Arizona is a treasure trove of natural and cultural beauties. The Sonoran Desert is the hottest of the North American deserts and covers more than 100,000 square miles. In addition to the high temperatures, the Sonoran Desert also gets more rainfall than any other desert, which can bring a cool respite to the heat. The animals and plants found in Southern Arizona are suited perfectly to this environment.
Whether you’re new to the area or a long-time resident, exploring the landscape around you can be informative and relaxing. There’s always something to see in our great outdoors, whether you reside in Phoenix or Tucson.
Tucson Area Attractions
Tucson is in a great location for nature lovers. Nestled between Sabino Canyon, Mount Lemmon, and Saguaro National Parks there are nature trails galore, whether you prefer to walk, hike, or bike them. Of course, for a different kind of communing with nature you can always check out the Tucson Botanical Gardens, near Alvernon Way and Grant Road. With a full event calendar, signature gardening classes, and intriguing youth programs, this small public garden is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city.
Founded in 1952 on 47 developed and curated acres, the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum features two miles of walking paths, 16 individual gardens, 1,200 native plant species, and 56,000 individual plants in addition to an animal collection that includes more than 230 mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and birds. With seasonal events and live animal presentations, every visit to the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum can lead to a new discovery about our desert home.
Another natural site to check out just north of Tucson is Biosphere 2. This center dedicated to lifelong learning brings scientists and the public together in a unique environment that allows people to discover the many systems of our planet all in one place. The Biosphere continues to serve science in its search for the “big answers” as well as the public by building understanding about global environmental concerns, while also helping visitors rediscover their sense of wonder.
Just south of the city you can find a beautiful part of the area’s history—Mission San Xavier del Bac. More than just a monument, this National Historic Landmark founded by Father Eusebio Kin in 1692 is still a working Catholic church. The interior is filled with original statuary and murals, allowing visitors to step back into the 18th-century space.
Phoenix Area Attractions
With high desert skies and surrounded by mountains, southern Arizona is an outdoor wonderland. Here are some amazing ways to enjoy the great outdoors in the Valley of the Sun for our Phoenix residents.
The Echo Canyon trail at Camelback Mountain is one of the most popular hiking trails in the valley of the sun. It is brimming with native Sonoran Desert flora and fauna as well as friendlier desert dwellers. Do be careful, as rattlesnakes are also common.
You’ll also find the Desert Botanical Garden here. Whether you’re exploring the garden trails; participating in weekly activities, like flashlight tours; viewing special exhibits, including Bruce Munro’s Sonoran Light; or taking one of their gardening programs, you’re sure to find a serene spot within the 55 cultivated acres of the 140-acre garden. This is one of only 24 botanical gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Open Invitation for Adventure
In the Sonoran Desert, every time you step out your door it can be an adventure. Whether you’re trekking far from home or just down the street, Phoenix and Tucson offer their residents amazing natural getaways within the city limits sure to enthrall residents both old and new. These spots are just a few of the treasures our luxury apartment home residents can enjoy.