I have been to this garden numerous times, and always thoroughly enjoy it. The gardens themselves are beautiful, providing an education on the nature and people of the Sonoran Desert. I was also fortunate to see the Chihuli In The Garden exhibit (photo below).
Located in Papago Park, The Desert Botanical Garden covers 140 acres and provides one of the world's best opportunities for viewing a diverse group of desert plants.
Papago park was founded in 19371, and continues to grow. Its mission is to provide education about and conservation of desert plants. Over 300,000 visitors per year come to see the garden, which includes over 100 rare, threatened and endangered plant species1.
Trails are easy, well maintained and mostly flat. A restaurant is located on the site. Special tours are available, such as the "Flashlight Tour" which features critters of the night. The Plants And Animals Of The Sonoran Desert Tour covers the medicinal and utilitarian uses of some of the plants of the Sonoran desert. Click the link listed below under "Resources" for more information on fees, tours, hours and activities.
Though located in the heart of the city, near Sky Harbor airport, the park remains a pristine escape to unspoiled desert.
Stroll through the grounds, then take in the current exhibit. Top off your day with a picnic lunch.
For a list of exhibits, go to: dbg.org: Desert Botanical Garden
1. dbg.org: Desert Botanical Garden