Set around a man-made lake in the “Valley of the Sun”, Tempe is a green urban oasis boasting over 300 days of sunshine a year on average. The thriving desert town draws a crowd with its lively nightlife, world-class museums and laid-back atmosphere.
Things to do in Tempe
For a dose of culture, spend the morning exploring the Arizona State University Art Museum, where you’ll find a permanent collection of over 12,000 pieces of contemporary art from across the country. Afterwards, delve into the local history at the Tempe Historical Museum, where you’ll be captivated by four themed galleries.
Visit Papago Park and discover one of Arizona’s the most stunning natural landscapes, noted for its unique red sandstone formations and distinctive desert flora. Hikers can follow the Hole in the Rock Trail for spectacular views of the wind-eroded terrain, while nature lovers can explore over 21,000 species of native plants and colourful sculptures at the Desert Botanical Gardens.
Keen to keep active? Take advantage of the Tempe Town Lake and enjoy an invigorating run, walk or bike ride along the banks. To escape the Arizona heat, visit the Big Surf Waterpark, featuring one kilometre of thrilling waterslides, a giant wave pool and the kid-friendly Bora Bora Bay.
Don’t leave without getting to know Downtown Tempe, a bustling pedestrianised area centred around Mill Avenue lined with restaurants, bars, theatres and boutiques. Taste award-winning beer at the beautifully restored Four Peaks Brewery or entertain the entire family at Sea Life Arizona Aquarium.
Getting around Tempe
Tempe is a 10-minute taxi or bus ride from Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport. The Valley Metro Light Rail operates throughout town and provides connections to the neighbouring cities of Phoenix and Mesa. The Valley Metro and two free circular bus routes make exploring Tempe simple.