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“A must-see Tucson attraction!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
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Tucson Day Tour
Ranked #1 of 279 things to do in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This renowned combination zoo, natural history museum, botanical garden and art gallery reflects the diverse flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert, featuring wildlife such as coyotes, bears and mountain lions in their natural settings and two aviaries; one for hummingbirds and the other for varied desert birds.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access
Pinellas Park, Florida
Level Contributor
61 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“A must-see Tucson attraction!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

Surrounded by the Saguaro National Park, this gem of a museum helps explain and interpret the incredible diversity of the flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert. It is one thing to admire the fascinating saguaro cactus, it is another to visit the museum and find out all the wonderful things there are to know about it. I've been here numerous times over the years, and on this visit, we saw some new exhibits, such as a small but interesting aquarium. We saw tiny nests in the hummingbird aviary, several different types of rattlesnakes, tarantulas, scorpions, javalina, Mexican wolf, mountain lion, prairie dogs, an assortment of flourishing desert plants, delightful trails, spectacular scenery, giftshops, a coffee shop, restaurant, live shows, and much more. Wear comfortable shoes, and plan on spending a few hours. It's always a pleasure to visit here!

Visited January 2013
Thank 1147mollybrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Apache Junction
Level Contributor
47 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“I never tire of this place...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

Being a wildlife photographer, I especially appreciate their enclosures being so close to their natural environments. Be sure to catch the Raptor Free Flight. It is nothing short of amazing. They do a fantastic job of training those birds. The last time I was there they had gotten rid of the telltale "leggings" - a major plus for photogs.

Visited March 2012
Thank NativeTucsonan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vail, Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“It's a GEM!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

Who knew when we elected to visit this "museum" it's actually a zoo, natural habitat, hiking trail? Great visit. Gorgeous vista of the surrounding Saguaro Nat'l Park. Kind of out in the country, but worth the trip. The 6 year old was entranced. Kids have the opportunity to purchase a booklet for $1 that describes the creatures in the zoo, and placed around the park are stations where the kids can stamp that creature's footprints in their booklet.

Visited January 2013
Thank MDjr1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
356 reviews
171 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
“Arrive early and spend the day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2013

We really enjoyed this with our grandchildren. Spend some time here and don't miss the cave and the crystal displays. Tip---many hotels offer $3 coupons off the admission price.

Visited December 2012
Thank MarJan6861
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
82 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Not as exciting as we thought”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

We had high hopes for this museum after listening to a description of it from our hosts, and we went there on our last day in Tucson. This is a beautifully constructed installation, with some innovative displays, but we really felt that it was spread out farther than it needed to be for what was displayed. Long loops through the desert with small clusters of animal habitats strung out all over, and very often when you finally got to a display, the animal/bird/reptile was nowhere to be seen.
I've been to many places like this, where the habitats are natural and the animals are not always visible, but they aren't usually so spread out, and if they are, there is some other mode of transportation offered other than you own feet! We visited on a cool, sunny day in January - I can't imagine walking all that way on a hot day! I think if the displays were a little more consolidated it would have been better.
There are lots of things for smaller children to do such as digging through 'archeological' displays and picking through stones to find 'gems', but no one found anything while were there - pretty slim pickings. There is an art gallery that has different exhibits depending on when you visit, and an excellent gift shop with decent art available for purchase. Because this park is devoted to the indigenous species of the area, many of the animals were familiar, so it wasn't all that exciting. That, along with all the long walks made it a rather deflating last outing on our trip.

Visited January 2013
Thank Marvox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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