Luke AFB, AZ MuseumsThere are dozens of museums in the Phoenix metro area. Only some follow.
The Challenger Space Center of Arizona, in Peoria, is a satellite program (no, seriously!) for a national space sciences educational organization. The Center has simulated missions, life-sized models of an Iridium satellite, and a space shuttle display section, an actual space shuttle landing gear tire, a planetarium, family activities, and a space tots program.
The Hall of Flame Firefighter Museum covers fire fighting through the ages.
The Arizona Railway Museum, in Chandler, has several historic railway engines and cars. Rail enthusiasts should check it out. Open weekends from September to May, and closed in summer.
The Arizona Museum of Natural History is the premier natural history museum in Arizona. It is dedicated to inspire wonder, respect and understanding for the natural and cultural history of the Southwest. Located in Mesa, the museum has exhibits on dinosaurs, Arizona geology, astronomy, and some general science topics.
The Heard Museum of Native Culture and Art began as a way of preserving native cultural artifacts, and focuses on current art and artifacts of native people, especially southwestern native people.
Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and home of the Arizona Capitol Museum, which has displays from Arizona state history, including native artifacts, historical paintings and etchings, Frank Lloyd Wright's designs for the Capitol Building, and the silver service collection from the USS Arizona. The museum also features an exhibit of Arizona state symbols, and is installing a great guns display; naval guns of the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri, two of the most important battleships of World War Two.
The Arizona Science Center has a full slate of physics, biology, and chemistry exhibits and activities, a planetarium, and daily demonstrations, all aimed at a non-scientist visitor.
The Phoenix Art Museum presents static and performing arts from around the world.
Arizona Historic Architecture - Arizona has an interesting collection of historical architecture from several cultural influences, including Pueblo, Old West, and some very eclectic buildings.
Taliesin West is a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, on the edge Scottsdale, only about an hour east of base. Public tours are available every day other than major holidays.
Arcosanti is an experimental village-architecture melding, investigating closely built community structures with ecological sustainability. It is only an hour and a half from base, and tours are available every day other than major holidays.
The Mary Jane Colter Buildings are a series of art-architecture buildings based on Hopi designs, near the Grand Canyon.
The Phoenix Mystery Castle was built in the 1930s from a variety of strange materials and in a fairly weird style. It's more a large house than a castle, but has a sweet story attached to it.
Old West Tourism: There are lots of Arizona Old West tourist attractions and sites in Arizona, including ghost towns, living history and Wild West shows, and a number of museums. Some of these require day trip driving, and others are closer to base. Arizona is also the modern west, and Arizona rodeos are not hard to find.