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“Go here!”

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Ranked #2 of 313 things to do in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This renowned combination zoo, natural history museum, botanical garden and art gallery reflects the diverse flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert, featuring wildlife such as coyotes, bears and mountain lions in their natural settings and two aviaries; one for hummingbirds and the other for varied desert birds.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 11 June 2014

Avoid speed traps on Speedwell Blvd going to museum. Docents are great and special shows worthwhile.

Thank StuartR768
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"desert museum"
in 780 reviews
"hummingbird aviary"
in 346 reviews
"the raptor free flight"
in 158 reviews
"raptor demonstration"
in 77 reviews
"birds of prey"
in 150 reviews
"prairie dogs"
in 154 reviews
"mountain lion"
in 197 reviews
"flora and fauna"
in 272 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 93 reviews
"animal exhibits"
in 74 reviews
"all ages"
in 323 reviews
"cactus garden"
in 74 reviews
"tucson area"
in 194 reviews
"gift shop"
in 239 reviews
"botanical gardens"
in 86 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 121 reviews
"bring water"
in 107 reviews
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4,699 - 4,703 of 7,490 reviews

Reviewed 11 June 2014

At first I thought I was going for another stroll through desert terrain to read about the different kinds of flora and how wonderfully adaptable everything is to the harsh desert climate. As I continued to walk I was surprised by how extensive the trails were and that there were also animals and minerals to check out. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum definitely grew on me. Alas, I couldn’t stay as long as I wanted due to time constraints.

If you’re predisposed to find the desert beautiful, you will love it here. If you’re not sure, then it is still worth a visit because there is so much to see and learn about. I planned to wander around for an hour. I took two. I see where other reviewers spent half a day.

Pretty much the entire area is self-guided. Be sure to get a map at the entrance, then see where you might want to go. I stayed on the paved paths about 80% of the time, but if you want to do some “off-roading” on the loop trails, better have water, a hat and comfortable shoes on. While on the paths, pay attention to signs that direct you to check out a certain animal that might be nearby. The only downside is that many of the animals are fairly “captive” and are either impossible to spot (hiding in the shade) or are sleeping … sort of like what you might experience at a zoo on a lazy afternoon way after feeding time.

There are two aviaries; definitely check them out. Also stop in at the Ironwood Art Gallery to experience nature-related artwork and enjoy a respite from the heat.

1  Thank Jim L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014

This place is so friendly & informative re the places history so stop & spend some time here, thers lots of pics etc & souvenirs to buy & its the perfect place to stop before you embark on the long windy road :)

Thank Louthster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

This is definitely worth a stop, and for more than a few hours. Much of the "museum" is outside, so bring a hat and water (although water is available along most of the outdoor trails.) We could have spent at least 4-5 hours here, walking along the various trails and indoor exhibits. For us, at least, the Arizona mineral exhibit was fascinating, as was the hummingbird enclosure - you haven't lived until you've been buzzed by a TFO (tiny flying object)! There are numerous opportunities to photograph these birds, so take the time to just sit/stand...and wait with camera ready.

We had lunch in the sit-down restaurant (Ocotillo Café) - the hostess took our name, gave us an estimated time (less than a half hour) and when we returned about 5 minutes early, a table was ready! This was an absolutely great break and a good meal - the portions were large - I ordered the hummus platter - very good, but too big for just me - maybe better as an appetizer split amongst tablemates. The place was quite busy, but the service was fine. I'd definitely recommend this place for a relaxing, get out of the sun and sit for a spell, meal.

Thank orkdldy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 June 2014

This is a very nice museum ...actually it is more like a natural habitat zoo. I especially loved the hummingbird aviary and was fortunate enough to see a hummingbird sitting on her nest! The gift shops were awesome, too! I highly recommend this place.

1  Thank mimitosix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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