I took a tour of Tovrea Castle in June 2012. Because it was opened to the public in just the past few months, there was quite a lead time for a tour reservation -- people have been waiting to see it up close and learn more about it for a long time! I expect that as time goes on the reservation process not require as much advance notice as it does in its first year.
On this tour you will hear the in-depth stories of the people who were associated with Tovrea Castle.
Ten Things To Know Before You Go
- The tour begins with a short video providing background on the families involved and the history behind the purchase and development of the property.
- After the video, the group, usually no more than 15 people, will be taken by volunteer docents to carts that will transport the group through the garden and to the house.
- You will be able to certain parts of the house, but you will not be allowed to go to the top. You may remove your shoes if you are wearing socks, or shoe covers will be provided so that the wood floors remain in good condition. No strollers are allowed in the house.
- This is not a tour for young children; there are no activities for them. There is a good deal of standing and listening to lecture.
- There is no self-guided tour here. All tours are docent-led and you must stay with your tour guide. You may not walk around the garden.
- Don't forget to consider the weather. If you are on a tour in the summer, as I was, you may bring one bottle of water with you on the tour but you may not take it into the house. It will be hot and part of the tour is outside. Tour guides will try to limit lectures to shady areas.
- Tickets are available to purchase online. If for some reason you can't attend on a date for which you have purchased tickets, rescheduling may be possible. If the tour you wanted is sold out, keep checking because someone may have canceled. If space is available, walk-ins may be accepted.
- The tour took nearly two hours, and I thought it was a bit long. I would rather be able to come and go as I please on a tour. Not so here, because once you depart the visitor center with the docents you may not leave until the tour is over and the volunteers take you back to the visitor center.
- It is important to note that after leaving the visitor center for the cart trip to the garden and house, there are no other restrooms. That means about an hour and a half with no restroom access.
- The individuals and organizations who have worked on renovating Tovrea Castle have done a wonderful job. The garden is lovely, as are the views of the city from up on the hill. The house is interesting, and there are informational displays inside that tour participants are free to explore. It's a piece of Phoenix history that is not well-understood; as tours continue more people will become familiar with the story behind that wedding cake building on the hill!
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.