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Ultimate Guide to Tucson Botanical Gardens

Tucson Botanical Gardens Guide

Originally founded in 1964, the Tucson Botanical Gardens is a historic property in mid-town Tucson.

Located on the site of the Porter property, the Canadian Garden Council named the Tucson Botanical Gardens as one of the “Top 10 North American Gardens Worth Travelling For.”

Distinctive features include: mature trees, expertly cultivated foliage, specialty gardens, and a magical butterfly exhibit that’s home to over 400 butterflies from 11 countries.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Where is Tucson Botanical Gardens located?

Tucson Botanical Gardens is located at 2150 N. Alvernon Way (near Grant) in Central Tucson.

What are the hours?

Tucson Botanical Gardens is open 7 days a week, year round - except 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, and New Year’s Day.

Hours are seasonal so be sure to check the TBG website for the current hours. 

Why would I visit Tucson Botanical Gardens?

  • To view plant specimens from all over the world
  • To experience a tropical butterfly exhibit featuring hundreds of butterflies and beautiful blooming orchids
  • To enjoy a wonderful breakfast or lunch in a serene outdoor setting
  • To appreciate special art exhibits and galleries
  • To attend a wedding or other special event

How much does it cost?

  • Adults: $15
  • Students, Seniors, Military: $13
  • Children (ages 4-17): $8
  • Children (3 and under): Free
  • Members: Free

Can I purchase a membership to Tucson Botanical Gardens?

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

For example, the cost for a family of four to visit the garden once is $46. The cost of a family membership is $70 - which offers you free admission to the gardens for two adults and up to four children under the age of 18 for the entire year!

MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS:

  • Individual: $50
  • Dual: $60
  • Family: $70

*Students, Seniors, & Military receive a $5 discount on the above memberships.

Premium Memberships are also available:

Cholla - $100
Agave - $250
Ocotillo - $500
Saguaro - $1000

What should I wear?

Wear Sunglasses, a hat, and lightweight/breathable clothing. Bring along a sweatshirt or jacket if you’re visiting in the winter.

What should I bring with me?

Water bottles, snacks, and a camera are recommended.

Are bathrooms available?

Yes.

What is the best season for visiting Tucson Botanical Gardens?

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 Tucson Botanical Gardens?

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays tend to be most crowded; Tuesdays tend to be least crowded.

What is the best time of day to visit Tucson Botanical Gardens?

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?

You may see hummingbirds, cardinals, quail, butterflies, olive trees, dwarf citrus trees, bearded iris, wildflowers, and cacti at Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Are dogs permitted at Tucson Botanical Gardens?

Tucson Botanical Gardens only allows service dogs with the exception of the summer months, June – September. During ONLY those months, TBG hosts the “Dog Days of Summer” where people are invited to bring their dogs to the Gardens. For a one-time summer visit, you can purchase a $3 doggy ticket. Alternatively, you can purchase your dog a membership for the months of June through September and they will receive a cute dog tag.

DINING

Is outside food allowed? Are picnic tables available?

Yes. There is a small area in the Children's Discovery Garden with kid-sized tables, plus a few shaded tables outside Café Botanica.

What dining venues are available on-site?

Café Botanica is inspired by the culinary traditions of the Sonoran desert and high-desert of Northern New Mexico. Owner Kristine Jensen and her team are committed to using local, sustainable ingredients and gleaning from the Gardens when possible. "All of the dishes served at Café Botanica are home-made from scratch, and prepared with love and imagination."

Hours for Cafe Botanica are 9:00am to 4:00pm seven days a week. The cafe is also open for dinner on Thursdays and Friday evenings between 5:30pm-8:00pm. Be sure to call or check the website to confirm as the hours of Café Botanica are seasonal.

You must pay Gardens admission or be a current member of the Tucson Botanical Gardens in order to dine at Cafe Botanica.

What restaurants are located NEAR Tucson Botanical Gardens?

The gardens are centrally located so there are plentiful dining options nearby. Our top picks within a 2-mile radius include:

BABIES & KIDS

What ages would be best suited for a visit to Tucson Botanical Gardens?

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 walking through the butterfly exhibit.

Should I bring a stroller?

The Tucson Botanical Gardens grounds, buildings, and most trails are stroller-accessible and wheelchair-accessible. A stroller is a good idea for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Is there a designated area for nursing moms?

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

Are changing tables available?

No.

Is there a kids menu available at Cafe Botanica?

Yes.

EVENTS

Can I have my wedding at Tucson Botanical Gardens?

Yes. Tucson Botanical Gardens can accommodate both weddings and receptions. 

Catering is provided exclusively by Gallery of Food, but you may bring in your own wedding cake.

MISCELLANY

Is Tucson Botanical Gardens on social media?

Yes! You may follow Tucson Botanical Gardens on Facebook and Instagram.

What else do I need to know before I go to Tucson Botanical Gardens?

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

That just about covers it. Have a great time!

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