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Tohono Chul, Tucson

4.7
#2 of 44 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.
Use our Tucson day trip website to arrange your visit to Tohono Chul and other attractions in Tucson.
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Tohono Chul Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,336 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We are members of this beautiful urban desert oasis and enjoy visiting it often in the winter. We love the plants, the landscape, the programs, the gift shops, the volunteers, the sculptures and the b...  more »
  • Absolutely beautiful desert gardens full of birds and gorgeous art! We arrived early and had a guided birding tour that was included with our admission ticket. Our docent Carol was amazing. If we had ...  more »
Google
  • Overall a nice scene and patio. Would be wonderful when the weather is not so extreme. Menu feels a bit lacking, no simple or straight forward breakfast options. Food is alright as well. Nothing fantastic and the ingredients don't seem that high end. Service was also lacking a little bit here and there. Server didn't really seem like he wanted to be there or had a great knowledge of the menu. Price is as expected, high because of the name/location. I'm not shocked but the cost doesn't reflect quality or menu diversity and especially not the service. Mostly just the fact that it's Tohono Chul.
  • Tasty and Charming. Quite adorable atmosphere. Perfect place to enjoy breakfast for two or brunch with friends. Received four stars due to spider web in the corner table seating area. Restroom was roomy and clean. Unique gift shop and beautiful desert garden tour for self guiding tour. A hidden gem in Tucson.

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