Guide to Tohono Chul (Gardens, Galleries, Bistro)

metal horse Tohono Chul Garden Tucson

Tohono Chul is a 49-acre oasis on the northwest side of Tucson "where nature, art, and culture connect."

Named one of the World’s Great Botanical Gardens by Travel + Leisure , Tohono Chul is a garden, an art gallery, and a bistro - all rolled into one. The grounds include three trails (1/4 mile, 1/5 mile, and 1/2 mile), a performance garden, a hummingbird garden, a garden for children, a geology wall, and a restaurant known for tranquil outdoor dining and flavorful dishes.

Tohono Chul is also home to the Children's Museum Oro Valley, a small area on the property, which has indoor and outdoor exhibits along with daily self-directed activities and programming for small children.


Where is Tohono Chul located?

Tohono Chul is located at 7366 N. Paseo del Norte on the northwest side of Tucson, near Ina & Oracle.

What are the hours?

  • Tohono Chul grounds: 8:00am-5:00pm, daily
  • Tohono Chul Garden Bistro: Open for Brunch, Daily from 8:00am-4:30pm
  • Exhibit House and Museum Shops: 9:00am-5:00pm, daily
  • Closed: New Year’s Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day

Why would I visit Tohono Chul?

  • To take pictures of Southern Arizona plantlife
  • To partake in a picnic with family and friends
  • To go on a leisurely walk in the desert
  • To have brunch, lunch, or afternoon tea in a serene outdoor setting
  • To give your kids somewhere to run around and explore
  • To attend a wedding or other special event

How much does it cost?

  • Member: Free
  • Adult: $15
  • Children (ages 5-12): $6
  • Children (under 5): Free
  • Student with ID: $13
  • Senior (ages 62+): $13
  • Active Military: $13

Can I purchase a membership to Tohono Chul?

Yes. There are a variety of membership packages available. Depending on the number of times you plan to visit and the number of children/grandchildren in your family, a membership can definitely be the most affordable option.

  • Individual: $50/year
  • Dual: $75/year
  • Family: $100/year (two adults + 4 children or grandchildren)

What should I wear?

  • Good walking shoes (preferably closed-toe)
  • Sunglasses
  • A hat
  • Lightweight/breathable clothing
  • Bring along a sweatshirt if you’re visiting in the winter.

What should I bring with me?

Water bottles, sunglasses, snacks, and a camera are recommended.

Are bathrooms available?


What is the best season for visiting Tohono Chul?

October thru April are ideal because the temperatures tend to be more moderate than in the summer months. That said, summer visits can also be fun if you watch the weather and plan your visit accordingly.

What are the most and least crowded days of the week to visit Tohono Chul?

Saturdays and Sundays tend to be most crowded; Wednesdays and Thursdays tend to be least crowded.

What is the best time of day to visit Tohono Chul?

Early mornings offer the advantage of being quieter/cooler, but anytime of day can be nice depending on the weather.

What kinds of plants and animals will I see?

Palo verde trees, hummingbirds, butterflies, spiney lizards, cactus.

What is the history behind Tohono Chul?

  • 1966: Benefactors, Richard and Jean Wilson, start piecing together patches of the desert.
  • 1968: The Wilsons purchase a piece of land, containing the hacienda-style “West House,” known today as the Tohono Chul Garden Bistro (formerly the Tea Room). The Wilsons lived in this house for eight years.
  • 1979: The Wilsons open the Haunted Bookshop on Northern Avenue (now closed) and then shift gears to plan and open a park.
  • April 19, 1985: Tohono Chul was formally dedicated.
  • January 2023: Tohono Chul adds Children's Museum Oro Valley.


Is outside food allowed? Are picnic tables available?

Outside food is not allowed at Tohono Chul. That said, you can pick up food "to go" from the Garden Bistro to eat at picnic tables on the property.

What dining venues are available on-site?

Tohono Chul Garden Bistro serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and afternoon tea. "Each dish is plated to look as lovely as the gardens surrounding the Bistro and the flavors are amazing." The menu changes seasonally, and even daily, based on what local, organic fresh ingredients are available.

What restaurants are located NEAR Tohono Chul?

There are plentiful dining options in northwest Tucson. Our top picks within a 1-mile radius include:

  • Wildflower American Cuisine, 7037 N. Oracle Rd. (0.3 miles away) - seasonal menu, gluten-free and vegetarian options
  • Beyond Bread, 421 W. Ina Rd. (0.4 miles away) - breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, soup, salads, pastries
  • eegee's, 7911 N. Oracle Rd. (0.8 miles away) - sub sandwiches, french fries (with ranch dressing!), slushy-style drinks


What ages would be best suited for a visit to Tohono Chul?

All ages! We spent a morning with our 7-year-old, 4-year-old, and 1-year-old. All three enjoyed meandering through the gardens and calling out the various pieces of art.

Most of the people strolling through the grounds on our visit were seniors on a tour or with camera in-hand. It's definitely an attraction that is well-suited for older adults or people with limited mobility who want to enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.

Should I bring a stroller?

The Tohono Chul grounds, buildings, and most trails are stroller-accessible and wheelchair-accessible.

Complimentary wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Is there a designated area for nursing moms?

No. That said, there are benches throughout the grounds.

Are changing tables available?

Yes – in the restrooms.

Is there a kids menu available at either of the restaurants?

Yes. The lunch menu has three entree options ($6.95) that come with french fries or fruit - hot dog sliders, cheese quesadillas, or chicken tenders. Breakfast is $4.95/child – French toast sticks with fruit or one egg with bacon & toast.


Can I have my wedding at Tohono Chul?

Yes. "Because of the distinctive atmosphere of the demonstration gardens, historic homes and lush environment, [Tohono Chul] is a sought after location for weddings, receptions, and large or small gatherings. No matter the time of year, something is always in bloom and the setting is perfect for any activity." For more information, contact Carolyn M. Gallo, Event Sales Consultant, at 520-425-0520 or via email at [email protected].

Outside caterers are prohibited, but you may bring in a wedding cake from a licensed baker.


Is Tohono Chul active on social media?

Yes! You can follow Tohono Chul on Facebook and Instagram.

You can also sign up to receive Tohono Chul's e-newsletter, filled with news about upcoming events and current happenings.

What else do I need to know before I go to Tohono Chul?

That just about covers it. Have a great time!

TucsonTopia contains both paid and non-paid mentions of businesses and organizations in and around Tucson, Arizona. Any reference made here to local businesses, services, classes, etc. is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement. We encourage you to do your own research before participating in an event or engaging with a local business or organization. The intent of TucsonTopia is to provide ideas for family-friendly activities, events, and resources. Participants assume all risks for any activities they engage in. TucsonTopia is not responsible for any injuries or problems that may arise from partaking in any of these events and activities.
© 2012-2024 TucsonTopia - All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy
menu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram