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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Desert Botanical Garden

With desert flora and fauna, including larger-than-life cacti, this garden attracts those who want to experience the desert without venturing far from the city.

The Desert Botanical Garden demonstrates that even the driest deserts are not devoid of life. The biodiversity includes cacti, succulents, trees, flowers and even butterflies and local critters. It is an eye-opening experience for those who are new to the flora and fauna of the Southwest and educates those wanting to learn  more about cacti. 

Gertrude Webster and a group of like-minded local citizens established the garden in 1939. They wanted a designated place to showcase the diverse ecology of the local Sonoran Desert. It opened as a non-profit museum dedicated to research, education and conservation. 

With over 50,000 desert plants and animals, such as chipmunks, rabbits and birds, there is plenty of natural beauty on display. The various exhibits show how the plants have adapted to life in a seemingly desolate landscape. Choose a walk from five scenic trails or take a tour to find how the beavertail, organ pipe and fishhook plants got their names. 

Don’t miss the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert Loop, which illustrates how desert flora can be used for food, medicine and shelter. Step inside a traditional Western Apache house, which is a domed structure of split yucca leaves thatched with cottonwood and willow branches. Stare up in awe at a huge cactus, smell the chocolate flower or try to capture a hummingbird on camera. The seasonal butterfly exhibit is fun for children.

The Desert Botanical Garden is located in Papago Park, eight miles (13 kilometers) east of downtown Phoenix. It is open daily until late, so you can stay to watch the desert come to life with night-blooming flowers and the sounds of nocturnal animals after watching the famous Arizona sunset. Plan a two- to three-hour visit and check out which events are on to get the most out of the admission fee. The night-light spectacle, Las Noches de las Luminarias, sells out quickly. During this winter holiday event, sit down for a romantic dinner or listen to live music in the softly lit garden.


Guide to Exploring around Desert Botanical Garden


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Best Lodging Options Near Desert Botanical Garden

See all 6,145 Properties near Desert Botanical Garden
3 Palms $50
3 Palms

3 Palms

7707 E McDowell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Big Surf, Desert Botanical Garden, and Scottsdale Stadium. Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and Hole in the Rock are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Papago Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection $50
    Papago Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection

    Papago Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection

    7017 E Mcdowell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Desert Botanical Garden, Old Town, and Phoenix Zoo. Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Stadium are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      ? Amazing 4 Bedroom Home With A Pool Shopping
      ? Amazing 4 Bedroom Home With A Pool Shopping

      ? Amazing 4 Bedroom Home With A Pool Shopping

      Scottsdale, AZ
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Scottsdale vacation home is located in South Scottsdale, within 2 mi (3 km) of Desert Botanical Garden, Old Town, and Phoenix Zoo. Scottsdale Stadium and Tempe Town Lake are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Central & Contemporary Getaway W/ Backyard Oasis 4 Bedroom Home
        Central & Contemporary Getaway W/ Backyard Oasis 4 Bedroom Home

        Central & Contemporary Getaway W/ Backyard Oasis 4 Bedroom Home

        6720 E Moreland St, Scottsdale, AZ
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in South Scottsdale, this golf vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Desert Botanical Garden, Old Town, and Phoenix Zoo. Tempe Town Lake and Scottsdale Stadium are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Rustic Modern Complete Remodel Close to Tempe and Downtown Scottsdale
          Rustic Modern Complete Remodel Close to Tempe and Downtown Scottsdale

          Rustic Modern Complete Remodel Close to Tempe and Downtown Scottsdale

          Scottsdale, AZ
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in South Scottsdale, this historic vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hole in the Rock, Desert Botanical Garden, and Old Town. Phoenix Zoo and Scottsdale Fashion Square are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Historic Village Grove Home Near Old Town Scottsdale With Heated Pool
            Historic Village Grove Home Near Old Town Scottsdale With Heated Pool

            Historic Village Grove Home Near Old Town Scottsdale With Heated Pool

            Scottsdale, AZ
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in South Scottsdale, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hole in the Rock, Desert Botanical Garden, and Old Town. Phoenix Zoo and Scottsdale Fashion Square are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              WanderJaunt Kingfisher 3BR S Scottsdale
              WanderJaunt Kingfisher 3BR S Scottsdale

              WanderJaunt Kingfisher 3BR S Scottsdale

              6550 East Hubbell Street, Scottsdale, AZ
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in South Scottsdale, this luxury vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hole in the Rock, Desert Botanical Garden, and Old Town. Phoenix Zoo and Scottsdale Fashion Square are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Wanderjaunt Kingfisher 3BR South Scottsdale
                Wanderjaunt Kingfisher 3BR South Scottsdale

                Wanderjaunt Kingfisher 3BR South Scottsdale

                Scottsdale, AZ
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in South Scottsdale, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Hole in the Rock, Desert Botanical Garden, and Old Town. Phoenix Zoo and Scottsdale Fashion Square are also within 3 mi (5 km).