Tucson Botanical Gardens
The Tucson Botanical Gardens are open daily 8:30am to 4:30pm. It is closed on January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, December 24, and December 25. Admission is $5 for those over 12, $2.50 for kids ages 6 to 12, and kids under 6 are admitted for free. Their website is www.tucsonbotanicalgardens.org and is useful for finding out about special events going on at the gardens.
The gardens are designed in a way that you can easily follow the paths around to see everything without really recovering ground. The map even outlines how you should make your way through the gardens in order to do this. The gardens are for the most part handicap accessible. The door to the building with the gift shop and you pay your admission even has an automatic door activated by the typical blue wheelchair button. The only place I noticed it might have been tough if my brother had come along was in the small tropical greenhouse where there was one wide path and one narrow path, but you could pretty easily look down the narrow path and see what is there without having to go down it. Also, some of the paths are gravel, but it is packed down enough that wheelchairs and strollers should have little to no problem.
The Botanical Gardens have many different areas including a Herb Garden, a Historical Garden, a Zen Garden, Cactus and Succulent Garden, and Native American Crops Garden. My favorite garden was the Herb Garden, as I have always loved to see and smell herbs that can be used for different purposes. I especially enjoyed the different mint plants that where in the Herb Garden including bubble gum mint, spearmint, and pineapple mint. One day I hope to have a diverse mint garden in my own backyard, but until them I will have to be satisfied with enjoying the ones at the Botanical Gardens.
Besides plants you may also be lucky enough to site some wildlife while in the gardens. During my visit we saw several lizards. We also got to see a Northern Cardinal, as well as many other birds including a family of quail with members from big to very small.
The Gardens have a Café rather centrally located. There is also several water stations throughout and they should not be ignored since it can be easy to be dehydrated in the desert climate of Tucson. The way the gardens are designed, though, you do not feel the heat too much as there is plenty of shade, but it is still dry and you are likely to get thirsty.