Editor's note: Tucson Guide's "52 Things to Do" are listed in no particular order. All information given here was accurate at press time. You may want to phone for confirmation prior to visiting these attractions.

Featured Places

TOHONO CHUL

Named "One of the Great Botanical Gardens of the World" by Travel + Leisure, Tohono Chul is nestled in 49 acres of lush desert. You'll discover nature paths, gardens, art galleries, shops and a tasty meal at the Garden Bistro. 8 a.m-5 p.m. 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, 520-742-6455, tohonochul.org

PIMA COUNTY FAIR

The Pima County Fair, April 17-27, is one of Tucson's oldest and largest annual events with nearly 250,000 visitors! Cost for admission is only $8, and fairgoers can enjoy concerts, motorized events, interactive exhibits, bull riding, animal attractions, and car shows, plus equestrian events....all included in the low price of admission! Visitors to the Pima County Fair also have the opportunity to sample and enjoy the famous fair food that only comes once a year, such as giant corn dogs, funnel cakes, fried ice cream, and curly fries! Join the Pima County Fair social network for discounts, contests, and meet-and-greet opportunities! 520-762-9100, pimacountyfair.com

RATTLESNAKE BRIDGE

With shiny fangs and a winding tail, a huge diamondback rattlesnake serves as a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Broadway Blvd. at the Barraza-Aviation Pkwy., just east of downtown Tucson. A hollow stomach serves as the covered bridge and the sound of the rattle will greet you as you exit the tail. Another Tucson success in combining public art with city-improvement projects.

TUCSON'S BEST STARGAZING DESTINATION

Join Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter for an exciting evening of exploring the universe while viewing aspects of the cosmos most people rarely get to see! The center is home to the largest public viewing telescope in the Southwest. They offer nightly tours with award-winning presenters and world-acclaimed astrophoto-graphy. A comfortable and easy-to-understand experience-fun for all ages! 520-626-8122, skycenter.arizona.edu

GOLD PANNING

Do it just like the original gold diggers-dry washing, kneeling in running streambeds, or digging with a pick and shovel. See desert-gold-diggers.org for organized outings.

IT'S COOL UNDERGROUND

Explore the depths of Bisbee's famous Queen Mine. Don mining hats, slickers, and lanterns worn by miners...ride the mine train deep into the mine...marvel at remaining copper minerals...experience the life of miners as they toiled in the subterranean tunnels. Open daily. Tour times: 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m.,Explore the depths of Bisbee's famous Queen Mine. Don mining hats, slickers, and lanterns worn by miners...ride the mine train deep into the mine...marvel at remaining copper minerals...experience the life of miners as they toiled in the subterranean tunnels. Open daily. Tour times: 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Tours leave from the Queen Mine Tour building located within walking distance of historic Bisbee. The mine is a cool 47°. Dress accordingly. Tours last approximatelyExplore the depths of Bisbee's famous Queen Mine. Don mining hats, slickers, and lanterns worn by miners...ride the mine train deep into the mine...marvel at remaining copper minerals...experience the life of miners as they toiled in the subterranean tunnels. Open daily. Tour times: 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m.,Explore the depths of Bisbee's famous Queen Mine. Don mining hats, slickers, and lanterns worn by miners...ride the mine train deep into the mine...marvel at remaining copper minerals...experience the life of miners as they toiled in the subterranean tunnels. Open daily. Tour times: 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Tours leave from the Queen Mine Tour building located within walking distance of historic Bisbee. The mine is a cool 47°. Dress accordingly. Tours last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Reservations suggested. Call 866-432-2071 or visit queenminetour.com. Stop by the Queen Mine Store for gem and mineral specimens, jewelry, and other unique items. Visit discoverbisbee.com for official visitor information. Ninety miles south of Tucson, Bisbee offers Old World charm and new-world charisma.

TAKE IT OUTSIDE

Warm nights, sunsets, starry skies-these are some things that keep residents here year-round. Enjoy dusky moments at Gates Pass, "A" Mountain, Mt. Lemmon, and more.

ROOSTER COGBURN OSTRICH RANCH

Voted one of the best roadside attractions in America. Feed the ostrich, deer, miniature donkeys, goats, and lorikeets and see all our new exhibits. On weekends, Monster Truck Tours show you ostrich, the desert, 4-wheelin' adventures, and ostrich fishin'. Affordable fun for all ages! Located on I-10 and exit 219 at Picacho Peak. Visit us online for hours at roostercogburn.com or call 520-466-3658.

MIRROR, MIRROR

University of Arizona scientists and engineers are producing the world's largest and most challenging ground-based telescope mirrors. A tour provides a unique opportunity for visitors to get a behind-the-scenes look at the cutting-edge technology involved in making giant telescope mirrors. These processes are changing the way astronomers and telescopes explore the universe today and in the future. 520-626-8792, mirrorlab.as.arizona.edu

SANTA THERESA TILE WORKS

Wander through Tucson's Historic Warehouse Arts District and let Santa Theresa Tile Works' colorful, handmade tile inspire theWander through Tucson's Historic Warehouse Arts District and let Santa Theresa Tile Works' colorful, handmade tile inspire the creativity in you! Whether you craft a mosaic plaque, table, or backsplash in our cozy showroom, take one of our many workshops, or learn to make tile from scratch-you will amaze yourself!Wander through Tucson's Historic Warehouse Arts District and let Santa Theresa Tile Works' colorful, handmade tile inspire theWander through Tucson's Historic Warehouse Arts District and let Santa Theresa Tile Works' colorful, handmade tile inspire the creativity in you! Whether you craft a mosaic plaque, table, or backsplash in our cozy showroom, take one of our many workshops, or learn to make tile from scratch-you will amaze yourself! Prefer to keep your hands clean? Collaborate with one of our experienced and talented tile artists and design a custom-made piece for your home or business. Any way you tile it, it's sure to be fun, memorable, and amazing! A truly authentic Tucson arts experience! 440 N. 6th Ave., 520-623-1856, santatheresatileworks.com

CHOCOLATE IGUANA ON 4TH

Come visit Tucson's most unique family owned café, Chocolate Iguana on 4th (500 N. 4th Ave., 520-798-1211). You'll love our gourmet salads and sandwiches, made-from-scratch scones and pastries, sinfully delicious desserts, and jars of candy from around the world.

PLANT WALKS

The U of A campus boasts a collection of plants from all over the world. The Visitors Center, at Euclid Ave. and University Blvd., has maps directing you to the highlights.

DEGRAZIA GALLERY IN THE SUN

is a 10-acre historic retreat designed and built by Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia. It is home to a colorful array of DeGrazia originals, including oil paintings, watercolors, ceramics and sculptures. Free admission; open daily 10-4. Located at 6300 N. Swan Rd., 520-299-9191, degrazia.org

JIM CLICK HALL OF CHAMPIONS

Find tributes to all U of A athletic teams, including the national champion 2012 men's baseball team and the 2007 women's softball team. Open Mon.-Sat.

SABINO CANYON

Enjoy narrated tours through the place where mammoths roamed, ancient Hohokam people constructed irrigation dams, and the Civilian Conservation Corps built bridges and cut hiking trails. Trams run daily, with multiple stops, including one at the trailhead of a hike to Seven Falls. Located on N. Sabino Canyon Rd. Call 520-749-2861.

KITT PEAK

Close to 7,000 feet in elevation, Kitt Peak offers a cool summer getaway. Open daily 9 a.m.-4 p.m., the observatory is the world's largest. Daily telescope tours; visitor center with exhibits and gift shop. 15-20° cooler temps await you. Stargazing programs run nightly but are closed July 15-Aug. 31 due to monsoons. noao.edu, 520-318-8726

2ND SATURDAYS DOWNTOWN

It's a shopping trip, an art walk, and a night of fun that celebrates the vibrancy and quirkiness of Tucson. Phone 520-225-9019 or see 2ndsaturdaysdowntown.com.

ARIZONA'S MOBILE OBSERVATORY

Experience the night sky like never before with a private tour of the universe. Our friendly, knowledgeable astronomers set up a big telescope at your home, resort, and park areas for a fun, educational evening of stargazing. See the moon, planets, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and more. You'll never see the sky the same. 520-668-1871, ArizonaStarTours.com

COME FACE-TO-FACE WITH SHARKS & SEA TURTLES!

Dive in and discover SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of creatures. Every step will reveal something new-from an up-close encounter with sharks to a hands-on rock pool experience.Dive in and discover SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of creatures. Every step will reveal something new-from an up-close encounter with sharks to a hands-on rock pool experience. New for spring 2014, explore the amazing Turtle Shelter! Meet our weird and wonderful freshwater turtles with a 200 million year history. See the powerful jaws of the snapping turtle and the extended reach of the snake-necked turtle.Dive in and discover SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of creatures. Every step will reveal something new-from an up-close encounter with sharks to a hands-on rock pool experience.Dive in and discover SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of creatures. Every step will reveal something new-from an up-close encounter with sharks to a hands-on rock pool experience. New for spring 2014, explore the amazing Turtle Shelter! Meet our weird and wonderful freshwater turtles with a 200 million year history. See the powerful jaws of the snapping turtle and the extended reach of the snake-necked turtle. SEA LIFE Arizona features an amazing 360-degree ocean tunnel, 30 displays and more than 5,000 creatures, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles. It's the perfect stop for family fun! Located at Arizona Mills Mall Tempe, 480-478-7600, visitsealife.com/arizona

TUBAC

Situated 45 miles south of Tucson, Tubac was once the site of a Spanish presidio. Today it offers golf, restaurants, lodging, art galleries, and more. 520-398-2704, tubacaz.com

SEE THE LIGHTS OF TUCSON

Drive north on Campbell Ave. and, when you reach Skyline/Sunrise Dr., look south. The lights dusted across the valley reveal the glow of this once-sleepy desert pueblo.

OLD TOWN ARTISANS

Shop, dine, and relax at the historical Old Town Artisans complex in downtown Tucson. Stroll through the art galleries and unique shops and enjoy great food, drink, and live entertainment in the courtyard or cantina. Located between the Tucson Museum of Art and the El Presidio Spanish Fort. Open seven days a week. 201 N. Court Ave., 520-622-0351, oldtownartisans.com

AGUA CALIENTE PARK

Some call it "Tucson's best-kept secret." Enjoy acres of large trees, picnic areas, several ponds, and views of the mountains, as well as an art gallery and nature shop. Open 7 a.m.-sunset, the Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente ("hot water") Regional Park is at 12325 E. Roger Rd.

WALK THE TURQUOISE TRAIL

Head downtown to explore Tucson's historical landmarks on this self-guided walking tour, an excellent way to immerse yourself in Tucson's culture. The 2.5-mile trail takes you to 23 sites, including Hotel Congress and the Fox Tucson Theatre, and placards along the path provide a bit of history to your walk. Pick up a free map at the Visit Tucson's Visitor Center, 100 S. Church Ave., or download it at tucsonpresidio.com.Head downtown to explore Tucson's historical landmarks on this self-guided walking tour, an excellent way to immerse yourself in Tucson's culture. The 2.5-mile trail takes you to 23 sites, including Hotel Congress and the Fox Tucson Theatre, and placards along the path provide a bit of history to your walk. Pick up a free map at the Visit Tucson's Visitor Center, 100 S. Church Ave., or download it at tucsonpresidio.com. ST. AUGUSTINEHead downtown to explore Tucson's historical landmarks on this self-guided walking tour, an excellent way to immerse yourself in Tucson's culture. The 2.5-mile trail takes you to 23 sites, including Hotel Congress and the Fox Tucson Theatre, and placards along the path provide a bit of history to your walk. Pick up a free map at the Visit Tucson's Visitor Center, 100 S. Church Ave., or download it at tucsonpresidio.com.Head downtown to explore Tucson's historical landmarks on this self-guided walking tour, an excellent way to immerse yourself in Tucson's culture. The 2.5-mile trail takes you to 23 sites, including Hotel Congress and the Fox Tucson Theatre, and placards along the path provide a bit of history to your walk. Pick up a free map at the Visit Tucson's Visitor Center, 100 S. Church Ave., or download it at tucsonpresidio.com. ST. AUGUSTINE Built in 1896, the cathedral is reminiscent of European church architecture. Every Sun. the clergy conduct mass accompanied by live mariachi music. 192 S. Stone Ave.

NATIVE SEEDS / SEARCH

Can you imagine a healthy, sustainable local food system? We can! Tucson nonprofit Native Seeds/SEARCH works to conserve crop diversity, share seeds, and teach seed-saving traditions. Shop, volunteer, and become a member. Retail store: 3061 N. Campbell Ave., nativeseeds.org

WESTERN BOOTS

Tucson probably offers more leather goods than any place you've visited. Belts, billfolds, purses, cowboy hats, and-most of all-boots. Tucson is the place to find it all!

ARIZONA'S SALSA TRAIL

Graham County is home to some of the best Mexican food in the stateGraham County is home to some of the best Mexican food in the state and the annual SalsaFest in Safford Town Square in September-home grown fun for everyone! Come enjoy great food, friendly people, and more than four million acres of public lands for hiking, fishing, camping, and off-roading. 888-837-1841, SalsaTrail.com

SAILING

Though few and far between, Arizona's lakes are warm-weather retreats. Sail at Roosevelt, Canyon, or Apache Lakes near Phoenix, or try speedboating at Patagonia Lake State Park.

CHEAP THRILLS

Calling all bargain hunters! Local "thrift-anistas" are always on the lookout for daily deals, free or low-cost activities, dining discounts, and more. From complimentary admission to local attractions and historic sites to 2-for-1 restaurant deals, find something that interests you at tucsononthecheap.com. It's easy to enjoy a day out on the town without breaking the bank, but be sure to plan ahead as some deals are only limited time offers!

SUNRISE

Sunsets are spectacular; sunrises are for meditative moods. Watch the Santa Catalinas as the first rays of light begin to play across the peaks and canyons. Turn away and look back a few minutes later, and the whole scene will have changed-subtly, but beautifully. A good sunrise will set you up for the whole day.

"A" MOUNTAIN

Tucson's most notable, or should we say most easily noted, landmark is "A" Mountain. Since 1916, U of A freshmen paint the letter "A" yearly. Enjoy a view of the city from the top.

MEXICAN FOOD

Carne asada, tortillas, chiles rellenos-the tastes are as good as the names, some with spicy, tears-to-your-eyes flavor. There are literally dozens of places to find these authentic eats.

CATALINA STATE PARK

Just north of Tucson on Oracle Rd., this park offers the best views of the canyons, cliffs, domes, and spires on the north side of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Walk the Romero Ruin Interpretive Trail to the archaeological site of an ancient Hohokam village. Special events happen at the park year-round, such as bird walks, guided hikes, and concerts. Camping, biking, and hiking are available. Phone 520-628-5798.

POETRY CENTER

The nationally acclaimed University of Arizona's Poetry Center has more than 60,000 books, periodicals, and audio/video recordings in its exhilarating home at 1508 E. Helen St.

TEE IT UP

Tucson and Southern Arizona boast a wealth of fine golf courses. See azgolfguides.com for a free copy of the Tucson Golf Guide, which includes a comprehensive listing of courses.

REID PARK ROSE GARDEN

Hundreds of rosebushes have brought this garden national acclaim. The park is between Alvernon Way and Country Club Rd., just north ofHundreds of rosebushes have brought this garden national acclaim. The park is between Alvernon Way and Country Club Rd., just north of 22nd St. Roses bloom Mar.-May.

ICES & CREAMS

Tucson summers demand the occasional relief of a frozen confection. Sample sherbets, gelato, snow cones, frozen yogurts, and milkshakes at the many malls, shops, and restaurants in the area, and don't forget the shaved-ice cones, called raspados, in dozens of flavors from roadside vendors in Tucson's barrios. Just be sure to savor the delicious frozen treats before they melt all over your hand!

NATIVE PATHS

An exhibit at the Arizona State Museum, Paths of Life: American Indians of the Southwest, takes a look at contemporary native cultures. 520-621-6302, statemuseum.arizona.edu

TITAN MISSILE MUSEUM

Once one of America's most top-secret places, this former operational missile site is now a National Historic Landmark. Nowhere else can visitors get this close to an intercontinental ballistic missile in its operational environment, six stories underground (where it's cooler in the summer). Able to launch from its silo in just 58 seconds, the Titan II was capable of delivering a nine-megaton nuclear warhead to targets more than 6,300 miles away. This unique museum gives visitors a rare look at the technology used by the US to deter nuclear war. Open daily 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., last tour at 4 p.m. 520-625-7736,Once one of America's most top-secret places, this former operational missile site is now a National Historic Landmark. Nowhere else can visitors get this close to an intercontinental ballistic missile in its operational environment, six stories underground (where it's cooler in the summer). Able to launch from its silo in just 58 seconds, the Titan II was capable of delivering a nine-megaton nuclear warhead to targets more than 6,300 miles away. This unique museum gives visitors a rare look at the technology used by the US to deter nuclear war. Open daily 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., last tour at 4 p.m. 520-625-7736, titanmissilemuseum.org

PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES

How much of the environment (and money) would we save if we all traveled by rail? That's one of the questions posed at the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, located in the renovated historic train depot in downtown Tucson. Here, visitors can contemplate the pros and cons of alternative transportation, practice Morse code as the conductors of the railroad once did, view historic artifacts and photos, and visit the restored 1900s locomotive parked trackside. Open Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission, but donations are accepted. Call 520-623-2223 or see tucsonhistoricdepot.org.

COOL STATE PARKS

It's no secret that Tucson's summers are hot, but what isn't as well known is that there are ways to escape the heat while exploring fascinating state parks. View incredible stalagmites and stalactites deep underground at Kartchner Caverns State Park, where it's a comfortable 72 degrees year-round. Splash around in the refreshing water at Patagonia Lake State Park, where you can boat, fish, or swim, or head up to higher elevations at Catalina State Park where the temperatures plummet as you ascend. Call 520-586-2283 or visit azstateparks.com for more information.