Gardening Articles: Health :: Garden Travel

Desert Treasures (page 3 of 3)

by Michael MacCaskey

Alfresco dining among native plants at the Ocotillo Cafe.

Practical details

It's easy to spend a full day walking the trails, especially if you enjoy photographing the plants and animals you see along the way. While there are ramadas (shade structures) and even underground displays, you'll mostly be outside, usually in full sun. Wear a hat and sunscreen, not to mention comfortable shoes. There are a number of paved trails that are wheelchair accessible.

You'll find several drinking fountains, two restaurants, a coffee bar, and a snack bar. The Ocotillo Cafe features full-service dining in elegant indoor and patio settings. From December to April, it's open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. During the rest of the year, the Ocotillo serves a Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The less formal Ironwood Terraces are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and Phoebe's Coffee Bar is open daily during museum hours.

Winter hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. March through September). Admission costs $9.95 for ages 13 and over, $1.75 for ages 6 through 12. Museum members and ages under 6 are admitted free.

The museum, at 2021 North Kinney Road, is 14 miles west of downtown Tucson. From Interstate 10, take Speedway Boulevard west; at Camino de Oeste, Speedway becomes Gates Pass Road, then Kinney Road. From there, follow the signs to the museum. From downtown Phoenix, it's a 2-hour drive southeast on Interstate 10; exit west at Speedway Boulevard.

For more information, call (520) 883-1380, or see the museum's Web site.

Michael MacCaskey is a former editorial director of National Gardening.

Photography by: Adriel Heisey (top); Michael MaCaskey (lazuli bunting); all others Paul Berquist

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