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“First Visit & Enjoyed It” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tucson Botanical Gardens

Tucson Botanical Gardens
2150 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712
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Ranked #16 of 122 Attractions in Tucson
Type: Gardens, Outdoors
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Owner description: Named by Reader’s Digest as the Best Secret Garden in America, Tucson Botanical Gardens is an “Oasis in the Heart of Tucson. Featuring seventeen residentially-scaled specialty gardens, including a Barrio Garden, Zen Garden and a Cactus & Succulent Garden landscaped with unusual rocks from the Harrison Yocum collection. Tropical Butterflies from around the world are featured in the Cox Butterfly & Orchid Pavilion October-April. Experience an outdoor Garden Railway, botanically-inspired gift shops, year-round tours, art exhibits and lunch at Café Botánica. Closed Thanksgiving, the second Sunday in October,Dec. 24 & 25, Jan. 1, July 4.
Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“First Visit & Enjoyed It”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2010

We moved to Tucson a year ago, but this was our first visit. For the price ($8 for me and Free for my child) it was well worth it. I've been to larger gardens, but was not disappointed in this one. The grounds were well-kept and lovely, the childrens' garden was quaint, the staff was very friendly, and it SMELLED SO GOOD with the many citrus trees. I really enjoyed their compost garden. Lots of examples of compost bins, with easy-to-follow instructions. They even offer a composter for sale that I saw another visitor purchase. Made me want to start one at our home. The free composting hand-outs / instruction guides are great and appreciated.

We spent approximately 3 hours at the garden and look forward to returning. Bring a snack and sit on the benches in the shady "Zen Garden" next to the Tea House. This is a great place to explore, esp. for a busy 2-year old like mine. Better than a swingset....birds, butterflies, lizards all on site!

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301 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Really nice gardens!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2010

We visited the Tucson Botanical Gardens today, March 18, 2010. We spent over two hours just wandering around, learning more than we ever thought we would. It is laid out very nicely, and almost all of the plants and cactus have easily readable labels. We did not try the tea house or the restaurant. We had a bit of trouble finding a parking place.

We used our "Tucson Attraction Passport" for 2 for 1 entrance fee, so the admission fee was $7.00. If you're heading to Tucson in 2010, google this attraction discount passport - I think it cost $10 or $15 dollars, but it's well worth it. It has over 50 attractions with discounted tickets or discounted merchandise. We will get our money back several times over while we are here.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“A Gem for Locals as well as Travelers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2009

I have been a member on and off for the 8 years that I have lived in Tucson. The Botanical Gardens have only improved. Now that I have a 2 year old, they are again, fantastic and I rejoined again today. Read the reviews below first. One says it is small and I can understand why they might say that as it is not a huge plantation of a place like the one in Dallas, which borders on being a park. What you get instead, I think, is better. A contained, but maze of a place that takes you through desert flora as well as other neat finds. There is butterfly garden, an herb garden, a hummingbird garden, desert wildflowers, cactus, zen, composting demonstration, Native American garden, a children's garden, and a Mexican-American backyard style garden. You can wander and find more and more and more...oh...there is a train set up, but it hasn't worked the two times I have gone. I did see the butterfly exhibit in the the spring...amazing.

Last, there are many events surrounding the garden with artists, spring and fall plant sales, a chili pepper festival, and it is lit up at the holidays.

Last again, I have recently rediscovered the garden with my young 2 year old son. I took him today and we wasted hours together. He played in a sandbox, ran through bamboo, saw japanese beattles eating figs, dug for worms in a worm box, and chased butterflies. It was a great great day.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Butterfly Magic At The Gardens is truly magic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2009

We were here in April and decided to check out the gardens. What a wonderful, peaceful and beautiful place to stroll and relax your cares away! They were running an exhibit with live tropical butterflies and we were amazed at the colorful fluttering species inside. The temperature was warm and humid for their optimal needs but you are permitted to step outside to cool down and reenter. They are really careful with the butterflies and have very nice attendants there to answer questions and to make sure none of them escape.

We had a cool drink at their cafe and the servers also were very attentive and pleasant.
The botanical gardens are lovely and enjoyable for people of all ages. Please don't forget to bring a camera!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Peaceful detour in bustling Tucson”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2008

I enjoyed this garden more than its Phoenix cousin, the Desert Botanical Gardens, because it obviously focused more on plants and vegetation of all kinds rather than those just of the desert variety (cacti, succulents). There were lots of places to sit down and the additional of several water fountains was not only aesthetically pleasing but calming as well.

However, the downside to this garden is that portions of it had the appearance of being somewhat amateurish. Many plants were still in unattractive plastic pots and the areas seemed relatively cramped as it's in a very tight space in an urban area. I say amateurish as compared to the absolutely elegant masterpieces that are the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, which are so well manicured and professionally kept.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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