Destination Tohono Chul
Delights at every turn.
Spring is a fantastic time to visit Tohono Chul. Within its 49-acres showcasing an incredible array of Sonoran Desert plants and themed gardens are nature trails, a recirculating stream, exhibits, an art gallery, children’s ramada, courtyards, two gift shops, a retail greenhouse, bistro and resident birds, reptiles and mammals.
A truly unique experience.
What truly distinguishes Tohono Chul is its charter to help visitors better understand the interplay among the desert and its plants, animals and people from prehistoric times to present day. The park also features beautifully renovated hacienda-style homes dating back to the 1930s used for the Exhibit House, gift shops and bistro.
Spend the day surrounded in splendor.
The grounds open at 8 am, and the Garden Bistro and shops (La Fuente, La Galleria) open at 9 am. All close at 5 pm, unless there is a special event. For the safety of guests and staff, Tohono Chul is selling “timed” admission tickets online to give guests plenty of room to enjoy the park. It’s best to buy tickets at least two days in advance. Masks and social distancing are required and there are hand sanitizer stations located throughout the gardens.
How’s this for a perfect day?
A perfect visit could include an early morning tour of the gardens. There are more than eight distinct gardens — hummingbird, penstemon, desert palm oasis, children’s, streamside, sin aqua (without water), ethnobotanical, and desert living courtyard gardens. The diversity, resilience, hues, textures and scents of the gardens are incredible to behold.
Enjoy brunch at the Garden Bistro.
Following a tour of the gardens, why not enjoy brunch at the Garden Bistro. The bistro’s menu features amazing Southwestern entrees like the Dos Rancheros — two eggs served over native fry bread, Mexican cheese, roasted tomatillo ranchero sauce and red chile chicken sausage. The bistro is also known for its beverages, from locally sourced coffee, fresh-squeezed juice to jewel-toned prickly pear margaritas.
Shop for one-of-a-kind treasures.
After brunch, you could visit the gift shops offering local and unique art and gifts, regional foods and teas, Southwest-themed books, children’s gifts, native jewelry, Oaxacan carvings and Mata Ortiz Pottery and more. And proceeds from your purchases are used to maintain the park!
Bring home some native plants.
Last, but not least, visit the greenhouse with its wide selection of arid-adapted and cold-hardy plants along with gardening books, accessories and environmentally friendly products. The plants are mostly grown from seeds and cuttings, are arid-adapted, support native native pollinators and are sure to look stunning in your garden.
Don’t forget your camera!
There is a lot to see and experience at Tohono Chul. When you visit, be sure to bring a bottle of water for hydration, sunscreen and a camera. The majestic Santa Catalina mountains serve as a stunning backdrop for photos of you and yours enjoying a perfect day at the park.