10 Beautiful Botanical Gardens in Arizona!

Botanical gardens are made for the study, culture, and exhibition of special plants. Here in Arizona, a trip to a botanical garden can provide a closer look into the natural beauty of the southwest. Each botanical garden has its own unique blend of desert plants that prove Arizona is made up of more than just cacti and palm trees. Here's a look at what you can expect to see on a trip to Arizona botanical gardens.

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ

This 140-acre garden is home to some of the most diverse collections of desert plant life in the world. The garden includes over 4,000 species of plants - with everything from giant cacti to century plants. The Sybil B. Harrington Cactus & Succulent Gallery and the Ottosen Entry Garden are can't miss world-class exhibits. This stunning garden is located in Papago Park and holds classes, workshops and a rotating list of events throughout the year.

Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tucson, AZ

Founded in 1964, this botanical garden is a collection of 17 residentially scaled gardens. The 5.5 acres are full of different exhibitions each showcasing the beauty and tranquility of Tucson's desert. Exhibits include the Butterfly Greenhouse, Aloe Alley, Backyard Bird Garden, Cactus & Succulent Garden and a Children's Discovery Museum.

Tohono Chul Gardens, Tucson, AZ

Named one of the world's great botanical gardens by Travel + Leisure Magazine, Tohono Chul is a 49-acre garden in the lush Sonoran Desert. The Santa Catalina Mountains surround the life in the garden, which includes palm trees, riparian habitats and hummingbirds. For further appreciation, visitors can gain insights into the gardens by going on a series of guided tours, attending lectures and workshops, and special events.

Carefree Desert Gardens, Carefree, AZ

In 2001, the Carefree Desert Gardens were installed as a part of a beautification project. Since then, it's grown into a full-scale botanical garden and was opened for the public in 2011. This four-acre garden is open year-round and features a wide range of desert plants. Plants include a 65-foot boojum tree and the crested saguaro—a rare and abnormally grown cactus.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, Superior, AZ

This is not only the oldest botanical garden in Arizona, but also the largest. Located off Highway 60 in Superior, this 323-acre botanical garden was developed in the 1920s by philanthropist Boyce Thompson. It's filled with species of the Sonoran Desert as well as South America, Australia and Africa. The garden includes a 1.5-mile trail, 3,200 different plants, and 800 cacti species.

Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden, Fountain Hills, AZ

This eight-acre neighborhood garden was established back in 1975 to preserve local plant and animal life. In 2006, the town of Fountain Hills began a restoration project on the garden. Today, this botanical garden is comprised of 29 Sonoran Desert plants and a half-mile hiking and educational trail.

The Arboretum at Flagstaff, Flagstaff, AZ

This Flagstaff botanical garden is comprised of over 750 species of plants deep within the Coconino National Forest. The 200-acre arboretum is elevated at 7,150 feet and houses a blend of rare plant specimen native to the Colorado Plateau and northern Arizona. Though closed in the winter, the botanical gardens are bustling in the summer with people exploring the gardens, greenhouses and horticulture collections.

The Arboretum at ASU, Tempe, AZ

This small botanical garden is sprinkled throughout ASU's main campus in Tempe. In fact, the entire campus was dedicated as an arboretum by then school president Lattie Coor in 1990. Since then, it's grown to include over 300 species of trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants that are meticulously cared for and labeled. The gardens are open daily free of charge.

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ

Rated by TripAdvisor as the top attraction in Tucson, the Desert Museum is so much more than just a botanical garden. It's also a natural history museum, zoo, art gallery and aquarium. However, the botanical garden is a sight to see. It includes 56,000 individual plants, 230 animal species, and over 1,200 species of plants native to the Sonoran Desert. Visitors can see the plants by walking some of the "Desert Loop Trail" on a tour through the desert landscape. In addition to being an attraction, the Desert Museum provides important research and conservation efforts towards the Sonoran Desert region.

The University of Arizona Campus Arboretum, Tucson, AZ

The University of Arizona is home to hundreds of native trees and plants from every continent. Many trees found on campus are recognized as Great Trees of Arizona and the National Register of Big Trees for their sheer size. The campus also includes the Joseph Wood Krutch Garden, which includes ocotillo, hedgehog and senita cacti and other desert plants. The arboretum and surrounding gardens encourage research and preservation of the natural world.

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3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa, AZ
Usery Mountain Regional Park, Located on the Valley’s east side, this park takes in 3,648 acres set at the western end of the Goldfield Mount... Read More
1201 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ
Mission The Garden's commitment to the community is to advance excellence in education, research, exhibition, and conservation of desert plants of... Read More
1151 S Forest Avenue, Tempe, AZ
The entire Tempe campus at ASU was officially dedicated as an arboretum by President Lattie Coor on November 20,1990. The Arboretum at ASU is mana... Read More
37019 N. Lava Lane, Cave Creek, AZ
This 2,922-acre park sits in the upper Sonoran Desert. Ranging in elevation from 2,000 feet to 3,060, this desert oasis provides any hiker and eque... Read More
4050 E. Chandler Heights Road, Chandler, AZ
The City of Chandler Environmental Education Center (EEC) serves as a gateway to Veterans Oasis Park, a 113-acre Sonoran Desert landscape. The EEC ... Read More
3131 South Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ
Mission:Our mission is to connect people with nature, using education, science and advocacy to protect birds, other wildlife and their habitats for... Read More
3131 South Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ
The Rio Salado Audubon Center's Mission: Opened in October 2009, the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center is a nature center in the heart ... Read More
14805 West Vineyard Avenue, Goodyear, AZ
About Us:  These 19,840 acres of desert and mountains became the first regional park in the Maricopa County Park System in 1954. Located near... Read More
20304 West White Tank Mountain Road, Waddell, AZ
Nearly 30,000 acres makes this the largest regional park in Maricopa County. Most of the park is made up of the rugged and beautiful White Tank Mou... Read More
1375 South Walker Road, Prescott, AZ
Vision Statement The Highlands Center for Natural History is a regional hub for lifelong learning. We nurture a meaningful sense of place and fost... Read More
1981 Williamson Valley Road, Prescott, AZ
This open space preserve of 18 acres was bought in 2006 by City of Prescott. Opportunities include picnicking, hiking, and large group activities. ... Read More
7366 North Paseo del Norte, Tucson, AZ
Our VisionCore ValuesLove of the Sonoran Desert region: its natural history and it cultural heritage.Love of Tohono Chul and respect for what it me... Read More
2021 North Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ
MissionArizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understandi... Read More
2150 North Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ
Mission and History: Tucson Botanical Gardens is a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization supported by income generated through admissions, membe... Read More
4001 South Woody Mountain Road, Flagstaff, AZ
Mission of the Arboretum at Flagstaff is to increase the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants and plant communities native to th... Read More
703 East Sawmill Road, Flagstaff, AZ
Our goal is to help people make mindful choices that are healthier for themselves, our community, and the planet About us:  We lead by examp... Read More
425 South Woodland Road, Pinetop, AZ
About Us: We started WMNC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in 2005 and purchased the land for the Nature Center in 2007. After years of plann... Read More
366 Research Ranch Road, Elgin, AZ
Mission and GoalsThe mission of The Research Ranch is to formulate, test, and demonstrate methods to restore and safeguard the bioregion, and provi... Read More
3918 GRAY HAWK LANE, Sierra Vista, AZ
The Gray Hawk Nature Center, located on the beautiful San Pedro River, seeks to promote understanding, appreciation, and conservation of the natura... Read More
27 East Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford, AZ
Hours Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Closed Tuesdays/Wednesdays Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year'sFees $6.00 per person. Conservancy members an... Read More
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