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Featured Photo by Desert Botanical Garden

4 Gorgeous Gardens To Visit This Spring in Phoenix Near The Salt River

March and April are the best times to see the local flora on full display in Phoenix, a beautiful mix of cacti, wildflowers, and other flowering plants. If you’re planning a visit to the city, Spring is the perfect season to explore and view the gorgeous gardens and wildflower displays. Here are a few of the best local gardens and locations in Greater Phoenix to get you started on your plant filled adventures.

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Phoenix Gardens: Desert Botanical Garden

Best For Fun Events & Exhibits
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is home to thousands of species of cactus, trees, and flowers from all around the world. The garden is a fun place to visit whether you are a local or a visitor, and it is an especially popular spot in the spring and summer. Throughout the year there are rotating exhibits and events that can make your visit all the more special. Past Spring exhibits and events have included a butterfly exhibit, Dog Days at the Garden, Chihuly in the Desert, and more! The garden even has a variety of Sonoran Desert nature paths and hiking trails where you can experience some of the most unique and beautiful plants that thrive in some of the hottest and driest parts of the world.

Desert Botanical Garden Trip Tips
Entrance Fee: Tickets, Featured: Chihuly in the Desert, Nearby Attractions: Phoenix Zoo, Fate Brewing Company

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Best For Cultural Learning
In partnership with their sister city Himeji in Japan, the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix offers an authentic Japanese Garden experience with a variety of events and programs. The garden is a place to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of a traditional Japanese garden. But it is also a place for educational and artistic programs and events that celebrate the rich history and culture of Japan. Visitors can partake in events and workshops that fall on the day they visit, including Aikido in the Garden, Moon Meditation in the Garden, and other events focused on sharing Japanese culture and traditions. But you can also just enjoy a stroll through the garden, exploring the tea garden, tea house, stone footbridges, lanterns, and more than 50 varieties of plants.

Japanese Friendship Garden Of Phoenix Arizona Trip Tips
Entrance Fee: Tickets, Featured: Japanese Tea House and Garden, Nearby Attractions: The Vig Fillmore, Phoenix Art Museum

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Phoenix Gardens: Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Best For Tours
The oldest and the largest botanical garden in Arizona, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is another great location to view and learn about native and international plants in Phoenix. The arboretum is located on over 340 acres of upland Sonoran Desert with 3,900 taxa, 19,000 plants, 135 acres of gardens, and nearly five miles of trails. Visitors can view collections of desert plants from around the world including Mexico, Australia, South America, Africa, and more. Here you can also go on guided tours and walks with focuses ranging from plants and wildlife to history and geology. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a great place to hike, visit with friends, and learn about desert plants, wildlife, and ecosystems and the arboretum’s conservation efforts.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum Trip Tips
Entrance Fee: Tickets, Featured: Wallace Rose Garden, Nearby Attractions: Superstition Mountains

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Photo by Visit Phoenix

Phoenix Gardens: Sonoran Desert

Best For Open Ended Exploring
While it is not a garden by standard definition, the Sonoran Desert is full of endless miles of recreation areas, preserves, conservation areas, and parks where the public can go to see the local wildflowers and flowering plants bloom every Spring. These destinations require visitors to hit the hiking trails, but the views of the blooms and variety of flowers make the trek worthwhile to most. One place to start is the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. Here you can find yellow brittlebush, red-orange globemallow, marigold, and more along Apache Wash Trailhead and the Desert Vista Trail. Other great locations include the Piestewa Peak and Dreamy Draw Recreation Area, the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, and Lost Dutchman State Park.

Sonoran Desert Trip Tips
Entrance Fee or Pass: Varies per destination, Featured: Phoenix Mountains Preserve, Nearby Attractions: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Content Writer and Social Media Coordinator. I paint, listen to music, and play with my dogs a lot. When I’m not doing all that, I love to read and try new things.

Maeve Miller

Writer, River Travel Magazine