My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Dining outdoors at Tohono Chul Tea Room

2012/05/15by Donna Hull

Updated 01.15.2013

tohono-chul-tea-room

Tohno Chul Tea Room in Tucson, Arizona

Are you a fan of eating breakfast outdoors—especially on a trip? There’s something decadent about lazing over a cup of coffee after a delicious meal while nature provides the entertainment. Here’s an insider’s tip:  if you’re boomertravel plans include Tucson, Arizona, save a morning for breakfast at Tohono Chul Tea Room (January 16, 2013: the name has recently been changed to the Garden Bistro).

Alan and I have enjoyed many breakfasts at the hacienda-style residence that is part of Tohono Chul Park, named one of the Great Botanical Gardens of the World by Travel + Leisure.

I’m always curious to see which desert plants are blooming as I walk along the sidewalk toward the entrance to Tohono Chul Tea Room. Entering through the arched doorway into the courtyard to the sound of a fountain’s splashing water is like taking a deep, relaxing breath. We could choose to sit at one of the tables placed around the fountain, but let’s keep going up the stairs, through the inside dining room to the back patio. Welcome to my favorite location in Tucson for an outdoor breakfast.

boomer-travel-dining-tohono-chul-tea-room

Tohono Chul Tea Room

When Alan and I visit, he favors the eggs benedict while I go for huevos rancheros. After ordering our favorites, we relax with a cup of coffe and take in the desert garden that surrounds the back patio. Paraloxia (sort of like a cardinal for you Easterners) perch on the limbs of a mesquite tree while hummingbirds hover over red salvia blooms. It’s a teaser for what you will find on a visit to the main gardens at Tohono Chul ($8 for adults and $6 for boomer visitors 62 and older).

Reluctant to leave this desert oasis, we sip more coffee after our meal is done. Beware! The cactus wrens will sneak over to snatch any leftover pieces of toast.

If you’re not a breakfast enthusiast, Tohono Chul Tea Room also serves lunch and afternoon tea.

Order the prickly pear lemonade for a delicious, but purple, take on an old standby.

Save time to browse through the gift shop where you’ll find all sorts of Arizona products, including prickly pear syrup to make your own purple lemonade.

Do you have a favorite outdoor venue for breakfast from your boomer travels? Post a comment to share it with us. You never know when Alan and I will be stopping by the neighborhood.


A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

We're Donna & Alan Hull. We KNOW boomer travel.

Since 2008, we've published articles and photographs focusing solely on boomer travel: where to go, what to do and how to do it.

Partner with us

Did you know that baby boomers purchase 80% of luxury vacations and adults aged 55 + account for one-third of all trips in the U.S.? We can help you to reach an audience of active boomer travelers.

Learn more:


Have questions? Get in touch.

The fine print:

Media Mentions

We're the undeniable experts on boomer travel.


Need a boomer expert for your publication? Get in touch.