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“A Surprising "Museum"”

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Ranked #1 of 306 things to do in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Reviewed March 13, 2013

This "Museum" is all outdoors, like nothing I've ever seen before, as a native New Yorker. There is a surprise around every corner. The tour guide told us the names of the different plants, trees and cacti and, suddenly, you turn around a corner and there is a live Puma or Mountain Lion! There were Black Bears (really red), wolves, and the cutest Prairie Dogs. I know they are rodents, but still ... they were very funny and cute. Of course, the animals are behind glass but in their natural habitat, albeit man-made caves, in the middle of the desert. It was an exciting place to visit, and while there is a lot of walking, there are also stone benches every few yards, so you can sit and rest when necessary. A must see if ever you are in Tucson.

1  Thank Barbara Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,670 - 5,674 of 7,129 reviews

Reviewed March 13, 2013

The desert museum is a learning lab for all ages. My favorite areas are the cave--kids love climbing through the narrow passages--the javelinas under the bridges in the big outdoor areas, and the hummingbird aviary.

Thank drsh99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

This open-air muesum is a perfectly designed blend of the animal, mineral, plant, and geographical elements of the Sonoran dessert. It is a classic example where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. My wife is a retired science teacher and loved the well laid out and informative exhibits. We especially liked the Raptor show, which actually had several different types of birds. The staff were predominantly volunteers who were uniformly well-informed and friendly. We have travelled to several dozen countries and visited all 50 states and think the Dessert Museum to be truly excellent. Everything was well laid out and we appreciated the discrete, well-placed signs.

Thank lawton1osuedu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

If you want to learn about the plants, animals and geology of the Sonoran Desert, a trip to the desert museum is a must. The volunteers at the museum are well-trained and offer a number of interesting talks about the region. Of particular interest is the Raptor Free Flight demonstration, which is held twice each day. The scenery is amazing, the wildlife exhibits are plentiful and well-maintained, and there are plenty of knowledgeable volunteers to help acquaint visitors to the region. There are plenty of educational opportunities for children as well.

Thank TucsonTebo2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

We spent a couple of hours here - interesting plantings. Sadly, we were a week or two ahead of the blooms. After a while, all the cactus start to look alike. :0)

We thought $8-$10 would have been PLENTY to pay for this venue - but we were charged $15.

It was a decent afternoon on a nice day. I would avoid it if it is hot.

Thank C M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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