A combination zoo, botanic garden, and natural history museum, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum features over 3 km (2 mi) of walking paths crisscrossing nearly 9 hectares (21 acres) of desert landscapes. Home to more than 230 animal species and 1,200 varieties of plants, the museum focuses on the interpretation and presentation of the natural history and diverse plant and animal life of the Sonoran Desert. Often called "the lushest desert on earth," this region shelters a range of habitats benefiting from the desert's bi-seasonal rainfall. The museum gardens display the varied ecosystems of cacti, agaves, grasslands, and yucca, while the zoo area features wildlife ranging from coyotes, bears, and mountain lions to hummingbirds and rattlesnakes. Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Tucson using our trip planner.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Reviews
A great museum in a lovely location. My family especially enjoyed seeing the rays and learning about fossils. Bring lots of water bottles though, because the fountains are turned off. more »
Blend of an outdoor natural history museum, botanical garden of desert plants, mini gallery of art, nice walking trails, kids play area, and more. Helpful and friendly staff. more »
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum was an awesome experience. Located in the middle of the Saguaro National Park, it was a nice cherry on the top of an early morning sunrise hike. We got there right before they opened at 7:30 to take advantage of the cooler morning. By the time we left at 9:30 it was already pushing 90°. I would describe this place as a living natural history museum. Mostly outdoors, you walk from exhibit to exhibit. My wife and I particularly enjoyed the aviary, the hummingbirds and the cave exhibit.
This is one of my favorite places to take visitors but also just to go by myself. It’s serene and beautiful and highlights all the best parts of the Sonoran desert. Their summer night program is one of the best things Tucson has on tap in the summer - really well done evening programming that I look forward to every year. I’ve also taken one of their behind the scenes tours and really enjoyed that as well. Hands down at the top of my top five things to do in Tucson.
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