This past week I was fortunate to be invited to explore the Desert Botanical Garden while visiting the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Located in Papago Park, not far from downtown Phoenix, the park is a local gem for any visitor either living in the area or coming from another place, like me. A “Phoenix Point of Pride,” it’s one of only a few botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. And it feels like a museum! The 20,000 plants from around the world represent 3,931 plant classifications in 139 plant families. They accurately depict the Sonoran Desert and are fantastic and jaw-dropping. There are five walking trails with yucca-fiber, wildflowers and a zillion cacti of all sizes to observe. Coming from New York, it was a dazzling sight, all of it.
Visting the Garden was an education in desert flora. And my friend, Roseanna, couldn’t stop hugging the cacti. I’m serious! It was really something to see – her hands didn’t actually hug the pricklies.
Between November 30th – December 30th, the Garden is hosting Las Noches de Las Luminaris. Each night of Luminaria, the Garden will light up with 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags and thousands of white twinkle lights.
If all that isn’t enough, we were there the same day as the Chocolate and Chiles Festival. Yes, I was thinking of my sister, Mindi, writer over at 2 Food Trippers. What a pleasure walking our way around the garden noshing on chocolate, salsas, spicy cookies and homemade pasta. My sister would have been in absolute heaven.
The Garden is located at 1201 North Galvin Parkway, Tel: 480-481-8104. Adults are $18.00, children ages 3-12 are $8, students are $10 and seniors are $15.
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary admission by the team at the Desert Botanical Garden but all opinions are my own. It was truly a wonderful afternoon.