Desert Botanical Garden
Guayacan flowers ©
If you don't particularly like cacti before your visit, there is a good chance you'll fall in love with them by the time you leave. These Desert Botanical Gardens get high ratings not only for the size and range of the botanical collection - 21,000 plants, representing 139 species - but also the inventive way visitors get to experience them. Founded in 1939, the garden provides visitors with a fascinating and colourful introduction to the ethnobotany of the region. A highlight is the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert Trail which allows you to make your own yucca-fibre brush and grind corn as the Native Americans once did. Over November and December the gardens are lit up at night by beautiful luminarias (candles inside small bags). Photographers will find plenty of worthy material!