ARIZONA – ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM
Photo Experience: While there are a few indoor exhibits here, most of the area is outdoors. So I tend to think of this place as more of a botanical garden rather than a “museum.” But regardless of what it is called, I think it is one of the jewels of southern Arizona (near Tucson). April is a great time to visit – many of the species of cacti there are in bloom. A number of desert animals are here as well. Many are captive, but their presence here provides options to see sights that would be less likely in the wild. One that stands out for me is an aviary dedicated to hummingbirds. Also, I had the rare privilege of seeing a bighorn sheep lamb that was about an hour-and-a-half old. Zoom telephoto lenses in the 200-to-400mm range will be quite useful here to isolate subjects. Also, a close-up lens with a longer working distance (I used a 200mm macro) will come in handy. The trails are dusty. So, keep your lens cap on when not shooting and take along lens cleaning tools.
Other Info: I found the docents here to be knowledgeable and helpful. Trails are reasonably well-marked. Be prepared for hot, dry weather. Water fountains are placed at intervals along the trails. However, it would be a good idea to take along a refillable water bottle with you. I also recommend wearing sunscreen and a hat. There is a restaurant here that provides a good lunch alternative to traveling back to Tucson to eat. Restrooms are also located at various spots in the facility. The nearest accommodations are in Tucson. (I-10 is 14.5 miles to the east.) An admission fee is charged with various discounts offered.