Many locals feel that the best thing about Tucson isn't the city itself--it's the location. The Sonoran Desert is one of the most unique and beautiful ecosystems in the world, and we live right in the middle of it! Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of opportunities to really experience its flora and fauna here in town. That's why the Desert Museum exists: to provide an up-close-and-personal look at stuff like snakes, otters, javelinas, and rare plants and cactuses, all in their natural surroundings. There are trails to walk on, terrariums full of weird creatures and a walk-in hummingbird garden. Even the rocks are interesting! And, if for no other reason, you have to go just to see the prairie dogs. They are so cute
2. Sabino Canyon, www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/forest/recreation/camping/sites/sabino.shtml
3. Mission San Xavier del Bac, 1950 W. San Xavier Road, 294-2624, www.sanxaviermission.org
Vote of note: "Jim Click"