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“Part Museum, Part Zoo”

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Ranked #2 of 316 things to do in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
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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, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 16 June 2014

This is really worth going to. It will give you a great education of both the plants and animals of the desert in a natural way. My young children really enjoyed it. Make sure to get there early, they open around 7:30AM - the temperature is lower, it is less crowded and the animals are more active.

Thank ConstantTraveller74
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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4,748 - 4,752 of 7,546 reviews

Reviewed 14 June 2014

We live in Tucson and love to visit on a regular basis. There is so much to see it can't be done in one visit. Visitors will be surprised by the variety of nature that lives in our desert. There are two aviaries, a cave to explore, an art gallery, multiple animal and plant displays. Many docents are doing presentations and animal displays. When it is hot in the summer they are open Saturday nights, with a lot of additional activites. The grill is a good place to eat with kids and there is a more formal restaurant as well if you have more time to sit and would like to enjoy a nice meal.

Thank Fangerfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2014

Well worth the visit. Go in the morning because it starts to get very warm after 10 am. The desert habitat is well placed and staff are helpful and knowledgeable.

Thank stargazer1119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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

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