Direction: The Tucson Botanical Gardens are located on Alvernon Road. To get to the gardens from the University of Arizona take Grant Road east towards the Rincon Mountains. Turn right onto Alvernon Road. Look for the entrance and parking lot on the left. Admission is $13 with three and under free. If you are going to go more than once I would definitely suggest a membership as it is very affordable.
These gardens are small in acreage. Where most botanical gardens can be 35 acres Tucson's are 5-10 however, staff do a good job in utilizing the space they do have. I read online that Tucson's has the same number of plant species as the Phoenix Botanical Garden's but Phoenix's is about 35 acres. Definitely the highlight is the butterfly and orchid exhibit. At any given time in the Greenhouse there can be about 300 butterflies with many different species from Australia and New Zealand. I enjoyed this exhibit as much as my son Quintin. Keep an eye out for Dart frogs as they can be seen hidden among the plants. For the railroad enthusiast they do have a G-scale Garden Railway based on a fictional town of Thornville. Other highlights include the Cactus and Succulent Garden, the Zen Garden, Historical Garden and Prehistoric Garden.