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Tohono Chul, Tucson

4.6
#2 of 21 in Parks in Tucson
Tohono Chul is a botanical garden, nature preserve and cultural museum located in Casas Adobes, a suburb of Tucson, Arizona. The words "tohono chul" translate as "desert corner" and are borrowed from the language of the Tohono O’odham, the indigenous people of southern Arizona. The mission of Tohono Chul is to enrich people's lives by connecting them with the wonders of nature, art and culture in the Sonoran Desert region and inspiring wise stewardship of the natural world.The 49-acre site itself offers a dramatic setting for Tohono Chul’s regional focus. Views of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains form a backdrop for the natural desert habitat and its location within existing migratory tracks provides a temporary home for many species of wild, native fauna. Thirty-eight species of birds make their permanent home here while another 57 migrant species visit seasonally, and a variety of reptiles and mammals, from Gila monsters to bobcats, may be spotted on the grounds.Within these surroundings, Tohono Chul has developed thematic displays using its botanical collections which consist primarily of plants native to the Sonoran or Chihuahuan Deserts. They include more than 150 species of shrubs and trees; 300 species of cacti and succulents; and 50 species of wildflowers. In addition, Tohono Chul has the largest private collection of native Night-blooming Cereus - Peniocereus greggii - and each summer hosts “Bloom Night,” the one night it is predicted the greatest number of cereus flowers will open.Outdoor exhibits include: Ethnobotanical Garden — displays indigenous plants cultivated by Southwestern native peoples for food, medicine and other necessities of life, as well as those crops introduced by European settlers Riparian Habitat — replicates the stream-side natural vegetation of Arizona’s threatened riparian communities Geology Wall — one-of-a-kind, it illustrates the geologic history of the nearby Santa Catalina Mountains Saguaro Discovery Trail — an exploration of the iconic saguaro through its cultural connections to the Tohono O’odham and its botanical connections to the natural history of the Sonoran Desert Sin Agua Garden — a former parking lot transformed into a rainwater harvesting demonstration Desert Living Courtyard — another parking lot is now a series of garden vignettes in a variety of design aesthetics all promoting Xeriscape and inspiring homeowners to use native and arid-adapted plants in backyard landscapes Sonoran Seasons Garden — the unique five seasons of the Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran Desert Desert palm Oasis — native fan palms shelter in this recreation an isolated mountain canyon found along the east coast of the Gulf of California Tohono Chul’s changing indoor arts and cultural exhibitions are strongly community oriented, and feature community groups and artists of all ages. Three exhibit spaces allow for different types of exhibitions, from large group shows lasting several months to smaller, one-man exhibits on display for six to eight weeks. The focus may be on traditional or contemporary art, and include paintings, sculpture and folk arts, but exhibitions also address environmental concerns affecting the Sonoran Desert and the Southwest. In addition, a selection of basketry, fiber arts, sculptural works and paintings forms the core of a Permanent Collection of Native American artwork.
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Tohono Chul Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
1,090 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • October 3, 2017
    Garden Bistro is small however their food was outstanding. While visiting the garden we decided to try the Bistro and were also surprised that the Sunday Concert series was starting. Their Garden Bris...  more »
  • October 3, 2017
    Easy walk and docents are very knowledgeable. The patio cafe and gift shop are also perfect for out of town visitors. They do several special events throughout the year (Christmas lights and Queen of ...  more »
  • October 3, 2017
    This is just beautiful and serene. It is a zen type of place! One of the best times to visit is during Christmas when they have their lights up, hot chocolate and bands playing. Best time!  more »
Google
  • May 29, 2017
    An amazing oasis in an area that is rapidly being transformed into pavement, housing and shopping locations. It's both a reminder of what was and a way to still be there. It's good for the soul and not a bad place to get some exercise either. When I get visitors, this is where I take them first.
  • April 27, 2017
    This place is the worst. All the reviews here have to be employees. Even at $10 not worth it. The cactus were in disarray and not kept up. The place looked like they were just setting it up. I hear the cafe is nice but didn't try it. For someone who's been to lots of different botanical gardens I would definitely pass on this one. Worst part of my vacation.
  • June 21, 2017
    This is the most beautiful nature park I've ever been to. It has museum apps, plant shops, gift shops, bistro, gallery, nature trails and wild animals. It's amazing!
  • July 1, 2017
    I love having Lunch here. The entire atmosphere is calming. Plants and birds are soothing to enjoy.
  • March 28, 2017
    Gorgeous park! One of my favourite places we visited during our Tucson trip. We saw a hummingbird nest and Cooper's hawks. Nice walking trails. We ate breakfast at the bistro in the hummingbird garden and the food was excellent.

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Where to stay in Tucson

To discover the tranquility of the Sonoran Desert, book your stay at an inn just a short drive from Tucson. Staying on the outskirts of the city allows you quick and easy access to some of Arizona's wildest areas, though it does require a car if you wish to enjoy Tucson's shops and restaurants. For the ultimate in indulgence, consider one of the city's award-winning luxury resorts, which feature full-service spa and fitness centers, championship golf courses, lighted tennis courts, and indoor swimming pools.
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3 days in Tucson BY A USER FROM SWEDEN December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in Arizona & California BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 54 days in Arizona BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Tucson BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Tucson BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Las Vegas & Arizona BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Tucson BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in Arizona BY A USER FROM CANADA January, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Tucson BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Tucson BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 43 days in Arizona BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
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