2150 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson
HOURS: Daily 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
COST: $7 adult, $3 child 4–12
Gardeners and anybody who appreciates beauty should stop at Tucson Botanical Gardens, a midtown oasis, for a few hours. Flat walking trails wind around the nearly six-acre property, which feels secluded and hidden away even though it’s right in the path of busy midtown. There are benches throughout on which to sit and contemplate the various gardens—16 in all, each one showcasing a different gardening tradition.
Especially lovely is the Mexican-influenced garden, Nuestro Jardín (Our Garden), with its shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe and found items. A cactus and succulent garden has examples of cacti not just from the nearby deserts but also from around the world, and the xeriscape garden demonstrates how you can grow desert-adapted plants without using a lot of water.
If you go between October and March you’ll get to see Butterfly Magic, a live tropical butterfly exhibit. Call ahead for times and availability.
Included in the price of admission, you can take advantage of one of several tours of the gardens. Different tours are offered throughout the month, and not every tour is offered every day, so it’s best to call ahead or check the website. The Garden Gallery has rotating art shows that can be viewed daily 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.