The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum interprets the natural history of a single region — the Sonoran Desert — widely recognized as the lushest desert on earth. The name “museum” is misleading as most of the exhibits are outdoor, living exhibits which replicate natural habitats and the interrelationships of plants, animals and geology. It is a fusion experience: zoo • natural history museum • botanical garden • art gallery and aquarium.
It features 2 miles of walking paths weaving through 21 acres of desert landscape and is home to more than 230 animal and 1,200 plant species. The Desert Museum's 16 individual gardens represent a variety of biotic communities found within the Sonoran Desert showcasing over 56,000 individual plants. The Museum has one of the world’s most comprehensive regional mineral and fossil collections with 16,000 catalogued specimens housed within its Earth Sciences Center cave. Daily live animal presentations, docent stations and animal keeper interactions augment and enhance visitors’ experiences while on the grounds.
In 2013, TripAdvisor.com reviewers ranked the Desert Museum as the #5 botanical garden and #5 museum in the United States and the #9 Museum in the world. The Museum is located 14 miles west of Tucson adjacent to Saguaro National Park (west). The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is open every day of the year – see www.desertmuseum.org for hours, rates and special events.
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