One perfect day at the Tucson Botanical Garden

Browse the sensational succulents and other Southwestern plants at this Arizona garden

Tohono Chul Park

Visit the botanical oasis of Tohono Chul Park in Tucson.

Andrea Gómez Romero

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Tucson Botanical Gardens
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Pure Beauty Garden Shop
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La Cocina Mexican Restaurant
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Why go now: In a word, flowers. In late April, saguaros pop little white blossoms that look like Easter bonnets. Trust us, it's cool.

Brake for cactus: Tucson is home to the world's largest regional cactus and succulent society (tucsoncactus.org), and montly meetings are open to the public.

Go native: Desert Survivors (Closed Sun, 1020 W. Starr Pass Blvd., 520/791-9309) is your spot for super-rare natives like red barberry.

Stranges souvenir: Living rocks (Lithops) resemble tiny sea cucumbers and are great for a lonely windowsill. Browse the mother lode at Plants for the Southwest (closed Sun, 50 E. Blacklidge Dr., lithops.com).

Oodles of noodles: The 17th Street Market (closed Sun, 840 E. 17th St., 520/792-2588), in the Warehouse Arts District, specialized in ethnic groceries, including more than 50 types of instant-ramen bowls.

Three times a farm: If you miss the Friday farmers' market, there's another one Saturday--and a third on Sunday (times and locations at farmersmarkettucson.com).

An amusement park of plants: Located 10 worth-it miles north of downtown, Tohono Chul Park is a 47-acre botanical oasis with paths, nine gardens, galleries, greenhouses, and shops. See the wildflower displays of the Sonoran Seasons Garden, then hit the tearoom ($, 520/797-1222) for lunch. The dish to try: sinus-clearing red posole, best enjoyed on the rear patio so you can watch the action in the Hummingbird Garden. $7, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, tohonochulpark.org

 

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