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“Not the best place to visit on a June afternoon”

Tucson Botanical Gardens
Ranked #15 of 282 things to do in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Named one of the Top 10 Gardens in to visit in North America in 2017 by the Canada Garden Tourism Council and One of the Best Secret Garden in America by Reader's Digest, 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. Special annual seasonal exhibits. Experience an outdoor Garden Railway, botanically-inspired gift shops, year-round tours, art exhibits and lunch at Cafe Botanica. Closed Thanksgiving, the Dec. 24 & 25, Jan. 1, the first Saturday in February and July 4.
University Heights, Ohio, USA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Not the best place to visit on a June afternoon”
Reviewed June 19, 2011

The Botanical Gardens would be fantastic to visit in April, when many of the flowers are in bloom. While visiting Tucson for work this month (June) I thought I'd visit the gardens one afternoon. There was no one else there, the staff barely acknowledged me after I paid my admission fee, and every exhibit was closed. Unfortunately, my visit was a waste of time and money. However, I'm sure there are better times of the year to visit - hopefully it was just poor timing on my part.

Visited June 2011
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Thank ClevelandKing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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697 reviews from our community

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New York City
Level Contributor
226 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Almost burst into flames from the heat”
Reviewed July 2, 2010

Don't go in the afternoon, whatever you do. Gardens are dominated by cacti - I was expecting more flowers. I didn't really like this garden. Very small.

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2 Thank UWSall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
79 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“First Visit & Enjoyed It”
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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2 Thank ThisFamilyTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa
Level Contributor
35 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Really nice gardens!”
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.

Helpful?
2 Thank Beergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
39 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“A Gem for Locals as well as Travelers”
Reviewed July 11, 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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3 Thank MelandRog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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