A Closer Look at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

The Tucson Botanical Gardens is a must see spot to check out while visiting Tucson.

The history and beauty of Tucson is on display at Tucson Botanical Gardens, a five-and-a-half-acre garden that preserves the lush plant life of the area while showcasing the site’s background story.

This oasis in the heart of the city is focused on the indigenous plant life cultivated by the Tohono O’odham, the American Indian people who have inhabited the area since 600 A.D. The property also features 16 specialty gardens including a Zen Garden, Historical Garden, Butterfly Garden—including seasonal plants that attract butterflies—Native American Crops Garden and a Children’s Discovery Garden, among others.

The Gardens' History

Tucson Botanical Gardens was founded in 1964 by collector and horticulturist Harrison G. Yocum, whose garden grew from a few plants to a sight to behold by people passing by. The site provided memberships in 1968, and in 1974 the garden relocated to the historic Porter Family property, a move supported through fundraising by members of the TBG who wanted to provide the garden with a larger home.

Flowers at the Tucson Botanical Gardens
This historic site is home to a variety of beautiful flowers. (©Randy Larson)

Things to Do at the Gardens

While gardens are the main attraction, there are plenty of other things to do. Classes are offered here and range from wellness, art and nature to gardening and ecology. The Gardens also offer tours including a "Backyard Bird Tour" and a general tour. 

If you are craving a bite while wandering the grounds, enjoy a healthful meal at Café Botanica, located on the southeast side of the property.

Ticket Prices and Details

Admission June-Sept., $9 adults, $8 students, military and seniors, $5 children 4-17; Oct.-May, $13 adults, $12 students, military and seniors, $7.50 children 4-17. Free for members or children under the age of 3. Open 7:30 am-4:30 pm daily; 4:30 pm-8 Th and F. The garden is closed Jan. 1, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 2150 North Alvernon Way, 520.326.9686

Tucson Botanical Garden
Wooden fence protecting plant life. (©Randy Larson)