Carefree Desert Gardens
Carefree Desert Gardens
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
An amazing oasis in the desert, the Carefree Desert Gardens is one of only two public botanical gardens in the Greater Phoenix area, located along pedestrian-friendly Easy Street in downtown Carefree. The Gardens are FREE to access*, and are open 365 days a year. Situated on four acres, visitors can stroll and enjoy rare and fascinating desert plant specimens on a self-guided walking tour, allowing for a visual and emotional connection with nature. Things to Do - Explore one of the largest working Sundials in the U.S.! - Visit the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, home of a variety of Town events and concerts - Attend a Garden Seminar, held the 2nd Saturday of the month, Jan.–April - Kiwanis Splash Park – OPEN April-Oct., 9 a.m.–7 p.m. - Children's Playground, featuring a Gila Monster slide!
Duration: 1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Carefree Desert Gardens and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles55 reviews
Excellent
33
Very good
15
Average
5
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Ted S
Phoenix, AZ7 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Maybe we came on the wrong day; there was an art festival, and closed off roads. Or maybe we’ve seen too many spectacular desert gardens. But it seemed like we couldn’t find the place, even though we asked four people where the Desert Gardens were. To be fair, maybe none were locals. GPS navigation didn’t help, neither car nor pedestrian. We did find a boulder with “Carefree Desert Gardens”. But I don’t agree with the duration “1-2 hours” and “Four acres” in the “About”. It is nice when a community can come together and provide a feature at no cost; however, this was more like a typical, well-landscaped desert parking lot. Also we didn’t see a large sundial, though we weren’t looking for it at the time. All I really want to suggest is that this is NOT a destination spot. Thankfully we did thoroughly enjoy the other two spots we visited after our 50-minute drive to the beautiful Carefree and Cave Creek area.
Written November 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

j s
Sarasota, FL124 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
We stopped to see the gardens, but spent time walking around the town as well. The gardens are nice and have a playground and excellent washrooms. Easy parking, lots of nearby places to eat. A fun stop
Written October 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dnrdavies
Midland,Mi.577 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
We spent a morning walking around this area. Nice plants and sundial. Many shopss and restaurants in the area.
Written October 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ApacheTrout
Carefree, AZ46 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • Couples
I wouldn't make a special trip here ( the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is much more extensive and definitely worth a special trip ), but if you are in the area for shopping or dining, this place is worth 15-30 minutes of your time. Some beautiful and unique cactus and succulent specimens, all with appropriate labeling if you are not familiar with arid land plants. Carefree can be proud of this mini-oasis.
Written May 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AnnEdinburgh_11
West Yorkshire, UK115 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Couples
The small town of Carefree has appropriately named streets - Easy Street, Ho Hum Drive and Nonchalent Avenue to name a few. It is a very pleasant place with nice independent shops, but the jewel is the desert garden in the centre of the shopping area. It is beautifully maintained and planted with cacti of all sizes and types, many labelled with their names. Footways meander through the garden and it is clearly a focus for community activities, with an amphitheatre and childrens' play area. There are several very attractive modern sculptures, including water features, as well as one of the world's largest sundials.
Written September 26, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Moira F
Williams Bay, WI184 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Solo
It is just a gorgeous quiet walk . I walk there most months when in town. Read the signs and learn about the plants or go to the Farmers Market on Friday.
Written March 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CactusPatch
Scottsdale, AZ142 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2021
This is a must stop when in the area. The botanical garden is top notch. The garden includes a play ground, splash pad, the sundial, a couple gas first places, a performance space and restrooms. The walk around the shops can be nice for those that are looking for SW items.
Written February 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ArizonaDF
Scottsdale, AZ16 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
What started out as a charming little desert garden has become rather ridiculous. The arches? All the new memorials? Carefree used to have a couple first class events - Villafane's Free Halloween Festival and The Christmas Festival - both gone and with the relationship irreversibly severed from the Villafane's there is no hope of resurrecting something that truly made Carefree special. Carefree has lost its way in the last few years - such a shame.
Written September 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

itchyfeet996
London, UK188 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Staying nearby in North Scottsdale I love the desert plants from this part of Arizona so when I read about a desert garden I was intrigued. It's just a small garden but packed with interest. The garden is a beautifully maintained shady space in the middle of town where it's possible to wander round, sit and read beside a fountain or by a babbling brook or --- play with your children/grandchildren. The gardens are very attractive, the fountains, especially the one near the Sundial that arches over the path, are refreshingly clean and well-looked after and the children's attractions and play area are a delight. There are some tiny tot size town buildings like a jail, a sheriff's office, a "dunny" (if that's the correct local word for it) complete with toilet roll, a General Store and I particularly enjoyed the "Pumpkin Ho Down" with a dozen or so large pumpkins standing drinking outside a tavern. Their poses are so hilariously accurate as they stand there like a group of humans would do, having a great time. Look for the one with one hand raised resting on a post, the other hand holding a drink, one leg on the ground and the other with its knee bent at just the right angle up on the wooden decking. (I think I know who must have posed for that one!) You must take a look before Halloween is over. If you do miss the Ho Down, there is a super children's play area with a gila monster slide. It is SO convincing. I wish I could bring my grandchildren here.
Written October 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cwillini
New Lenox, IL1,170 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
My wife, daughter, and I drove up to Carefree to visit the so called botanical gardens there. The gardens were disappointing. The information we were given was that there was a botanical garden here, but there wasn't. It was a garden and it was free, but it wasn't what we expected to see. It was disappointing.
Written January 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 52
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Carefree Desert Gardens - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All things to do in Carefree
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars