Escape the cold weather next February! Join Reiman Gardens Director and horticulturist, Ed Lyon in Arizona for a fascinating botanical visit to Arizona. We’ll visit iconic southwestern horticultural sites such as the Desert Botanical Garden, Japanese Friendship Garden, Tohono Chul Gardens, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Park, plus private nurseries and gardens. We’ll also experience Taliesin West, take a narrated Tram through the rich flora and fauna of Sabino Canyon, walk through the Biosphere 2, and experience delicious southwest cooking.
- Iconic Arizona botanical sites, including Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tohono Chul, and Desert Botanical Gardens
- Take in the beauty of Saguaro National Park
- Private nursery and garden visit
- Tram ride through Sabino Canyon
Blessed with 360 sunny days a year, Arizona offers flora and fauna at its best. Arrive today, and this evening get to know your fellow travelers at our Welcome Dinner. D
DAY 2—TALIESIN/DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN/RUSTLER’S ROOSTE
We begin with a tour of Taliesin West, nestled in the McDowell Mountain desert foothills. Frank Lloyd Wright’s beloved winter home is connected to the desert, and is considered one of the most personal of the architect’s creation. We’ll next visit the private House of Desert Gardens at the foot of Camelback Mountain. Demonstrating landscape architecture at its finest, its garden galleries showcase an interplay of complementary plant species from around the world. The Arizona desert is home to thousands of species of cactus, trees and flowers. One of the best places to experience this awesome variety is at the Desert Botanical Garden. Over 50,000 are displayed, including hundreds of endangered species. We enjoy dinner at Rustler’s Rooste, situated atop a butte. Once a hideout for cattle rustlers, we’ll enter through a mine shaft and saunter over an indoor waterfall. B, L, D
DAY 3—BOYCE THOMPSON ARBORETUM/BIOSPHERE 2
First off today is a visit to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Set against towering Picketpost Mountain, the Arboretum brings together plants from our planet’s many varied deserts and dry lands, displaying them alongside native Sonoran Desert vegetation. Later, one of the world’s most unique facilities dedicated to the research and understanding of global scientific issues hosts us. The Biosphere 2 facility serves as living laboratory where the desert, rainforest, ocean and other ecosystems are monitored and studied. We settle in for the next three evenings at the Embassy Suites in Tucson—where each room is a deluxe two room suite. B, L
DAY 4—PRIVATE GARDEN/SABINO CANYON/DUDE RANCH
This morning a private garden and home greet as we visit Greg Cormon’s studio, featuring wildlife-habitat sculptures and other artistic elements, plus stock tank gardens, mini water features, and a giant crested saguaro. Nearby we’ll tour Alex Heveri’s home filled with her amazing works of glass and steel structures. Alex’s work is currently featured at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa. With soaring mountains and deep canyons, the unique plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert welcome us this afternoon on a tram ride through the rocky gorges and spectacular canyons of Sabino Canyon. Tonight we travel “out west” to the Tanque Verde Dude Ranch for a down-home ranch BBQ experience. All the fixn’s welcome us, along with live music, a roaring fire, and an incredible backdrop of the Rincon Mountains. B, L, D
DAY 5—TOHONO CHUL/ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM/SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK
Embrace the authentic beauty of the Sonoran Desert at Tohono Chul, set against the spectacular Santa Catalina Mountains. Named “One of the World’s Ten Best Botanical Gardens” by Travel &
Leisure, Tohono Chul offers winding paths past soaring Saguaros, themed gardens and encounters with busy hummingbirds. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, ranked as one of the Top 10 Museums in the
Country, is different than most—85% of the experience is outdoors. Besides plant life, 242 animal species are on display, as is one of the world’s most comprehensive mineral. The giant saguaro, our country’s largest cacti, is only found in a small area of the United States. These majestic plants, are a famous symbol of the Southwest and protected by Saguaro National Park, our final visit of the day. Relax tonight with your traveling companions at our hotel's complimentary cocktail reception. B, L
DAY 6—TUCSON BOTANICAL GARDEN/OLIVE MILL/JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN
This morning we visit the Tucson Botanical Gardens, home to 5.5 acres and 16 residentially scaled urban
gardens. Next we tour Queen Creek Olive Mill, Arizona’s only working olive farm and mill. Learn first hand how olives is pressed in extra virgin olive oil. This afternoon, we stop at the Japanese Friendship Garden of
Phoenix, an authentic Japanese Stroll Garden with tea garden and tea house. This tranquil setting features 1,500 tons of hand-picked rock, flowing streams, Koi ponds, and several varieties of plants. Tonight we enjoy a relaxing farewell dinner. B, L, D
Say good-bye to our fellow travelers with memories of gorgeous southern Arizona and its colorful plants, flowers, landscapes and wildlife. B
Nights 1-2: Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport
Nights 3-5: Embassy Suites Tucson East
Night 6: Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport
Feb 18-24, 2024
Price Per Person:
Double $2,297; Single $2,825
Pre-/Post-Tour Hotel: $168/night
- Free airport shuttle or hotel parking
- Welcome Dinner and meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
- Fees and tips for included attractions and meals
- Luggage handling at most hotels
- Free bottled water on coach
- 24-hour emergency call service
Our Welcome Dinner on Day 1 is at our hotel, Radisson Phoenix Airport, starting at 6:30 p.m. We recommend scheduling your flight to arrive by 4:00 p.m.
You may depart anytime on Day 7. Complimentary breakfast will be provided in the morning so we recommend scheduling your flight at 10:00 a.m. or later if you would like to enjoy the breakfast
Our starting hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to/from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. If you are driving to the starting location, they also offer complimentary parking for the duration of the tour.
high 75°/ low 50°
Mountain Standard Time
Moderate walking is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking will also be on uneven paths and sand. While walking canes are allowed, we are unable to accommodate travelers using other mobility devices, including walkers and wheelchairs.
Hair dryers, TV/cable, telephone, outdoor swimming pools available at hotels.
Dress on tour is casual. Closed toe shoes that you’re comfortable walking in are highly recommended. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat will add to your enjoyment of this tour.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further information approximately 90 days prior to departure with important details regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing your final documents.
Travel Protection Available?
Yes, see CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/TravelProtectionPlan.
Terms & Conditions
Tour reservations are subject to the terms and conditions on our website at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/terms.
Have a group? We can make your group's vacation cost-effective and easy, with discounts for groups as small as five and other benefits. Learn more at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/groups.