The Desert Museum is ranked on TripAdvisor.com as one of the Top 10 Museums in the country and the #1 Tucson attraction. Unlike most museums, about 85% of the experience is outdoors!
The 98 acre Desert Museum is a fusion experience: zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium.
- 21 interpreted acres with two miles of walking paths through various desert habitats
- 230 animal species
- 1,200 types of plants — 56,000 individual specimens
- One of the world’s most comprehensive regional mineral collections
Beyond merely an attraction, the Museum’s conservation and research programs are providing important information to help conserve the Sonoran Desert region.
The Desert Museum’s Art Institute inspires conservation through art education and gallery exhibits. The Museum’s publishing division, ASDM Press, has produced over 40 books and guides on the natural and cultural history of the Sonoran Desert region.
Holy cow, how can I explain this place?! It is a fantastic place which takes the “traditional” sense of a museum and flips it on its head! The majority of the place is out doors, and the incorporation of natural elements is genius. They have many live animals and in many of their exhibits they left me wondering “how did they build this?!” The exhibits are so natural, yet they give you the chance to be up close and personal (see the otter and beaver). In addition…look for all the secrets sprinkled throughout the museum! My favorite gallery was the cave! (Please explore the upper area if you can!!) I spent 7+ hours and still didn’t get to explore all the gardens or the trails! Come prepared for some exercise and bring some water as this is a major immersive experience. Volunteers and staff seemed to love their jobs and were happy to talk to guests. Food in the cafe was a little sub par but it’s not like we went to the museum for food! Overall excellent museum, easily one of the best in the country! It’s a must visit if you’re in the area. Even if you’re in Phoenix it’s worth the 2 hour drive!
– Dean F.
I have been wanting to bring my kids here for 2 years now and I finally did and it was everything I wanted and more!
My sister in law was in town from Ohio so I had to take her.
We spent HOURS here. We still didn’t feel like we saw everything. Everyone was friendly and even the guests were so happy that everyone was helping everyone.
I am looking forward to another visit and taking my husband. I loved it so much I am buying a membership!
– Melissa D.
The Desert Museum is a treasure. The new pack rat playhouse is awesome. It is not the cheapest place to go, but kids 3 and under are free and they are one of the few places that give a resident discount. The biggest drawback if you have little kids is the path, which is naturally landscaped with treacherous cacti (so just keep your feet on the path and you’re fine!). This is also a great tourist stop!
– Morgan S.
Seriously the best museum I have ever been to. The kids love watching all the animals and I love the fact they are all in such a natural habitat. The entire property is so well maintained, the volunteers are so knowledgeable and helpful. Absolutely recommend to everyone!
– Tia M.
Bring comfy shoes, clothes, and a big hat! Prepare to walk through beautiful and awesome animals, plants, etc. seeing quite a bit, then eat at one of two restaurants and continue your journey. Beautiful natural flowers and historical things to see. Great fun for the family!
– Darlene T.
- Guest reviewed 9 months ago
- last edited 9 months ago
You must go! The animals are amazing! I’ve been here a few time in the last two month and I see and learn new things every time I go! Such an awesome experience. The raptor flight is worth waiting on. The coffee shop has great snacks. The people that work here are so friendly and helpful.
– David P.