Don't be misled by the name, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is not actually just a museum, it is a zoo, garden, and aquarium, publisher in one! Founded in 1952 and going strong for more than 50 years, this zoo has gotten numerous accreditations for its programs and exhibits, while consistently getting great reviews from visitors. Located to the west of Tucson, Arizona, it is within a 20 mile drive (around 35 minutes without traffic), from the downtown area.
Things to Do
There are plenty to see and do in this museum, it is just hard to keep up!
- Walk/Hike - There's a total of two miles of walking paths that covers around 21 acres of the desert landscape in the area that you can explore! Then again, when you walk through the zoo and other exhibits, that's an extra few hours of walking around.
- Attend an event - The zoo hosts several events for adults and children alike. Check their website for their offerings, as the events change from day to day.
- See the animals - Over 12,000 animals are housed in the zoo, which is divided into different regions (ie Desert grassland, reptiles, aquarium). They have mountain lions and bobcats!
- Watch a live animal presentation - during certain hours, the zoo has a presentation where you can interact with the keepers and docents and the animals that they care for. While you can't touch the animals, you can see them up close
- Attend a guided tour - docents guide you throughout the zoo/museum areas, pointing out different things you may have missed out and telling stories and facts. These docents are very knowledgeable and have been a highlight in some people's visits!
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Insider Tips
- As the zoo is in the desert, expect high temperatures during the summer. There are numerous water fountains available throughout the zoo where you can refill your water bottles. Bring enough sunscreen to last your family for the day.