Desert Botanical Garden

Top choice Gardens

in Phoenix
Image by Emily Riddell / Getty Images
Image by Emily Riddell / Getty Images

Blue bells and Mexican gold poppies are just two of the colorful showstoppers blooming from March to May along the Desert Wildflower Loop Trail at this well-nurtured botanical garden, a lovely place to reconnect with nature while learning about desert plant life. Looping trails lead past a profusion of desert denizens, arranged by theme (including a Sonoran Desert nature loop and an edible desert garden). It's pretty dazzling year-round, but the flowering spring season is the busiest and most colorful.

Another highlight is nighttime luminarias in the winter months, when the gardens form the backdrop for a dazzling light installation (admission from $25).