Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights Visitor Center, Phoenix

3.7
#7 of 7 in Historic Sites in Phoenix
Tovrea Castle is a historic structure and landmark in Phoenix, Arizona. Originally intended as a centerpiece for a resort and later a private residence, the castle is now part of the Phoenix parks system and is designated as one of the Phoenix Points of Pride. Plans were to fully open the site to the public in 2009, but cost overruns delayed the opening. Currently the park shows over 5,000 individual cacti in over 100 different varieties, all maintained by volunteers of the Tovrea Carraro Society. Tickets for guided tours of the grounds, first floor, and basement have been offered since March 2012.Tovrea Castle at Carraro HeightsAlthough the castle had long been recognized as a city landmark, the deteriorated state of the grounds and the building left it unsuitable for use as a city park. After finalizing the purchase of surrounding properties, the City of Phoenix began an effort to restore the building and revitalize the gardens.In 2006, significant work was begun on restoring the gardens surrounding the castle to their previous state. Several diseased and dead plants were removed from the site while surviving vegetation was rehabilitated. During restoration efforts, 352 saguaro cacti were planted on the site and over 2,000 other cacti were relocated. Other vegetation, including desert wildflowers were planted in the gardens. Currently the park boasts over 5,000 individual cacti in over 100 different varieties.Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights is named in honor of the original builder, Alessio Carraro, and its second owners, E. A. and Della Tovrea. An interpretive trail exhibiting the gardens and the many desert species, as well as a greenhouse, is planned for the park.
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Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights Visitor Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
30 reviews
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4.1
TripAdvisor
  • I booked tickets for our October tour in December - 9 month before the tour. I expected more from the tour. The docent was good. But, there was no furniture in the castle, no opportunity to walk throu...  more »
  • The grounds are beautiful and interesting but the castle is very small, unfurnished and a bit of a let down. Save yourself $20 and enjoy the allure of a lit up 'wedding cake castle' from a distance wh...  more »
  • This was my second tour and I didn't enjoy it as much as my first tour five years ago, when more time was provided and the guide was much more informative. This was marketed as a harvest moon tour but...  more »
Google
  • The docents are fabulous. We did the night tour so it was difficult to see the cactus garden. I would like to go again. The tour is short and you are with a group do you'll find you won't have time to read the placards. Take a picture so you can read later.
  • It is always booked, they are only opened for a selected amount of time, and the tour is 2 hours long. Don't even waste your time looking for an open date. I have been living here for 6 years and it's always the same thing.
  • This place is no good danger avoiding this place will save your life.
  • The tour guide made the tour interesting. Not much inside but a beautiful arts and crafts building.
  • You can see the Castle from the freeway. The tour guides were so helpful answering questions long after the tour was completed. The telescopes set up on the patio made an exceptional view, especially on the full moon. This is a spectacular place for a first date or a special occasion.

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