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Tempe Tourism Blog

Explore Tempe during ASU Graduation

ASU Tempe campus bridge
April 18, 2019

Graduation season at Arizona State University (ASU) is upon us and that means students are transitioning from adolescent college years into mature (hopefully employed) alumni. And parents, well… you’re probably more focused on how many tissues you will need to get you through the ceremony. Pro tip: about 75 tissues come in one box of Kleenex, so two boxes should suffice. You’re welcome. Let’s be real, ASU graduation in Tempe is a momentous occasion for both parents and students alike. And although this should be a joyful time, we know that wrapping up your college experience can get a bit stressful. That’s why we are here to give you the 411 on how to get the most out of your graduation week! Where to eat For all of you soon-to-graduate students, you’ve got your cap and gown and now your diploma is in hand (well, they actually mail you your real diploma). So, it’s time to C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E good times, come on! Rejoice in this big accomplishment with all your friends and family at these Tempe restaurants. Any special occasion in a Sun Devils’ life starts and ends with House of Tricks. Located just steps from Mill Avenue, House of Tricks is hidden inside two charming turn-of-the-century homes, behind a vine-strewn courtyard. Their private dining areas and patio can accommodate all your family and guests. And, their menu is full of creative and delicious dishes that you’ll remember long after you finish your meal. Top of the Rock is a local […]

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Tempe has a latte of great coffee spots

Crepe Bar coffee in Tempe, AZ
March 22, 2019

Tempe has a latte of great coffee spots and per usual I have a ton of puns that I could relate to this…but I won’t. I mean, I can’t espresso to you how brew-ti-ful Tempe is this time of year with a cup of joe in hand. Okay, I will stop, but seriously Tempe is the hub of great coffee. We ask you to step away from the “Bucks” (Starbucks), and seek out the best coffee in Tempe at these local cafes. Cartel Coffee Lab 225 W. University Dr., #101 | (480) 621-6381 Tempe’s coffee claim to fame would have to be Cartel Coffee Lab. Their first shop opened in Tempe a few years back and they now have seven locations, including Phoenix Sky Harbor, Tucson and one location in Palm Springs. Their empire is growing and that’s a very good thing. Cartel’s espresso is top notch and their flavors are out of this world. Each type of coffee is curated and sourced responsibly from countries including El Salvador, Colombia and Rwanda. This coffee shop gets straight to the point with limited menu items, but don’t be fooled, these coffee connoisseurs can whip up just about anything. Don’t feel like leaving your house to get Cartel coffee? No problem. Subscribe and they will deliver it wherever you would like. Now you can Netflix and brew! Press Coffee 601 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., #103 | (480) 794-1107 1221 E. Apache Blvd. | (480) 566-5380 Ever wonder how coffee starts from a […]

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Celebrate National Pi (Pie) Day in Tempe

Squarz Bakery & Cafe in Tempe
March 11, 2019

Celebrate National Pi (Pie) Day at these favorite Tempe spots Whether you’re celebrating the glorified National Pi Day (3.14) or looking to satisfy a craving or just something different to consume, we’ve got the best pies in Tempe! From savory hand pies to classic fruit pies to a play on words with pies, we’ve got them all. Here are some great places to get pie in Tempe on National Pi Day or any other day that ends in ‘y.’ Definition of pie: a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base  Cotton & Cooper: Traditional pie can be found at the ever-cool Cotton & Copper in South Tempe. Their innovative drink inspo compliments the exquisite taste of their pies. Chef Tamara Stanger has really crushed it in the pie game taking grandma’s classic dish and kicking it up a notch. Check out her latest creation: Brown Sugar Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie with Dark Chocolate Whip. Mind = blown. 1006 E. Warner Rd., #113, Tempe, AZ 85284 (480) 629-4270 Cornish Pasty Co: A name you don’t naturally think of when it comes to pie… but we’re looking at the definition. We love food that you can hold in your hand so why not call upon a great hand pie from Cornish Pasty Co. like the Lovely Bit of Salmon or the Greek (available with chicken or as a vegetarian dish). Y-U-M. So good you must separate “yum” to emphasize the flavor boasting from their handcrafted delights. 425 S. Mill Ave., #111, Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 629-4726 Squarz Bakery & […]

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Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts in Downtown Tempe

Tempe Festival of the Arts
February 27, 2019

Spring is bursting out all over in Tempe with perfect weather, fragrant citrus blossoms, Cactus League Spring Training and a bunch of fun outdoor events, concerts and festivals. One of Tempe’s biggest, most popular festivals, the Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts, comes to Downtown Tempe Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31, 2019. Admission is free (yay!) and festival hours are 10 a.m, to 5:30 p.m. each day. The Tempe Spring Festival of the Arts is one of my favorite events. As many as 375 artists are selected to display their works from booths that line Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets in Downtown Tempe. Unique, hand-made works include woodworking, photography, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry and wearable art. There’s also an entire area devoted to the cottage edibles and crafts where you can find ideal gifts for teachers, hostess gifts or goodies for you such as handmade soup mixes, jams, seasonings, salsas, dips, soaps, lotions, aromatherapy and other hand-crafted goodies. I enjoy the festival, not only for all the beautiful arts and crafts that are on display for three solid days, but also for all the other fun vendors, activities, sights and sounds that make it a total sensory experience. Other highlights include: Street performers, entertainers and buskers scattered throughout the festival Live music on three stages Two beer and wine gardens and an Arizona wine and spirits tasting Kids Block, a hands-on interactive area for young artists on Saturday and Sunday The “Young Artist Exhibition” showcasing 300+ student […]

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House of Tricks: an oasis in Downtown Tempe

House of Tricks menu items in Tempe, AZ
February 26, 2019

By Angela Muniz Photos by Mark Lipczynski Given its tucked away setting, it’s easy to believe House of Tricks is named for the way it plays on the mind like an oasis—a touch of green in Downtown Tempe’s growing urban landscape. In reality, the cozy restaurant takes its name from owners Bob and Robin Trick. And though the space made up of two historic homes seems untouched by time, the Tricks have nurtured the space to grow as the city has over the last 30 years. It started in 1987 when the couple left their regular jobs to renovate an old house into a neighborhood restaurant. It seated 11 people. Over time, they expanded. “It grew organically,” explains Robin Trick. “It didn’t happen all at once.” The restaurant now includes a signature bar wrapped around a tree on the deck that joins the original house to a second one next door. It’s a popular hang out spot for Tricks’ eclectic mix of guests. On any given night, business people and ASU Gammage show goers mingle with neighborhood locals and visiting tourists. “You can wear a suit or shorts,” says Trick when asked about how diners dress. “You’ll see both. We’re not pretentious. We’re real people.” While Tricks offers craft cocktails and beer, it’s known for its wine. There are about 25 wines by the glass on the menu and a deeper list by the bottle. And just like their guests, there is something for every occasion and price range. Where […]

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Where to get a margarita (or two) in Tempe, Arizona

Prickly Pear Froze at Ghost Ranch in Tempe AZ
February 21, 2019

National Margarita Day 2019 Let’s be real. National Margarita Day shouldn’t be limited to just one day… but it is a day where you can drink as many margaritas (responsibly) without the judgement of others because, “…it’s National Margarita Day guys!” (extra kudos for this fun holiday falling on a Friday this year). I ventured out on these streets of Tempe to find the best options for you to celebrate this revered holiday. You’re welcome. I’ve had my fair share of margaritas in all its glorious forms (on the rocks or frozen and salt or sugar and house to specialty). My poor liver just wouldn’t be the same without the wide variety of margaritas. Most popular in Arizona, you’ll find each place has their own tasty version of Prickly Pear Margarita. In all honesty, I usually get it just to see how pink it is going to be at that particular place, as you’ll notice there’s a variation of a blush pink all the way to electric, 80’s pink. I personally look for the pink that is MOST Instagrammable. #millennial #doitforthegram Here’s a quick roundup of the best margaritas in Tempe. Illegal Pete’s Mill  A fun place with incredible patio space to knock out several margaritas. They want to celebrate National Margarita Day with an awesome special! Coin Style Margs made with Pete’s Patrón—Patrón reposado selected by Pete, himself—will be just $5 all day long (while supplies last). I know I personally love to pair their Chicken Quesadilla with any […]

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Try Scramble in Tempe

cinnamon roll at Scramble in Tempe, AZ
February 20, 2019

Without question, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I have a list of places where I love to start my day, but I also like discovering a new spot for breakfast. I’ve found my new happy place at Scramble, a new addition to Tempe’s dining scene.  Scramble in Tempe is located at Lakeshore Drive and Baseline Road, near Alamo Drafthouse. It is a bright and airy space, with orange, green and white décor. They also have a large, dog-friendly patio. I was surprised to find out that patrons order at the counter instead of table service. But, I actually like that option because I don’t always have time to linger over a leisurely breakfast. I have a hike, a yoga class or errands to run.   The menu is displayed on large boards right by the front door. Breakfast and lunch items are served all day. You can choose from omelettes or scrambles, eggs Benedict, burritos, a variety of pancakes, French toast, sandwiches, salads and wraps. They also have lots of gluten free and vegan options including the Soyrizo Burrito and the Portobello Wrap.   I went with the Veggie Omelette, with squash, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper and Monterey jack cheese. It is served with hash browns and toast. I’m picky about my eggs – runny eggs can ruin my whole day. But, I am happy to report that their eggs were cooked perfectly and it may be the fluffiest omelet that I’ve ever had. The hash browns were crispy on the top with just the right amount of seasoning and the wheat toast tasted fresh-baked. I […]

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Experience Arizona on a Guided Tour

Arizona Outback Adventures biking tours
February 20, 2019

In Arizona, the possibilities for experiencing the great outdoors are unlimited. Arizona has an abundance of beautiful, scenic, interesting and just plain fun places for you to explore via many different modes. You can choose to see the sights on foot, mountain bike, ATV or river boat, in a jeep, van or hot air balloon. And what better way to enjoy your outdoor adventures than on a guided tour with a professional tour company. Tour operators have the knowledgeable staff who do all the planning and work to make your experiences enjoyable and safe. Plus, they supply the necessary gear and permits. It’s hassle-free. You just follow their lead and take it all in. Here are a few of our favorite tours, but all the tour operators offer multiple sight-seeing tours and adventures throughout Arizona. Check out their websites or give them a call for more information. Mountain Biking Arizona Outback Adventures | 480-945-2881 Whether you’re just beginning to venture off road or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ll find your mountain biking groove with an Arizona Outback Adventures Tour. This tour company is all about outdoor adventure and offers mountain biking tours for every skill level and in several locations. The half day mountain bike tour is perfect for all levels and a great way to experience our Sonoran Desert, especially in the spring, when the dessert is lush and green and often blanketed in wildflowers. But, if you want something more extreme with twists, turns, hills and other […]

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Grid Bikes & Bird Scooters make it easy to explore Tempe

Riding Bird Scooters in Tempe, AZ
February 6, 2019

Tempe is a small city with a lot of ground to cover. There is so much to see and do that you simply can’t do it all on foot. Lucky for us, there are many modes of transportation to choose from. Of course, we have the Valley Metro Light Rail, Orbit and soon to be Tempe Streetcar, but what better way to get around town than to zip and zoom on a scooter or bike! Both can be easily rented in Tempe and have you on wheels and on your way in a flash. Grid Bike Tempe offers public bicycles that can be rented through the Grid Bike Share program. Tempe’s system includes 300 bikes and 30 stations, offering another alternative to residents and visitors for getting around the city with ease. Tempe Grid Bike stations are located in high-activity areas such as Downtown Tempe, near the ASU Tempe Campus, and along the light rail line. Grid Bikes are also available in neighboring cities, Phoenix and Mesa. In all three cities there are more than 1000 bikes available to rent at 100 stations which can be found via the Social Bicycles Mobile app. How to Ride: Download the free Social Bicycles app (it’s a white box with a blue bicycle inside). Next,  set up your account by providing some basic info: your name, email and credit card information. You’ll also need to create a pin number. Once you have the app installed, you’ll get a couple of emails that confirm your […]

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LGBTQ events in Tempe & Phoenix this spring

AIDS Walk Arizona at Tempe Beach Park
January 28, 2019

Looking for a friendly, diverse and inclusive destination? Be sure to visit Tempe, Arizona. Tempe is known for its welcoming spirit, blend of cosmopolitan culture and style, scenic desert beauty and more than 330 days of sunshine every year.    And, Tempe is known for its non-discrimination policies and its perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundations’ Municipal Equality Index.    Another great thing about Tempe is its location in the heart of Metropolitan Phoenix. Just minutes from the airport, Tempe is also connected to LGBTQ events and nightlife in downtown Phoenix and the airport via Valley Metro rail.   Tempe has an energetic vibe and active lifestyle, a perfect fit for exciting annual festivals and events.  Check out these LGBTQ events taking place in Phoenix and Tempe this spring.     35th Annual Arizona Gay Rodeo  – February 15-17, 2019 Corona Ranch and Rodeo Grounds 7611 S. 29th Ave., Laveen Village, AZ Whether you’re a real cowboy or you just like to dress like one, you won’t want to miss the 35th Annual Arizona Gay Rodeo. It’s a weekend of fun, food, entertainment, and of course, RODEO!  You’ll enjoy traditional rodeo events like roping, bucking broncs and  chute dogging, along with those you’ll only see here like Wild Drag Race and Goat Dressing. Entertainment includes local performers and special guests, Jessica Wild and Lineysha Sparx from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”   AIDS Walk Arizona & 5K Run – February 23, 2019 Tempe Beach Park 80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ (602) 904-6001 AIDS Walk Arizona & 5K Run is the largest gathering in Arizona to support people living with HIV and raise community awareness. This family-friendly event features Paws for the Cause-the dog-friendly portion of the walk, and Kids for the Cause where kids of all […]

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