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4 Amazing Tempe Museums You Must Visit


Looking to learn more about your college home? Tempe, AZ, has some seriously amazing museums you won’t want to pass up, some affiliated with Arizona State University and others not. Whether art is your thing or you want the scoop on the Southwest’s rich culture and history, Tempe has you covered with a museum to match. Here are four that are definitely worth a visit.

ASU Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center

The Arizona State campus is home to one of the state’s top art museums. The ASU Art Museum spans nearly 50,000 square feet and houses more than 12,000 pieces – everything from crafts and prints to an extensive collection of Southwest, American, and Latin American works. Its current headlining exhibit is Pillory, a sculpture by Hugh Hayden that “addresses power, control, and justice.” Admission to the museum, which is located at the corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street in Tempe, is free.

Ceramics Research Center at Brickyard

Also part of the ASU Art Museum complex is the Ceramics Research Center, which showcases some mesmerizingly beautiful works from big-name artists like Rudy Autio, Hans Coper, and Ruth Duckworth. The research center is also the epicenter of hands-on study for ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. You’ll find this awesome, admission-free museum three blocks north of the Nelson Fine Arts Center, at the corner of Mill Avenue and Seventh Street.

Tempe History Museum

Want to learn more about Tempe and how it came to be? This phenomenal museum can accommodate. It’s packed with amazing exhibits, all divided into four thematic areas – College Town, Building Our Community, Living Together, and Surviving in the Desert. It also hosts a gallery space devoted to featured exhibits. On display through Oct. 3 is the fascinating Video Invaders retro video game exhibit, which explores the history of video games and their place in our culture. Best of all, admission is free. Tempe History Museum is located on Southern Avenue, less than 2 miles south of campus.

Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park

Expand your knowledge of your school-year home state with a deep dive into Arizona’s past. From the rise of desert cities to the rich culture and diversity of the Southwest, the Arizona Heritage Center on North College Avenue in Tempe covers it all. Featured exhibits include Unframed: A Photo Journey Through Navajo and Hopi Nations and Still Marching: From Suffrage to #MeToo. Catch both through the end of the year. Admission to the heritage center is $10.

Punctuate Your Day

Cap off your day of learning at Tempe museums with a little rest and relaxation back home at RISE on Apache. Amenities like our hot tub, rooftop pool, and high-speed gamer lounge make it easy to unwind.


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