Arizona’s Treasured Desert Botanical Garden
Lest we forget, Phoenix is a desert. If you’re coming from out-of-town, the opportunity to get up close and personal with a cactus might be a very rare occurrence. Take advantage of the new terrain by spending the day—or night—at Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden. The garden is a “Phoenix Point of Pride” and in 2005 then-governor Janet Napolitano named it one of Arizona’s Treasures. Over its 70-year existence, this Botanical Garden has accumulated 140 gorgeous acres, 55 of which are under cultivation, and over 50,000 plant displays showcased in outdoor exhibits. You probably won’t be able to see it all, but even a glimpse will give you a hint at the desert experience and an opportunity to view the endless natural beauty at your fingertips. The garden’s cactus, aloe and agave collections are especially strong and if you come at the right time, the garden hosts a variety of special events. There are gardening advice sessions, classes where visitors get to stargaze, concerts, and you might even be able to touch the inside of a cactus. We recommend you avoid the outside. On Thursday’s and Saturday’s until the end of August the garden hosts self-guided flashlight tours from 7pm to 9pm where visitors can see, hear and feel the desert at night by walking through a variety of discovery stations that include snakes, bats and an agave, so you can learn exactly where that healthy sweet sugar alternative comes from.