Clark Norton takes Library Friends around the Globe

VIA SBINSIDER writer Holly Go-Lightly | January 21, 2023

To a packed house in the SaddleBrooke Desert View Theater, Clark Norton shared favorite and some secret locations to add to your visit list in Tucson. SaddleBrooke Friends of the Libraries hosted Norton, the author of 100 Things to do in Tucson Before you Die and Secret Tucson, A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. Norton has authored 18 travel guidebooks and hundreds of articles. You can find his travel blog at

The digest 100 Things to Do in Tucson Before You Die was originally published in 2017 with a second edition published in 2022. The latest edition is updated to include those establishments that are no longer in business or new establishments that are now available to the touring public. You will find categories such as food and drink, outdoor adventures, local music venues, culture, sports and recreation, and shopping and fashion.

Norton listed some of his personal favorites during the presentation.

Carnival of Illusion – Magic, Mystery, and Oooh La La

For those with prestidigitation on your mind, visit Carnival of Illusion for a vaudevillian show with magic tricks and humor performed by a husband-and-wife team.

Monterey Court Café

This motor court first opened in 1938 and has been converted to a restaurant and bar. Tuesday through Sunday there is a courtyard stage music event with both local and national acts. This venue has it all with food, music, and artisan shopping.

Gem and Mineral Museum

Actually called the Arizona Mining, Mineral, and Natural Resources Education Museum (AMMNRE). Tucson is the home of the internationally renowned Gem and Mineral Show, but when that activity is not available, the Gem and Mineral Museum provides all the benefits. With more than 20,000 rocks, minerals, and mining artifacts.

Loya’s Courtyard

Adjacent to Mexican Garden Pottery, Loya’s Courtyard provides one of a kind garden artwork, statuary, and home décor with a traditional view of the Southwest. A home and garden shoppers paradise.

Old Tucson- Hollywood in the Desert

With shows, wild west attractions, and historical tours this is great place to bring the entire family. This old west movie set has been turned into a theme park showcasing the Arizona Territory during the 1800s.

Norton’s book Secret Tucson provides information on lesser-known Tucson locations such as John “Button Salmon’s”  gravesite, athlete and legend, for whom the expression “Bear Down” originated; Lee Marvin’s home, John Dillinger’s “safe house”; USS Arizona memorial at the University of Arizona; our famous mobster Joe Bonanno’s home; a Franklin Automobile Museum; and a backstage tour of the Fox Theater.

Keep the books of Clark Norton available and when visitors arrive from northern climes, they can check out all the great things to do in Tucson.

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