The Valley of the Sun has more going for it than expansive desert landscapes. It’s full of talented creative individuals and businesses pushing the envelope of what Phoenix can be, helping the city grow culturally and artistically. With an abundance of beautiful spaces all over the city, they deserve to be shown off on Instagram, right? The most Instagrammable places in Phoenix range from minimalist naturally lit studios and hip cafes to eclectic galleries and historic locales. Let’s begin, shall we?
1. Achieve that studio-perfect look at Blok Studio
Both of Blok Studio’s locations are open canvases built upon a minimalist aesthetic and appreciation for beautiful natural light. Blok has become something of a fixture in Phoenix’s creative community, especially since its staff is involved in organizing and hosting education events. In addition, they provide an array of professional support services for creative projects.
People are doing and creating beautiful things within these walls all the time, and if you’re intrepid enough to get involved, there are some supremely Instagrammable opportunities to be had. Or, book some time, set up shop, and take your ‘gramming to the next level in a pro studio setting.
2. Get some color poolside at the Saguaro Hotel
The Saguaro Hotel is possibly as bright and bold as any one building can be. Pick pretty much any random wall on the property, and you’ve got a stunning Instagram backdrop — as if the natural surroundings weren’t enough. The vibrant patio area is also an ideal place for sun-dappled poolside selfies.
Scottsdale building code requires that businesses use the colors of the surrounding desert and, perhaps as a result, many of Scottsdale’s facades are heavy on neutral colors. Undeterred, the designers of the Saguaro Hotel chose colors inspired by dozens of flower species indigenous to the Mojave Desert, right in the Saguaro’s backyard. Now it’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in town, a sunny beacon of optimism and fun — and all of that makes it one of the most Instagrammable places in Phoenix.
3. Fill your feed with eclectic art at the monOrchid
The monOrchid is a hybrid space: equal parts venue, studio, gallery, and office. There’s something artistic and surprising around every corner, leaving you with virtually endless possibilities for Instagram magic. Peruse the gallery and snap some photos of the eye-catching art, or rent a studio, set up lighting equipment, and make your own art from scratch. If you rent an event area — or are lucky enough to attend an event there — you’ll find even more options for capturing that perfect no-filter photo.
4. Take unique, super-stylish portraits at the Unexpected Venue
The Unexpected Venue is a unique, eclectic multi-use space in downtown Phoenix that specializes in, as they put it, “creating custom-tailored experiences.” There are multiple spaces inside this industrial-chic beauty, allowing for an array of photographic possibilities.
The Speakeasy is a 1920s-style barroom with moody lighting and exposed brick. The Lot is a creative outdoor space with a stage, outdoor lighting, and a rotating selection of outdoor art. Finally, the Gallery has movable walls and an ever-changing lineup of art and décor. So, if you’ve got a particular creative idea you want to bring to your photostream, give the Unexpected Venue a call — they can help.
5. Take modern art snapshots at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is simply awesome. There are so many fascinating things here — they’re on the walls, on the floor, outside, you name it. Everywhere you turn, there’s something worth photographing or posing with.
Since this is a thriving and active museum, what’s inside is constantly changing, making the SMoCA a well you can dip into again and again each year. If nothing else, put down the camera, stroll through its corridors, and walk away with some serious inspiration.
6. Play with your food at Lux Central
Food Instagrammers rejoice: Lux Central is here. Lux is a beloved Phoenix institution not only for its good java but also its hip, unique atmosphere. That makes it an attractive location to post a photo from, but they’ve also got colorful, beautiful food. The fact of the matter is that Phoenix has a wide array of photogenic coffee shops with beautiful interiors and nice natural light, and we could probably do an article on those alone.
Lux has stolen our hearts with its lovely patio area (with some wood-slat backdrops that are deceptively amazing for portraits) and the tasteful mid-century-modern-meets-rustic vibe of its interior.
7. Explore the historic halls of picturesque Wrigley Mansion
Yes, it’s that Wrigley — like the gum. Chewing-gum icon William Wrigley Jr. commissioned this breathtaking home in 1932. It was thoughtfully restored, so that the interior faithfully accents the mix of Spanish, Mediterranean, and Californian architecture. It feels like each design element of the gorgeous space comes with an equally arresting story. The antique tile, for instance? That was shipped in from the Wrigleys’ own tile factory on Catalina Island and carted up to the mansion by donkeys.
Both indoors and outdoors, the mansion is full of Instagrammable spots. It also houses Geordie’s Restaurant, helmed by James Beard award-winning Chef Christopher Gross, so you can top off your day with a highly photogenic dinner.
8. Sip a cocktail in front of the cassette wall at The Windsor
The Windsor whips up craft cocktails and upscale comfort food, and the place does them very, very well. All in all, the interior’s a great place for a few photos — it’s stylish and comfortable at the same time, with a keen eye for design sense. But what has made it one of the most Instagrammable places in Phoenix is its cassette tape wall, of which locals enjoy posing in front and snapping pictures. Or, posing a drink before it. Either way, it makes for a great photo.
The IG “likes” aren’t just going to fall into your lap. You have to go out there and get ’em. Our list of the eight most Instagrammable places in Phoenix should help get you started. Grab your phone, soak up the glory of this great city, and don’t forget to tag us at #MadeInPeerspace.