6 Must See Gardens to Visit in Mesa

Cactus Bloom

Whether you live in Mesa or you’re visiting for business or pleasure, the botanical gardens throughout the city or within a short distance from it cannot be missed. The unique landscape and climate of Mesa set the stage perfectly for the unique floral life you won’t find anywhere else. 

To make your decision much easier, we’ve put together a list of must-see gardens in and around Mesa. Utilize this list of the 6 must see gardens to visit in Mesa to learn more about each garden and decide which location fits your desires and your time and budget constraints. 

Visit Desert Botanical Garden for a Full Day of Botanical Garden Fun

The Desert Botanical Garden is a 140-acre garden that offers a wide variety of events and opportunities for individuals, kids, and families. The Desert Botanical Garden offers special experiences like music in the garden and dog days at the garden, in addition to being open for regular hours. You can check their calendar for upcoming special events.

desert botanical garden

Tickets are required for admission into the Desert Botanical Garden, but once inside, you can enjoy a full day of activities. Spend the day walking through the trails and then take a rest at the on-site dining. You’ll even be able to pick up Desert Botanical Garden souvenirs from the garden shop before you leave. 

For those looking for the perfect place for their special event, or wedding, The Desert Botanical Garden has four venues that can be rented out and accommodate between 40 and 110 guests. Whether you are looking to host a wedding, company event, or a special party, they have beautiful spaces to accommodate your needs. 

The Desert Botanical Garden is an excellent choice for your whole family—the garden is fully wheelchair accessible, and nearly all of the trails are accessible with a stroller. 

Visit The Rose Garden at Mesa Community College and Explore This Beloved Community Pillar

The Rose Garden at Mesa Community College is made up of nearly 9,000 rose bushes, all beautiful and blooming in the middle of the desert. In addition to being a hot spot for visitors to the area, the Rose Garden is a pillar here in the community. Students from kindergarten to high-school use the Rose Garden as a botanical laboratory and study spot. 

The expanse of rose bushes at the Rose Garden offer vibrant colors and displays the wide variety of rose forms. You can choose to explore the Rose Garden by yourself, using a self-guided tour, or by attending a guided tour. 

The Rose Garden at MCC is honored with being the largest public rose garden in the southwest. This significant public rose garden puts the beauty of the rose on full display while highlighting the power of community partnership between the Mesa-East Valley Rose Society and MCC. 

If you fall in love with strolling through the Rose Garden, you can continue to do so at home. The Rose Garden at Mesa Community College offers a virtual stroll through the garden so you can get a sneak peek of the garden or enjoy the beautiful colors of the garden from the comfort of your home. 

History Meets Garden Beauty at Queen Creek Botanical Gardens

Queen Creek Botanical Gardens is not only a beautiful spot, but a garden with a rich history. Queen Creek Botanical Gardens is the only fully-operational water mill in the American Southwest. 

Queen Creek Botanical Garden

Like the Desert Botanical Garden, Queen Creek Botanical Gardens features more than just plants. In addition to taking in beautiful garden views, visitors can enjoy:

  • Garden shops
  • Community resources
  • Themed demonstration gardens
  • Activities and exhibits specifically designed for children

The garden is uniquely designed to display sustainable and beautiful landscaping, an inspiration for what is possible at visitors’ homes. The Queen Creek Botanical Gardens was revamped in 2020 to include new features and more beautiful landscaping. This new design is a can’t-miss spot while you visit Mesa. 

Admission is required to visit the Queen Creek Botanical Gardens, but with it comes a wide array of activities to enjoy in the gardens. 

Scenic Walking Experience at Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden

For those looking for a more scenic botanical experience, Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Gardens is a great choice. The gardens cover an 8-acre area and ranges in elevation from 1696 to 1800 feet. 

This garden is a step into nature and follows a half-mile trail that guides you through the desert slopes. Twenty-nine unique Sonoran Desert plants have been identified along the trail, and visitors enjoy interesting:

  • Rock formations 
  • Desert flora
  • Animal life

Visitors will enjoy the beautiful views along the path and have the opportunity to learn about the desert plants along the well-marked trail. 

Great for visitors who enjoy economical sight-seeing, Fountain Hills Desert Botanical Garden does not require any cost for admission. The garden is open every day from sunrise to sunset. You’ll want to pack water to stay hydrated and wear good shoes. 

Local Public Park Featuring Brinton Desert Botanical Garden

If you are looking for a botanical garden that comes with a rich history experience, Brinton Desert Botanical Garden is the place to go. Park of the Canals is home to the Brinton Desert Botanical Garden, the largest free botanical garden in the state. 

The Brinton Desert Botanical Garden may sit inside the 31-acre public park, but it isn’t lacking in beauty or rich history.  Inside the park, visitors will find over 4500 feet of ancient Ho Ho Kam Indian irrigation ditches dating back to 700BC. This is a unique addition of the park, but is a rare opportunity to view a piece of native American history. 

Once here inside the botanical garden, there are over 150 different species of cacti and other desert plants to explore. You and your family can enjoy a stroll through the botanical garden or relax in one of the shaded garden areas. 

This garden is the perfect option for visitors with kids, or those looking for a great garden experience on a budget. Because Park of the Canals is a local public park, there is no admission costs; just show up ready to enjoy nature. 

Immerse Yourself in a Rainforest Botanical Experience at Butterfly Wonderland 

Butterfly Wonderland is a can’t miss rainforest experience that displays butterflies from all over the world. The butterfly conservatory displays 70 different species of butterflies, all enjoying the beautiful flowers and the bright Arizona sunshine. 

Butterfly Wonderland

In addition to the butterfly conservatory, visitors can enjoy:

  • Butterfly emergence gallery
  • 3D theater
  • Rainforest reptile exhibit
  • Honeybee Extravaganza 
  • Spineless Giants exhibit
  • Edible insects’ station
  • Tropical waters of the world 
  • Butterfly treasures gift shop 

Butterfly Wonderland is an excellent choice to spend the day with your family. 

For those looking for more fun at Butterfly Wonderland, check out the wide variety of special events offered. Whether you are a painter, a photographer, or a butterfly enthusiast, Butterfly Wonderland has great special events or everyone.  

Tickets are required to visit Butterfly Wonderland, but admission comes with the opportunity to enjoy a whole host of activities. There is even an on-site café so you don’t have to worry about how, where, or when you’ll have a chance to dine during your visit. 

Enjoy Your Mesa Garden Adventure

No visit to Mesa, AZ, is complete without an adventure to at least one of these must-see gardens. Have your pick of enjoying beautiful botanicals from the outdoors, or the indoors, or surrounded by thousands of butterflies. 

You won’t regret visiting these gardens while in Mesa; many are the largest or only one of their kind and offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view beautiful botanicals and make long-lasting memories.