Phoenix Art Museum#5 in Best Things To Do in Phoenix
Housed within a prime example of contemporary architecture is one of the largest art museums in the Southwest (with more than 18,000 works of art, some of them dating as far back as the Renaissance). From Diego Rivera to Frederic Remington, Georgia O'Keeffe to Frida Kahlo, the Phoenix Art Museum's permanent collection caters to a wide variety of tastes, and often welcomes top-notch traveling exhibits. Be sure to check out the popular Thorne Miniature Collection, and if you're traveling with kids, make sure to take advantage of the museum's youth-oriented activities.
Recent visitors praised the museum's size and layout and its ability to appeal to a variety of age groups. Reviewers also offered kudos for the on-site restaurant and gift shop.
The Phoenix Art Museum sits several blocks south of the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix. The museum welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, except on Wednesday when it's open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Sunday, it's open from noon to 5 p.m. General admission ranges from $9 for children ages 6 to 17 to $18 for adults, although you can see the collection for free between 3 and 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, and the first Friday of each month from 6 to 10 p.m. Entry to special exhibits costs extra. For more information, visit the Phoenix Art Museum website.
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#1 Desert Botanical Garden
The desert may seem like the last place you'd expect to find flora. Yet the Desert Botanical Garden is home to thousands of species of cacti, trees and flowers from all around the world. The garden's brightly colored plants sharply contrast the Sonoran Desert's cinnamon-red buttes, and numerous hiking trails – like the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert and the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop trails – allow you to experience the region's natural wonders the way early settlers once did. The Desert Botanical Garden also hosts numerous events, including culinary demonstrations and outdoor concert series.
Recent visitors said the garden is fascinating and highly recommended seeking out the special exhibits when available. Several reviewers suggested visiting after the sun sets to see the garden illuminated, while others appreciated the groomed paths and well-marked signs. However, some travelers bemoaned the entrance rates and were disappointed the zoo and the garden do not offer a combined admission since they sit less than 2 miles from one another.
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