We were packing up our tents and camp stoves for a six-month expedition to the bush. Our mission: Get to know the flora and fauna of the great Sonoran Desert, deep down, at ground-level. But then a friend told us about the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and we realized paying $12 and taking a pleasant walk would be much easier and would provide the same results. The museum, as much a zoo as anything else, keeps 106 mammals, 241 birds, 361 reptiles, 122 amphibians, 10,700 fish and 840 arthropods in habitat as close to the surrounding wild desert as possible. There's also a gift shop selling an excellent line of books on the desert published by the museum; a restaurant; and special tours that will make you want to visit again and again.
2. Sabino Canyon, Web site
3. Mission San Xavier del Back, 1950 W. San Xavier Road, 294-2624, www.sanxaviermission.org
Sign of the impending apocalypse: In-N-Out Burger, one vote