About This Castle in the Desert

phoenix-point-of-prideTovrea Castle at Carraro Heights is a “Jewel in the Desert” that has intrigued people in the Valley of the Sun for 90 years and is a Phoenix Point of Pride, an Arizona Centennial Legacy Project and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Why would anyone build a Castle in the middle of the desert in the late 1920’s and why is it still here today?

To answer this, just look at the unique cast of characters who were inspired by the property beginning in 1907.  The “Castle” continues to spark the curiosity of passersby, due to its unique location – now in the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area – visible to all, yet secluded by the forty-four acres of preserved desert surrounding the structure.az-legacy-project-2012

Owned by the City of Phoenix and Operated by Tovrea Carraro Society, the primary attraction of the site is the Castle; a four-story, 5,000 square foot architectural wonder perched atop the highest point of the granite-rich property. Groomed cactus gardens and undisturbed natural Sonoran Desert flora cascade from the Castle, providing scenic backdrops and viewing opportunities throughout the established trail system.

Opened to the public in 2012, Tovrea Carraro Society invites you to tour the Castle and Cactus Gardens with our devoted team of volunteers. While you are visiting, pick up a few mementos in “Treasures at the Castle” Gift Shop located onsite in the Visitor Center.

All tours are Docent-led, with Guests exploring the Cactus Gardens and Outbuildings by tram before arriving at the Castle Main Floor and Basement.  The site is not available to explore without being on a tour.  All tours are a ‘go’ whether rain or shine, heat or cold.

Tours sell out months in advance, with few to no cancellations; walk-up ticket availability is very rare.  The property is not available to Visitors except by tour and may not be seen without a guide.

Tour Tickets for September through December 2019 were released ONLINE at 6 am Arizona Time on March 1, 2019.
  Check for Tickets to Tour by Clicking Here.

Tour Tickets for January through May 2020 will be released ONLINE at 6 am Arizona Time on July 1, 2019.
Check for Tickets to Tour by Clicking Here.

Due to occupancy limits and the historic nature of the site, tour size is limited and tours must be booked in advance.  Regular Tours are held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; Group Tours on Thursdays and Special Events on Wednesdays.  The Castle and Grounds are ‘dark’ on Mondays and Tuesdays for maintenance, repairs and ongoing upkeep.

The Visitor Center, starting point for all tours, garden days and events
5025 East Van Buren Street
Phoenix, AZ 85008

From Arizona State Route 202 (Loop 202/Red Mountain Freeway) in Phoenix, Exit 4 (Van Buren/52nd St), turning west off the Freeway.

From Van Buren St, the Visitor Center is west of the Loop 202 on the south side of Van Buren St; just east of the Main Post Office.

Tour Tickets for September through December 2019 were released
ONLINE at 6 am Arizona Time on March 1, 2019.
Check for Tickets to Tour by Clicking Here.

Tovrea Carraro Society released thousands of tickets on March 1, 2019 and those that secured tickets were online right at or before 6 a. m., refreshed their browsers at 6 a.m., had already determined which date for their tour, had credit card ready and bought them immediately. Our purveyor, Brown Paper Tickets, was working with customers on their phone lines as well as online. The last ticket sold at 6:34 a m. This was quicker than we expected.

We do not allow tour operators to purchase and resell our tickets. If they buy, we cancel right away. These are regular people buying. Most of the buyers are local people.  This is the best way to release tickets. We occasionally have higher priced events with tours. But no one else is allowed to resell. Those that do try this, are banned from ever buying again.  If you ever see something like that, please let us know and we will take immediate action.

The site is owned by the City of Phoenix; managed and operated by Tovrea Carraro Society. Our commitment is to host as many guests as possible while keeping the nearly 100 year old Castle in good condition, following historic standards and city code.

We give tours Wednesday through Sunday. Wednesday’s are special events, Thursday’s are Group Tours and Friday through Sunday are regular tours.

Sometimes guests’ plans change and they cancel their tickets. You can check the website regularly for those tickets as we put them back out for sale right away. We do not have wait lists.

The next set of regular tickets, for January through May, 2020 will be released at 6 am on July 1, 2019.


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