Tempe, the lesser-known sister city of Phoenix, hides some incredible experiences amid its vibrant college-town vibe. Here are 10 exciting things to make your visit to this desert gem unforgettable.
Hike Up “A” Mountain
Don’t miss out on Hayden Butte, fondly known as “A” Mountain. The hike up offers breathtaking views, especially at sunrise. Starting from downtown Tempe, the trail leads across Tempe Butte, passing the iconic letter “A” along the way. The steep climb is worth it for the stunning sunrise vistas over Tempe Town Lake and the planes soaring from Phoenix Airport. Love hiking? Check out Papago Park and Camelback Mountain nearby!
Paddle on Tempe Town Lake
Discover the unexpected oasis, Tempe Town Lake. Rent a kayak, paddleboard, or even an electric donut boat from Boat Rentals of America. Enjoy the serene waters, the cityscape views, and keep an eye out for the diverse birdlife.
Explore on Two Wheels
Embrace Tempe’s 217 miles of bike paths! Rent an e-bike from Northshore Watersport Rentals and cruise along the lakeside paths, taking in the city’s charm. They offer locks too, allowing you to explore at your leisure. Want a guided tour? They’ve got you covered!
Brunch isn’t just for Sundays here. Tempe boasts fantastic breakfast spots that serve all-day brunch. Snooze an AM Eatery offers unique pancake flavors like Pumpkin Pecan Pie and Pineapple Upside Down. Daily Jam & Morning Squeeze are also hotspots for a delicious breakfast anytime.
Downtown Tempe and Tempe Marketplace offer diverse shopping experiences. From local boutiques to big box stores, explore “The District” at Tempe Marketplace. It’s not just about shopping; live music performances on weekends await!
Despite not towering skyscrapers, Tempe has cool rooftop spots. Skysill Rooftop Lounge at The Westin Tempe and Alibi Rooftop Lounge at Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown offers panoramic views and delightful drinks.
Desert Botanical Garden
Head to Papago Park to explore the Desert Botanical Garden. Wander through trails featuring 50,000 desert plants while learning about local flora and native cultures. Don’t miss special events like the mesmerizing Las Noches de las Luminarias during the holidays or the Chihuly in the Desert exhibit!
Spring Training Games
Experience the thrill of baseball’s spring training in February and March. Tempe Diablo Stadium hosts the Los Angeles Angels. Plus, it’s centrally located for easy access to other stadiums in the area.
ASU Campus & Museums
Tour the Arizona State University campus and visit their fascinating museums. The ASU Art Museum, focusing on Latin American art, and museums dedicated to space sciences offer a wealth of knowledge. Catch a live show at the ASU Gammage Performing Arts Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Tempe is a culinary paradise. Enjoy patio dining at Postino Annex or savor the Southwest flavors at Top of the Rock and Barrio Queen. Ghost Ranch offers a unique dining experience with prickly pear margaritas. Culinary Dropout at the Yard is perfect for casual hangouts with games like ping pong and cornhole.
Think natural beauty on steroids! This spot’s like the desert’s superstar with its rugged buttes, sandstone magic, and this mysterious tomb. Wanna cast a line, swing a club, or just wander? Papago’s got it all.
Tempe, Arizona, might not be on everyone’s radar, but it’s packed with adventures and hidden gems waiting to be explored! Whether you’re into outdoor hikes, cultural experiences, or just great food, Tempe has something to offer for every traveler.