Phoenix Finds: Four Quirky Museums In the Desert
Posted on November 19, 2012 by sguese
Phoenix is the desert’s sprawling city, where cactus used to outnumber the hundreds of golf courses, resorts, restaurants and museums that now cover the city. The greater Phoenix metropolitan area also takes on the nickname of the Valley of the Sun for its 325 plus days of sunshine each year. And surprisingly in this desert cityscape, you can find some of the wackiest museum collections. From the world’s largest collection of firefighting equipment to rare musical instrument collections, this desert is an oasis for quirky museums.
Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum
Oddly enough, Phoenix is home to the nation’s largest firefighting museum. The Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum also boasts the world’s largest collection of firefighting equipment. Visitors to the museum are led around by retired firefighters as they see a fascinating collection of vintage fire trucks, helmets, badges and more. Some displays date back to 1725. There are over 90 vehicles on displays including several classic engines from the 20th century.
Musical Instrument Museum
When most visitors think Phoenix, seldom do collections of prized musical instruments come to mind. However the city is home to a gem of a museum for music lovers, the Musical Instrument Museum. The museum showcases a wide variety of musical instruments from all over the world. You can see countless unfamiliar instruments including some rare finds like the first Steinway piano ever made from 1836. The Musical Instruments Museum also contains a room with instruments you can play yourself.
Center for Meteorite Studies
Phoenix increases the quirk factor by housing the Center for Meteorite Studies. Located on the Arizona State University’s campus, the small museum holds a piece of the Peekskill meteorite, the 1992 meteorite that slammed into a car in Peekskill, New York. The center is also home to dozens of other otherworldly rocks, all for free admission.
Penske Racing Museum
An easy trip with your car hire Phoenix will lead you to yet another offbeat museum in the area. The Penske Racing Museum sets up in Scottsdale. The museum contains the personal collection of Roger Penske. Displays include dozens of immaculately maintained racecars, with many Indianapolis 500 winners within the collection. For free admission, travelers can see the machines behind the Penske tem, the big winners in the business.
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