LGBT Travel in Tempe
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, Tempe further strengthened its stand on non-discrimination with three major events:
- 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.
- Tempe voters unanimously approved (with more than 68 percent approval) an amendment to the city Charter that prohibits discrimination or favor for city positions on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability, political affiliation and United States military veteran status, except as such favor may be authorized by law. Protections apply to employment at the city and at businesses in Tempe, as well as to contracts, housing, public places and appointments to city Boards and Commissions.
- The City of Tempe earned a perfect score of 100 in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The HRC evaluates cities based on factors such as anti-discrimination laws, policies and ordinances, domestic partner benefits, and outreach to the LGBT community on a municipal level.
- Beginning January 1, 2017 the City of Tempe will augment its health plan to cover specific benefits for employees and their dependents who are transgender. The change will cover medical and psychological services as well as gender reassignment surgery.
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:
Say “I do” in Tempe
- Same-sex marriage became legal in Arizona in October 2014. Tempe is an ideal wedding destination and location for your rehearsal dinner, reception and accommodations for your guests. For help in planning your wedding, please visit our weddings page.
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 ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center & Brickyard Gallery.
- 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.
Shopping 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!
- Are you a flapjack fanatic in search of the perfect pancake? You’ll find them in all their light and fluffy fabulousness, from traditional buttermilk to fancy versions like protein cakes with blueberries, granola, slivered almonds and cinnamon, at these Tempe eateries.
- Unwind over a glass or two of fine wine at Caffe Boa, House of Tricks, La Bocca Urban Pizzeria & Wine Bar, Salut Kitchen Bar and Enoteca wine room at Vincitorio’s Restaurant. Cin cin!
- Find a favorite brew on tap or in the bottle at the Blasted Barley Beer Company, Four Peaks Brewing Company, Gordon Biersch Brewery, Handlebar Tempe, Huss Brewing Tasting Room, Pedal Haus Brewery, Sleepy Dog Brewery Tasting Room and The Shop Beer Company 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 Valley Metro 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.
Outdoor Recreation Take a hike or bike ride, catch some rays, then relax 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.
Family Fun Modern families love the diversity of fun family things to do in Tempe.
- 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.
- You can’t miss the bright primary colors of LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, located across from SEA LIFE. Tempe’s newest attraction offers themed build and play areas. with thousands of LEGO bricks, two LEGO rides, a 4D cinema, massive, large-scale models, building areas and a Model Builder Academy.
- 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 hotels 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 and One Community as we strive to promote Tempe as a welcoming destination.
Arizona Pride Guide