The funky Roosevelt Row Arts District is located right in the core of downtown Phoenix. The area is known for its arts and cultural events, great restaurants, galleries, boutiques, live music and vibrant nightlife. You’ll see shipping containers transform into pop-up art galleries on weekends, a wide range of colourful graffiti murals, and pedal taverns cycling to and from the area’s best pubs.

Clearly, “RoRo” is a great place to spend an afternoon. Here are a few things to do along the way.

1. Explore monOrchid art gallery

The monOrchid was Phoenix’s largest art gallery when it opened in 1999. Today, it’s an open-concept art space with modular walls that change with the size of the artwork on display. Exhibitions change quarterly and can feature a variety of mediums including photography, sculpture and paintings. Afterwards, make a caffeine stop at Be Coffee, the gallery’s onsite cafe.

2. Shop at MADE Art Boutique

Step into this independent boutique, located in a tiny historic house, and discover a charming and eclectic selection of handmade artisan wares—everything from baby clothes to ceramics—as well as a book section. MADE is also known for hosting artist workshops and events.

3. Get a drink and see an indie film at FilmBar 

A beer and wine bar and movie theatre, all in one. The theatre specializes in independent and foreign films, while the bar is a popular gathering spot for locals.

4. Browse at Revolver Records

A mecca for vinyl collectors in the area, Revolver carries more than 25,000 new and used LPs, and is one of the best places in the city to look for turntables (new or used) and accessories. Even if you’re not buying, the store’s retro vibe makes it a fun place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere.

5. Listen to jazz at The Nash

Owned by nonprofit Jazz in Arizona and named for Phoenix native Lewis Nash, this spot is more than a jazz club; it aims to preserve the cultural history of jazz through performances by student musicians, local pros and touring artists. It also offers weekly jazz jam sessions, workshops, master classes, clinics and jazz camps.


[This story was originally published in 2014 and has since been updated.]