Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Visit to Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens


Now that I am finished with all the repairs to our RV we started looking for something fun to do. After scouring the internet I came across the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens. It seems that once a month (the second Tuesday) there is free admission.


We have been burned on things like this before by showing up only to find out the offer wasn’t valid anymore, especially since Covid happened. I did call ahead to check and was glad we did since visitors are required to obtain a ticket even though it is indeed free on the second Tuesday of each month.


I check out their website and only one time slot was left (actually one of the times we  preferred) so we scored our tickets. It was only about a thirty minute drive over to the gardens from our RV park so we parked (also free) and walked to the main entrance.


We were certainly glad we had tickets because a lot of people (disgruntled people) were near the entrance booths complaining about the need for tickets and that none were now available. We showed our OCR codes from my phone to the ticket taker and in we went.


We walked the entire trail system within the Gardens. Our favorite was an unexpected exhibit – the Butterfly Pavilion. It really is pretty cool as it is a 3,200 square foot open-air structure. It features plush garden plantings along with a water feature and thousands of live colorful butterflies.


We spent a good deal of time enjoying the variety of butterflies before venturing back out into the gardens. There were several loops representing different types of natural gardens. The varieties of cacti were as abundant as anywhere we have ever visited. There were also lots of plants still flowering adding beautiful splashes of color here and there. Some of the unique features of the garden were:


  • The subfamily Opuntioideae: The Garden features the world’s most complete collection of this group, displaying 208 of the 261 species and varieties recognized
  • Over 2/3 of the total number of species in the cactus family are held in the Garden’s collection
  • The Garden displays 186 of the 212 known species and varieties in the genus Agave, making this the most prominent agave collection in the United States and perhaps in the world.


We spent several hours enjoying the plants, butterflies and birds in the gardens. Upon leaving we decided to go to one of our favorite happy hours in Gilbert AZ called Joyride. They have one of the best happy hours in the area for sure and was the perfect ending to a great day…

NOTE:  We are currently in Mesa, Arizona until November 1st…

1 comment:

  1. We visited several years ago, I agree it is well worth the time ... even if you have to pay! (as we did)
    Congrats on finishing those RV repairs!