Tohono Chul Park

Tucked away in a corner of the Sonoran Desert is an acclaimed horticultural enclave, a showplace for native plants and art inspired by the local landscapes.

Enjoy a few hours of discovery and insight into the art, culture, flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert in Tohono Chul Park, a 49-acre (20-hectare) botanical garden. The grounds encompass demonstration gardens, walking trails, art galleries and a bistro.

Take your time wandering through gardens filled with hundreds of species of desert plants. See native palm trees in the Desert Palm Oasis garden. Collect some ideas for your own backyard in the Desert Living Courtyard. Ten garden layouts showcase ways of landscaping with arid and water-conserving plants.

One of the most unusual features of the Sonoran Desert is that it has five seasons. There are two summers: a dry summer in May and June and a monsoon summer in July and August. Visit the five sub-gardens of the Sonoran Seasons Garden that show how native plants adapt to seasonal changes.

Families with young children will want to visit the Garden for Children. This imaginative play area has xylophone wind chimes, a stream to splash in, a rattlesnake bench and bizarrely shaped bird houses.

Walk along the Desert View Trail, a 0.5-mile (0.8-kilometer) path that passes through a habitat used by several bird species and animals such as bobcats, coyotes and javelinas.

Stop for refreshments at the Tohono Chul Garden Bistro. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.

For a change of scenery, pay a visit to the art gallery. The exhibition space presents artwork of local artists exploring their relationships with the natural world. Exhibits change regularly throughout the year.

The gardens are open every day except New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission charges apply. Before your visit take a look at the attraction’s website to see which plants are in bloom during your stay in Tucson.

Tohono Chul Park is located in northwest Tucson, less than 5 miles (8 kilometers) east of the interstate highway. On-site parking is free.

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