Scottsdale Museum Of Contemporary Art displays a variety of frequently changing contemporary art exhibits and hosts special events for adults and families. Photographs, paintings and sculpture are just some of the highlighted mediums. Devoted to the art, architecture and design of our time, SMoCA offers free art lectures, symposiums, workshops and readings, providing a forum where visitors can interact with contemporary artists. Thursday is the best day to visit the museum as guest can take advantage of the free entry.
Children and adults alike will adore this museum that explores the past and present of firefighting. Marvel at restored firefighting equipment, including artifacts from the 1700s and fully restored firefighting trucks. Pose for a photo by the horse-drawn fire engine then check out old firefighting helmets. Kids will love the parts of the museum that allow you to interact with the displays, including trying on a uniform and climbing aboard a firetruck. Although the museum mainly focuses on firefighting in the United States, it also has international artifacts. A must-visit museum for people interested in something unique.
Amidst the buzzing cityscape of Phoenix lies a serene retreat that is known as the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. From soaring peaks to plunging valleys, the park displays a varied topography with multiple trails cutting through. Amidst a craggy landscape of steep ascents and rugged terrain, a generous population of succulent plants are scattered throughout, with a few flowering shrubs, typical of the desert climes reign here. Most of its area is accessible to civilians and is hence a common choice for family picnics and hikes. A few of the most prominent parks enclosed by the preserve are the Piestewa Peak Recreation Area, the Camelback Mountain Park and the Lookout Mountain Preserve. Although surrounded by the city, the Phoenix Mountain Preserve is a slice of wilderness that evokes a sense of isolation that is a welcome reprieve from the bustling city.
Mesa Grande Cultural Park is one of the best sites in the region and among the two Hohokam mounds in the Phoenix metropolitan region. It gives an insight into the Ancestral Puebloan Period from the 11th through the 14th Centuries of the Hohokam. According to records and archaeological facts, this place was the hub of the community's status symbol. This preserved site showcases an ancient culture and the lifestyle of the forefathers of the Pima tribe. If you love history, then this seasonal site must be in your itinerary when visiting Mesa.
Head here to visit the prehistoric era and learn about the world as it was more than 65-million years ago. The Arizona Museum of Natural History has done a commendable job in preserving and presenting these creatures, in addition to other exhibits that are dedicated to local anthropology and natural history. The museum takes visitors right back to the time when the earth was formed. Galleries in the museum display replicas and give visitors the opportunity to understand more about the fascinating subject of paleontology. Ongoing exhibitions include Origins, Dinosaur Hall, Paleo Dig Pit, Heritage Wall, Fun with History!, Exploration Station, and many more.
Considered to be among the most scenic drives in the country, Apache Trail is not for the weak-hearted. The steep route which was once used by the Apache Indians (hence the name), winds through the Superstition Mountains, lakes and the Tonto National Forest. Built as a wagon road during the early 20th Century to build the Roosevelt Dam, this beauteous roadway crosses through landmarks such as Goldfield Ghost Town, Tortilla Flat Station, Fish Creek Station, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake and Theodore Roosevelt Lake. It was declared the state's first highway in 1987 and was initially called the Mesa-Roosevelt Road. The building of this highway was no mean feat. The treacherous route was built by 400 forced laborers who worked non-stop for years. Take the challenge to drive through this demanding road and enjoy the undisputed scenery on the way.
Located in North Mesa, the Park of the Canals preserves both local history and terrain. Hohokam Indians inhabited many different regions throughout Arizona over 2,000 years ago, becoming one of the most prominent cultures in the Southwest and lending to area's significance. Particularly special, the Hohokam people are credited with providing the first canal system from the Salt and Gila rivers. In fact, the modern metropolitan city of over 3.5 million people still relies on the pathways of this ancient canal structure. As it's also a park, the city of Mesa has added a mini botanical garden, information center, playground, and picnic tables for your convenience and enjoyment.
The Mesa Historical Museum chronicles the long-gone eras of this onetime frontier town. Mesa is now a bustling suburb of Phoenix, the 38th largest city in the United States. Since its establishment in 1987, the museums has provided fascinating insight into how the city became so large, beginning with the arrival of Mormon settlers. Exhibitions also explore post-war changes, leading up to the present day. Even the buildings in which the site is housed are city landmarks, dating back to 1913. From agricultural to baseball, the Mesa Historical Museum thoroughly represents its city.
Part strip-mall, part shopping promenade, Tempe Marketplace is the place locals visit due to its mix of brand name shops as well as local ones. Anchored by Barnes & Noble, Target, H&M and BevMo in addition to many other well-known stores, you can spend the whole day here. Of course there is a Harkins Theater on-site and plenty of dining options as well. On the event calendar, bands and other artists take the stage, performing everything from rock and folk to hip-hop and children's programs.
Established in 1982, the Gilbert Historical Museum showcases the vast history of the town of Gilbert. The museum showcases artifacts and items of historic value which are constantly depicted through multiple exhibits held all year round. The venue is located within a historic building that was used as an Elementary School since 1913. The museum space can also be used for conducting private events like weddings or birthday parties, etc.