We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Day well spent ”

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Ranked #2 of 320 things to do in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This renowned combination zoo, natural history museum, botanical garden and art gallery reflects the diverse flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert, featuring wildlife such as coyotes, bears and mountain lions in their natural settings and two aviaries; one for hummingbirds and the other for varied desert birds.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Visited with my husband and 2 kids aged 8 and 4 - forgot the stroller so rented one there for 5 bucks. It’s a lot of walking and exhibits were educational and interesting. Some main ones like the mountain lion was being cleaned and we arrived at noon and couldn’t see many of the animals - guess they were napping. Arrive early. It was very crowded and the restaurants took long due to this. Loved learning about the dessert environment and worth one Visit. I loved it and love animals and it’s good for one visit.

Thank drsaloni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (7,659)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"desert museum"
in 782 reviews
"hummingbird aviary"
in 351 reviews
"the raptor free flight"
in 156 reviews
"raptor demonstration"
in 78 reviews
"birds of prey"
in 147 reviews
"prairie dogs"
in 155 reviews
"mountain lion"
in 199 reviews
"live animals"
in 73 reviews
"flora and fauna"
in 270 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 91 reviews
"animal exhibits"
in 76 reviews
"all ages"
in 327 reviews
"cactus garden"
in 75 reviews
"tucson area"
in 193 reviews
"gift shop"
in 235 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 121 reviews
"botanical gardens"
in 85 reviews

213 - 217 of 7,659 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Fabulous experience! We fortunately arrived just before 8 am on Saturday, Mar 31st and had the place to ourselves! Stingrays well worth $3 extra per person! Also loved the river otter and Fox ! Memorable experiences and views looking toward the West are fabulous! In addition, the drive from Speedway through The Sajuaro Cacti’s is an gorgeous adventure! My 10 year old son loved it! 3 hours minimum needed and you still can’t see everything! Parking was a breeze but we arrived early. Next time I’ll arrive by 7!

Thank Blackjacklab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 April 2018

This isn't a museum in the usual sense as most of it is outdoors. Being from PA it was a treat being outside walking among the cacti & other desert flora on a sunny day in February. There are so many trails to explore + an aviary & a hummingbird house. It is a must see when you are in Tucson.

Thank Kanilea361
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

We really enjoyed our visit to the desert museum. There is much to see here, and the displays and walks are interesting and informative. Be prepared for a lot of walking!

Thank lovecruisin09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed 3 April 2018

My in-laws live in Tucson, and we take our daughter out there every Spring Break. Every year we go to the Desert Museum, because I love it so much! It is called a "museum", but it is mostly outdoors. They have a number of captive animals you can often see (unless they are sleeping out of sight), but because the place is actually in the Sonoran Desert there are squirrels, tarantula hawk wasps (we saw one once, dragging a small tarantula back to its burrow to feed its larvae!), bees, butterflies bee-mimicking flies, lizards, birds and other animals outside of any exhibit, doing what they do, maybe feeding on cactus fruits or drinking nectar from flowers. My favorite spot in the whole museum is the hummingbird aviary. Be prepared to spend at least 20-30 minutes in there, and talk to the volunteers, who are very knowledgeable about the birds. The volunteer can tell you where to spot the rufous hummingbird, who kind of hides in one corner of the aviary, and will help you find any nests you have missed. The birds are not tame, but are very used to people and will buzz right by you -- or as happened to my husband, try to pull out a couple of gray temple hairs for nesting material! There is a cafeteria style restaurant or a full-service sit-down restaurant. For the latter, be prepared to wait a while. We were told 45 minutes but waited about twice that. It was surprisingly good, though. If you are there with kids, don't miss the little tan booklet (an extra $1) to fill with stamps you find as you wander around and look at the animals. Then, if you need to beat the heat, there are indoor areas near the exit where you can see reptiles and fish. If you want to see the daily raptor free flight show, get to that area early -- it fills up very fast! If you are ok with not having the birds fly low over your heads, you can stop at one of the viewing areas on the way down. They fill up less quickly, but you obviously get a less up-close-and-personal view. Dress for walking, and absolutely bring a sun hat! If you forget the sunscreen, it's available for free in the bathrooms. Bring a refillable water bottle; there are a number of fountains around the paths.

1  Thank Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum also viewed


Been to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing