From its beginning, Tempe has exhibited a certain flair starting with its name, which was bestowed by a visionary Englishman “Lord” Darrell Duppa in 1879. If he happened upon Tempe today, he would be pleased to find a city that’s progressive, hip, with flair to spare, and just a hint of attitude. Tempe offers a blend of cosmopolitan culture and style, a welcoming spirit, scenic desert beauty, more than 330 days of sunshine and year-round activities.
As part of its progressive vision, the City of Tempe has been offering benefits for Domestic Partners of City employees since 1999. In 2014 the Tempe City Council unanimously approved an anti-discrimination ordinance that makes in unlawful to discriminate against residents and visitors on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, U.S. Military veteran status, race, color, national origin, age, religion, and disability. The city ordinance bans discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations at restaurants and hotels.
While you’re visiting Tempe and the Metro Phoenix area, you may want to add a few of our favorite things to do to your itinerary:
Arts & Culture
Do you favor a more contemplative arts experience or the thrill of exhilarating live theater, or both? Tempe’s vigorous arts and culture scene offers visual art aficionados and theater buffs plenty of opportunities to muse or be amused.
- Check out an exhibition of contemporary works of art at the ASU Art Museum and Ceramics Center.
- See a Broadway show at the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright designed ASU Gammage. If you’re intrigued by alternative theater that’s never predictable and frequently outrageous, Stray Cat Theatre has just the ticket for you.
Whether you’re an enthusiastic bargain hunter on a mission or someone who’s looking for a special memento of your time spent in Tempe, you will definitely find shopping in Tempe productive and entertaining.
- Channel your inner fashionista and satisfy your sense of style at Arizona Mills Mall and Tempe Marketplace. Both have great stores, restaurants and entertainment venues that make shopping fruitful and fun.
- You won’t go home empty handed after visiting Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe’s award-winning bookseller since 1977. Locals and visitors love its selection of new and gently used books, eclectic assortment of cards and gift items and outstanding author events that bring favorite writers from all genres to Tempe weekly.
Food & Drink
Raise your glass or cup at fine eating and drinking establishments. You’ll find an irresistible array of flavors to sip and savor in Tempe’s fine eateries, brewpubs wine bars and coffee houses.
- Start your day or add a little zip to your afternoon at one of our independent coffee houses, all favorite local gathering spots. Sip your favorite hot or cold brewed beverage at Cartel Coffee Lab, Cupz Coffee, Gold Bar Espresso, Romancing the Bean or Extreme Bean. Heck, try them all!
- Unwind over a glass or two of fine wine at Caffe Boa, House of Tricks, La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine Bar and Enoteca /Wine Bar at Vincitorio’s Restaurant. Cin cin!
- Find a favorite brew on tap or in the bottle at the Four Peaks Brewing Company, Four Peaks Tasting Room, Gordon Biersch Brewery, Handlebar Tempe, Huss Brewing Tasting Room, Sleepy Dog Brewery Tasting Room and World of Beer. Cheers!
Getting around Tempe
Tempe is easy to navigate whatever your favorite mode of transportation. Whether your prefer going bipedal, on a bicycle or by light rail, getting around Tempe, traveling to downtown Phoenix or going to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is a snap.
- See Tempe on two wheels. Rent a bike from The Bicycle Cellar or Tempe Bicycle and explore the trails around Tempe Town Lake and Papago Park. Watch for public art on display throughout the city and Arizona State University. Park a while and enjoy a bite and a brew at the bike-themed Spokes on Southern or the bike-friendly Handlebar Tempe on Mill Avenue.
- Catch the METRO light rail to downtown Phoenix for major sports events, downtown nightspots, Phoenix Pride and gay bars. Tempe is well-connected to Phoenix with seven light rail stations and three park and ride lots. You can also take the light rail from Tempe directly to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Catch some rays, have your moment in the sun, then relax some more at the spa.
- Work on your tan poolside at your hotel or while catching a wave at Big Surf Water Park. Top off your day in the sun with a soothing message or other luxurious spa treatment at Narande Spa located in the Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes.
Modern families love the diversity of fun family things to do in Tempe.
- The small fry will love the splash pads at Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Marketplace.
- Everyone will be mesmerized by the 3-D digital trip into space at the Marston Exploration Theater on the ASU Campus.
- You’ll find SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium’s array of creatures from the sea and interactive exhibits interesting and beautiful. The aquarium is located in Arizona Mills Mall, Arizona’s largest attraction featuring outlet and retail stores, entertainment venues and restaurants all under one roof.
- With bowling lanes, laser tag, a gravity high ropes course, billiards and shuffleboard tables, more than 125 interactive games and a restaurant, Tempe’s newest indoor entertainment venue, The Main Event, will be a hit with your crew.
- Your kids will learn to appreciate great theater early on at a Childsplay production. Childsplay is Arizona’s award-winning professional theatre company for children, but parents will love their beautifully rendered productions as well.
Tempe’s hospitable hotels range from resorts to all-suite properties. Many are located near METRO light rail lines, making it easy to access Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and LGBT nightlife and events in downtown Phoenix.
The Tempe Tourism Office is pleased to be a sponsor/partner of the Pride Guide Publications and gayarizona.com as we strive to promote Tempe as a welcoming destination.