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“Has gone down hill since U of A took over” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2
32540 South Biosphere Road, Mile marker 96.5, Oracle, AZ 85623
800-828-2462, 520-825-1289
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Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Oracle
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visitors can observe nature in a controlled state at this world-famous steel and glass research center where desert, forest, ocean and other ecosystems are monitored and studied.
Appleton, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Has gone down hill since U of A took over”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

My parents visited the Biosphere 4 years ago and were blown away by the discovery of learning about the 8 people who lived there for 2 years. So naturally my husband and I were looking forward to the experience as well (I even read the book about it). I didn't think anything of it when I noticed "New Tours!" on the brochure. We got there, bought tickets for the tour and were directed to a building to watch an intro movie. The movie started and I honestly thought I was in the wrong building. The movie was almost entirely about some new initiative the U of A is working on at the Biosphere and almost nothing about the the 8 crew members who lived there. Thankfully the tour guide who led us around did share a little about them, but hands down it was mostly about the U of A's current research going on there. Probably interesting for the scientists out there, but for the typical tourist it was quite boring. The tour ended and our guide quickly muttered off a laundry list of directions to view the living quarters the original crew lived in. We managed to find it (with no signs posted?) and we were the only ones there. It was the highlight of our time there and it wasn't even included on the tour! So, so sad that the University of Arizona is neglecting the original intent for the project and pushing their current research. Never plan to return.

Visited December 2011
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Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Fun for older kids and adults”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

Lots of walking but very interesting. Different landscapes change throughout the year as nature intended. Very educational.

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Paradise, Texas
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Excellent, educational tour!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2011

My friend and I stumbled on an ad for Biosphere 2 in a local Tucson magazine. We decided it looked interesting and we were so happy that we went. They were correct that there is a lot of walking and stairs but we thoroughly enjoyed this. We went on the 90 minute tour which included information about the past, present and future of the Biosphere. In addition to the tour, you can view the living quarters on your own which are also fascinating. There were several exhibits and everything was well laid out and informative.

The walking tour took us through the rain forest, ocean, desert and south lung. Our guide was excellent. On the day we went, there were 2 other private tours being given by 2 of the original 8 who were on the 1991-93 mission. They were giving a tour to their company employees. What was fascinating is that we learned about why Biosphere 2 was built, by whom, the missions (what they ate, how they lived, what worked, what didn't work), and what this research facility is involved in today. My friend and I are not scientists, however, we loved this tour and recommend it highly. I'm not sure it's for small children because although there is a lot to see, without the guide telling us about what we were seeing, I think younger ones would get bored quickly.

There is a very nice water exhibit on the outside of the come which allows you to see the fish in the "ocean". There is also a very nice gift shop. We were too late to see what was in the cafe as it closed just as we were leaving.

It is a bit pricey to see this but we felt that the cost was well worth it if you like listening and processing information from a guide. There isn't much that is interactive on the guided tour of the facility but the guide will explain how things work -- such as the lung which was fascinating! I don't think it is wheelchair/stroller accessible but you should call and ask if there is an optional tour for that. You get to go underground and see all of the pipes, valves, water systems and oxygen systems that the men and women on the mission had to keep functioning and monitoring.

Visited December 2011
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Huntington, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“scientific wonder”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2011

What happens when you build a $150,000,000 sphere that is meant to test our ability to live in a totally controlled environment without any input from the world?You get one amazing science project.See it its worth it.

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“The Biosphere 2 Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2011

It was cool; the drive there was not too far from Tucson, about 20 miles.
The walk from the entrance to the tour starting point takes you through the campus, there was small plates with little bits of information that was interesting.
The Tour Guide that we had was friendly, very well informed and funny, she answered all of our questions (even the Dumb ones) and added interesting facts about the BioSpherians (yes that’s what they called the people how lived in the Biosphere).
Tour highlights was the LEO project and the Biosphere Lungs. Great fun specially for the Kids.

Visited December 2011
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