Best Public Garden

Tucson Botanical Gardens

Take a book with you one morning and read in the quaint charm of the ageless barrio garden. You can almost hear the sunlight on the mesquite leaves and the rustle of peppers growing in a vintage, industrial-sized tomato can. It feels like the heart of what makes Tucson what it is. A lazy stroll takes you to another sense of place entirely, thanks to a series of walled gardens evoking Monticello. Some are formal, but most are artfully arranged to look as if nature itself planted them there, just that color and size. The xeriscape garden is a bracing tonic—face it: Your own garden probably uses too much water.

Runners up:

2. Tohono Chul Park

7366 N. Paseo Del Norte


3. Reid Park Rose Garden

Country Club Road, just north of 22nd Street