Touring Tucson

Janet Fabio

If you’re new to SaddleBrooke and Tucson, you are probably eager to explore all that this area has to offer. If you’ve lived here for a while, you have likely visited the best-known attractions, and now you’d like to find something new.

On Jan. 19 at 4 p.m., the Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries are bringing local author Clark Norton to the DesertView Theater to talk about the latest edition of his book 100 Things to Do in Tucson Before You Die. In addition to hearing Clark’s lecture, you can find the latest edition of his book at the DesertView Library in the Southwest collection. Traditional guidebooks for cities list major attractions, but Norton’s book is full of ideas for lesser-known local experiences, such as tackling a Sonoran hot dog, enjoying a melodrama at The Gaslight Theatre, honoring the departed in the All Souls Procession, browsing the Lost Barrio Shops, finding stargazing opportunities, or chilling out with Roadrunners Hockey. The book is divided into five sections: Food and Drink, Music and Entertainment, Sports and Recreation, Culture and History, and Shopping and Fashion, and also has lists of activities by season, as well as kid-friendly, free, and off the beaten path.

Norton is also the author of Secret Tucson: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. This popular book can help you search for crested saguaros, find hidden museums such as the History of Pharmacy Museum, or learn about “stravenues,” roadway designations found only in Tucson.

In addition to Norton’s fun guidebooks, the Southwest collection at the DesertView Library has other resources offering even more ideas for places to explore and for learning more about this area that we call home. The recent Moon handbook, 52 Things to Do in Phoenix and Tucson, offers more ideas for unique experiences locally as well as further afield. For example, find out where you can pick saguaro fruit, do goat yoga, visit the Wrigley Mansion, or complete the Fresh Foodie Trail.

If you enjoy walking, find urban trails in Tucson: 4 Star Trails. Delve deeper into Tucson history in books such as Early Tucson, A Guide to Tucson Architecture, Tucson Was a Railroad Town, or Tucson: A Drama in Time. There are books about Sabino Canyon, the two Saguaro National Parks, and the Santa Catalina Mountains. Or pick up Spooky Southwest or Murder and Mayhem in Tucson, which will be the topic for the May 11 lecture.

The Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries will also be bringing in speakers about Hopi Quilting and the DeGrazia Gallery. You can find resources related to these topics also in the Southwest collection. There is a biography of Ted DeGrazia, or you can also learn more about the artist and the gallery in a variety of guidebooks, including Clark Norton’s book mentioned earlier. The Southwest collection also has books about Hopi kachinas and Southwest Indians.

For exploring beyond Tucson, the DesertView Library has a wealth of resources about Arizona. In addition to the Southwest collection, be sure to look in the Travel collection and the National Parks collection, since our state has so many wonderful national parks in its boundaries.

Books can be reserved for pickup by using the easy link to the library’s online catalog on the library website Use the catalog to find books by title, author, or subject. If you are not yet registered to use the libraries, stop in at either the DesertView Library or the SaddleBrooke One Library, and a friendly volunteer will assist you. Ask for our handouts on using the catalog more effectively to find specific books or subjects. Or stop in and enjoy discovering something new by browsing the shelves!