the wealthy families of Phoenix. You can see authentic clothing and artworks of the era, and the expert guided tours taking on a fascinating journey back in time.

    Location: 113 N 6th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

    Open: Wednesday-Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

    Phone: +1 602-262-5070


    photo by Greg O'Beirne (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

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